Gas / Steam Wax Melters

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WoodenBeam

Field Bee
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Location
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Commercial
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Does anyone use the type of stainless steel with gas burner under that are now available through a number of manufacturers?

https://www.abelo.co.uk/shop/wax-melting/gas-steam-wax-melter-stainless-steel-insulated/
The dilemma of dealing with old frames is one I have yet to sort. Some do get used as fire lighters but just to dispose of all is a bit of a waste. In the past I’ve cut out the wax, that’s then either gone into a solar extractor or loaded up an api-melter at the end of the year. Frames have then been boiled up in a burco boiler and cleaned off - a true labour of love.
Do these tanks leave the frames pretty much good to go other than removing wire, bottom bar plus retaining strip? The wax side i would imagine is pretty good, the cleaning/sorting of frames is the bit I’m keen to try & get sorted.

I had planned to continue with the wax cut outs / melting etc as in prior years and then use a big galvanised tank with burner under for cleaning the frames - potentially something like the above could do all of it in one hit - if it works???
 
I had this made (I'm useless at welding). It is fed with a wall paper steamer. Internally there is a filter below the frames, that holds grunge, then wax and condensate gathers in the bottom. Total cost £240ish
steamer.jpg
 
I had this made (I'm useless at welding). It is fed with a wall paper steamer. Internally there is a filter below the frames, that holds grunge, then wax and condensate gathers in the bottom. Total cost £240ish
View attachment 26340
How do you get the wax out ? Is there a drain tap ? Nice bit of kit ... I should think the frames come out pretty clean as well.
 
How do you get the wax out ? Is there a drain tap ? Nice bit of kit ... I should think the frames come out pretty clean as well.
Either lift it out in sheets, once the frames are removed (The wax floats on the condensate) or, if you are doing enough frames, the wax flows out the overflow next to (and below) the steam inlet. Collect it in a container.
This gives rough wax - we use a second system for final filtering.

It takes about 45 minutes to process a national box of frames. A quick scrape with a hive tool while they are still hot takes any residual off. Then strip and clean in soda.
 
I've had one of those from Abello for a couple of years and find it to be very effective. It was a present from my wife, via Santa, and I have only just noticed how much it cost!! It does take a while to get up to temperature so I wait until I have a big enough batch of wax to process. To avoid a second round of processing, I find that cramming an old pillowcase with the wax and then putting it in the steamer will produce clean enough wax to trade in with Maisemore or Thornes at trade shows. I do have to be careful when I fire it up as it does attract the attention of bees around the outlet during good flying conditions.
 
Go to your local double glazing workshop and ask if they have any old units. Measure them up anf make a wooden box to the sie wher you can put in a couple of rails to take your frame size mine is sized to take a box full of frames. Underneath the frames have an underbed plastic storage unit with a slot in the bottom with a small J cloth filter . Mount the whole thing on legs on a slope with a silicone loaf tin below the slot. Let the sun do its job. The frames melt out and the rubbish falls into the box. At night remove the wax in the loaf tin which solidifies. Remove the rubbish after two days of melting. Frames then given the washing soda clean up
 
It was a present from my wife, via Santa, and I have only just noticed how much it cost!!
Well at least you know you’re worth it🤣
Re the old pillowcase, in the past I’ve lined an api melter with muslin - bought off the roll at somewhere like Dunelm Mill its pretty cheap / disposable.
Thanks for the reply👍
 
I had this made (I'm useless at welding). It is fed with a wall paper steamer. Internally there is a filter below the frames, that holds grunge, then wax and condensate gathers in the bottom. Total cost £240ish
👏 Very good build not worthy
 
Go to your local double glazing workshop and ask if they have any old units. Measure them up anf make a wooden box to the sie wher you can put in a couple of rails to take your frame size mine is sized to take a box full of frames. Underneath the frames have an underbed plastic storage unit with a slot in the bottom with a small J cloth filter . Mount the whole thing on legs on a slope with a silicone loaf tin below the slot. Let the sun do its job. The frames melt out and the rubbish falls into the box. At night remove the wax in the loaf tin which solidifies. Remove the rubbish after two days of melting. Frames then given the washing soda clean up
Yeah - trying to avoid the washing frame scenario which is something I’ve done in the past. Hoping with the steam element added, the cleaning of frames can be hit at the same time as wax in the one operation. Cheers for the reply though 👍
 
Yeah - trying to avoid the washing frame scenario which is something I’ve done in the past. Hoping with the steam element added, the cleaning of frames can be hit at the same time as wax in the one operation. Cheers for the reply though 👍
Even with steam, there is still tidying up to do - particularly the slots in the side rails...
 
