After harvesting all of my honey, I have a lot of wax. There are three gallon zip-loc bags in my freezer full of wax that has been washed but not melted. To use the wax, it needs to be melted into a solid, rather than the fragments I have now.
To start this process, I explored the Internet and found this pattern for a solar wax melter (2011 note: this link appears broken and I can not find the web page any longer). Instead I'll post a screen shot from the GSU professor's website where I first saw it at the end of this post.
I thought that a styrofoam box like fishermen use would be a perfect insulated box for melting my wax. I went to Home Depot and to Lowe's and neither carried a styrofoam box. Finally I found one at my neighborhood Ace Hardware - and it was on sale for $3.00.
Next I needed glass to fit the top. Although Home Depot no longer cuts glass, they carry precut window replacements, so I bought a piece of glass 12 X 16 inches - to fit the top of my styrofoam box. Cost: $3.50. I also bought a can of spray black paint, reasoning that it would be better for the box to be black to absorb the sun's heat rather than white to reflect it. Cost: $1.79
I already owned a tall Tupperware plastic container and some good paper towels as well as string to tie the paper towel to the Tupperware.
If I'm lucky and this works, I now have a solar wax melter for the cost of a little over $8.00. Since purchasing them is at least 4 times that, I feel lucky.
I put about 2 inches of water in the Tupperware container and fitted the paper towel over it, tying the string to hold it in place. I used duct tape to protect myself from the edges of the glass (and it makes a pretty good handle for lifting the glass.)
I took one gallon bag of the wax out of the freezer and opened it. I spread it on a cookie sheet, lined with paper towels to absorb any water that collects as it thaws. Tomorrow morning I'll put some of the wax pieces in my solar wax melter and leave it for the day while I go to work. I'll report back to let you know if this works.