Title:
Candle wick centering device and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A candle wick centering method and device for maintaining the vertically centered position of a wick that is disposed within the cavity of a candle container throughout the wax pouring and solidifying process includes a centering device having an annular flange that rests upon the rim of the candle container and a support member that extends across and bisects the centering device creating a pair of opposed apertures. Located at the midpoint of the support member is a wick-retaining member that includes a tapered notch into which the upper end of the wick can be inserted for holding the wick in place throughout the wax pouring and hardening process. The candle container can be capped with the centering device left in place to trap the aromatic scents therein, and the purchaser can easily dispose of the candlewick-centering device after removal of the candle lid for lighting the jar candle.



Inventors:
Duska, Kurt M. (Erie, PA, US)
Koeck, John (Lake City, PA, US)
Oakes, Kevin (Girard, PA, US)
Gross, Larry (Medford Lakes, NJ, US)
Application Number:
10/827831
Publication Date:
10/27/2005
Filing Date:
04/21/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F23D3/16; F23D3/24; F23D3/30; (IPC1-7): F23D3/16
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BASICHAS, ALFRED
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kenneth W. Wargo, Esq. (Erie, PA, US)
Claims:
1. For use with a jar candle having a bottom surface, a sidewall and a cavity defined by the sidewall for containing the candle wax, a candlewick-centering device for holding a wick attached to the bottom surface in a vertically centered position within the cavity throughout the wax pouring and curing process, comprising: an annular main body member for disposition on the sidewall of the jar candle; an annular flange coextensive with the main body member for placement upon the rim of the sidewall of the jar candle; a support member that extends across the diameter of the main body member thus bisecting the main body member; a pair of apertures formed by the bisection of the main body member by the support member; a wick-retaining member formed at the midpoint of the support member so that the wick-retaining member is coaxial with the cavity of the jar candle when the candlewick-centering device is placed on the jar candle; the wick-retaining member further including a wick holding notch with the wick holding notch having a gradually decreasing inward taper; and the upper end of the wick being inserted within the wick holding notch of the wick-retaining member so that the wick can be held and maintained in the vertically centered position within the cavity of the jar candle throughout the process of pouring the wax in the cavity and hardening the wax to form the candle of the jar candle.

2. The candlewick-centering device of claim 1 wherein the support member includes a pair of ribs that extends inwardly toward each other with each rib including a distal end.

3. The candlewick-centering device of claim 2 wherein the distal ends of the ribs are connected to the wick-retaining member.

4. The candlewick-centering device of claim 3 wherein the annular flange includes a flat upper surface coextensive with the flange.

5. The candlewick-centering device of claim 4 wherein the flat upper surface includes indicia printed thereon that denote identifying information or purchaser instructions.

6. A candlewick-centering device for placement on the rim of a jar candle for holding the wick in a vertically centered position with respect to the jar candle throughout the wax pouring and solidifying process, comprising: an annular main body member for disposition adjacent the inside surface of the rim of the jar candle; an annular flange coextensive with the main body member for placement upon the rim of the jar candle; a support member extending across the main body member and thus bisecting the main body member into two equal semi-circular portions; each of the semi-circular portions of the main body member defining an aperture; a wick-retaining member formed at the midpoint of the support member and the wick-retaining member being coaxial with the jar candle when the candlewick-centering device is placed on the jar candle; the wick-retaining member further including a wick holding notch having a gradually decreasing inward taper; and the wick insertable within the wick holding notch of the wick-retaining member so that the wick is held by the wick-retaining member in the vertically centered position throughout the process of pouring the candle wax in the jar candle and the solidifying of the wax within the jar candle.

7. The candlewick-centering device of claim 6 wherein the support member includes a pair of ribs that extends inwardly toward each other with each rib having a distal end.

8. The candlewick-centering device of claim 7 wherein the distal ends of the ribs are adjoined to the wick-retaining member.

9. The candlewick-centering device of claim 8 wherein the annular flange includes a flat upper surface that is coextensive with the flange.

