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Safe way to melt paraffin wax?

Discussion in 'Wilderness & Survival Skills' started by ryts100, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. ryts100

    ryts100

    337
    Feb 19, 2009
    What's a safe way to melt paraffin wax? By safe I mean a way that won't heat it to the point where it vaporizes and becomes combustible. Planning on making paraffin wax impregnated jute.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2009
  2. kgd

    kgd

    Feb 28, 2007
    Use an old slow cooker or a double boiler.

    Or just use a coffee can and low heat source like a candle at the bottom
     
  3. ryts100

    ryts100

    337
    Feb 19, 2009
    How long would I have to heat the can to melt maybe 1/4 cup of wax with one tea candle? An hour or so? :confused:
     
  4. Chris_Norden

    Chris_Norden

    175
    Jan 30, 2006
    Put it on the stove on low, and heat it up till its almost melted and take it off to let it melt fully. Or go the double boiler.

    Nothing complicated to it, but if its on a flame then a double boiler is a good idea. I doubt its any worse than lard or fat, we use it all the time in pharmacy to make ointments etc, and if half my peers can do it with out burning the place down, anyone can.
     
  5. Suveges

    Suveges

    328
    Feb 19, 1999
    Yup, double boiler. Just like melting chocolate for baking.
     
  6. dingobubba

    dingobubba

    770
    Feb 27, 2006
    Agree...double boiler. Just make sure you use old pots and never take your eyes off it(fire precaution). My ex used to make her own candles.
     
  7. ryts100

    ryts100

    337
    Feb 19, 2009
    Would an empty Altoids tin with the lid off, with a piece of wax in it on a coil-type stove on low heat work?
     
  8. banana-clip

    banana-clip

    Jun 7, 2007
    Where do you buy paraffan wax at?
     
  9. ryts100

    ryts100

    337
    Feb 19, 2009
    I just went to this supermarket called PW Market, and found something by the name of Parowax. It's advertised as multipurpose household wax. It was a pound for around $4 IIRC.
     
  10. fishshooter

    fishshooter

    Mar 29, 2006
    I learned the hard way to use a double boiler set up. :( I would suggest NOT using direct heat.
    Now I use an old beat up pot that nests about half way into another that holds the water. I don't even have to bother cleaning the wax out when I'm done.
     
  11. dingobubba

    dingobubba

    770
    Feb 27, 2006
    DITTO what fishshooter stated. If ya don't have some old pots try a small size coffee can in a pot of water. Better safe then sorry.
     
  12. ryts100

    ryts100

    337
    Feb 19, 2009
    Would it work if I poured some water in a good pot, placed some wax in an Altoids tin, let it float in the water, then turn the heat on and let the water boil?
     
  13. koyote

    koyote

    Mar 29, 2007
    I have a doulbe boiler with a 1 quart mason jar of beewax in it that's always ready to go (since I use it more than once a week for knife stuff) and the trick is low heat, patience, and letting it get FULLY melted.
     
  14. ryts100

    ryts100

    337
    Feb 19, 2009
    With a double boiler, would you be able to set the temperature higher than without one, in order to make the water boil faster, then lower the temp once the water starts boiling?
     
  15. koyote

    koyote

    Mar 29, 2007
    sure. In my case, I'm using beeswax, and don't want to overcook/heat it. For paraffin go ahead and turn the heat up a bit- the inside can't go above boiling.....
     
  16. DOC-CANADA

    DOC-CANADA

    Apr 14, 2006
    What dingobubba said, or what I use - an empty beer can in an soup can with boiling water.

    Definitely use some kind of double boiler set up, though. And don't use an Altoids tin - the tin isn't deep enough and the water can splash into the wax or maybe the Altoids tin will overturn, or maybe..................

    Doc
     
  17. ryts100

    ryts100

    337
    Feb 19, 2009
    Stupid question, but just to get it out of the way; the can with the wax in it is floating in the water, correct? Would it be better to cover the container, or just leave it open in the boiling water? Also, do I need a specific amount of water? Oh and, can the container be glass or would it be better if it were metal?
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2009
  18. Bushman5

    Bushman5

    Oct 31, 2007
    as others have mentioned DOUBLE BOILER only for melting wax.

    other safety tips:

    - MEDIUM heat only, preferably an ELECTRIC range. There is a veyr high risk of igniting wax vapours when using a GAS stove.

    - Devote your entire attention to the melting pot. Do not turn away to go take a piss, or answer the door or phone. ALL eyes on the melting pot. This may seem safety nanny'ish but trust me.........i've seen what melting wax can do fire wise to a structure and a persons body.

    - thick leather gloves, LONG sleeve shirt, shoes etc etc etc

    - as soon as all the wax is melted, shut off the burner and move both the pot and wax pot together, THEN remove the wax pot and set away from the stove on a hard surface.

    - Keep cats, dogs and KIDS away from the room. Cats like to get under our feet and no one feels good dumping hot wax on a little kitty.
     
  19. ryts100

    ryts100

    337
    Feb 19, 2009
    Would it be better to use a glass or metal container for the wax? Would it need a lid or can i just leave it open floating in the water?
     
  20. Bushman5

    Bushman5

    Oct 31, 2007
    metal container! glass can break and the resulting mix of hot wax and water can erupt onto the burner. Old pots or old coffee cans are great. (in other words dont use the GF's cooking pots.....dont ask.,,)

    leave it open, and add enough water so the wax pot does'nt start floating about..... (dont overfill, the can could tip_)
     

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