homemade solar extractor

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thurrock bees

Drone Bee
Aug 1, 2009
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Haywards Heath, Sussex
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hi all, i understand that if you are handy with wood, you could make a solar wax extractor, does anybody knows how a wax extractor works? and/or have the plans/pictures on a wax extractor??


Have a look at this:-
I have made 2 - a little one for the odds and ends collected during inspections and a big (60cm x 100cm)one to recover wax from old frames, both do the job well. The plan calls for thick timber but I found that a plywood "sandwich" with polystyrene as the filling is more efficient.
:cheers2: Mike
A picture is worth a thousand words. When I made this one I used 2 pieces of glass with a 20mm space between, as you can see it suffers from condensation.
I would recommend a sealed double glazing unit.
nice blocks, very nice!

is there a filter? that top splodge seems very clean to start off with.

This is one tool to melt wax and combs: juice boiler

Hi Jezd,
No filter, I just run it through a few times and scrape the crud of the bottom of the block each tiime. The wax "waterfall" was a sudden and prolonged change in the weather:):):)
:cheers2: Mike
For those that aren't into woodword, an alternative that I used was an old fridge.

I gently removed the door, inner shelves, electrics, compressor etc (a hammer worked well). I then get a bit of double walled perspex that was wider than the door opening. Made some holes around the outside so that some bungy cord would hold the perspex onto the opening. To open it, you simply detach the bungy cord. I attached a line of foam insulation to the fridge to get a better seal against the perspex.

I tested it with a greenhouse termometer, the termometer melted!

I've heard that heating too much causes the wax to decolour and remove some of the scent.

For the inners I used a bit of tin that I had.
To collect the wax I use a plastic (rubbery/flexible) loaf baking "tin". Really easy to get it out once cooled.

Hope that help


p.s. First post, I'll sort out pic etc soon.

Member of East Grinstead
Give us a hint, which vid are you talking about? :confused:

do you need a vid? the images above show exactly what is needed I think :) I added a smile
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Blimey, what is this bash the newbee.
I was just saying there was an alternative to making a wooden box.

Happy new year all.
That wasn't a bash a newbie Lozza........hedgerow pete has done a lot of videos on the practicalities of beekeeping and making something from nothing, it's just your post flagged up his interest, nothing to do with your efforts at wax extractor making.

Welcome to the forum :)

Happy Humbug Pete. If you produced a solar wax melter video, it isn't particularly obvious to me (can't remember it and certainly can't find it) and must be invisible to a new member on the block.

A simple titled list of links to the videos would be ideal. As it is, there is always a feeling that something isn't visible; not in a fixed index format at least. Instead we have a graphic index which taxes my brain unduly.

Perhaps that's because I read better than I look (pun intended) :) I mentioned it a long time ago I believe, but nothing happened.

Season's Greetings Admin. :grouphug: Our very own Chubby Broccoli is losing viewers.

Perhaps a Video Index page (textual) and a Solar Wax Melter video - or pointer to an existing one. :)
Thanks Hombre,let me see if I can add something to the video section in text format.
We love you Admin.

I was a bit concerned that the video was sourced from YouTube and not on the forum where I had been looking.

Anyone got a shiny silver bath for HP's super waxer? :grouphug:
vids not with standing the basic principle, (kiss) is keep it hot.

So an insulated box, (fridge) and a double glazed or triple glazed unit fitted to keep in the heat will work very well.

Up north I never bothered as they pretty much didn't succeed.

I preferred pressure... LOL which DID work, and very well too. From cappings to candle wax in one operation.

sorry if i sounded so abrupt lozza but i was in a rush and not in a very good mood at the moment, the ideas behind the videos are to show people or to explain to people ideas, many find them easier to watch than to read a whole book on that subject, as for not finding them in the video section sorry but to save admin the trouble I only have on average around 30 videos at anyone time linked to the bee keeping forum, I have a collection of over 100 on bee keeping alone and over 150 on other subjects, so sorry but i dont load them all up as evan you tube huff at times. The best way is to simply ask if i dont have one and if i can get to them I have made several of the videos , on request as it were , when people have asked for a particular subject, the solar extractor was one i have made for a friend in africa so was the double frame extractor, both of which are going great, ranting about videos over lets talk wax extractors.

At its simplest we need a box with a lid inside of which we put a tray of cappings and a container to collect the melted wax in.

the next step in to make it more heat collecting so we paint every thing with black board paint or any type of black/dark paint, mine is painted with creosote because its outside and its black.

the lid is next, yes glass is best, double evan better triple is fantastic, but it depends on whether you are buying the glass or like me you have gone to a window replacement firm and gave the the bloke a drink for an old window about one foot by two, or what ever size you want to go to. Alternatives are plastic stapled to a wooden frame , perspex or i have evan sean one that was a piece of washing machine side tin plate that was painted black it absorbed enough heat to make it to hot to touch,

next is heat retention so from the wooden box we have started with lets put some insulation inside it, or we could use an insulated box to start with , small fridge/freezer, fish box, any thing you like realy,

I have a habbit of using a national sized brood box because i dont have the space to keep making more and more equipment so i use what i have avalible, ie i use a national brood box as a unit and addapt the rest to fit and when i am finished i still only have a national brood box rather than another couple of very large boxs to store

lastly i have started work on a bee vac video ready for the swarm season so keep an eye out for it, happy humbug, hedgeroe pete
K interested in the solar options! I do have an aga which sort out most things and heat there all year, however I was just reading post and suggestion of fridge use - Could a commercial catering fridge be a good idea - ie display sort with glass front already on it? the sort that are always dumped in some farmers gateway!!

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