10. The candlewick-centering device of claim 9 wherein the flat upper surface of the flange includes indicia printed thereon that denote identifying information or user instructions.

11. A candlewick-centering device for holding a wick in a candle container throughout the wax pouring and solidifying process, comprising: a main body member for placement on the candle container; a flange coextensive with the main body member for disposition on the rim of the candle container; a support member extending across the main body member and bisecting the main body member into two equal portions; each of the portions of the main body member defining an aperture; and a wick holding notch formed at the midpoint of the support member for receiving and holding the wick in a vertically centered disposition relative to the candle container throughout the wax pouring and solidifying process.

12. The candlewick-centering device of claim 11 wherein the wick holding notch includes a notch opening that gradually and inwardly decreases in width.

13. The candlewick-centering device of claim 12 wherein the support member includes a pair of ribs each of which extends inwardly toward each other from the main body member with each rib terminating at an inner distal end.

14. The candlewick-centering device of claim 13 wherein the distal ends of the ribs are attached to the wick-holding notch.

15. The candlewick-centering device of claim 14 wherein the flange includes a flat upper surface coextensive with the flange.

16. The candlewick-centering device of claim 15 wherein the flat upper surface of the flange includes indicia printed therein that denote identifying information or user instructions.

17. A method of forming a candle in a candle container having a bottom surface, a sidewall, and a cavity enclosed by the sidewall, comprising the steps of: attaching a wick to a metal plate; fixing the metal plate to the bottom surface of the candle container so that the wick is vertically centered within the cavity; pouring the molten wax into the cavity of the candle container; placing a candlewick-centering device upon the sidewall of the candle container; inserting the wick onto the candlewick-centering device; and placing a cap on the candle container with the candlewick-centering device still holding the wick and in place on the candle container.

18. The method of claim 17 wherein the candlewick-centering device includes an annular main body member for placement on the sidewall of the candle container.

19. The method of claim 18 wherein the candlewick-centering device includes an annular flange coextensive with the main body member and adjoined to the main body member.

20. The method of claim 19 wherein the annular flange includes a flat upper surface having indicia printed thereon that denote identifying information or user instructions.

21. The method of claim 20 wherein the candlewick-centering device includes a support member that extends across the diameter of the main body member and bisects the main body member into two equal semi-circular portions.

22. The method of claim 21 wherein each of the semi-circular portions defines an aperture.

23. The method of claim 22 further comprising a wick-retaining member formed at the midpoint of the support member.

24. The method of claim 23 wherein the wick-retaining member includes a tapered notch for receiving and holding therein the upper end of the wick so that the wick maintains its vertically centered position within the candle container during the wax pouring and solidifying process.

25. For use with a jar candle having a bottom surface, a sidewall, an open top at the upper end of the sidewall, and a cavity defined by the sidewall for containing the candle wax, a candlewick-centering device for holding a wick attached to the bottom surface in a vertically centered position within the cavity throughout the wax pouring and solidifying process, comprising: an annular main body member for disposition adjacent the sidewall and within the open top of the jar candle; a plurality of spaced-apart support legs with each leg having a curvilinear portion that hooks onto the sidewall so that the main body member can be disposed pendent within the open top of the jar candle; a support member that extends across the diameter of the main body member and bisects the main body member; a wick-retaining member formed at the midpoint of the support member so that the wick-retaining member is coaxial with the cavity of the jar candle when the main body member is pendently disposed within the open top of the sidewall; the wick-retaining member further including a wick holding notch with the wick holding notch having a gradually decreasing inward taper; and the upper end of the wick insertable within the wick holding notch of the wick-retaining member so that the wick can be maintained in the vertically centered position within the cavity of the jar candle throughout the process of pouring the wax in the cavity and the solidifying of the wax therein to form the candle for the jar candle.

26. The candlewick-centering device of claim 25 wherein the support member includes a pair of ribs that extend inwardly toward each other with each rib including a distal end.

