The Candle Cauldron - Everything You Want to Know About Candlemaking!
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   Presto Pot Instructions 
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What is a Presto Pot?
If you're a candlemaker looking for an easy and inexpensive way to melt your wax, Presto Pots are a great way to go!
They are called Presto Kitchen Kettles, and you can find them at your local Walmart, Kmart or Target stores for around $20 each.  They will hold approx. 6 to 7 lbs of wax, and they melt nice and quick... about 20 minutes and you've got a full batch of wax melted and ready to go!  They are made of a thick metal with a non-stick coating, so they clean up real easy... just wipe out the wax residue with paper towel while the pot is still hot (careful not to burn your hand, I wear gardening gloves!).  If there seems to be any scent leftover in the pot, try wiping it out with a baby wipe (very handy!).  The pots have a temperature dial on them, so you can set your pot to an exact temp, not just low-med-high like on a crock pot.  But you still need to check your actual wax temp with a thermometer because the wax inside can be a different temp than what you set the dial on.

Since these pots have a concealed heating element, you can melt wax directly in the pot without having to use water and a second pot inside like a double boiler.  The trick is getting your melted wax out of the pot and into your pouring pitcher.  Some people prefer to pick up the pot by it's handles and dump the wax carefully into a pitcher.  Others prefer to use a ladle or a pyrex measuring cup to scoop out the wax and transfer it into a pitcher.  Or another alternative is to install a spigot or faucet onto the pot.  This of course involves some know-how and a little more work, but some people have found these to be very handy.  Below are a couple of different versions of instructions for installing spigots that were sent in to me by a couple of candlemakers who did it themselves.

Note:  Beware of people selling modified Presto pots for inflated prices anywhere from $50 to $80 dollars!  You can easily add your own spigot and it will only cost you about $10 in supplies!

How to install a spigot on a Presto Pot

Version 1 - Submitted by Waxman Bob
Use these instructions at your own risk. 

Items needed:
3/4" wood drill bit (yes wood) 
1/2" heavy duty MALE BOILER Drain (Lowe's Item#102-703HC)
3/4" Brass nut to fit on boiler drain Rubber Washer
High Temp Silicon (any auto parts store/wal-mart has this item)

The material on the Presto pot is very soft, so mark and drill a spot on the bottom of the pot that allows for you to get as LOW as possible without drilling into the bend in the bottom of the pot. The best way to measure is to set  the nut on the inside of the pot and measure  to the top of the pot.  Use that measurement on the outside and add 3/8" for the center of  the hole you will be drilling.

NOTE: The hole should be 90 Degrees either way from the heat control ... drill the hole.

Once the hole is drilled, it is pretty easy to install the spout.  Place the rubber washer on the boiler drain and insert it through the drilled hole.  Put on the nut from inside the Presto pot, but before you tighten put a small amount of high  temperature sealant all the way around the male pipe.  Tighten the nut completely with a wrench and if needed, fill any gaps  between the nut and pot wall with high temp silicon.  Allow to dry over-nite and YOU'RE IN BUSINESS!
Good Luck...Waxmanbob



Version 2 - Submitted by Sandy

Please keep in mind that I did research on this before I actually did it.  I got many different opinions on how the best way to do it is.  This is the way I chose for myself because it seemed easiest.  It's by far not the only way.  But so far, like I said, it's working GREAT.  NO leaking, and so far, NO clogged spigot.  I can't be held responsible for your pot if something happens.  I've been using mine for about 8 months now, so I don't know how it will hold up 10 years from now.  But from the looks of it, it will be just fine. No sign of wear; looks as good as the day I did it.  And still no clogging.

PLEASE READ THIS COMPLETELY BEFORE BEGINNING.

I don't know how to weld, and neither does my husband.  Hence, I decided to use a product called JB Weld.  It's supposed to hold just as well as actual welding, but it's a cold product.  You can surf the net and get lots of info on the product.  I suggest you do that before you begin if you have any questions about the product.  (By the way, I personally know a professional welder who sometimes uses the stuff himself on his automobiles.  He loves it.)

