Yesterday I purchased a used Maxant wax melter. I feel it was a really good deal. For the price of the melter, I also got 14 buckets that were supposed to be cappings. If some of them are cappings, they are very wet cappings. Some of those buckets weigh close to 60 lbs. I feel I will probably get a lot more honey from this deal than wax. This is the melter with 2 valves on the side. I'm sure its a lot easier than it looks. My assumption is to fill it to the bottom rib with water, as shown in the Maxant video and add cappings, leaving the lower valve open so that honey will run off as the wax melts, then close that valve, let the wax come to a boil, and drain wax, rinse and repeat. The Maxant video really doesn't address the issue of taking honey from it. The previous owner said that he just worked from the top, dipping in with a container and scooping out melted wax from the top. It seems to me the valves are there to make it easier than that. I have a couple questions for anyone who has actually used this piece of equipment...1) Do you have any other tricks for making the best use of the valves. 2) Are there any tricks to saving as much of the honey as possible? Id have to take a rough guess that more than half the weight is honey, maybe 250 lbs? I might as well salvage as much as possible, even if it has to be sold as "baking honey". 3) The unit currently sits half full of a wax "chunk". Can I melt this down by just turning on the unit or adding some water to it first. The water would run down to fill voids as the wax chunk melts, then treat it like a regular batch? Will it hurt for the heater to come in contact with the block of wax? Looking at it, I would guess it wont come out as a block as it is. 4) obviously depending on a)how much of what is in the buckets is honey and how much is wax, and how much if any is brood comb (no, I didn't open the buckets) and b)the temp of the room, there will be a lot of variation BUT how long should I expect it to take to render a bucket of wet cappings?
If there is anyone out there that has actually used this unit and knows the tricks, and can help walk me through the process, I would be very grateful. To be honest, if this is likely to take days, I may wait for warmer weather. It was suggested that I wrap this with insulation and I would have anyway, but I am guessing that to do 14 buckets, this may take several days. Thank you in advance for any help!!