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Author Topic: My Rinky Dink Styrofoam Solar Wax Melter (Patent Pending) ;)  (Read 9333 times)
Lone
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« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2012, 12:02:19 AM »

Rightio, Ed, I didn't see any food flying through the air so I had to take my own picnic lunch, but my lunch box now has holes in it so the ants carried it all away. 

Anyway...my wax containers will be sitting in a stained glass cabinet.  I can put an aluminium foil reflector on the top, but do you think I'll need any extra foil around the top of the inside, or insulation or anything like that?  Unfortunately it's a blustery cloudy old day to be trying it out.

Lone
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Lone
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« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2012, 06:13:37 AM »

We raided our rubbish gully and found the scraps we needed.  After a couple of days of having a solar wax refridgerator, the sun is finally playing the game and for the first time I have beautiful blonde blobs of wax.  Gone are the days of scrubbing flying wax from the walls and floors and ears (actually the ear wax might not be from the hives), and wax that is so full of bees I could donate it to an insectarium. 

I will just alter the reflector a bit so I can switch it over from morning to afternoon sun.

Thanks Ed.  You are brilliant and I am just happy that you can't catch me for copying your design.  Oh no...what if the reflector can be seen from space?  I'm off to design a lunar wax solidifier...

Lone
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #22 on: November 04, 2012, 04:25:53 PM »

Ok, Lone, we've gotta have some "pics or it never happened". Wink

Glad it's working out for you!  There's more than one way to melt some comb! Smiley

Are you putting a little water in the bottom of your bottom container?

Ed
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www.beeweather.com 
American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev

"Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they wont come to yours." - Yogi Berra
A. Mance
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« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2013, 05:53:57 PM »

I had a little wax that came from the three supers that I extracted.  It was rather grungy looking (wish I had taken a picture of it.  It went through my mentors capping tank and then through his wax/honey separator.  I searched the internet and found some really nice wax melters but I wanted something quick and cheap.  grin

The tools and equipment that I used:

1.   A weak mind.
2.   Styrofoam cooler big enough to put my containers in with some wiggle room.
3.   Pack of (3) Glad family microwaveable containers.  I only used two.
4.   Wooden skewers or cord (nylon or cotton, I don't think it will matter).
5.   Black paint
6.   Oven roasting turkey bag.
7.   Aluminum foil.
8.   Duck tape.
9.   Nail
10.  Vise-Grip pliers to hold nail.
11.  Propane torch to heat nail.
12.  Paper Towels
13.  Wire clothes hanger.
14.  Cookie tin...or something else metal and that can raise the wax containers up 2-3 inches.
15.  Flat metal to put around the sides...I used a couple of old license plates.

It's really simple.  I bought a $6 cooler at the dollar store.  

I used a sharp knife to cut the center out of the top.  I used the lip that runs around the inside surface of the lid and seals the lid to the cooler as my guide.  This resulted in the center cut out piece and a "window frame".

I then slipped the styrofoam "window frame" into an turkey roasting bag and sealed it with the twist tie.  Be careful here as the styrofoam frame is weak and fragile.  The center portion that was cut out was then covered with aluminum foil...this would end up being the reflector.  These two piece were then set to the side for the time being.

Next was the cooler itself.  The inside was lined with aluminum foil.  A piece of foil was first laid in the bottom of the cooler, pressing it in for a good fit.  I then ran the foil along the sides of the cooler, pressing it into a corner before continuing on around to insure a good fit.  The top edge of the foil was folded over the cooler top edge and taped it down.  This was actually a solid piece of foil ran around the inside and taped it down at one spot.

I used the duck tape to make a "hinge" for the window to tilt on.

The coat hanger was used as a prop for the reflector.  This is a trial and error type of thing.  The cooler isn't that substantial and piercing the cooler with the coat hanger didn't seem attractive.  I ended up bending some "U" spots into the hanger.   The "U" could be pressed down on the top edge of the reflector and the other end of the hanger wire could be attached to something solid to hold it in place.  In my application I was sitting the melter in a lawn chair so I used the back of the chair for the solid support.

