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Vital Stats and Materials List for the Solar Wax Melter

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To maximize the profits from owning bee hives, you can melt the wax that your bees generate. Pound for pound, beeswax is worth more than honey, so it's definitely worth a bit of effort to reclaim this prize and start some fun, bee-related craft projects!

[Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design]
Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design

Vital stats for the solar wax melter

  • Size: 27-3/4 inches x 189/16 inches x 18-1/2 inches.

  • Capacity: Depending on the size of the pan you use in the melter, this design should provide ample capacity to render up to 6 to 8 pounds of wax at a time.

  • Degree of difficulty: The butt joinery is the simplest method for assembling wood, and this design has one straightforward dado cut. All in all, an easy build.

  • Cost: Using scrap wood (if you can find some) would keep material costs of this design minimal, but even if you purchase the recommended wood, hardware, glazing, and fasteners, you can likely build this solar wax melter for less than $75. The most expensive single item is the greenhouse glazing.

Materials list for the solar wax melter

The following table lists what you'll use to build your solar wax melter. In most cases, you can substitute other lumber as needed or desired.

1, 10' length of 1" x 3" knotty pine lumber A 2-pound size disposable aluminum loaf pan (approximately 8" x 4" x 2") 60, #6 x 1-3/8" deck screws, galvanized, #2 Phillips drive, flat-head with coarse thread and sharp point
2, 4' x 4' sheets of 3/4" exterior plywood A large, disposable aluminum roasting pan (approximately 17" x 14" x 3") 8, 5/32" x 1-1/8" flat-head, diamond-point wire nails
1, 2' x 4' polycarbonate dual-wall 6mm greenhouse panel (available from greenhouse supply stores and sometimes found on online auction sites like eBay)
A quart of flat black exterior paint (either latex or oil)
Optional: weatherproof wood glue

Use the recommended "plastic" (polycarbonate) glazing for the window. Not only does it work well, it also avoids all the potential dangers associated with fragile window glass. Keep in mind that this melter typically sits on the ground, and a playful child or bouncing pet could be seriously injured stepping on a glass top.

Invest in safety and use the polycarbonate greenhouse panel. Its dual-wall design is also more effective at retaining heat than a single pane of glass.

There are a few more screws and nails than you'll use. You might lose a few along the way. It's better to have a few extras on hand and save another trip to the hardware store.


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