Last year in October I built a solar wax melter from a Styrofoam ice chest. It cost next to nothing....$8.00 total. The most expensive part was the glass top ($3.50). To be fair, I already owned a Tupperware container, keep paper towels and string in my kitchen, and keep duct tape in my tool kit. So if I had to buy all of those things, it would have cost more.
I found the plans on the Internet ---> http://www2.gsu.edu/~biojdsx/solmltr.htm
So I built it in October when the heat of the day isn't hot enough nor does it last long enough for the solar wax melter to work.
I crossed my fingers and saved it until this year. I tried it today. AMAZING!
If you want to see it at work, there's a slide show on my blog:http://beekeeperlinda.blogspot.com/2007/06/today-im-trying-solar-wax-melter.html
Linda T in Atlanta, continually amazed by all the bee stuff there is to learn