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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Question What is "insulation board?"

    In the plans for the solar wax melter, it calls for the use of "insulation board." If I go to Home Depot or Lowes to get this, will they know what I'm looking for if I ask them for this? I have never heard of it and so I'm hoping they will know what it is.

    Also, if this is some kind of Styrofoam or other porous material, how can it be secured together with the other parts of the melter?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: What is "insulation board?"

    I used 1" foam glued to the bottom and the aluminum glued on top of the foam. Adhesive has to be foam compatable

  3. #3
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    Default Re: What is "insulation board?"

    Insulation board normally comes with a thick silver sheeting on one side, styrofoam on the other. You can staple, nail, glue, or screw it to the walls and floor of the wax melter. The silver side of the insulation board reflects light.

    Lowe's , Home Depot, Builder's Square, will know what you are asking for.

    cchoganjr

    cchoganjr

  4. #4
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    Dec 2007
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    Default Re: What is "insulation board?"

    If you use the foil backed foam dont ever plan on cleaning your melter. Slum gum and other debris builds up fast from combs and you will need to scrape it off with a puddy knife or hive tool. Trust me cover the foam with sheet metal of some kind and your melter will last for years

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What is "insulation board?"

    Thanks, Cleo and Danno. Very much appreciated!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What is "insulation board?"

    danno... Are you saying use the foam backed foil for your cappings/ comb, tray/pan ????? If so, you are correct, however, the insulation board is for lining the inside walls and bottom of the melter to reflect heat/light and assist in temperature rise.

    If your solar melter is properly built, you will never get slum gum on the insulation board, it will stay on the tray/pan. Having the correct angle for the tray/pan is very important to allow only melted wax, (and residual honey), to flow into your wax container. Too shallow, and it has to melt too much of your cappings/comb to start flowing into your wax pan. Too steep and slum gum will overflow and go into your wax pan turning your wax black.. Use a 4 inch putty knife to remove slum gum daily (do it while the slum gum is hot and it is a 30 second job) and you will have no problem with your solar melter.

    cchoganjr
    Last edited by Cleo C. Hogan Jr; 08-20-2012 at 06:41 PM.

  7. #7
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    Dec 2007
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    Default Re: What is "insulation board?"

    The one I built is custom, not from anyones plans. I used a window of a aluminum storm door for the glass. It is about 7 inch deep with the bottom covered with 1 inch blue board foam. Over the blue board I glued aluminum flashing. My angle is correct and slum gum doesn't move with the wax. Wax melts, runs down and is split by a wedge pc of oak into 2 drip pans (bread pans). I added a set of wheels to the low side an a handle on the high side so I can wheel it in and out of my barn. I keep a 2 inch puddy knife in the unit to scape junk off the flashing. This melter is going on 7 years old and will last many many more.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What is "insulation board?"

    danno...Good info for people to follow. Looks like you have everything right. Perhaps those who haven't made a solar melter, will use your example. I like your explanation of the angle. It is very important that the slum gum stay on the tray and not overflow into your wax pans. Wheels are good idea. If I move mine, I have to man handle it, but, I don't move it indoors, I built a top to go over it, when not in use, and I have painted the exterior about two or three times in the past 20-25 years.

    One more tidbit of info which might help someone. The heavy galvanized covers that used to be on all telescoping covers, can easily be formed for your cappings/comb tray. Look around and you can find one, or, go to a sheet metal shop and purchase a piece of galvanized metal 24 inch by 18 1/2 inch, and form it yourself. You can purchase stainless steel, but, it is more difficult to form. Your solar melter will be about 30 inches long, by 20 inches wide, by 12 inches deep, and will hold cappings/comb from about 6 -10 extracted supers. Depending on depth cut on your cappings, this will produce 3-5 pounds, clean wax, each day. Temperature needs to be above 92 degrees to work really well, and the melter needs total exposure to the sun.

    Good info danno.

    cchoganjr

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What is "insulation board?"

    danno,

    I really like the wheels idea. I have not completely finished my melter, but I know it's going to be heavy, and I am going to have to move it around. Can you post a picture of yours by any chance?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What is "insulation board?"

