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I finally got around to making a simple wax melter. I made a box to fit an old window. I used a rim of foam carpet underlay between the window and the box. In keeping with my wood working abilities, there is no hinged lid or door at the front of the box; To load and unload the melter I just lift off the window.
The question I have is related to the sluggum that accumulates on the tray. How do you keep it from being swept into the melted wax? Much of it remains behind on the tray, but I was wondering if there was a way of keeping more of it out. Would a piece of cloth or hardwire mesh raised above the tray work? What do the veterans find works best?
Thanks, Adrian.
 

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The two I've seen used 'expanded steel' mesh... coarser then most hardware mesh. A bit of stuff still gets through, but you can always refine it again to filter more out.

If you run a whole block of beeswax through the solar melter, just put a piece of paper towel in the mesh. It'll absorb some of the wax, but will filter out the slumgum.

(Makes a great fire starter too!)
 

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I have a strip of hardware cloth (any barrier will do really) at the bottom of the tray. I just lay it flat; anything flowing down onto it stops and the wax flows through, like a riffle in a stream. When it gets really gummed up I'll hit it with the propane torch. It keeps the bee parts, cocoons and debris out of the rendered wax.

And then as dtompsett notes, the final filter when pouring into molds gets out any dust and draff that makes it though the coarse filter.
 

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I built a large solar wax melter which is handling all our wax from just over 100 hives. The pan is 24"x30"x6". I put black fiberglass window screen in the pan to catch the slumgum. I cut it large enough to extend up the sides so nothing can get through without being filtered. Just lay the cappings on top of the screen and close it up. When it's done I just pull out the whole screen and put it in the garbage. I ran about 200 lbs of cappings through it a couple weeks ago and only changed the screen one time. Screen is cheap! Wax comes out very clean, ready to trade in on foundation. :D
 

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That's a cool idea Fish_stix! How'd you fold the pan? I get drips where I folded the corners, it must wick up the narrow gap or something.
 

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The corners are soldered with silver solder, same stuff Air Cond guys use. You could probably also use lead-free plumbing solder. My pan is galvanized, 18 gauge metal, painted black with Bar-B-Q paint. Today at just after noon the inside temp was 168 deg.
 

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fish stix -would you have plans or a couple of photos of your melter - thanks!
 
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