Not Glowforge related at all, but something I thought others might find useful if you have bees or know a beekeeper who will be willing to sell or give you some wax.
This week our temps are in the high 80s - low 90s. I decided I’d better melt my beeswax that I took from our hives last year. Some I’d kept in the freezer, but forgot that I’d kept some in a plastic bucket with a tight lid on it. The bucket was pretty full, but the wax was from some really junky combs we’d taken out of the hives.
When we first got our bees and started collecting the beeswax after our second year of having them, I watched a lot of videos on the best way to melt the wax. Most everything I saw, and even at some state apiary conventions seminars I attended, had a long drawn-out process of mixing it in hot water, draining it, etc. It looked like a huge hassle, and I’m sure it is.
So I came up with another option. I purchased a small cement mixing tub from Lowe’s, and some small baking pans and black knee-high nylons from Dollar Tree. I stretched a nylon over the baking pan, load it up with wax, and covered it with a sheet of plexiglass that fits over the tub (you don’t want bees or other insects getting in there), and set it out in the sun to do its thing. It works perfectly! We always let our bees clean the wax when we’ve extracted honey, so usually there is very little honey left on it, and what honey may be there will settle below the wax, with the wax floating on top. The nylon makes an excellent filter, keeping the majority of the junk out of it and you end up with nice clean wax with no hassle. Then I just use my wax-only double boiler to melt the wax, pour it into little candy molds (I found the little button candy molds equal 1/2 teaspoon beeswax each - make sure you don’t use the mold for any food items if used for wax) and let it set. Nice and easy to store and when I’m making chapstick or something else, I can easily take as many buttons as I need.
Here’s some pics of my setup. The nylon-covered tray with wax piled on:
with the plexiglass over it:
And here’s the front top and bottom of wax that I pulled off the right-hand tray before I refilled it this morning:
All of the dark stuff of this wax will settle to the bottom of the double boiler when I melt it, so I’ll end up with nice clean wax. Then I just wipe out the double boiler and go on to the next batch.
Anyway, hope this helps someone if you’re making your own wax.