    Cleo,

    I have never used a wax melter before and don't know the procedure for using it. I am currently doing crush and strain, and so I'll be wanting to melt that wax into a useable product. Could you post some basic instructions on what to do with the wax before it's loaded into the melter.

    • Do I have to wash the wax. If so how much?
    • Any other info you think I might need to get started


    I have a good bit of wax that I've stored in plastic buckets that I'll want to convert into bars of wax.

    Thanks a lot!

  11. #11
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    Default Re: What is "insulation board?"

    A Bee
    A very simple melter can be made with a styrofoam cooler and a pc of glass or plexiglass. Simply line the bottom with foil, place the wax in a cloth bag, hang the bag in the cooler, cover with glass and place out on a sunny day.
    If your planning on making candles you will have to wash it but if you going to sell it dont.
    If your going to wash it skip the melter and simple pour it in a pot of water. Watch it very closely because it WILL boil over. Bring the heat up until it melts shut it off and let it cool. The wax will harden at the top and the junk will sink

  12. #12
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    Reno, NV
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    Default Re: What is "insulation board?"

    http://www.homedepot.com/Building-Ma...searchNav=true
    this is what came up for Home Depot doing a google search for insulation board.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: What is "insulation board?"

    A Bee Guy... I let my cappings drain through a filter bucket for one day. Then I take the cappings and place them in a trough I made that has screen wire for bottom. Any residual honey will flow through the screen and bees will lick it up. The walls of the trough are short so bees can load up on honey and fly away. The trough sits about 3 feet off the ground. Sit the trough about 100 yards from your hives and in short order the bees will have all the honey from the cappings. I normally stir the cappings the first day, then on day two the cappings will be dry and light. I then place about three inches of cappings on the tray and put the glass top on the melter. You really need a 92 degree or higher day for the melter to do a good job.

    If there is any residual honey, it will go to the bottom of your wax pan. I like to put about 1/8th inch of water in the wax pan. That helps the wax to release better.

    I use a plastic box about 2/3 the size of a loaf of bread as the wax pan. I use a very fine filter cloth over the "V" in the wax tray, and another filter cloth held by a sewing hoop over the wax pan. That filters the melting wax twice and it is very clean. Most important thing to keep in mind is to get the angle of the tray proper. Don't let slum gum run over the "V" in your tray and then into the wax pan. It will comingle with the wax and make it ugly. Any residual honey will go to the bottom of your wax pan, and when you remove the wax, turn it over, place it where bees can get to it for a couple of hours and they will clean it for you. Segregate your wax by color. Light colors will bring more, dark wax brings less.

    I maintain about 125 hives of bees, but, I sell bees, (honey is a by-product), so I don't make but about 100-150 gallons of honey each year. The hives are split so many times, they can't make honey. When I harvest from the brood stock, I do about 10 supers each day. Harvest 10, extract 10, move the capps from 10 to the trough for cleanup, and place caps from 10 in the wax melter. Depending on how deep you take the comb, you will get 4 to 7 pounds of clean wax each day from 10 supers.

    Maybe I can make some photos of the melter and post them in the next few days.

    If you have specific questions I will be happy to help.

    cchoganjr

  14. #14
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    Default Re: What is "insulation board?"

    Thanks a lot, Cleo. And, those pictures would really be helpful if you could find the time.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: What is "insulation board?"

    A Bee Guy..Three photos of my solar wax melter. Length is 30 inches long. Width is 18 1/2 inches wide. Depth is 12 inches deep. Will hold cappings from 8 - 10 supers. Will process up to 5 or 6 pounds wax each day.

    My Solar Wax Melter.jpg

    Wax Melter.jpg

    Processed Wax.jpg

    cchoganjr

  16. #16
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    May 2012
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    Default Re: What is "insulation board?"

    Cleo, thanks a lot for posting the helpful pictures. Looks good, and it obviously works well too!

    Can't wait to start processing some wax myself.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: What is "insulation board?"

    If I can help. Just let me know, here or, at cchoganjr@scrtc.com.

    cchoganjr

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