Go to your local double glazing workshop and ask if they have any old units. Measure them up anf make a wooden box to the sie wher you can put in a couple of rails to take your frame size mine is sized to take a box full of frames. Underneath the frames have an underbed plastic storage unit with a slot in the bottom with a small J cloth filter . Mount the whole thing on legs on a slope with a silicone loaf tin below the slot. Let the sun do its job. The frames melt out and the rubbish falls into the box. At night remove the wax in the loaf tin which solidifies. Remove the rubbish after two days of melting. Frames then given the washing soda clean up
My original solar melter was made with an old double glazing unit that a friend gave me and I though that it was great - until I wanted to move it and good grief it was heavy!!! I did add wheels so that I could trundle it around but they always seem to have seized up whenever I wanted to shift it.
 
My original solar melter was made with an old double glazing unit that a friend gave me and I though that it was great - until I wanted to move it and good grief it was heavy!!! I did add wheels so that I could trundle it around but they always seem to have seized up whenever I wanted to shift it.
Personally, I don't think double glazed units are necessary - I just have sheet of greenhouse glass on top of my wax melter and it's hot enough to melt a plastic thermometer ! The insulation around the box helps to maintain the temperature and perhaps (and I have not checked this ) a double glazed unit might actually reduce the effectiveness of the melter - particularly if the double glazing is argon filled. A single sheet of glass lets a lot of ambient heat through as well as the radiant heat.

It would be interesting to do side by side comparisons of a double glazed lid and a single glass lid...
 
Does anyone use the type of stainless steel with gas burner under that are now available through a number of manufacturers?

https://www.abelo.co.uk/shop/wax-melting/gas-steam-wax-melter-stainless-steel-insulated/
The dilemma of dealing with old frames is one I have yet to sort. Some do get used as fire lighters but just to dispose of all is a bit of a waste. In the past I’ve cut out the wax, that’s then either gone into a solar extractor or loaded up an api-melter at the end of the year. Frames have then been boiled up in a burco boiler and cleaned off - a true labour of love.
Do these tanks leave the frames pretty much good to go other than removing wire, bottom bar plus retaining strip? The wax side i would imagine is pretty good, the cleaning/sorting of frames is the bit I’m keen to try & get sorted.

I had planned to continue with the wax cut outs / melting etc as in prior years and then use a big galvanised tank with burner under for cleaning the frames - potentially something like the above could do all of it in one hit - if it works???
I looked at prices of commercial extractors and immediately my Yorkshire genetics kicked in. I made an appeal via local beekeeping associates for an electric oven. This proved fruitful and I was given (yes free) a built in fan oven from a kitchen refurb job. This required a short flex and 13A plug (3kW elements) and sitting on an old table for using.
Putting a centimetre of water in the grill pan, laying a cotton cloth on the grid in the pan and heaping lumps of wax onto this and using the oven thermostat at an indicated setting of just under 100 degrees the first trial yielded a cake of wax on top of the water (after cooling down) with a residue of dross on the cloth. Subsequent improvement was to introduce an oven chip support mesh from home bargains between the grill grid and the cloth for better support. Further improvement and development will proceed.
 
I made a steam powered melter out of an old brood box (which I picked up cheap at an auction and was well past its prime with a sloping foil covered tray underneath with a hole for steam from a wallpaper stripper and another to let the wax run out.

It was good at getting the wax out but I found the frames were still full of gunk so I've not used it for a few years. A couple of years ago the landlord of the pub next door replaced her stainless steel bottle fridge which had stopped working. I find that makes a perfect wax melter (double glazed doors, insulated, stainless steel so its ok outside most of the year). Again it doesn't really clean frames but I can leave it outside to do its stuff without having to faff around getting the steamer etc out and set up.
 
My original solar melter was made with an old double glazing unit that a friend gave me and I though that it was great - until I wanted to move it and good grief it was heavy!!! I did add wheels so that I could trundle it around but they always seem to have seized up whenever I wanted to shift it.

I used my new solar wax melter for the first time yesterday and it worked fine. I thought that I would add extra insulation in the form of polystyrene foam but the heat inside the melter was sufficient to melt the polystyrene. Any suggestions as to a more heat-resistant material?
 
I used my new solar wax melter for the first time yesterday and it worked fine. I thought that I would add extra insulation in the form of polystyrene foam but the heat inside the melter was sufficient to melt the polystyrene. Any suggestions as to a more heat-resistant material?
you could try wrapping it in aluminium foil to reflect the heat back into the interior ( a bit like how Kingspan etc are coated in thin metal foil)
 

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