Hey, I was crunching some numbers…
One 6 inch tapered mold candle weighs about 1 ounce, but since we were using a kitchen scale, this is rough ballpark.
Now, a 28 pound block of yellow beeswax currently runs for $189.56. 16 candles per pound x 28 pounds = 448 candles. 448 divided into 189.56 gives you .42 cents per candle, just based on the wax.
Wick – You’re going to want to use flat-braided wick, since if you use anything else, you will have to trim the wick. Flat braided wick burns itself up completely, so no trimming. With a 6 inch taper candle about an inch thick, you’re gonna want 15 ply or 18 ply flat braided. I use both. 15 ply burns longer, as it does not make such a large flame. 18 ply makes a larger flame, so your candle doesn’t last as long. Choose as you see fit.
One 4 pound spool of 18 ply flat braided wick runs $49.78. That is 2380 yards of wicking. Converted to feet, that gives you 7140 feet of wicking. Converting to inches, gives you 85,680 inches of wicking. Dividing by 6 gives you the number of 6 inch candles you can get from one spool of wicking, with no waste (“no waste” is impossible, so this is theoretical), which is 14,280 candles per spool. As a check, 7140 feet, times 2 (number of 6’s that go into a foot) gives the same number – 14,280.
Either way, that is a lot of candles… and, just in case you were wondering, 14,280 divided into $49.78 means the cost of wicking, per candle amounts to 0.003 cents per candle. Marginal, but if you’re selling your candles, you might want to toss in a penny or two just to cover that.
You’re also going to want a way to chop up the big blocks of wax. I bought a hot knife that is normally used for cutting Styrofoam for this purpose. They’re about 20 bucks online.
Other useful items – iron wire, a dedicated wooden spoon to stir the wax, a small putty knife to scrape up any spillage, a small semi-sharp knife to score the wax in the mold, a pair of needlenose pliers in case disaster happens and the wick breaks off before the candle comes out of the mold…
You can, of course, use the melted wax for other purposes. Such as waterproofing Strike-Anywhere matches, making soap, even hand-dipping small emergency candles about 3 inches long (about the same size as one of those cigarillos that Clint Eastwood used to smoke in the spaghetti westerns…)…
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1