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Author Topic: My new steam wax melter  (Read 3794 times)
eivindm
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« on: April 01, 2009, 11:22:22 AM »

Here is some pictures of my new steam based wax melter:

I use a plastic box with a lid.  In the bottom I use a metal tray (from a fish product) to collect the melted wax:


On top of that I use a some kind of mesh (used in cooking).  Sorry, not sure what the correct english word is.  In that I put the wax:


Then I close the lid.  In the lid I have to holes in opposite ends.  In one of them I put in the tube from the steam cleaner:


The steam cleaner takes about 2.5 dl (about one US cup).  This gives steam for about 5 minutes.  That is a bit short, but almost enough for one round.  This means I have to refill during use.  refilling a hot steam cleaner is not totally safe, but quick enough.  In retrospect, I should have bought a larger one.

So it takes a bit more than 5 minutes for the wax in the picture.  This is not a lot (a little bit more than half a norwegian frame which is roughly a medium super).  This means that the capacity is really low, but it fits my needs since I only have two hives.  With insulation and a larger box and a larger water tank, it would take 10 norwegian frames in about 20 minutes with room temperature outside (asked a professional Norwegian beekeeper that uses steam into a regular styrofoam hive box with 10 frames to melt his wax).

I need to re-melt the wax with a finer mesh to make really clean wax.  A fine mesh at the first stage would quickly clog the mesh.  I'm never going to use hot water on the stove to melt wax again.  Done that once, and it wasn't a success.  A solar wax melter is not for me, as I have nowhere to put it.  I live in an apartpment with too little sun on the balcony.  So I'm very satisfied smiley  Not much wax, but I want to keep it anyway smiley
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eivindm
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« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2009, 02:15:29 PM »

I have to correct myself:  I can't have had full tank on my first attempt although I was sure I had.  The second round I did today, it blew damp for full 10 minutes.  One other thing I discovered was that it didn't take much longer for larger amount of wax.  I melted wax equaling about 2-3 frames, and it was all melted when the 10 minutes was over.  So this little cutie is going to melt all my drone cutouts this year for sure smiley
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Irwin
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« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2009, 03:30:09 PM »

That's a good idea multipurpose tool. I really like your avatar Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2009, 09:53:35 PM »

Eivindm.  Nice, good looking pictures.  That mesh that you spoke about the you did not know the English word for is:

colander

Wonderful uses in and out of the kitchen, for sure.  Have a great and that most wonderful day, great health.  Cindi


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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2009, 09:17:29 AM »

Evind,

Did you have any issue with the plastic box getting soft?  I did my own prototyping after our recent chat session as well.  I nested a 3 gallon bucket with the bottom perforated in a 5 gallon bucket.  I put about 2 gallons of cappings in the top bucket with nylon stocking on the bottom of the bucket.  I put a piece of 3/4 PVC pipe down thru the top to underside of top bucket to feed the steam.   It worked well, but the PVC and lid got very soft from the heat.  I was please with my results and will attempt to upscale to a metal garbage can to eliminate the use of plastic.   Nice job and thanks for sharing.

rob...
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eivindm
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2009, 01:45:18 PM »

Ah, colander, it was smiley  Thanks..

The plastic do get soft, but not as hot so it will change its shape.  But I didn't run it for longer than 10 minutes max. After that I let it cool down.  I will try melting it once more and strain it through a pantyhose as soon as I can.  When I do, I will put my pictures here.  But at the moment we just got back from the hospital with our son that has an infection of some sort, so it has very low priority smiley
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« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2009, 02:03:12 PM »

But at the moment we just got back from the hospital with our son that has an infection of some sort, so it has very low priority smiley

Yes, take care of Lars,  melting wax can wait Smiley
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eivindm
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« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2009, 02:06:11 PM »

Here is an update with pictures of the cleaning of my melted wax.  To get rid of the finer particles in the wax, I remelted it an strained it with a finer material.  I used stockings.  I think it was TwT that mentioned stockings for filtering somewhere in the fourm.  It worked like a charm.

I put the wax inside a stockings leg, and put it in a tin can.  I stretched the ends over the lid and fastened it with some rubber band to hold it over the bottom of the can. The can had some water in the bottom to make it easier to take the wax out when it had solidified.

The tin can was put inside my wax melter box, and it took three rounds of steam (each of 5-10 minutes) before it was all melted.  I stretched the ends at each round to keep it over the water line as it "sagged" downwards as the content melted and dripped down to the water.
The wax looks nice and clean.  I'm very satisfied with the result!  I guess it is possible to reuse the stockings, but I didn't need much for this melting, so I don't bother to reuse it.  It is filthy and sticky with wax and dirt.

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