US 3649151 A
A planar mold plate having an embossing surface comprising a raised negative image is used for decorating a candle. The mold plate has a plurality of drain passages therethrough to conduct away wax melted from the candle side wall. A hot plate supports and heats the mold plate to candle wax melting temperature so that a candle rolled across the embossing surface receives a decorative image on its side wall.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Mathews [4 1 Mar. 14, 1972  APPARATUS FOR DECORATING  References Cited CANDLES UNITED STATES PATENTS [721 Mitzi Mame, Valley 1,237,442 8/1917 Ahlburg ..l0l/7 73 Assign: Bmegate Candle Company, Momma, 3,474,498 10/l969 Hoppes ..l8/44 X C l'f. a 1 Primary Examiner-H. A. Kilby, Jr.
 Filed: Sept. 4, 1969 Attorney-Flehr, Hohbach, Test, Albritton & Herbert 21 Appl. No.2 855,198  ABSTRACT A planar mold plate having an embossing surface comprising a  U.S.Cl ..425/385,10l/7 i d n g ti i ag i used for decorating a candle. The  Int. Cl .3290 21/00 old late has a plurality of drain passages therethrough to  Field of Search ..l8/1 K, 17 H, 9, 5.3 C, 5.3 H, conduct away wax melted from the candle side wall. A hot plate supports and heats the mold plate to candle wax melting temperature so that a candle rolled across the embossing surface receives a decorative image on its side wall.
3 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures 2 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR. Mitzi R. Mathews 1w, W w
Aflorneys Patented March 14, 1972 APPARATUS FOR DECORATING CANDLES BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION I-Ieretofore, decorative relief patterns have been created on the surfaces of candles, but such patterns have been limited to relatively simple shapes unless the candles are initially molded in a decorative split mold. Such molds are expensive to produce and to use. A limited form of decoration can be done by wax removal of portions of the s$rface of a preformed candle using a heated blade. In general, it would be desirable to be able to re-create a relief reproduction of any art work on a common block candle in a simple and convenient manner. There is, therefore, a need for a new method and apparatus for decorating candles.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION AND OBJECTS This invention relates to a method and apparatus for decorating candles and particularly to such a method and apparatus by which a relief reproduction of original art work can be transferred to the surface of a preformed block candle.
In general, it is an object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus for decorating candles in which a planar stereotype mold is created from an original art work in relief and is heated so that its image can be transferred into the surface of a candle to form a reverse relief image.
Another object of the invention is to provide a method and apparatus of the above character which is applicable to a wide variety of original art work.
Another object of the invention is to provide a method and apparatus of the above character which lends itself readily to mass production of decorated candles.
In general, the above objects are achieved by a method and apparatus in which a conventional cylindrical block candle is rolled over a heated stereotype mold supported in a generally horizontal plane. The mold consists of a planar stereotype relief mold corresponding to the negative image of the art work to be transferred and has a length at least as great as the circumference dimension of the candle. The mold is provided with a large number of drain passages therethrough by which molten wax flowing across the mold surface is drained away from the surface in contact with the candle. In this way the clarity of the image transferred to the candle is maintained from being washed over with excess molten wax. It is found that practically any art work having a characteristic line pattern can be used as the basis for the relief image and cast into stereotype for use with the present invention.
These and other objects and features of the invention will be apparent from the following description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is an isometric view of apparatus depicting the practice of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a plan view of an embossing mold constructed in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 3 is an elevational view of the embossing mold of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view showing the manner of contact between the candle and the embossing mold as used in the present invention.
FIG. 5 illustrates the completed candle product made by the method and apparatus of the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring to the FIGS., the apparatus and manner of carrying out the present invention is shown in detail and utilizes suitable means for defining and uniformly heating a planar support. Such means can be of any conventional type such as an electric or gas heated griddle or hot plate 10. The hot plate serves to establish a generally horizontal surface 11 for supporting an embossing plate 12 which rests thereon under gravity. The temperature of the hot plate is raised to a level sufficient to melt wax so that the plate 12 is heated by conduction and is thereby capable of impressing a pattern into the outer wall of the candle by melting away the wax thereon, as will be further explained.
The embossing plate 12 comprises a solid flat base supporting a raised embossing image conforming to the pattern to be transferred to the candle. The plate I2 is formed according to a stereotype process in which the pattern to be formed is generated from suitable artwork such as a line drawing. The artwork can be photo-enlarged or photo-reduced to a size conforming to that of the desired dimensions of the finished candle product. This artwork is the basis to form a master plate with a raised positive image of the artwork in which the dark line portions of the artwork correspond to the raised ridges in the master plate. The plate is etched in a conventional manner to a depth of about one-eighth of an inch which is deep enough that the candle can be rolled across the heated surface of the plate without sinking to the bottom of the etched depth.
