diy solar cappings melter for under $50 and better than factory - Page 2
Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 50
  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,342

    Default Re: diy solar cappings melter for under $50 and better than factory

    the 'brick' shown in post #17 above went into the solar melter yesterday morning. the sun was in and out of the clouds yesterday and be the end of the day the brick had shrunk down to about half the original size but retained it's basic shape.

    there wasn't a cloud in the sky today and here's what i came home to after work:


    diy brick aftermath.jpg


    the paper towel pulls away from the excluder fairly easily when the wax is still warm, not so easily if allowed to cool:


    diy clean peel.jpg


    here's the clean wax i got out of the brick:


    diy brick yield.jpg


    there's room for an even larger brick but this was a good workable size. it's probably 5 supers or so worth of cappings.

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #22
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,373

    Default Re: diy solar cappings melter for under $50 and better than factory

    Sweet set up Squarepeg.

  4. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,342

    Default Re: diy solar cappings melter for under $50 and better than factory

    many thanks 5j. a friend of mine built one similar to this last year and he was happy with it.

    those cappings were piling up on me so i'm glad to have a method to repurpose them.

    the next thing i want to figure out is how to squeeze the last of the honey out of the cappings instead of just washing it off.

    i'm thinking there should be enough squeezin's by the end of the season to make a carboy or two of mead.
    Last edited by squarepeg; 06-06-2018 at 08:32 PM. Reason: typo

  5. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    York County, VA, USA
    Posts
    503

    Default Re: diy solar cappings melter for under $50 and better than factory

    Your mead-bound honey's going to get hot anyway. Don't put water into the pan. Or use a doubled pan with a water basin under it to catch the honey/wax. They'll separate easily, anyway. You could try using a non-paper filter, as paper saturated with wax may not pass honey, nor honey saturated paper pass wax. Perhaps you can try one of the coarse honey bucket filters? They're plastic and I suspect neither honey nor wax will stop the other from passing through.

    What I did with my cappings was to put them into a gallon ziplock bag and heat it in a crock pot. [Addendum: in an inch or two of water-bath in a crockpot] The honey sank to the bottom of the bag and I drained it off after it cooled a bit (more honey, by the way, than I would want to throw away), then remelted the wax. This was cappings, remember, so not terribly much dross to remove. But it seems to me to be a great way to separate honey from cappings prior to passing the wax through your solar melter filter. It may only cost you time.

    Michael
    "I thought I made a mistake once, but I was wrong." (heard often from the late David Sebree) Still making them, myself

  6. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    4,646

    Default Re: diy solar cappings melter for under $50 and better than factory



    I do a very similar process for reliquefying crystalized honey, with either the sun or a 75 watt light bulb in hive boxes.

  7. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    York County, VA, USA
    Posts
    503

    Default Re: diy solar cappings melter for under $50 and better than factory

    I expect to follow squarepeg's lead here. But I'm thinking I'll paint the interior of the box flat black as well, and also test using a transparent top made from a feeding shim wrapped with Saran wrap (or equivalent). I'm curious about that. For winter/spring months, it might be straightforward to flank the melter with mirrors on either side to give it an extra sun or two for part of the day, but it likely wouldn't be a good idea during High Summer.

    Michael
    "I thought I made a mistake once, but I was wrong." (heard often from the late David Sebree) Still making them, myself

  8. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    1,196

    Default Re: diy solar cappings melter for under $50 and better than factory

    I do a similar wax rendering with same beautifully clean results. I got a bunch of styrofoam coolers at the Dollar Tree. I use thick paper towels, a brand I first found at work and then ordered a case for myself, and glass shelves from dumpster diving. I cut the center of the cooler lids out being careful to leave the edge intact, where the glass rests on. Inside the cooler, I have rubbermade food container that fits perfect. Food container inside along with a rock on the bottom to keep steady. Then the paper towel laid flat on top, then the lid of the cooler which is raised on the sides and center cut out. Lid holds the towel securely. Couple cups of loose, clean cappings evenly on top of towel and glass on top. Yes I've gone through some glass over the past 6 years and I've misplaced all last year's glass that I moved because of hurricane. This year I have 2 window inserts my sweetie found in his community dump. I get 4 coolers glass covered per window. I have them on metal stands in my back yard, and I can get though my cappings within a month if I stay on it. Once everything is set up the switch out time is very quick. I use the used towels as fire starters and 1/4 or so piece in my smoker. I think a few years ago I posted pics here of my set up. The wax turns out so pretty it's worth the extra work. I've tried other ways of rendering and this is my favorite. I save cappings and only do it in summer heat and sun.