27. The candlewick-centering device of claim 26 wherein the distal ends of the ribs are adjoined to the wick-retaining member for supporting the coaxial positioning of the wick-retaining member with respect to the cavity of the jar candle.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention pertains to candle forming processes, and, more particularly pertains to an apparatus and method for supporting and maintaining the coaxial positioning of the candlewick in the jar or container throughout the candle forming process.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Candles have long been used to provide light as well as a certain type of ambience or environment for a room or a dwelling. Candle wax can be diffused or permeated with various aromatic scents to enhance the appeal of candles, and such candles have attained wide popularity as they are commonly sold in specialty shops and general retail stores. Such candles include canning-type jar containers wherein the variously colored and scented wax is poured therein to solidify and set to form the candle.

One current method of creating such candles is to start with an empty container and a pre-cut length of wick. The lower end of the wick is connected to a tabbed metal plate, and then the metal plate, with the wick attached thereto, is glued to the bottom inside surface of the empty container. This positions the wick vertically within the container so that the wick extends upward and adjacent the opening or mouth of the container. Molten wax is then poured into the cavity of the container and allowed to solidify thereby forming the candle.

A constant difficulty in producing these types of candles is maintaining the central vertical posture of the wick within the cavity of the container throughout the wax pouring and curing process. For example, as the molten wax is being poured into the container there is a tendency of the wick to wave and drift off-center along its vertically disposed length, and such drift may carry the wick adjacent to the sidewall of the container. As the wax hardens it obviously fixes the wick in this canted disposition, and thus as the candle burns down the flame will naturally follow the pathway of the wick, burning off centeredly with the wick. In addition to this unaesthetic result, the container can become overheated and possibly crack by the flame burning too close to the sidewall of the container.

A number of techniques have been employed to overcome these problems. For instance, one technique is to pour the wax into the container cavity in stages, re-centering the wick between each pouring operation. This requires a continual monitoring of the pouring and hardening process. Other techniques for maintaining the vertically centered disposition of the wick include attaching the upper end of the wick to holding devices that can resemble paper clips or Popsicle sticks that are then draped over the upper edge of the container sidewall. However, the above techniques have numerous drawbacks, and the prior art discloses other devices and processes for producing a candle having an upright, centered wick

For example, the Harrison et al. patent (U.S. Pat. No. 2,520,682) discloses a candle making method and mold that includes positioning a wick pin within a candle mold shell and attaching a candlewick to the eye of the wick pin so that the candlewick and the wick pin are in coaxial alignment. Candle wax is poured in the shell, and after the wax solidifies, the candle is removed from the shell and passed over the wick pin thereby causing the candle to be wicked.

The Weiss patent (U.S. Pat. No. 3,998,922) discloses a method of making a candle that includes pouring wax into an open-topped jar and then attaching a rod to a plate that is concentrically attached at the bottom of the jar; and then removing the rod and inserting a candlewick in the channel formed by the rod, and then allowing the wax to completely solidify about the wick.

The Crisp patent (U.S. Pat. No. 4,102,634) discloses a floating wick holder that includes a naturally buoyant one-piece holder having a central wick-retaining recess having radial peripheral portions so that in use the wick-retaining recess is submerged while the peripheral portions float within a layer of combustible oil that is incumbent on a layer of water.

The Matema patent (U.S. Pat. No. 5,939,005) discloses a candle forming method that includes placing a wick holder on the bottom of a container and then attaching a wick to the wick holder. A shroud is then positioned over the wick and then wax is poured into the container and allowed to solidify in stages during which the shroud is removed so that the wax can further harden about the wick.

The Daiber et al. patent (U.S. Pat. No. 6,471,899 B2) discloses a candle molding method that includes placing a circular plate at the bottom of a container, and then infixing a rod to the plate so that candle wax can be poured into the container and about the rod. After the wax has cooled, the plate, rod and molded wax are removed from the container, and the rod is removed from the cooled wax so that a wick can be inserted in the hole thus created for forming the candle.

