Solar Wax Melter for JW Palmer
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  1. #1
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    Mar 2012
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    Catskills, Delaware Cty, New York, USA
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    Default Solar Wax Melter for JW Palmer

    Proverbs 16:24

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    Default Re: Solar Wax Melter for JW Palmer

    Here are plans for one Squarepeg made JW https://www.beesource.com/forums/sho...r-than-factory

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Solar Wax Melter for JW Palmer

    Thanks Deb and J, I had forgotten that Squarepeg had made a melter from some old hive bodies. Good info in the thread. Ultimately though, I think I am going with an upsized version of the one here on Beesource like what Dwb posted. Pictures will follow once I start the building process.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Solar Wax Melter for JW Palmer

    5194x3463.jpg

    Solar cooker developed in Switzerland. I think it is also a good idea for wax melter.

  6. #5
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    Feb 2001
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    Enfield,Ct.
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    Default Re: Solar Wax Melter for JW Palmer

    Many years ago I built one from the plans posted by Deb.Worked well but I recently built a new one that is more efficient.
    A few tips.
    Make your pan and wire basket wide enough to accept a deep box.The depth of the pan only needs to be 5-6ins but the interior of the melter should be deep enough to hold the box.For shallower boxes you can place pan on a few bricks to keep it close to the glass
    It is much easier to melt frames a box at a time.If you use grooved BB,melt frames upside down to keep wax out of groove.
    Make your basket out of 1/2 hardware cloth and always line with paper towels to collect slumgum.This makes it easier to clean and gives pretty clean wax.Set basket on wood strips to keep off the bottom of pan.Spray paint pan black.
    I use a silicone baking pan to collect wax and honey.(3󬝴?? but bigger is better) The flexibility helps to get the block out.This sits in a larger pan I folded out of flashing to collect spills.
    Don't bother with a front door.Too complicated.Design with room to tilt your collection pan sideways to remove it.
    This may be obvious but....Remove collection pan in the morning when cold and clean off paper towels and basket in the evening while still hot.
    My double glazing came from an old metal exterior door.Worked great.If you try to make your own from 2 pieces of glass you can get leaks and water between the panes will fog and condense.An alternative would be to find a double glazed window and design around that.
    Make your lid slightly larger than the wooden box and seal with weatherstripping.I use a strip of drip edge on the top edge of the lid to keep out water.Again,water will fog your glass if it gets inside.
    For insulation I used the foil faced foam and the foil reflects on to the pan.Pink or blue foam sheets can melt or distort.
    Design with wheels on the back and a sturdy handle on the front.You won't regret it.I used 1/2 CDX for sides and bottom with 3/4 pine for lid,legs, top edge and corners and I bet it weighs 75 lbs or better(glass is heavy)
    Use pressure treated for anything in contact with the ground.
    This is important.Design with sun angle in mind. You want the sun to hit your glass and your pan as close to 90 as you can get. Check a solar panel web site to find the optimal angle for your lattitude.My first design was too flat and did not work well inAug and Sept.

    Good luck

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Solar Wax Melter for JW Palmer

    Good info there Jack. Thanks. J

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Solar Wax Melter for JW Palmer

    Yes, very good. Some of the items, like angle of the sun, are addressed in the plans from the Beekeepers Workshop. Had not considered the glass fogging from condensation, but the whole upsized idea was to get a hive body inside. I Liked SP's suggestion to use a QE as the rack but hardware cloth would work too. I will have the metal shop next door to my work fab the drip pan and i was thinking about using a 2# beeswax silicone block mold for the collection point. These are all great ideas. Keep 'em coming!
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    Default Re: Solar Wax Melter for JW Palmer

    I am of the opinion double pane glass does not add much of an advantage.
    All of my opinions and suggestions are based on my five decades of actual beekeeping,
    not so much on book learning, watching YouTube videos nor reading internet sites.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
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    England, UK
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    Default Re: Solar Wax Melter for JW Palmer

