Solar Wax Melter
Purify beeswax with a simple sun-powered oven.
By Abe Connally and Josie Moores
ONE OF THE BONUSES OF KEEPING A TOP
bar beehive, like the Honey Cow (see MAKE
Volume 25, page 123), is the production of
beeswax. Wax can be used for a variety of
things, like homemade remedies and salves,
bee lure (Volume 27, page 132), creative
candles, or sculptures.
Most people melt beeswax in a double
boiler, which is a container of wax within
a container of water. You simply heat the
water container, and the wax melts. But that
approach uses valuable energy and time.
Our solar wax melter is basically a simple
solar oven. It consists of an outer box, insulation, an inner heat chamber, a wax screen,
a wax container, and a clear top. The raw
comb is placed on a screen, and as the sun
heats the oven, the wax slowly drips through
the screen into the container below. You’re
left with a nice chunk of screened wax.
1. Plan your measurements.
1a. Measure your pan. This will determine the
dimensions of the entire box. The aluminum
pan we use is 17"× 12"× 3".
1b. Your inner box will be 1" larger on all sides
than your pan, in our case 19"× 14". Because
we use 1× 8 lumber for the outer box, and we
have 1" of insulation below the inner box, the
inner box height will be 7".
1c. Plan for your outer box to be 3" larger
on both sides than the pan ( 1" for inner box
Abe Connally and Josie Moores
136 Make: makezine.com/28