    I like squarepeg's way, it's the same result with different parts. I'm replying only to show another way of doing it.
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 50 hives, TF

  9. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    1,800

    Default Re: diy solar cappings melter for under $50 and better than factory

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    the next thing i want to figure out is how to squeeze the last of the honey out of the cappings instead of just washing it off.

    i'm thinking there should be enough squeezin's by the end of the season to make a carboy or two of mead.
    To find an inexpensive way to get honey out of your cappings, spend a little time hunting for 'cheese press' at google. Press your cappings before you melt them, you'll get good honey, no need to turn it into meade.

    To increase your wax production, something an old timer convinced me to try this year. Take a coffee can, one of the ones with a plastic lid, out to the bee yard. Every time you scrape a little burr comb or whatever, put it in the can, dont throw it on the ground, it goes a long way to keeping the yard clean and reducing pest problems. You'd be surprised how fast it adds up. Wife filtered a batch of wax last night, got a brick about 5lb. That's burr comb scrapings from 20 colonies so far this year.
    Last edited by grozzie2; 06-08-2018 at 08:42 AM. Reason: typo

  10. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,342

    Default Re: diy solar cappings melter for under $50 and better than factory

    i'm making a slight tweak to the process, and that is trimming the paper towels back around the edges so that the melted wax drips off the edge of the paper towel into the water instead of around the top edges of the gasket box.

    many thanks to all of you for the replies, tips, and sharing your methods.

    grozzie, i'll be researching the 'cheese press'. do you have one in particular that you have used with success?

  11. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    4,146

    Default Re: diy solar cappings melter for under $50 and better than factory

    Squarepeg
    Maybe get some ideals for a simple press here.
    https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...iy+honey+press
    Cheers
    gww
    zone 5b

  12. #31
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,342

    Default Re: diy solar cappings melter for under $50 and better than factory

    thanks for that gww, i'll be looking at those. i'm hoping to find a way to separate the honey cleanly from the wax while leaving the wax in a pressed 'brick' form ready to pop into the solar melter.

  13. #32
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    1,800

    Default Re: diy solar cappings melter for under $50 and better than factory

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    grozzie, i'll be researching the 'cheese press'. do you have one in particular that you have used with success?
    Here are two things that should reach your goal, a pressed brick of wax with little / no honey left in it. Just leave it sit in the press under good pressure overnight should do the trick.

    This is how my wife presses here cheese. Depending on what kind of cheese she is making she will sometimes have upwards of 50lb hanging off the end of the bar.



    Here is another way to do it.


  14. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,342

    Default Re: diy solar cappings melter for under $50 and better than factory

    many thanks grozzie. i like the looks of the wooden one better.

    it seems like the metal one would have an issue with the wax getting squeezed through the openings not allowing for as much pressure to be applied plus making it harder to remove the brick.

    with the wooden one i assume the honey ends up on top of the wax and you just pour it off through a strainer? is that something you made or purchased?

  15. #34
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    1,800

    Default Re: diy solar cappings melter for under $50 and better than factory

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    many thanks grozzie. i like the looks of the wooden one better.

    it seems like the metal one would have an issue with the wax getting squeezed through the openings not allowing for as much pressure to be applied plus making it harder to remove the brick.

    with the wooden one i assume the honey ends up on top of the wax and you just pour it off through a strainer? is that something you made or purchased?
    My wife picked it up when she took a cheese making class. The photo doesn't show it well, but the cheese mold has holes to let the whey drain while it's being pressed. I would expect honey to flow out of the same holes. The way it's set up in that photo, it sits overnight pressing the cheese and the whey that comes out just runs down the board and into the sink.

