Cheap Solar Melter

Discussion in 'Building plans, blueprints, and finished projects' started by PerryBee, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Converted my wife's cold frame by putting insulation in it, works great!

    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    I can really load it up and can sometimes do two batches on a good day!
     
  2. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    Great! Until the wife needs to plant seedlings next spring... :lol:
    What do you use for a filter and for a catch pan?

    I'm wondering if it might work even better if you put a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom...?
     

  3. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Looks kind of like mine, they do work great. Nice looking wax also!
     
  4. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    All I used for a filter was the #8 hardware cloth I put all of the wax on. It melts, runs through the cloth onto the bent cookie sheet, through the slot cut in the end and into a kitty litter bucket cut in half with an inch of water in it. I have to scrape the cloth with a hive tool between meltings and after a while i quickly pass a torch over it (the cloth) to clean it up. From there the wax is remelted in a double boiler and poured into molds.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I painted mine all flat black, inside and out. The pan for the comb is just galvanized steel.

    Good looking products, beeswax candles smell good in the house.
     
  6. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I didn't think about painting it black (remember, this was built for my wife :club: ) If you look at the temp in the second photo it was almost at 50 c (120 f) and was still climbing.
    Lord knows how hot it would get in there painted black! :shock:
     
  7. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    I had some old comb from a cut out in a white plastic 5 gallon bucket (no lid on it either) and all of the wax
    melted just sitting out in the sun. I was letting the bees clean any honey off of it .
     
  8. fatbeeman

    fatbeeman New Member

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    perry bee
    you could make foundation with all that wax. lol
    looks good,I use 6 ft sliding doors with glass panels works great.
    Don
     
  9. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Hi Don:
    Making foundation would be cool. I remember somewhere seeing a silicone mold for making your own wax foundation. Has anyone had any experience with this? I figured if it worked well we would be hearing about it all over and I'm not. Up here wax is selling for $15/kg. I don't make enough of it to sell except for myself as candles and such at the farmers market. (only 18 hives). By the way, thanks for the videos you put on youtube and such, anymore on the horizon?
     
  10. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    My wax melter is $2 styrofoam cooler, a piece of old window glass, a small bucket and a paper towel (filter). The trick here in Erie is finding a day when the sun is actually shining!
     
  11. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    That is some incredible looking wax! I filtered my wax through coffee filters and it didn't look that good... there has to be a secret to getting it that nice golden yellow color.
     
  12. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Canadian bees :mrgreen:
    I think I manage to get the real yellow wax for two reasons. Mostly cappings wax and the fact they are done in the solar melter.
    I once melted down a bunch of beeswax foundation (undrawn) that was no good anymore, all broken and brittle. I figured it would be real nice clean stuff as well after it went through the solar melter but it turned into the darkest brown wax I've ever seen, almost looked like chocolate. It was terrible. Can't figure why.
    Gave it to a friend that drills holes in logs and plants mushrooms somehow. He needs the wax for some kind or primer or sealer or something.
     
  13. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    Ah, now see I got a lot of that brown wax... not so much yellow wax... I guess it's all in getting wax from just cappings and not former brood areas.

    Mushroom growers drill holes in the log to insert plugs of fungus starter (or seed fungus if you want to call it that) which has to be sealed into the log with wax... most prefer to use beeswax rather than parafin since they're going to eat the resulting mushrooms once the fungus spreads through the wood. Once the log is completely broken down by the mushroom's fungus to the point that it won't produce any more mushrooms the log is turned into more starter plugs to seed the next log with fungus.
     
  14. fatbeeman

    fatbeeman New Member

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    perry
    I am going to explain how to make wax foundation on next pod cast,for now save your money.
    www.somdbeekeeper.com
    if the owner of that site has enough request I will make plenty more.
    Don
     
  15. Mama Beek

    Mama Beek New Member

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    We used an old cooler, painted it black and slapped a piece of plexiglass left over from a school project on top of it and that works beautifully for us. Since the boys are wanting to learn to work with wood I think we will let them build a solar melter this year....just for the know how.
     
  16. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Those are some nice looking candles Perry! You called it the other day when you told me it would be my next project. I put together a prototype last night. I bought an old wooden box with a glass top a garage sale two years ago that was taking up storage space so It became the oven..I lined each side with three layers of cardboard for insulation and topped that off with aluminum foil. I followed your design on the rest. I used nails in the side of the box at different heights to hold and slightly tilt the cookie sheet. I figure I will get the same dark wax you were talking about with old comb on reply #12 but it's worth a try. The temperature in the box rose 10 degrees in just a few minutes after closing the lid! This is the comb from the cut out two days ago.
    DSCF5534.JPG DSCF5535.JPG DSCF5536.JPG DSCF5537.JPG
     
  17. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I will be interested in seeing some of the final product. :thumbsup:
     
  18. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    Will high temperature hurt the wax? Can a box get too hot?
     
  19. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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  20. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    It worked great! The temp maxed my thermometer out at 140 degrees within 30 minutes. I wasn't thinking when I left that plastic thermometer in there.....:shock: Check the pics out, ha! I had been gone for the last three hours with the chimney bees. I saw wax in the tub with interesting formations (stalagmite right? stalagtite is from the ceiling down). I scraped the "snake skin" like remainders of the comb and put more on the tray for melting. The wax came out pretty good in my opinion...
    0609121604.jpg 0609121604b.jpg