Author Topic: solar wax melter  (Read 1083 times)

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Offline rober

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solar wax melter
« on: July 20, 2019, 10:55:40 am »
here's the 1st one I built. the size was based on a piece of glass that I had on hand. I based the angle on one that I borrowed which was not steep enough & left the wax in a shadow which stopped the melting process. if I build another it will be bigger & have a drawer. the wax is held in a strainer lined with either papers towels or a restaurant grease filter. I found the open ended baking sheet in a thrift store. the catch basin is a holding pan from a steam table. the strainer & baking sheet hang on screws. i riveted a piece of aluminum angle at an angle to the baking sheet to help direct the wax into the pan. the wax drops thru the strainer & runs down the baking sheet into the catch pan which is 1/3 full of water.









this is the strainer.  i lucked out & found it when the local Aldis had them on special for $6.00
https://www.amazon.com/YKL-Expandable-Stainless-Strainer-Vegetable/dp/B010NDOD9M/ref=asc_df_B010NDOD9M/?tag=bingshoppinga-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid={creative}&hvpos={adposition}&hvnetw=o&hvrand={random}&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl={devicemodel}&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=&hvtargid=pla-4583589101910417&psc=1
also-if you watch the free section on craigslist you can find free used windows for glass. with a glass cutter & straight edge you're set. if you break some pieces consider it practice. nothing lost since it's free.

Offline tedh

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Re: solar wax melter
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2019, 03:24:35 pm »
Is that a full size steam table pan?
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Offline rober

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Re: solar wax melter
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2019, 03:50:09 pm »
yes it is full sized. the box is 16" wide ( o.d. ). next time i'm by it i'll measure the pan . i'm melting wax as I write this. at least this heat wave is good for something. I got the pan at a restaurant supply. they're actually fairly inexpensive. a disposable aluminum pan would work too but would need to be replaced periodically.
I also got lucky as the baking sheet was a perfect fit.
  i have also used a styrafoam food shipping cooler with a piece of glass on top. they are 4" thick & hold temperatures well. this melter works better but i still use the foam box to melt crystalized honey.

Offline tedh

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Re: solar wax melter
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2019, 06:16:38 pm »
How much wax can you put in to melt at a time and can/do you just keep adding more as it melts down?  Is it insulated?  Just hanging out and curious, avoiding the heat today.
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Offline rober

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Re: solar wax melter
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2019, 09:22:38 am »
it can handle 2-3 #'s. if i'm melting burr comb I find the filter tends to clog & I rotate the strainer 180* 1/2 way thru the process. if the I free of debris wax can be added throughout the day. honey is the hardest thing to clean out of the wax & usually requires several trips thru the melter. I set burr comb with honey out in a bucket & let the bees rob the honey & then wash it before putting it thru the melter & it still requires being melted 2-3 times to be free of honey. sometimes I put the wax in a pan on my hot plate after running thru the solar melter to get rid of most crud & filter thru a restaurant grease filter that's perched on a bucket of water. it does a good job. this came from a restaurant supply & was 10.00. the filters are 12.00 per 100. here's a photo.

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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: solar wax melter
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2019, 10:53:17 am »
rober, that is a nice set up.
Ross Conrad wrote a good article, in the July 2019 issue of Bee Culture Magazine, about solar wax melters. According to Conrad, I made a few mistakes and I probably have.  My wax melter only works so-so.  I do find I have to keep the glass clean for it to work better.   ;D  Birds like to sit on it and do their thing.

Offline rober

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Re: solar wax melter
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2019, 11:29:05 am »
if you can find a Styrofoam cooler large to hold a 1 gallon bucket. with 8-10" of head space with the bucket install. put a conical restaurant grease filter on top of the bucket, put your wax in the filter & lay a piece of glass on top. the wax should be close to the glass to avoid shadows. this would eliminate the need to build anything this works as well as anything i've seen or used. the filters are at restaurant supplies & most grocery stores & Costco bakeries have the buckets for free. i mentioned earlier that i use this set up to melt crystalized honey. i have to monitor the honey if it's in plastic bottles as it can hot enough to warp the bottles.
you might be able to find large styrofoam food shipping coolers at a store that sells fresh seafood.