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How to clean raw bee's wax?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Pulp, Apr 11, 2012.

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  1. Pulp

    Pulp Member

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    A local bee keeper just gave me 6 old hive frames with honeycomb. This stuff is not nice clean wax. It's black, it's dirty, it stinks and probably has dead larva in at least some of it, as some of the cells are capped. Is it any good for lube, and if so how would one go about cleaning/filtering whatever to make it good?
    He told me he had about 800 pounds of clean bricks of wax up in Iowa, but he won't be going back until fall.

    I reckon I should've asked him while I was there.
     
  2. Fingers McGee

    Fingers McGee Member

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    I suppose melting it down, skimming the impurities off the top then straining it through a cheese cloth would be a good place to start.

    BTW, you going to be at Landrun???
     
  3. WYOMan

    WYOMan Member

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    Strained bees wax is excellent mixed with virgin olive oil. I really would wait till you can get some of that, unless you can find a good way to strain it yourself. I don't know the exact procedure. I used to buy cakes of it from a place in Keokuk, Iowa when I lived in that area.
     
  4. T Bran

    T Bran Member

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    I agree with melting it and straining it but you may want to make it a two step filter system. Maybe use some metal window screen for the first filter reheat snd then use some cheese cloth. Sounds like double work but the larvae etc will clog up the cheesecloth pretty quick and it could get messy quick.
    T
     
  5. TheRodDoc

    TheRodDoc Member

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    Put it in a woven cloth bag with some weights to hold it down into a large pan of water with a teaspoon of viniger added and boil. make sure bag is completly under the water. wax will go through bag and float to top of water. Either skim wax off water or let water cool completly and lift hardened wax off.
     
  6. Beagle333

    Beagle333 Member

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    TheRodDoc +1

    I was gonna say:
     
  7. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    This video shows the melted honey comb being put through a coarse metal strainer first to get rid of a majority of the black remnants of bee cocoons which are called slum gum. Then afterward the wax can be filtered again through a finer filtering cloth. There are also many other videos showing how to render beeswax on youtube.

    HOW TO RENDER THE BEESWAX HONEYCOMB FROM A GOLD STAR TOP BAR HIVE

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXuVBncAykw&feature=related
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
  8. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    One thing to bear in mind, when you are doing this, you will attract most of the bees in the area. Be careful.
     
  9. sugarmaker

    sugarmaker Member

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    I kept bees at one time...

    One simple way is to crumble up the combs and place them in a microwave packed into a fairly deep bowl. Melt CAREFULLY AND SLOWLY checking a little at a time. Remove the big chunks on top after it cools down and they are still soft. Let it cool and harden overnight. At the end honey will be on bottom, then wax layer, then the cocoons and other stuff on top. Wash the honey off of the wax under a faucet. Be careful with heat as the wax is very flammable.
     
  10. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    Actually, I found that with skimming the light bits after heating, that the heavy bits fall to the bottom, and the good wax can be easily removed. No real need for a two step strainer. I make beeswax candles a lot for living history events.

    LD
     
  11. Pulp

    Pulp Member

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    Thanks for all the information.

    Fingers, I can't make Landrun. That evil 'w' word is getting in the way.
     
  12. Ryden

    Ryden Member

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    +1
    This is the way to go
     
  13. Fingers McGee

    Fingers McGee Member

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    Sorry the evil 'w' word will keep you from making smoke. I'll clang some steel for you.
     
  14. Pulp

    Pulp Member

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    Somebody needs to, I haven't been to a match in seems like forever!
     
  15. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Keep it as pure as possible. Beeswax is excellent for preserving firearms.
     
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