  16. #35
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,342

    Default Re: diy solar cappings melter for under $50 and better than factory

    got it. so the honey would run out the bottom then.

    i'll probably end up building something similar and make it to the dimensions that optimize the brick size to the wax melter.

    thanks again!

  17. #36
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Lassen, California, USA
    Posts
    679

    Default Re: diy solar cappings melter for under $50 and better than factory

    Thanks for the great idea, I'll make one for myself this summer.
    Some days it's not even worth chewing through the restraints.

  18. #37
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Gadsden, AL, USA
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: diy solar cappings melter for under $50 and better than factory

    I bought a stainless steel apple press to use to press comb from cut-outs. Place all of the wax in a painter's filter bag and place it in the press. All of the wax stays in the filter bag. It makes it easy to remove from the press. The honey will flow out. I plan on using it on my cappings also to speed up cleanup after extracting, and then drop the cappings into a wax melter.

    I like your idea on the wax melter. I am leaning toward a styro-foam shipping box. They are heavy duty. I will paint it black, and put a piece of tempered glass in the lid.

    https://pleasanthillgrain.com/harves...ne-cider-press
    https://www.amazon.com/Gallon-Elasti.../dp/B00C2A9L0Q

  19. #38
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    5,536

    Default Re: diy solar cappings melter for under $50 and better than factory

    I bought a Lyson solar wax melter this spring and it turned a problem - all the burr comb I scrape off during the spring and summer - into a lovely, ever-growing brick of cleaned wax. I collect all those bits of comb -it usually amounts to a small melon sized blob if I work my whole yard in one day and just toss them into the melter on my way back to the house. By noon the next day I have clean wax, with some slum gum left on the screen. Scrape the screen and add some more wax. Repeat.

    I had already bought the Lyson one before I saw this thread, but I think no matter which device you use, having a small solar melter is very useful. And fun - I love checking out my growing lump of wax. At the rate I'm going the cost of melter (about $100) will be offset by a single season's rendering of wax which I have been paying $7-8/lb for to use for overwaxing new foundation. Plus it's wax that has only been in my own yard -and under my own pesticide regimen.

    Which of course cuts both ways: Because of the EFB I had last summer I have to consider my wax potentially contaminated and will have it run through gamma irradiation over the winter to make sure it's clean before using it next year. I plan on culling all my drawn combs that are not on a hive right now, and recycling that wax, too.

    It will be interesting to see at what cooler temps later on in the season the solar gain is not enough for melting. But right now, an hour after sunrise and I am melting wax. On Saturday, the temps inside were higher than 155 F, which was the top end of the thermometer I was using. I will be getting another one to check this out, as heat is one way to kill EFB bacteria on (but maybe not in wax.)

    Nancy

  20. #39
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,342

    Default Re: diy solar cappings melter for under $50 and better than factory

    added another tweak by putting a wooden frame around the top of the excluder. this should cause all of the melted wax to drip into the middle of the gasket box and miss the top edge of it.

    the width inside the wooden frame is exactly the same width of the paper towel.


    diy framed excluder.jpg


    diy big brick.jpg

  21. #40
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    1,196

    Default Re: diy solar cappings melter for under $50 and better than factory

    Quote Originally Posted by grozzie2 View Post

    Here is another way to do it.


    This reminded me of what I bought at Kelley beekeeping for draining my cappings, and with the idea of adding a press on top with weight will make it much more effective:

    https://www.kelleybees.com/bucket-strainer.html

    I am going to cut the outer rim off a plastic bucket lid to place on top of cappings (strainer inside a 5 gallon honey pail) and add weight. I already have the bucket strainer.
    I will try this with fall harvest.

    At this time I have my back yard hives set up where I am "feeding" them cappings to clean. I put an inner cover on top of hive, then empty shallow, then lid. Tape any holes around hive so I don't set off robbing. I have sandwich size rubbermaid containers with cappings spread on bottom, not too deep of cappings so they can clean them within 2 days. Switch out at sunset with wet cappings. Because I am using the inner cover to place the container on, I do not need to use smoke to make the switch because very little disruption to the bees.
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 50 hives, TF

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •