Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Great Solar Wax Melter Day

I was actually at home this weekend after a full week of vacation working bees and the garden at my farm. The forecast called for full sun so I decided to setup the solar wax melter and work on this pile of foundation remnants with old comb that I had laying around from the deep frame conversion to mediums.

Foundation remnants of old comb.

Melter in full sun.

After scraping the comb off the plastic foundation I placed each clump into its own space to catch as much heat as possible. This works better than large compressed balls like in the bottom left corner. They melt but it takes longer and wax in the middle of the ball does not get hot enough. 
Those dark patches are the skeletons of the comb after the wax has melted away.

Capture pot.


The screen catches most of the debris allowing clear wax to flow into the pot. Warning: the wax in the pot is HOT! Just trust me on that.

Candy thermometer.


I placed my candy thermometer inside to monitor the temp. It got to 160F when the sun was shining on it. Ambient temp outside was around 82F.
Final output.

These blocks actually look pretty good, not good enough for a contest, but clean enough that they can be reprocessed in the electric wax melter without gumming it up.
There is a little pocket of honey that gets trapped in the bottom of the block since any left in the combs get super heated and flows like the wax down into the pot. It easily washes away with water after the block cools.

1 comment:

John Jones said...

Fantastic results. I am impressed. I have had yuckie comb in the past that I threw in the trash because it was so bad. I tried to slow melt some in the house but Charlotte ran me out. This is the answer. Good Job!!
John Jones - Stone Mountain, Ga.