Having made up your own mind, go to the hardware store and get some JB Weld. It doesn't take much, so the small size will do fine for one pot.  You could probably do 2 pots with one kit.  While you're there, get an outdoors faucet called an Iron Pipe Sillcock.  I got the 1/2" size.  Mine has a red handle. It just looks like a faucet with 2 screw holes that would attach it to your house.  (This is all you'll need from the hardware store, unless you don't have the drill bit.)  I used my husband's 1/2" spade drill bit.  It worked just fine.  I know it's meant for wood probably, but it worked.  From what we can tell, it did no damage to the bit either.  The pot is actually quite "flimsy" and didn't take much to get through it.  I drilled the CENTER of the hole about 1 1/4" from the bottom of the pot (centered between the two handles).  So just put a mark on the outside of the pot about 1 1/4" up from the bottom.  This is were you will place the point of the drill bit.  Drill through.  I had to use a pair of pliers and break out a few little shavings that didn't come out the first time through.  If you use a different type of drill bit, this may not have to be done.  The drill bit I used is probably not the best choice, but it's what I had.  The main thing is, you want to be left with a 1/2" hole.  I suppose you could do a bigger hole, like 3/4". But then keep in mind to buy a 3/4" sillcock.  (The size of your drilled hole and the size of the sillcock need to match up.)

Okay, now you have your hole drilled.  (It was a little scary to see this gaping hole in my pot!)  #:0)  Take the sillcock and place it over the hole. Now mark where the bolts need to be inserted, and then drill holes just large enough for the bolts to fit through (not much larger than the bolt itself or you'll cause problems).  What it will look like now is one large hole in the center, and one small hole on each side of the large hole.  Once all drilling is done, clean the surface of shavings and wax.  It needs to be fairly clean for the JB Weld to properly bond.

Once the pot is drilled and cleaned, you will mix your JB Weld as directed on the back of the box.  Apply it to the backside of the sillcock wherever it will come into contact with the pot. I applied it fairly heavily.  You can always wipe off the excess. Now bolt the sillcock onto the pot.  The bolts will stick through into the inside of the pot and past the nut.  I left mine.  It hasn't caused any problems, but I suppose you could use bolt cutters to shorten them if you wanted to.  I wanted to keep it simple.  YOU WILL NOTICE THAT THE POT IS OBVIOUSLY ROUNDED.  THE SILLCOCK IS NOT.  HENCE, THE SILLCOCK WILL NOT PERFECTLY CONFORM TO THE POT.  Just tighten it as well as you can, fairly tight though.  Make sure both sides are tightened the same amount so the gap will be the same on both sides.

Now you have the sillcock mounted.  I then applied the JB Weld all the way around the outside edges of the sillcock, and also on top of each bolt (over the head of the bolt) on the OUTSIDE of the pot to seal any gaps and make it leak proof.  Apply FAIRLY heavily; you can always wipe off the excess when done.  Look inside the pot and make sure you can't see light coming through anywhere.  If you can, you need to apply more JB weld inside, but this did not happen to me. I didn't apply any at all to the INSIDE of the pot.  Tidy it up, wiping off any excess both outside and inside.  Make sure the inside hole is clear for wax to flow properly.

Place the pot on its side with the spigot up (on top) and allow to dry for 24 hours.  When dry, I filled my pot with water just to make sure there were no leaks.  I had none.  If you do, you will need to apply the JB Weld wherever the pot is leaking.

Mine is working well, as I said, and no leaks.  The spigot has not clogged as some had told me there's did (but they didn't use this method or this type of faucet).  I think the reason this type of faucet doesn't clog is because it's short.  The heat of the pot and the melted wax is enough to keep it free flowing.  If it ever did clog, all you'd have to do is take your heat gun to it for a few seconds and it should melt out. As I said, mine has NEVER clogged once in 8 months.

I'm sorry if this is disorganized.  I hope it makes sense. If any of you don't understand my directions, please feel free to e-mail me.  IF YOU GO AND GET THE SILLCOCK FIRST, IT WILL MAKE MUCH MORE SENSE THAN IT DOES BEFORE SEEING IT.  Once you see it, you'll understand. 

By the way, you could install the spigot higher on the pot, but then more wax would be left in the bottom of the pot.  I find this way I can get almost all of it out with the spigot rather than having to dump it out.  And just by tipping it at the very end, I can get the little that's left.  Or just dump the last little bit out (into your pouring pitcher).

Here's my e-mail:  dittmer@flash.net

Let me know if any of you have any questions.  I'd be happy to help if I can.

Happy candlemaking!
Sandy


Hope this info helps, and thanks to those who shared their instructions and tips!  Happy Melting!

 

 
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