Nonetheless, there remains a need for an apparatus for holding and centering a wick throughout the candle forming process, and that can remain on the container until the purchaser removes the lid to light the candle thereby holding in a preponderance of the aromatic scent for the purchaser's enjoyment. There also remains a need for a wick-centering apparatus and method that will permit the candle container to be capped immediately after the wax has been poured and is still in its liquid state to retain as much of the infused aromatic scent within the wax.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention comprehends a candlewick-centering device that includes an annular main body member that fits snugly into the inside diameter of the candle container, and the main body member includes a coextensive flange that seats upon the upper open rim of the container. Extending across the diameter of the main body member is a support member, and the support member includes a wick-retaining member that is coaxial with the annular main body member. The wick-retaining member includes an inwardly tapered notch for receiving and holding therein the upper end of the candlewick. The support member bisects the main body member thereby creating two semi-circular apertures. The candle container can be capped with the candlewick-centering device left in place on the upper rim of the container so that the aromatic scent can be trapped therein and easily disposed of when the purchaser removes the lid in order to light the candle.

It is an objective of the present invention to provide a candlewick centering device and method wherein the candlewick-centering device can accommodate and be used with candle containers of various sizes and diameters.

It is another objective of the present invention to provide a candlewick-centering device and method that allows the candle wax to be poured in the container in one simple and easy step without having to adjust or remove the candlewick-centering device from the container.

It is yet another objective of the present invention to provide a candlewick-centering device and method wherein the candlewick-centering device includes structure to which the candlewick can be attached and then held throughout the candle forming process but does not interfere with the pouring of the candle wax in the container.

It is still yet another objective of the present invention to provide a candlewick-centering device and method that allows the candle container to be capped while the candle wax is still molten with the centering device being left in place thereby trapping more of the aromatic scent within the candle container.

A further objective of the present invention is to provide a candlewick-centering device that keeps the wick-centered and stabilized relative to the candle container throughout the entire wax pouring and solidifying process.

A still further objective of the present invention is to provide a candlewick-centering device and method wherein the candlewick-centering device is inexpensive and can be easily disposed of by the ultimate candle user after removal of the lid from the candle container.

A still yet further objective of the present invention is to provide a candlewick-centering device and method that prevents the wick from waving, drifting off center along its length, and coming too close to the sidewall of the candle container during the wax pouring and wax solidifying process.

These and other objects, features, and advantages will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon a perusal of the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment read in conjunction with the accompanying drawing figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first preferred embodiment of the candlewick-centering device of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the of the candlewick-centering device of the present invention first shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a sectioned elevational view of the candlewick-centering device first shown in FIG. 1 taken along lines B-B of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of the candlewick-centering device first shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a sectioned elevational view of the candlewick-centering device first shown in FIG. 1 take along lines A-A of FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is a bottom plan view of the candlewick-centering device first shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a second preferred embodiment for the candlewick-centering device;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the candlewick-centering device shown in FIG. 7 illustrating the underside of the device;

FIG. 9 is a top plan view of the candlewick-centering device shown in FIG. 7;

FIG. 10 is a sectioned elevational view of the candlewick-centering device first shown in FIG. 7 taken along lines B-B of FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a side elevational view of the candlewick-centering device first shown in FIG. 7;

FIG. 12 is a sectioned elevational view of the candlewick-centering device first shown in FIG. 7 taken along lines A-A of FIG. 9;

FIG. 13 is a bottom plan view of the candlewick-centering device first shown in FIG. 7;

FIG. 14 is a sectioned elevational view of a candle container with a candlewick and metal plate ready to receive poured wax and a candlewick-centering device;

FIG. 15 is a sectioned elevational view of the candlewick-centering device first shown in FIG. 1 illustrating the disposition of the cap on the candle container poured with wax and with the candlewick-centering device left in place on the rim of the candle container;

FIG. 16 is a perspective view of a third preferred embodiment for the candlewick-centering device;

FIG. 17 is a perspective view of the candlewick-centering device shown in FIG. 16 illustrating the bottom of the device;

FIG. 18 is a top plan view of the candlewick-centering device first shown in FIG. 16;

FIG. 19 is a sectioned elevational view of the candlewick-centering device of FIG. 16 taken along line B-B of FIG. 18;

