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How do you make wax?

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βˆ™ 2008-08-08 16:40:23

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Beeswax is made by bees. They make their honeycomb cells from it. The cells are for their larvae, and for storing honey and pollen. Natural beeswax is yellowish. Candle wax is made from beeswax, by bleaching and purifying it. Modelling waxand various polishes are made in a similar way, from beeswax. Paraffin wax is made by a distillation process, from petrol or from shale, a type of soft rock. Various waxes are also secreted by some insects, whales, plants and animals. Synthetic waxes are also manufactured. To make candle wax from actual beeswax from the hive, separate the wax from the honey (and from the bees, of course!) Put the wax in a saucepan or suitable container and heat it gently in hot water. Beeswax melts at about 63oC. Don't heat the water above 85oC because the beeswax will discolour. Stir often. Pour the melted beeswax into a hot wet linen bag. Squeeze the bag over a wet pot. Half fill the pot with hot water and reheat. Pour the molten wax onto a wet surface, making numerous 'cakes' each about an ounce or so in weight. The result will be clear, but yellowish, 'refined' beeswax that you can work with. If you want to make 'white' beeswax you will have to bleach it. There are various ways of doing this. One way is 'sun bleaching', by melting the beeswax, making it into thin ribbons and laying them out in the sun. (If you live in Italy or Africa, this might be easy. If you live in Siberia or the South Georgia and Sandwich Islands (SSGSI) this might be a bit more difficult.) If everything is in your favour, the beeswax, if it bleaches at all, will be ready in about 3 to 5 weeks. There are alternative chemical methods that will bleach beeswax, but these involve using poisonous gas or acids. However, you can also buy refined beeswax from a suppliers of materials for candle-makers. Beeswax sheets can be softened by hand at hand temperature. There are a variety of different waxes available to candle makers. Often they are blends e.g. of paraffin wax with some beeswax. Beeswax dissolved in Turpentine, and blended with Linseed Oil if required, produces furniture wax/polish. See Related Link below ads

2008-08-08 16:40:23
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