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Author Topic: Cheap and easy solar wax melter  (Read 5914 times)

Offline Koala John

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Cheap and easy solar wax melter
« on: December 12, 2009, 08:31:04 AM »
The prospect of spending hours and $ on building a beautiful wood and glass painted wax melter seemed too hard for me. I live in the city, and storage space is a problem. I needed something I could use for other things when not melting wax. Here's my solution:

Get a mid-sized clear plastic storage container with a clear lid. This will be the body of the wax melter itself.
The cappings you want to melt are are put in a paint roller tray. I found a very cheap black plastic one, and cut a one inch square hole in the deepest part. The melted wax all runs down to the bottom and drips through this hole.

To catch the wax, put a large deep tray under the paint tray, but put some fine wire mesh (fly wire type material) over this container. The wax is strained as it drips through the mesh. As well as that, I've found that much of the dark impurities in the wax stays in the bottom of the paint tray and doesn't even make it to the mesh, so the melted wax is quite clean and nice looking.

As I didn't have the right sized wax catching container for the paint tray to sit on, I used two smaller ones, one to catch the honey, and one turned upside down for the paint tray to sit on.

As it's not as efficient as a double glazed insulated solar wax model, I've found that it needs temperatures in the high 20's C (80's F) in order to work. It can melt a lot of wax on a hot day though. I put some newspaper in the bottom of the main body to catch any splashes of honey or wax, so I can still use it for storage when not being used to melt wax. When finished, the paint tray needs to be scraped off and set aside, but the rest can go back into service in the kitchen or garage until you need it to melt some wax.

Let me know if you want some photos.
John.

Offline Irwin

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Re: Cheap and easy solar wax melter
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2009, 08:58:26 AM »
Why do you even ask you know how much we like pic's :-D
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Offline Koala John

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Re: Cheap and easy solar wax melter
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2009, 09:11:59 AM »
Silly me  ;)





Obviously the clear plastic lid is put on when you have wax in the black tray and the sun is out!
« Last Edit: December 24, 2010, 08:47:38 PM by Robo »

Offline Robo

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Re: Cheap and easy solar wax melter
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2009, 09:30:10 AM »
My cheap and easy wax melter is a metal garbage can, pair of pantyhose and a steam cleaner.

I guess it is only cheap if you already have a steam cleaner, but it is definitely easy and doesn't require the sun........
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison



bigbearomaha

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Re: Cheap and easy solar wax melter
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2009, 02:37:34 PM »
 I can already see my own modification to this.  instead of one big center hole,  I would put several smaller 1/8 in holes all along the bottom of the paint tray.

looks pretty good.

Big Bear

Offline RayMarler

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Re: Cheap and easy solar wax melter
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2009, 02:37:10 AM »
Try putting the drip hole 1/2 way up the side of the paint roller tray. The debri in the wax is always on the bottom, so putting the drain hole 1/2 up the side causes all the junk to stay in the paint roller pan and only clean wax to drip out the hole into the screened pan below.
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Offline Bee Whisper82

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Re: Cheap and easy solar wax melter
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2009, 08:28:13 PM »
Koala John,

    Thanks for your idea I would have never thought of putting all that together to strain the wax.  I think I will try it this year.  Great idea! 8-)

                                                 

Offline TomF

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Re: Cheap and easy solar wax melter
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2010, 10:16:08 PM »
I bet if you used a shiny metal paint roller tray, it would work even better.  :)

Offline Bee-Bop

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Re: Cheap and easy solar wax melter
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2010, 11:06:24 PM »
I like your plastic box idea, it looks nice.

One thing I do tho is place screen wire in the paint tray and up the sides, I believe 90 percent of the
junk stay in the tray, the wax then drops into a secondary filter, then comes out durn near clear.

Every one do their own thing

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Offline Tommyt

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Re: Cheap and easy solar wax melter
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2010, 11:12:49 PM »
The mind is a terrible thing to waste  :-D

Thanks for the Plan & Picture

Tommyt
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Offline woodchopper

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Re: Cheap and easy solar wax melter
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2010, 05:30:46 PM »
Great Idea !!!
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Offline yantabulla

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Re: Cheap and easy solar wax melter
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2010, 02:38:28 AM »
Thanks for the idea Koala John.  I've painted the whole plastic tub black.  One sheet of perspex on the top.  Not a lot of sun in Coffs recently however I have managed to put a few old combs & cappings through in the last few days & it works well.  A sheet of old fly screen in the paint tray filters out old brood cells & other rubbish.  The bigger the hole in the bottom of the tray the better if you use fly screen.  A fully insulated & double glazed job would be much more efficient but when you have heaps of sun it doesn't matter.
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