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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,770

    Default Final filtering question

    OK candle makers. I need some guidance here. This year got away from me and I never had time to use my solar wax melter. So, I fired up a burner and put a pot of water on it. When it was hot, I added a paint strainer bag filled with old, nasty looking comb. When it was good and melted, I squished the bag until it was pretty much strained out, dumped the junk, and added more old comb. When I was done, I let things cool overnight. In the morning I had a 4" block of wax that was "checkered" with small bits of junk. I dumped the old water, added fresh water and melted the wax again. After cooling, I had pretty clean wax except for a thin layer of gunk on the bottom. I'll scrape that off.

    Now, if I want to try candles, should I melt and filter again? If so, through what? I have some votive molds that I want to try although dipping looks like fun. Next year I'll have to stick with the solar melter. It makes the first part so easy compared to what I just went through!
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Windsor, CT
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Final filtering question

    If your block of wax has a layer of gunk on it, it doesn't sound like it is clean enough to make candles. When I started making candles I melted the wax in a pot with water and then filtered it through old tee shirts. Most of the gunk remained in the cloth. This year I went to a restaurant supply store and picked up some conical grease filters and a metal frame to hold the filters. Then I melted the wax and ran it through the grease filter. The resulting blocks of wax didn't have any visible gunk in it.
    David

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,373

    Default Re: Final filtering question

    You're in MA, so there must be a Jo-Ann's Fabric store somewhere nearby. I buy a cloth that works great. I believe it's nylon, or some such synthetic. Very fine mesh...looks like honey straining material, if you've seen it.

    I have a Maxant honey bottler...small one. Also a cone type strainer basket on top. Lay cloth in basket. Pour wax through. It does solidify on the cloth when it cools...whatever didn't go through. That's ok, just leave it and pour next hot wax right through it. Never really have to clean it, if your war is pretty clean already. Only strained wax goes in that tank, so the wax stays clean and you have clean wax when you want it.

    No reason you couldn't use something like a collender or strainer to hold the cloth.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,770

    Default Re: Final filtering question

    Yup...we have Jo-Ann's nearby. My wife will probably know the type of fabric. I figured I would have to strain through something...I just didn't want to have to go through lots more work to get to the candle making stage if I could help it. Thanks everyone!
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,536

    Default Re: Final filtering question

    I melt my cappings in kelly wax melter then melt it in a presto-Pot then I strain it through grees filter and store it in 2 pound blocks some blocks eill have a little gook on the bottom but whats left in the pot will have quite a bit of gook.

    When I make candles I melt the 2 pound blocks in the presto pot again-the pot has abot 1/2" on water in the bottom and the pouring valve is about 3/4" off the bottom so the slug thats left after pouring always has some gook on it I have never got a block clean enough not th ahve a little gook on bottom.

    Just another 2
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,697

    Default Re: Final filtering question

    i have wax melter from maxant. Water and wax junk etc. Boil, and let sit for a couple of hours then strain through straining cloth, At this point i usually double the cloth.
    When straining, the tank is set up in such a way that the gunk and water are below the top pour spout, so all i get is clean wax. The strained wax gets strained into rubbermaid dish pans.

    When i am ready to make candles, I have a slab melter from Maxant that is water jacketed. When i pour wax from there it goes through straining cloth about 5 layers thick just in case.

    the slab melter is nice because
    1. it is water jacketed,
    2. the bottom is slightly sunken a bit below the drain spout, so any debris left, like realy fine pollen is sitting on the bottom, and not going down the spout.

    A wax spinner pays off ! The weight of the 5 gallon buckets went from about 20-30# honey/wax cappings to about 5-8# of wax cappings. We bought one used and it we were able to get 1.3 - 45 gallon barrels of honey that would have other wise been wasted in washing the wax and in melting. That was the first year!

    I should add, I do the wax cappings melter instead of solar because by the time i am ready to melt wax, it's just too dang cold out side. Not to mention I have 3 - 45 gallon drums, 6 really really big rubber maid tubs, and 12 - 5 gallon buckets of cappings to melt. The cappings melter can hold about 2 - 5 gallon pails of cappings. With working off farm, I can do 1 -2 loads of wax a day...if i get an early start. I try to keep a year ahead on the wax. So, this years wax will be melted after the Christmas sales and used in candles next year.
    Last edited by honeyshack; 11-14-2009 at 02:29 PM. Reason: adding info

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,770

    Default Re: Final filtering question

    I found that when I boiled water and melted the wax for the second time, the wax block looked pretty good. There was just a thin layer of "scum" attached to the bottom of the block. I would guess that the scum floated on the water but below the wax. So, the next melting will be just wax and I'll strain it through something that will take that out. I'd prefer that my blocks would be clean enough for candles without a lot of additional effort. I've never made candles before so I don't want to complicate the effort with dirty wax. This wax is pretty dark because of the very old combs that I melted down. Some of the comb came from old hives that I bought used...destroyed the frames, saved the ancient comb and refurbished the boxes. I wish the wax was all nice, pretty, light colored cappings wax but it's old stuff so I want to make sure I get it as clean as possible. Now, I wish I had a Maxant wax melter. Had someone offer me a deal on a used one a few years back and never figured I'd use it. Darn....
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,697

    Default Re: Final filtering question

    i never would have thought of this until i got my dipping tank used and homemade, but what about making a cappings melter like maxant's

    A 45 gallon drum, relatively clean, or a drum that is smaller...1/2 the size?
    3 spigots
    hot water tank heater w/ thermostate...has to get the water to boiling
    a grate of some kind to protect the element

    Basically that is all my cappings melter is. Only SS

    one spigot near the bottom so you can change the water
    one spigot in the middle
    one spigot about 2" above the second one

    Something to make a lid
    Put it all together and you have yourself a cappings melter
    http://www.maxantindustries.com/wax.html the second pic
    or spend the 500 and get the cappings melter from maxant

    I wrapped mine in double bubble foil wrap that i folded around pink fibre glass to help retain the heat

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
    Posts
    323

    Default Re: Final filtering question

    I don't get much wax, just a hobby operation. I perfer a solor-melter with some screens in it to get the big stuf on the first run. After things cool off, I take the wax off the honey, flip the wax over and let the bees clean a lot of the gunk off. Next solor run is with a different melt pan having a long shoot ( about 8" long x 4" widefitted with 3 screens, with progressively smallar mesh.
    I let the wax drip into a SS pet food/water pan w/a few 1/8" drilled holes in the bottom w/a piece of bottom board screen as a stand-off and place over the collector, I use old meatloaf pans. The final filter material BOUNTY paper towels. They work great!!! About the only thing that gets through the towels is the wax. No sun, I put the pan setup in an old electric oven.
    Another 2 cents worth

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