That style of machine for moulding candles in which the candles are forced out at the top by means of a piston is the one most employed, and it is an apparatus of this kind that we illustrate herewith. In its construction, this apparatus presents some important improvements in detail which it is of interest to set forth. The improvements made by the Messrs. Barlow have been studied with a view of manufacturing candles with conical ends, adapted to all chandeliers, without interfering with rapidity of production or increasing the net cost.
These gentlemen have likewise so simplified the continuous system of drawing the wick along as to prevent any loss of cotton. In the next place, the structure of the moulds, properly so called, is new. Instead of being cast, as is usually the case, they are rolled and drawn out, thus giving them smooth surfaces and permitting of their being soldered, are assembled by means of threaded bronze sockets. The engravings between Figs. 3 and 4 show these two modes of fixation. At a may be seen the old method of junction by soldering, and at b the screwing of the moulds into the socket. This machine consists of a box which is alternately heated and cooled, and which is fixed upon a frame, A, at the lower part of which are located the wick bobbins, E. Toward the top of the machine there is a mechanism for actuating the two pairs of jaws, B, which grasp the candles forced upward by the play of the pistons, D. This mechanism, which is controlled by a lever, acts by means of an eccentric.Fig. 1 Fig. 2.
BARLOW'S CANDLE MOULDING MACHINE.
The pistons, D, are hollow, and are provided above with pieces which form the small end of the candles. Instead of using tin, as is usually done, the Messrs. Barlow employ galvanized iron in the construction of these pistons, and mount them through screw rings - no soldering being used. For this reason, any workman whatever can quickly replace one of the tubes. All the pistons are placed upon a horizontal table, which is made to rise and descend at will, in order to regulate the length of the candles and remove them from the mould. A winch transmits the motion which is communicated to it to two pairs of pinions that gear with racks fixed to the frame to lift the table that supports the pistons. How these latter are mounted may be seen from an inspection of Figs. 3 to 5. This new arrangement of spiral springs for the purpose is designed to hold the pistons on the table firmly, and at the same time to prevent the shock that their upper ends might undergo in case of an abrupt turn of the winch. Moreover, the forged iron plate, H, is not exposed to breakage as it is in other machines, where it is of cast iron.
The bobbins already mentioned revolve upon strong iron rods, and the moving forward of the wick in the moulds is effected automatically by the very fact of the manufactured candles' being forced out. These latter are held in position through the double play of the jaws, B, while the stearic acid is flowing into the upper part of the moulds. The cotton wick is thus drawn along and kept in the axis of the candles.
One peculiarity of the machine consists in the waste system applied to the mould box. Steam or hot or cold water is sent into the latter through the conduit, L, starting from a junction between pipes provided with cocks. When the water contained in the box is in excess, it flows out through the waste pipes, G, which terminate in a single conduit. Owing to the branchings at T, and to the cocks of the conduits that converge at L, it is very easy to vary the temperature of the box at will. The warm or cold water or steam may be admitted or shut off simultaneously.
When first beginning operations, the wick is introduced into each mould by hand. The piston table is raised by means of the winch, and is held in this position through the engaging of a click with a ratchet on the windlass. A fine iron rod long enough to reach beneath the pistons and catch the end of the wick is next introduced. After this is removed, the wick is fixed once for all, and in any way whatever, to the top of the mould. This operation having been accomplished, the piston table is lowered, and the machine is ready to receive the stearic acid. The moulds are of tin and are open at both ends. In order to facilitate the removal of the candles, they are made slightly conical. When the candles have hardened, the ends are equalized with a wooden or tin spatula, and then the piston table is raised. At this instant, the jaws, B, are closed so as to hold the candles in place. The latter, in rising, pull into the mould a new length of wick, well centered. A slight downward tension is exerted upon the wick by hand, then a new operation is begun.
During this time, the candles held between the jaws having become hard, their wicks are now cut by means of the levers, C, and they are removed from the machine and submitted to a finishing process. - Revue Industrielle.