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Thread: wax rendering

  1. #1
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    Apr 2012
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    bridgewater , nova scotia
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    Default wax rendering

    What is the best way to clean beeswax for making candles ?

    Do I need to buy a machine or can I make something ? I have tried just straining it through a screen and cheesecloth , but it still comes out dirty with propolis and pollen etc...

    Any suggestions that actually work ?

    Thanks
    Ben
    Ben Little <The Little Bee Farm> https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBeeFarm
    Nova Scotia Canada

  2. #2
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    Jun 2008
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    Sacramento,California,USA
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    Default Re: wax rendering

    I do a slow melt in water. I scrape off the propolis from the bottom of the cake when cooled. If needed, I do it a second time. I get nice clean wax from it.

    I use a steamer for melting down old dark brood combs, it works great for small amounts, and the wax comes out very nice and clean.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Manning, SC
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    1,921

    Default Re: wax rendering

    For small amounts....

    Go to the local thrift shop and buy some old deep pots & pans and some old NYLON curtains.

    Boil water and then add the beeswax. Once the wax has melted, pour the entire mixture into another pot that was covered with the nylon (binder clips are great to hold the nylon to the pan). The nylon will capture most if not all of the junk and the wax will float to the top of the water once cooled & you can pop it out. Depending on how dirty the wax was you may need to this another time. Works for me.

    Finally, when I'm melting the wax for candles (Presto deep fryer works great and only cost about $20) when pouring the wax into the the pour pot, I have another nylon filter over it ........gets whatever is left.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Johnson City, TN
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    Default Re: wax rendering

    I use cheese cloth and boil it in a huge pot. Cheese cloth all depends on how many time it is wrapped around the wax. I did some cappings that had honey that had soured, and dead bees. It came out squeaky clean as RayMarler said you will have a little to scrape off they bottom when it dries. I wrap it up and weight it down on the bottom of the pot with a rock or what ever I can find.
    All beekeepers can agree on one thing, and that one thing is, that all beekeepers can't agree on one thing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Anderson, South Carolina, USA
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    Default Re: wax rendering

    I use a setup like this


    I know its not for a large amount but it works and the paper towel really cleans the wax. Btw, I don't use a string. I use for small spring loaded clips on the four corners.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    lee county, fl, usa
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    Default Re: wax rendering

    I'm trying something similar to Grizz270.

    I saw these insulated containers at Dollar Tree last week and got 4 of them. $1 each, I'm going back for more as I suspect they wont last forever.

    The lid is raised, so I cut out the center. I used black marker around the outer of the lid, though that may have been a waste of time, not sure.
    solar wax melter 1.jpg

    I then put water in the bottom of the cooler. I used a heavy paper towel that overlapped opening of cooler. I use the lid to secure the paper towel, and pushed it down a bit. I'm starting with my dirtiest wax and this is from what I put out this morning. I have a long piece of glass I need to cut but until then, using plastic covers. These are not keeping bees out, need better cover. I have them on a sheet of metal for added reflection. I put these out just a couple hours ago.
    solar wax melter 2.jpg

    I did one cooler yesterday, and here are the results, once again, starting with dirty wax.
    solar wax.jpg
    "Rule Three of beekeeping...Never cease to feel wonder" Laurie R. King--
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Anderson, South Carolina, USA
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    108

    Default Re: wax rendering

    I got a cooler like this on sale


    I painted the inside black. Cut out the top and put 2 pieces of plexiglass in (one at the top of the lid and one at the bottom, chalking around both). Then I use old corningware dishes inside with a paper towel.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Concord, CA
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    4,077

    Default Re: wax rendering

    I do like Ray, but afterwards I run it through a tight cotton fabric in the solar melter several times. It doesn't take much to clog a candle wick.

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    I do a slow melt in water. I scrape off the propolis from the bottom of the cake when cooled. If needed, I do it a second time. I get nice clean wax from it.

    I use a steamer for melting down old dark brood combs, it works great for small amounts, and the wax comes out very nice and clean.
    Dan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    Pepperell, MA.
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    Default Re: wax rendering

    I run it though a solar melter that has a bread pan at the bottom. I attach a shop paper towel around the pan and the resultant wax is pretty clean. When I make candles, I re-melt the wax and re-filter once again before dipping. Seems to work pretty good.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Pitman, New Jersey, USA
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    Default Re: wax rendering

    so are you using the paper towel as a filter media? I would imagine that if the wax actually makes its way through, it'd be pretty clean, but doesn't it clog up the paper towel immediately?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Anderson, South Carolina, USA
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    Default Re: wax rendering

    Well the papertowel becomes saturated but still filters the wax. Then you can use the wax filled paper towel as a smoker starter. It works really well.

  12. #12
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    Apr 2013
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    Pitman, New Jersey, USA
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    Default Re: wax rendering

    interesting. I've just started this year, so I haven't really had the chance to melt any wax. About how much heat do you need to "liquify" it?

  13. #13
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    May 2013
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    Anderson, South Carolina, USA
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    Default Re: wax rendering

    I can't remember off the top of my head, something like 130+ F. A solar melter does it easily on a 70+ F day. But its best to let it cool in the melter, the you get a nice solid chunck. The first time I did it I used a container like in my previous post here in a 5 gallon bucket with an old window. It worked nicely. A friend of mine melted wax in his kitchen with his wife's good pot, don't do that.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: wax rendering

    Yup, the paper towel works great. I've used the heavier shop towels and sometimes they take longer to get the wax through but it's real clean afterwards.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    lee county, fl, usa
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    Default Re: wax rendering

    The paper I used for this wax is thick like a shop towel, except it's white. I just melted 2 ounces in a votive holder and put a 2/0 wick in, and as soon as it hardens I'm going to burn it to see how it goes. There is about 6 ounces of wax in this container that I got from the 4 cooler melters. I put a long piece of glass over the top of the 4 which works much better. Got glass from a dump, 2 sheets. I went back to Dollar Tree for 4 more coolers. I can now do 8 at a time.

    pretty wax.jpg


    Labor wise, once coolers ready, this is so much easier and nicer looking wax than what I got from crock pot way of doing it. I don't have to keep watching the crock pot, no scraping, no skimming off slug. Set it up and walk away til the next day. Very slick. And the set up cost $4.

    I have a question- if I use the slum gummed paper towel in my smoker won't it eventually mess up the inside of the smoker? I thought if I quarter up the toweling and use it to start smoker, maybe it will not do that?
    Last edited by bevy's honeybees; 05-22-2013 at 06:22 PM. Reason: added question
    "Rule Three of beekeeping...Never cease to feel wonder" Laurie R. King--
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  16. #16
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    May 2013
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    Anderson, South Carolina, USA
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    Default Re: wax rendering

    I mean I use it to start my smoker, usually a whole one. I've had no problems. The pine needles I use create more gunk in my smoker. Even still bees wax is supposed to be cleaner burning than paraffin wax.

  17. #17
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    Apr 2011
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    lee county, fl, usa
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    Default Re: wax rendering

    ok, thanks Grizz. I am going to start using them to start smoker which is usually a challenge for me. Mine go out so quickly. This is great, I will try it tomorrow when I go check hives (if I need to open).

    My new solar cleaned candle is burning beautifully.
    "Rule Three of beekeeping...Never cease to feel wonder" Laurie R. King--
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    Default Re: wax rendering

    Fatbeeman has a 4 part vid on the whole process on youtube, watch it, you're welcome.

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