FIG. 20 is a sectioned elevational view of the candlewick-centering device of FIG. 16 taken along lines A-A of FIG. 18;

FIG. 21 is a side elevational view of the candlewick-centering device first shown in FIG. 16; and

FIG. 22 is a bottom plan view of the candlewick-centering device first shown in FIG. 16.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Illustrated in FIGS. 1-13 and 16-22 are several embodiments for a candlewick-centering device for holding and maintaining the vertically centered position of candle wick within a candle container throughout the wax pouring and wax hardening and solidifying processes. Throughout this description, similar parts among the embodiments are given the same part number. Candle containers come in numerous sizes, shapes, dimensions, and designs; a representative type of candle container, also referred to as a jar candle, is shown in FIGS. 14 and 15. The candle container 10 includes a bottom surface 12 and a continuous sidewall 14 that extends upwardly from bottom surface 12. The sidewall 14 defines a cavity 16 wherein the candle wax 18 is poured and solidified for forming the candle. Further, the sidewall 14 includes an upper rim 20 that defines an open top 22, and the open top 22 can be closed off by a lid or cap 24 when the candle is not in use. Projecting upwardly from the bottom surface 12, and coaxial with the cavity 16 and sidewall 14 of the candle container 10 is the candlewick 26. The wick 26 can be secured to the bottom surface 12 by any suitable device, such as by the metal plate 28 shown in FIG. 15.

Thus, illustrated in FIGS. 1-6 is a first preferred embodiment of a candlewick-centering device 30 that fits snugly within the open top 22 of the candle container 10 for holding the wick 26 in place in a vertically centered disposition within the container 10 during the entire candle forming process. Illustrated in FIGS. 7-13 is a second preferred embodiment of a candlewick-centering device 30. The candlewick-centering device 30 of FIGS. 1-13 will typically be made of molded plastic, though other materials are possible, and includes an annular main body member 32 that fits within the open top 22 and adjacent the upper rim 20 of the sidewall 14 of the candle container 10. It should be noted that as candle containers come in various shapes and diameters, the candlewick-centering device 30 could also come in various sizes and diameters. The main body member 32 is further defined by an annular flange 34 that is coextensive with the main body member 32 and is integrally attached to the main body member 32. As shown in FIG. 15, the flange 34 will abut the upper rim 20 of the candle container 10 when the device 30 is placed on the sidewall 14 of the candle container 10. The flange 34 includes a flat upper surface 36, and an indicia can be imprinted or impressed on the flat upper surface 36 denoting, for example, user instructions.

As shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 6-9, and 13, a support member 40 is attached to the main body member 32 at the inside diameter and extends across the inside diameter of the main body member 32 thus bisecting the main body member 32 into two equal semi-circular apertures 42. The support member 40 is further comprised of a pair of ribs 44, with each rib 44 having an inner end that is connected to the inner surface of the main body member 32. Each rib 44 also includes an opposite distal end 46, and the distal ends 46 of the ribs 44 are adjoined to a wick-retaining member 48 that is coaxially located with respect to the main body member 32. Moreover, when the device 30 is inserted on the upper rim 20 of the candle container 10, the wick-retaining member 48 is disposed coaxial with the cavity 16 and the sidewall 14 of the candle container 10.

As shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 5-10, and 13, the wick-retaining member 48 includes a wick holding notch 50 into which the upper end of the candle wick 26 is inserted so that the entire candle wick 26 can be held in place and maintained in a vertically upright, centered disposition, as shown in FIG. 15, throughout the wax pouring and wax solidifying processes. The notch 50 has a gradually decreasing inward taper so that the notch 50 is widest at the mouth or opening 52 for allowing easy and quick insertion of the upper end of the wick 26, and then the notch 50 decreases in taper or width so that the upper end of the wick 26 can be slid inward and is thus pinched and securely held in place at the innermost part of the notch 50. The taper of the notch 50 can vary, and thus the taper of the notch 50 as shown in FIGS. 1-6 is irregular while the taper of the notch 50 shown in FIGS. 7-13 is regular and continuous. In addition, the configuration of the ribs 44 of the support member 40 can be varied so that the ribs 40 of FIGS. 1-6 are an elongated rectangular shape while the ribs 40 shown in FIGS. 7-13 have the shape of a right triangle.

