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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This summer I built a great little solar wax melter out of a styrofoam cooler, and it did a great job with my wax cappings. But you need a few hours and a sunny 85 deg day.
I'm out of my rendered wax, and my lip balm sales have really picked up. I've got some washed and frozen cappings, anyone have some alternative methods for melting cappings? The melted cappings would need to be strained.

Thanks

DD
 

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When we can't use the solar melter, my wife uses the oven. She uses 4 metal binder clips to stretch a paper towel over a loaf pan, piles the wax on top and puts it the oven. I haven't paid attention but probably sets it at 200 degrees or so. She uses the strained wax for lip balm. I use the paper towels for fire starter.
 

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I replaced the large mess I had for melting wax indoors with a cheap microwave and two half gallon pyrex measureing cups. The pyrex is reasonable at restaurant and kitchen supply stores. A couple of dollar store colanders to hold the filter material of your choice up. Melt in one marked pyrex and set the colander and filter material over pyrex kept clean. DO NOT use the house microwave! The one you use is going to just be for melting wax---and warming your coffee.
 

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Oh I render old comb and cut outs in an old crock pot out in the shop, that gets the worst of everything but you need a fine filter for lip balm. Even the wax I recover from the crock pot gets filtered as I mentioned. Washed cappings shouldn't need much more than that final process.

I've tried the microwave and I get a hot spot encased in hard wax and - boom - what a mess.
 

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My wax melter has been working with highs in the teens. It needs direct sunlight though. Maybe a half ounce a day moves through it if I'm lucky. An old crockpot and a colander are secondary tools of choice...
 

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understood. i mostly want to melt down my cappings to paint a layer of wax on plastic foundation. i heard a sponge roller is the best way, has anyone tried that?
 

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Not a sponge roller a sponge brush, on black plastic it shows best but it dosnt take much, about 3 passes and you will have plenty of wax on the cell rims, you dont want to fill the cells, right after the 3rd pass you will see it harden.
 

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Not a sponge roller a sponge brush, on black plastic it shows best but it dosnt take much, about 3 passes and you will have plenty of wax on the cell rims, you dont want to fill the cells, right after the 3rd pass you will see it harden.
What happens if you fill some of the cells? I've been painting wax onto my plastic foundation all winter in preparation for my first hives this spring. In the process of painting, some of the cells got filled in, especially before I got the hang of it. What will the bees do with these filled in cells?
 

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i haven't painted any yet, but i have seen bees rework already drawn wax. my guess is that if they will move that wax out if they want it moved. if a lot of cells were filled it might cause the bees to not follow the pattern of the foundation as well.

mine cleaned off the thin layer of wax that comes on the plastic foundation to use elsewhere before they finally drew it out with their own wax.
 

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Here is how I melt my wax in the winter time. I use a non-stick pot. To it I add a cup of water or 2. At the same time that the water is boiling on high heat I started adding the wax into the pot. Keep on adding the wax until you are either finish or have enough to fill almost to the top of the pot.
I use a small pot because my operation is still very small. I saved the wax over the summer for my winter projects.
Because the pot is non-stick the melted wax pour out just like water when it is still hot. To clean the pot just reheat it and use some paper towels to wipe off the excessive wax. I just clean it while it is still hot but be careful of your fingers. Then I strained the wax over a metal sieve with a 5 gal. bucket underneath it. I use a wood spatula to press against the melted wax to further strain it. Let the bucket sit over night outside to cool down. In the morning I removed the wax from the bucket and remelt the wax in a non stick shallow pan. By this time you should have cleaner wax because all the impurities settled down on the bottom of the 5 gal. bucket the night before. To further consolidate the wax I poured the entire content from the shallow non stick pan into a narrow plastic cup. This cup can take up high temp. so it would not melt. To make the wax solidify faster I put it inside my freezer for about 1 hour or so. The wax will sometimes crack a little but I can still hit the cup on its side to take the wax out. Settle down on the bottom of the cup is more impurities that separate from the cleaner wax. On a small operation this is how I do it. Hope this helps!
 

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Once the wax cools and contracts it usually just plops right out of the crock pot. There's water in the crock so the wax doesn't stick to the bottom. I sometimes run a knife around the edge of the wax puck once its hardened a bit which helps also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Oh I render old comb and cut outs in an old crock pot out in the shop, that gets the worst of everything but you need a fine filter for lip balm. Even the wax I recover from the crock pot gets filtered as I mentioned. Washed cappings shouldn't need much more than that final process.
On the croc pot thing, what is your setup for filtering and melting the wax? Do you just put it in cheese cloth and stick it in water in the crock pot? Or do you some how suspend the cappings above and let the melted wax drip to the bottom of the crockpot with or without water in the bottom?

Thanks
 

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I made up one of these works great PRESTO POT WAX MELTING/SOAP had a friend tig weld a sug of aluminum drill and taped it used a pipe 1/4 tape and a few fitting. I end up not using the elbow down word
David
 
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