Oct 9, 2018, 5:24 PM
Warning, don’t scroll down, and definitely, don’t be drinking a cuppa as you reading.

How to melt a big block of wax

I have been working really hard getting stocks of products made for my business, before the Xmas rush, but I ran out of beeswax for the balms, a few days ago, so I ordered a 20kg block from Arataki Honey down in near Reporoa and went down this morning to pick it up.
So I get it home and had forgotten how hard it is to break that block up, and I couldn’t find anyone to pay to do it, and none of my pots are big enough to melt the whole block in.

first chunk of wax melting

A chunk of wax melting, it seems harmless enough… its about 4kgs

Still, I managed to chop off one chuck, but I just couldn’t do anymore…. and once I start this job, I had to keep going until I have finished, so there is only one clean-up. And oh, what a cleanup it turned out to be., but I don’t want to spoil the story for you, so for now, lets believe everything was going find and dandy…tickety boo, toot sweet and all that,,, well it was then…

 

making wax blocks in molds

still no problem, these molds come out about the size of a good sized bar of soap.….

So I heated that first chunk up it all went well and I was pouring the wax into these soap bar molds… again harmless enough…It was going well, and I had already unmolded the first 2 or 4 molds and stood them up on the chopping block to cool them right off before I stored them in bags of a dozen for later use.

Everything was going very well and I was happy with my progress,I have great problem-solving skills, a fb friend is Alice always telling me that,  and did I need them, so listen up lol… while the pot of wax was melting more, and the bars were cooling

wax blocks

little wax bars all standing in a row tra laa laa

So while I labeled some cans of balm, I had the old thinking cap on, and was wondering what to do… then my eureka moment, use the oven’s roasting dish but on top the stove. Where oh where do I come up with these hairbrained schemes…

As I said the wax block is extremely heavy and hard to manage, it is 20kg’s after all, anyway, heating it in the baking dish from my brand new oven was working well. I always turn the stove onto its very lowest setting, in case I forget what I’m brewing.at least it won’t burn.

If I get someone to chop it, you need two wood axes, using on as a wedge, to crack them into smaller sized hunks. Then i melt the wax off the big 4 or 5kg blocks in my balm pots as shown in the very first photo, and ladled it into rubber molds, to make more manageable sized bars to work with. They are about the size of the old Sunlight Soap bars.

huge block of wax

huge block of wax sitting melting in the oven roasting dish.

Anyway back to this story. So I had done 48 bars done, and was musing now many little bars I would get, I had just emptied the roasting dish of melted wax into the latex molds, leaving them to set and everything was working so well.,

And then I hexed myself, silly old me started thoughts to myself,  “Well Lynny, you are a bloody genius, no-one else would ever think of doing this, and this brand new oven with the glass top is perfect for the job…. ” and
“Gosh Lynny, you usually make a lot more mess doing this job, I’m really proud of you”, and patted myself on the back… I can never say I’m doing really well at something, it’s just bad karma for me…but too late the hex was cast.

So feeling really good about my progress I went back and sat down and labeled another 20 or so Strong Pain Relief Balm, and then… and then… and then….. wait for it

the phone rang,

it was one of my folks (people that buy my products). She was on my website and having trouble with the cart.
So I talked her through what to do, and she made her order, and paid for it, all good… by now I had totally forgotten about the wax, the woman very pleased we had worked out the problem, then mentioned she loved my products, so we started a good old chinwag, as you do, with a phone call after the business part was finished… 🙂 20 or maybe 40 or so minutes later we said our goodbyes, and I wandered out to the kitchen to put the jug on for a cuppa.

I didn’t notice what you see in the photos down the front of the oven and on the floor.

I just saw the that the brand new, never used roasting dish was full and almost about to over overflow, and I thought I was just in time, so I ladled out a few ladles into another wax pot to I could lower the level of the roasting dish and because I had noticed that all the molds were full, and still thinking everything was ok, I started unmolding the previous batch.
I set them up to fill them again, and filled them all up again, and sat down to on the chair I have in the kitchen to have my well-earned rest and saw it

Yea Mother of Mercy, pray for me… I’m not into religion, but there are times it seems appropriate, and this was one of those times.

I can tell you now, I said a couple of strings of golly gosh bad swear words, that would make a sailor blush, then I remembered how I had hexed myself before and just started laughing. Nah nah Nah NAH NAH, you shouldn’t have been thinking you were doing well lol… I mean really, what else could I do but laugh…

I had actually cleaned up quite a bit of the streak down the oven door and another big pool on the floor before I thought to take this photographic evidence of my mother of all cock-ups, lol… and don’t even get me started about the waterfall of wax down the side wall near the front of the stove, it’s just as well I couldn’t take a photo of that… but it does look quite cool, when I get someone to pull out the stove, I’ll try to take a photo of that too…

So I now have about 100 smaller wax bars, done or cooling in the molds.

So dear Alice my dear, if you need to melt a big 20kg block of wax, the roast dish on the stove top works, but for goodness sake turn your darn phone off, whoever it is will ring back. Not that I mind calls, except in this particular case.

So my next problem to solve is how the hell to clean this mess up that wax was set like concrete,,,. If I don’t sleep I have 14 hours lol…

Now Alice about you coming over for a months visit, if I buy you a ticket now, how about you fly over starting there tomorrow, you will be here by about Saturday, and you could help me figure out how to fix this mess… Oh, it would be a one-way ticket BTW I’ll send you home after Xmas : 🙂 🙂 🙂

The bright side to my afternoon, I have a glass top stove and paint scrapper so it could have been far worse.

and..second bright side

I got a memorable story to tell they other oldies in the rest home or the nuthouse, where-ever they put me first 🙂

I have almost cleaner the front of the oven, it was way easier than I thought.
The way I did it, gave me an idea so I have found a brilliant new way to clean up wax and balm spills in the future. So good times all round…

So how did I do it? I heated the oven up,, then opened the door, placed some wax paper on the bottom of the oven (the irony of using wax paper doesn’t escape me) so the heat came out the door and up over the dials, melting the wax, which dripped down onto the wax paper… and I gave them a quick wipe with steel wool (the steel wool I saw that trick on the tv series I watched on Net FliX the past couple of days. “Find It, Fix it, and Flog it.”

It’s not perfectly clean, and still isn’t months later, every time I turn on the oven, new wax appears like magic.  but a darn site better than it is, and with using

sort of cleaned

the oven, it gave me the idea, if I acquire a hair dryer somewhere, it would be perfect for cleaning up wax or balm spills, or greasy pots and benches in the future.

Six months later…
So alls well the ends ok’ish and I can’t remember just how many small blocks of wax I ended up with well over 200. and there is no need for a moral of the story, that’s glaringly obvious.

Oh, and the roasting dish, I couldn’t face cleaning that, and the chooks now use it as their water container.

Cheers Lynny