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Grimshaw View Post
    Design with wheels on the back and a sturdy handle on the front.You won't regret it.
    [..]
    This is important.Design with sun angle in mind. You want the sun to hit your glass and your pan as close to 90 as you can get. Check a solar panel web site to find the optimal angle for your lattitude.My first design was too flat and did not work well inAug and Sept.
    For anyone who is 'sunlight-challenged', it might be worth considering following the sun throughout the day - especially at either end of the year.
    There are quite a few DIY-Solar sites which show techniques which have been developed for this purpose. They usually involve some kind of turntable rotated by either a geared-down motor (electric screwdriver type of thing) or stepper motor (ex scanner or printer ?). The sensor is usually based on two sensing devices side-by-side, and any output difference between them dictates the desired direction of rotation.
    Some even have a similar method of adjustment to vary the vertical angle as well.

    Of course, one needs to weigh-up added complexity against advantages.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Solar Wax Melter for JW Palmer

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    I am of the opinion double pane glass does not add much of an advantage.
    Pretty-much essential in Britain - except perhaps our South Coast.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  12. #11
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    Feb 2001
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    Enfield,Ct.
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    Default Re: Solar Wax Melter for JW Palmer

    Took a couple of pictures yesterday.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  13. #12
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    Jun 2011
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    Campbell River, BC, CA
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    Default Re: Solar Wax Melter for JW Palmer

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    I Liked SP's suggestion to use a QE as the rack but hardware cloth would work too.
    Make it large enough you can stack queen excluders inside. Really easy way to get the wax off, stack em up in there for a day or two.

  14. #13
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    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
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    Default Re: Solar Wax Melter for JW Palmer

    Hmmmm. Looking at Jack's pics makes me think that maybe an old gas grill at the dump would provide a nice frame or at least the wheels and handle.J

  15. #14
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    Feb 2001
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    Enfield,Ct.
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    Default Re: Solar Wax Melter for JW Palmer

    Wax melters and grills both last a lot longer if stored inside during the off season.
    My wheels are from an old lawnmower and are pretty good on semi rough terrain

  16. #15
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    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
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    Default

    This goes for all woodenware also. I have honey supers that I have used for 50 years, stored inside during winter. My solar melter is used anually for 40+ years and also put in storage during the rainy season.
    However, I keep my body inside during winter also and it has been rotting away for decades.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Grimshaw View Post
    Wax melters and grills both last a lot longer if stored inside during the off season.
    My wheels are from an old lawnmower and are pretty good on semi rough terrain
    All of my opinions and suggestions are based on my five decades of actual beekeeping,
    not so much on book learning, watching YouTube videos nor reading internet sites.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Earlysville, Virginia USA
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    151

    Default Re: Solar Wax Melter for JW Palmer

    JW I am just a little bit west of you and am able to use mine spring through fall. I built a larger version of the one cited in the first post to fit a double pane glass window. I change the tilt and it seasonally and it gets mighty hot. I have 1-2" of rockwool insulation in mine as it got so hot it melted down both else white foam and xps blue foam! I can put about 8-10 deep frames in mine on their side. Minds drains into a plastic tub (1.5 gallon?) which does get filled when I put cappings in it. It's so fun to put stuff in and watch it melt!

  18. #17
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    Apr 2017
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    Aylett, Virginia
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    Default Re: Solar Wax Melter for JW Palmer

    Good to know Ryan. Was looking on a website for degree angles and have decided to optimize for summer at 15 tilt and due south for us is 190 magnetic. Still sketching out the plans. I was thinking kaowool or the compressed fiberglass board used in A/C work for insulation. Heck, two years ago the inside of my car got hot enough to melt a comb I had left on the front seat. What a mess!

    This melter will be primarily used on frames. I use a roller uncapper and have almost no capping wax, although I may shave a few fat frames this year so that they fit better.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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