After the plate has been etched, its upper surface is characterized by a plurality of regions bounded by portions thereof forming raised embossing ridges 14, some of which close together to form basins which may or may not open laterally. The upper surface of these ridges lie in a plane. Were the plate used without further modifications, pools of molten candle wax would form within these regions and generally over the surface of the plate. Such pools of molten wax would be detrimental to obtaining transfer of the image to the candle.
Accordingly, means are provided for establishing a large number of drain passages 16 scattered throughout the extent of the embossing plate 12. Such drain passages extend generally transversely between the upper and lower surfaces of the plate. They are preferably positioned at the lowermost position in the etched regions. Some of the drain passages are selectively positioned to open into the lowermost portion of those regions of the pattern that are closed and have no other way to drain off. For example, in FIG. 2, a drummer 18 is shown, the outlines of which fonn a large number of closed upwardly opening regions which would tend to collect molten candle wax. Each of these regions is relieved by a drain passage 16 opening through the plate to its other side. For clarity, only a few are numbered, but each shaded circle represents a drain passage. In general, a one-eighth inch hole is found to be adequate for permitting the passage of molten candle wax, however, larger or smaller holes may be used within a reasonable range taking into account the size of the regions in the decorative pattern being transferred.
Referring particularly to FIGS. 1 and 4, the operation of the method of the present invention is illustrated and shows a candle 20 positioned at one end of the embossing plate in such a manner that, when rolled across the top of the plate in succession, portions of the candle s circumference come into contact with the plate. Speed of rotation of the candle is selected so that the heated image on the embossed image penetrates into the candle a limited degree. That is to say, the candle is rolled over the plate at a speed which permits the heated image of the embossing plate to penetrate into the candle wall but fast enough so that the candle does not sink into full contact with the lowermost or base level of the image.
As the candle is rolled, the image is transferred under the pressure exerted from the weight of the candle itself and the operator need only roll the candle at a speed commensurate with the heat being supplied by the plate and fast enough to obtain a clear image. It is found that this is a readily acquired skill which depends upon the weight of the candle, its size, and the temperature of the plate.
Wax melted off of the candle flows downwardly over the surfaces of the image and passes out through the drain passages therein. Means are supplied for maintaining a slight gap between the mold and the heated plate and can consist of the general unevenness in the lower surface of the embossing plate resulting from the burrs produced by the drilling of the drain passages.
As shown in FIG. 5, the embossed candle product of the present invention attains a particularly pleasing appearance conforming nicely to'the configuration of the embossing plate. It is further found that the drain passages do not cause any unwanted pattern to appear in the final product. Where the candle has been given a decorative coat of contrasting color, as shown, the procedure of the present invention penetrates that coat and thereby achieves a pattern having the underlying color wherever struck by the raised ridges of the embossing plate. For example, a red candle might receive a white surface coating 22 which is then melted through in the present process to give the appearance of a red pattern in a white field.
1. ln apparatus for decorating in relief the side wall of a wax candle having a surface layer of wax thereon, of a contrasting color; a generally planar, embossing mold plate including a substantially flat supporting base and an upper surface configurated with raised and depressed regions defining the negative image of desired decorative indicia, means removably supporting said mold plate in a generally horizontal plane, heating means arranged with respect to said embossing plate to maintain the raised regions of the upper surface thereof at a temperature permitting the raised regions to melt and penetrate the surface layer of the candle, and means on said mold plate in the depressed regions thereof defining a plurality of drain passageways extending downwardly through said mold plate serving to permit escape from the mold plate of wax melted from a candle side wall onto said supporting means, the depressed regions of said mold plate being disposed below the surface of the raised regions a distance greater than the thickness of said surface layer whereby said mold plate raised regions may be made to penetrate through said surface layer into said wax candle without engaging said surface layer with said depressed regions.
2. The apparatus as defined in claim I wherein the depressed regions of said mold plate are disposed generally about one-eighth inch below the surface of the raised regions and wherein the means defining drain pmageway through said plate are individual openings of an area commensurate with a one-eighth inch diameter hole.
3. The apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said heating means includes a hot plate, means holding said embossing mold plate spaced from said hot plate so that the material melted from the candle side wall flows directly through said drain passage means onto and over the surface of said hot plate.