6. Make the lid.
6a. Cut two 25" lengths and two 22" lengths
of 1× 2 lumber. Drill 2 clearance holes on each
end of the 22" pieces, ½" from the edge. Lay
out the rectangle on a flat surface, so that the
25" pieces lie inside the 22" pieces. Screw the
frame together with 1½" screws.
6b. Cut a section of greenhouse plastic,
27"× 24". Center this over your rectangle, and
staple one edge to one side of the frame.
Staple around the perimeter of the frame,
carefully pulling the plastic tight (Figure R).
7. Melt some beeswax.
The solar wax melter is easy to use. In the
morning on a bright, sunny day, drop your pan
into the inner box, put the screen over it, and
place a few chunks of comb on the screen
(Figures S and T). Place the lid on top and
use a few small stones to help hold the plastic
film against the rim of the inner box, making
a good seal (Figure U). The box should attain
temperatures of 200°F or more.
Adjust the orientation of the box throughout
the day so it tracks the sun. The wax should
melt fastest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. We’re
able to melt a full comb in about 10 minutes
during the hottest hours of the day.
When the wax has melted, remove the pan,
let it cool, and pop out your chunk of wax. Or
you can continue to add comb to build up a
larger chunk of wax for storage or projects.
The wax melter can also be used as a solar
oven for cooking small meals or pasteurizing
water when you’re not melting wax. ;
140 Make: makezine.com/28