I took the cookie tin and the tags and painted them flat black.  Being in the bottom of the cooler I wanted them absorbing all the radiant energy they could.  Up higher I wanted the energy to bounce around hitting the wax.  It all adds up to a big meltdown. Wink  If this was a permanent, more substantial solar wax melter I would line the bottom with regular bricks painted black...this would make a good heat sink to help out when clouds moved in front of the sun for a few minutes.  But, being this is a light duty melter I'll let the thin metal suffice. Smiley

The propane torch was used to heat a nail (held by the vise-grips).  The hot nail was used to make holes in the bottom of one of the plastic Glad containers.  Be sure and keep the holes in the bottoms and don't stray up the sides.  Put LOTS of them in the bottom.  A paper towel "filter" is placed in the bottom of this modified container.

The filtered wax container only needs four holes made in it.  You can do this with a sharp nail by twisting it back and forth...mine came out fine doing it like this (actually cleaner than the hot nail).  The nail holes need to be just under the edge of the lip of the container...not hidden under the lip, but immediately below the lip.  There needs to be two holes on two opposing sides, these are to slide the skewers into.  

When I first rigged the filtered wax container I put two holes in each side and laced a nylon cord through in a "tic-tac-toe" design...that worked great to hold the container with the holes and wax in it but the cord had to be unlaced to remove the cooled wax...thus I changed to the skewers.  After thinking about it I'm going to try the skewers on a trial run and see if I have a problem with wax running out the holes they fit through.  If there's a problem with leaking there I'm going to change to only two strands of nylon cord.

Anyhow, so much for my confusing dialogue...here's some pictures. Wink

Ed

Overall shot of the solar wax melter with some comb wax in it.  If you look closely you can see the coat-hanger I'm using to prop the reflector up with.  I've also got the rear of the melter propped up a touch...

This one shows the bottom (filtered wax container) placed inside the cooler.  The skewers are installed...


A shot of the top (wax to be melted) container installed.  This is some residue in the top container from melting some honeycomb.  I'll save the trash and paper towel to use to light my smoker.  It really amazes me how clean the paper towel filter will get the wax!

This is a shot with the two different containers out where you can see them.  Remember to put an inch or so of water in the lower container so the molten wax will float on it when it drips...

It will surely help me if i ever try to do so. Your info are just awesome.. YO..
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2013, 12:48:34 AM »

<snip>

It will surely help me if i ever try to do so. Your info are just awesome.. YO..
Welcome to the forum, A. Mance!  Hope it helps you when you decide to build one...it's a simple little thing.

Ed
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www.beeweather.com 
American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev

"Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they wont come to yours." - Yogi Berra
JWChesnut
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« Reply #25 on: May 11, 2013, 12:56:30 PM »

My wax melter is
1) an oven pan,
2) a sheet of scrap (tempered) glass,
3) some mylar + bubble insulation (this is optional, in summer wax will melt without the insulation backing)
4) spring clips
5) kitchen strainers to filter out the dreck


I consolidate wax by pouring into plastic cups through a fine strainer.  Any dreck will settle to bottom, can be scraped off and remelted.
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Beetific
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Location: Arkansas


« Reply #26 on: July 31, 2013, 12:26:54 AM »

Hey there! I made a solar wax melter from a tutorial I found on Linda's bee blog and the first day, that was cooler and I hadn't lined in the inside with foil yet, my wax melted better. The second day, I painted the outside of the melter black (the styrofoam box), lined the inside with foil, and it was in the high 90s that day. None of my wax melted!

The only thing I can figure is that there was too much condensation that collected on the underside of the glass and cooled my wax instead of melting it? Has anyone else had a problem with wax not melting? It worked the first day, unpainted, and not lined with foil, in spite of the cooler weather!

How do I fix this? How do I keep the water in my Tupperware from turning into condensation? And if I do vent it somehow, won't my melter not get hot enough?
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