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Thread: Wax Melter

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camarillo, CA, USA
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    314

    Default Wax Melter

    Need to get a wax melting system, Looking for ideas. Will be handling about 2 to 4,000 lbs per season.

    The cappings come out of a cowen wax spinner.

    Thanks for your insight.
    Larry Pender,Jubilee HoneyBee Company,Camarillo, CA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lk Stevens, WA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Wax Melter

    In the Equipment/Hardware Review section there is a thread going on this subject.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,576

    Default Re: Wax Melter

    I have heard a lot of good things about the Cook and Beals melter and know of one bigger operator who uses it alongside his Cook and Beals spinner with pretty good success. Personally I'm not a very big fan of melting wax at the same time as we are extracting just because of the extra heat and work involved when you are busy doing other things. I think I would lean more towards the Cowen melter (though I see it is no longer listed on their web site). Its kind of spendy but it is really a hands off system. Esentially it is just a big oven that you put 3 drums of cappings in (representing about 40 to 45 drums of honey) and everything melts and runs into heated holding/separating tanks. Seems pretty efficient and it can be located in a separate area.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Pigeon Falls, WI
    Posts
    2,529

    Default Re: Wax Melter

    I know a few guys that have made melters from milk tanks. You have to have the correct style for it to work. Run hot water through the cooling coils and hang heat lamps inside so the top is the hottest. After filling it with cappings turn it on but start at a lower heat. Let it sit for a few days then turn the heat up and drain the honey out. I've seen some real nice honey come out of those melters before the high heat melting is started.
    Leer Family Honey Farm-Shannon Leer

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    868

    Thumbs Up Re: Wax Melter

    I melt all my beeswax in season just in another room. We use a maxiant 400# bottling tanks. We melt over 2 ton a year. We avg. 200+ lbs a melting.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camarillo, CA, USA
    Posts
    314

    Default Re: Wax Melter

    Ron, Why the bottling tank vs Maxants wax melter?

    I see the wax melting tank has 2 vavles to run off honey & wax. The bottling tank has just a single vavle.

    Also, how do you get the cappings into the tank?


    Thanks,
    Larry Pender,Jubilee HoneyBee Company,Camarillo, CA

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,576

    Default Re: Wax Melter

    That's kind of the rub with some of those systems is rehandling the cappings unless you are doing it right beside your spinner. The big advantages of doing it at about the same time you are extracting is that you can salvage honey still in the cappings without darkening it too much and it is a lot more energy efficient.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Auger Hole, MN
    Posts
    433

    Default Re: Wax Melter

    If final quality is an issue systems that bake the wax at high temps ruin the wax quality. Lots of operations running cook/beals at 200F.

    In my experience =the milk tank system with an old radiator and fan produces the best quality wax with a minimal investment and can be run at 160F to produce wax you can easily sell at 3-4$ a pound.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Clear Lake, WI / Sebring, FL
    Posts
    639

    Default Re: Wax Melter

    A friend of mine made a hot room based on the Cowen system. It uses a dryer element and fan ,he can do about 5 drums of capping's at a time . I thought about making one out of a old walk in cooler .

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    868

    Thumbs Up Re: Wax Melter

    LSPender, Maxants didn't have the wax melters back in the days. I just when to there web site to look at there melter. WOW!!! Prices sure have gone up over the years, but then again it has been a few years since I bought new equipment. The two drain would probly work better. 70% of my beeswax is sold in 4+ lb bars. I have a skid of them pictured on Ebay.

    I just use a shovel to shovel the cappings in. Takes about 5 min. to fill and then just keep adding to it until you have enough wax in the tank. I use the same tank to heat my syrup for spraying frames this time of the year. The best thing about the water jacketed tanks they are easy to clean up. Just warm them up and wipe then out. For years we only run one tank for everything.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    470

    Default Re: Wax Melter

    Was going to ask about wax melter option, but came across this thread so I will just continue it. I'm looking to melt about 2000 lbs of wax a year. Honey in the wax is not really not an issue for me as the cappings are coming from a cook and beals. Up until now I just brought my wax to a commercial render.

    Never really considered a bulk tank, but I have several kicking around and this might be a good use for them.

    What is the correct type of bulk tank?

    Not quite picturing how a radiator and fan would work. Can someone enlighten me?

    How do you deal with brood chamber frames?

    Thanks

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
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    4,576

    Default Re: Wax Melter

    Old combs can be a real p-i-t-a sometimes ours just disappear in a big fire. I know of one guy that would take them outside on a cold day when the wax is real brittle and knock them into a steel drum and when the weather warmed up put live steam into the drum. Any way you do it is going to be messy, but there is definitely some wax to be salvaged if you want to do the work. However for those of you whose combs are diseased or have been exposed to a lot of chemicals do your fellow beekeepers a favor and use the "big fire" method.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    dennison MN
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Wax Melter

    ya i agree the big fire only way to go.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    470

    Default Re: Wax Melter

    Costs me $0.75 per lb to get brood frames rendered and get $2 per lb for the dark wax. That's still better than a big fire. Though when wax moths or mice are involved a fire is a good option.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    NAVAJO, ARIZONA USA
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: Wax Melter

    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Martens View Post
    Costs me $0.75 per lb to get brood frames rendered and get $2 per lb for the dark wax.
    Do you mind sharing where you get this done?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    868

    Thumbs Up Re: Wax Melter

    I melt all my brood comb and cleaning in June when it's in the 90's. I fill a 55 gal. barrel 1/3 way full of water, and get the fire going under it. Get the beeswax to the boiling point and then dip the beeswax off. Then press what is left out in the wax press. Only get about 90 lbs per barrel. The beeswax comes out a golden color and I sell it for $5 a lb. Produce about 250-325 lbs of beeswax a year from just cleanup. Takes about 2-3 days to do each year. I still think it's worse the pay check.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    470

    Default Re: Wax Melter

    Quote Originally Posted by MTINAZ View Post
    Do you mind sharing where you get this done?
    MacGregor Wax Works in MacGregor Manitoba.

    Rendering fees for last year were $0.25 per lb for cappings and $0.75 per lb for frames.

    Not sure what issues would be involved in getting unprocessed wax across the border.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    470

    Default Re: Wax Melter

    HH

    Do you cut the wax out of the frames first or just melt complete frames?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    NAVAJO, ARIZONA USA
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: Wax Melter

    Thanks. I imagine between getting it across the boarder and shipping most of the profits would disappear.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    868

    Thumbs Up Re: Wax Melter

    Allen,
    I've done it both ways. Find it easier to cut them out before melting.

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