There are various methods for using the candlewick-centering device 30 shown in FIGS. 1-13 to form the candle within the candle container 10. One method comprises attaching the metal plate 28 to the center of the bottom surface 12 of the candle container 10 as shown in FIG. 14. The candlewick 26 is then attached to the metal plate 28 so that the wick 26 extends upwardly within the cavity 16 and coaxial with the candle container 10. The molten wax 18 is then poured into the cavity 16 of the candle container 10 using, preferably, various automated processes. The candlewick-centering device 30 would then be placed on the candle container 10 so that the flange 34 rests upon the upper rim 20 with the main body member 32 disposed snug and contiguous to the upper inside portion of the sidewall 14. The upper end of the candlewick 26 would then be inserted into the wick holding notch 50, and the wick holding notch 50 would securely hold the wick 26 in its vertically centered position within the cavity 16 throughout the wax solidifying and hardening process. With the candlewick-centering device 30 still in place on the rim 20 of the candle container 10, the lid or cap 24 can be placed on the container 10 while the wax is still molten to trap the preponderance of the aromatic scent within the candle container 10. After purchasing the candle container 10, the user would follow the instructions printed on the upper surface 36 of the flange 34 of the device 30 for removing the device 30 from the candle container 10 and disposing of it before lighting the candlewick 26.

Illustrated in FIGS. 16-22 is a third preferred embodiment for the candlewick-centering device. Whereas the first two embodiments shown in FIGS. 1-13 function with a cap 24 that surrounds the outside diameter of the container 10, as shown in FIG. 15, the third embodiment permits use of a cap 24 that fits within the inside diameter of the container 10. The candlewick-centering device 54 of FIGS. 16-22 would thus primarily be used for candles wherein the cap 24 fits within the inside diameter of the container 10 shown in FIG. 14. The candlewick-centering device 54 of FIGS. 16-22 includes an annular main body member 56 that fits snugly within the candle container 10 and contiguous to the inner surface of the sidewall 14 of the container 10. Extending upwardly from the main body member 56, and integrally attached thereto, are three spaced-apart support legs 58. Each support leg 58 is further defined by an upper curvilinear portion 60 that is capable of hooking over the upper rim 20 of the candle container 10 thereby disposing the main body member 56 pendent from the rim 20 and within the opening 22 of the candle container 10. Extending across the main body member 56, and bisecting the main body member 56, is a support member 62. The support member 62 is further comprised of a pair of ribs 64 with each rib 64 adjoined at an inner end to the main body member 56. Each rib 64 also includes a distal end 66, and the distal ends 66 are attached to and support a wick-retaining member 68 in a coaxial position with respect to the annular main body member 56 and the cavity 16, and the sidewall 14 of the candle container 10. The wick-retaining member 68 includes a wick-holding notch 70 for receiving and holding therein the upper end of the wick 26. Thus, insertion of the wick 26 into the notch 70 of the wick-retaining member 68 holds and maintains the wick 26 in an upright centered disposition within the cavity 16 of the candle container 10 throughout the wax 18 pouring and solidifying process. While the taper of the notch 70 gradually and uniformly inwardly decreases in width from the notch opening or mouth 72, it should be noted that the taper of the notch 70 may be irregular similar to the irregular taper of the notch 50 of the candlewick-centering device 30 shown in FIGS. 1-6. It can thus be seen that because the support legs 58 dispose the main body member 56 downward from the upper rim 20 of the container 10 when the device is installed, a cap 24 can be inserted into the container 10 without interfering with the function of the invention.

While the invention has been illustrated and described in several preferred embodiments, it is not to be limited to the details shown, since it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various alterations and modifications can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. By way of example, although the invention has been shown and described herein solely with respect to candle container 10 with circular open tops 22, the invention could easily be adapted to container 10 with square, oval, triangular, or other shaped tops 22.