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Author Topic: Solar Wax Melter  (Read 3122 times)

Offline bassman1977

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Solar Wax Melter
« on: July 14, 2009, 11:54:05 AM »
I was looking at the solar wax melter that Dadant sells.  How does all the garbage get filtered out of the wax after melting? The melter is https://www.dadant.com/catalog/popup_image.php?pID=396
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Offline G3farms

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Re: Solar Wax Melter
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2009, 12:52:35 PM »
Mine is made on  a similar bases. I put wire mesh at the end of the drip pan to catch the big stuff and screen wire over the catch pan to get the finer stuff, some people use cheese cloth.

Some of it depends on what you are melting down, old dark brood comb is tough to get all of the wax out of, the cocoons act like a sponge and hold it in. You can get it hot in the melter and then squeeze it through the screen wire to get a little more  wax out of it.  Combs that have had wax worms in it has a considerable amount of trash but some salvagable wax and will have to work with it to get the crap out.

Good luck and let us know how you make out with it.

Are you going to buy one or are you building one?

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Offline danno

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Re: Solar Wax Melter
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2009, 01:19:57 PM »
I built a 3' X 3'  and set the angle at 15 deg.  Almost all the junk stays put.  no screens just aluminum flashing over 1" of foam for a bottom

Offline bassman1977

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Re: Solar Wax Melter
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2009, 01:31:26 PM »
Quote
Are you going to buy one or are you building one?

Not sure yet.  Considering both.  I want to look at the plans on Bee Source and see how complicated it is.

Quote
I built a 3' X 3'  and set the angle at 15 deg.  Almost all the junk stays put.  no screens just aluminum flashing over 1" of foam for a bottom

Got pics?  Think the sheet metal that newspapers are printed from would work?  I have a couple family members who work for a newspaper and probably could get me some no problem.
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Offline danno

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Re: Solar Wax Melter
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2009, 01:54:45 PM »
I'll get some pics and send them off.  news print sheeting would work great.  I used 2 layers offlashing and overlapped it like shingles.  at the bottom I used pc's of wood to funnel it into 2 bread pans. 

Offline joker1656

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Re: Solar Wax Melter
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2009, 02:34:26 PM »
Bassman,

Good question, I have wondered this also.  I see how the junk gets strained out, but what if there is some honey in the wax?   
"Fear not the night.  Fear that which walks the night.  I am that which walks the night, BUT only EVIL need fear me..."-Lt. Col. David Grossman

Offline danno

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Re: Solar Wax Melter
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2009, 03:56:22 PM »
the honey will run off with the wax so what I do is run the hardened cakes under hot water.  The 15 deg angle is the reason the junk doesn't run off.  These are the plans I worked off of
http://www.beesource.com/build-it-yourself/solar-wax-melter/
« Last Edit: July 14, 2009, 04:14:14 PM by danno »

Offline bassman1977

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Re: Solar Wax Melter
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2009, 10:41:11 PM »
Yep...those are the ones I was going to look at.
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Offline BearCreekBees

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Re: Solar Wax Melter
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2009, 11:12:59 AM »
I did not like the pan design on the one you showed. I prefer a small opening at the center on the bottom edge of the pan, and "diagonal" pieces across the corners to help "funnel" the wax towards the center opening. The seams should be soldered to prevent leakage.

To get the best use out of your solar wax melter, first wash the comb/cappings to remove any excess honey. The honey water can then be fed back to your bees if desired. If you can't wash the comb/cappings, and/or still have honey in them, you can add some water to the bottom of your catch basin. The wax will rise above the water and any honey or other debris. If you have a lot of debris you can then just scrape it off the bottom of the cake of wax once it hardens.

Best tip- ask your wife/girlfriend/female co-worker to save her old pantyhose for you. Place the wax in the pantyhose and lay the whole thing in your wax melter. The wax will be strained through the hose as it melts and the gunk will be trapped in the hose. When the hose is too gunked up to use, just toss it and get another pair. This won't help with the honey, but it will get rid of gunk.

Another thing that I do is to line my pan with "Black Wrap", which is a very heavy duty, black aluminum foil which we use in the entertainment business. It is tres expensive, but it lasts a long time- I maybe only change it out once during the season, depending upon how much wax I am melting and how clean the wax is to start with, -a roll has lasted me several years so far. You could also use plain old aluminum foil as well- I just happen to have the black stuff which I like because it helps with solar gain. Either way, it keeps the pan nice and clean and you can just toss it when it gets too gunky.

On my first solar wax melter I used a piece of mesh across the opening- that worked okay till the mesh got full of gunk- then it was a hassle to clean. Can't remember exactly- maybe I did it in a way which made it difficult to replace the mesh?

Offline danno

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Re: Solar Wax Melter
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2009, 11:37:52 AM »

Best tip- ask your wife/girlfriend/female co-worker to save her old pantyhose for you.


If I asked my female co-works for there pantyhose,  they would have me up on charges but it is a great idea to get the gunk out
heres a couple of pics of the one I made

 



« Last Edit: July 17, 2009, 02:39:38 PM by danno »

Offline annette

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Re: Solar Wax Melter
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2009, 02:08:41 PM »
Now, now Danno

If you go to the store and purchase the pantyhose, I am sure no one will even notice :-D :-D

Offline bassman1977

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Re: Solar Wax Melter
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2009, 10:52:16 PM »
Great things to think about.  Thanks for the info everyone.
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Offline fish_stix

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Re: Solar Wax Melter
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2009, 06:48:17 PM »
Pick up some black fiberglass window screen at Home Depot or Lowes and completely line your melting pan with it. Catches 99% of the debris. When it gets all clogged up just toss it in the garbage and cut a new piece. Cheap too!

 

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