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Getting Out Wax Different Methods


Several methods have been adopted for separating the wax. I never found
any means of getting out the _whole_. Yet I suppose I came as near it
as any one. Some recommend heating it in an oven, similar to the method
of straining honey through the colander, but I have found it to waste
more than when melted with water. A better way for small quantities, is
to half fill a coarse stout bag with refuse comb and a few
cobble-stones to sink it, and boil it in a kettle of water, pressing
and turning it frequently till the wax ceases to rise. When the
contents of the bag are emptied, by squeezing a handful, the particles
of wax may be seen, and you may thereby judge of the quantity thrown
away. For large quantities the foregoing process is rather tedious. It
can be facilitated by having two levers four or five feet long and
about four inches wide, and fastened at the lower end by a strong
hinge. The combs are put into a kettle of boiling water, and will melt
almost immediately; it is then put into the bag, and taken between the
levers in a wash-tub or other large vessel and pressed, the contents of
the bag shaken, and turned, several times during the process, and if
need be returned to the boiling water and squeezed again. The wax, with
a little water, is now to be remelted and strained again through finer
cloth, into vessels that will mould it into the desired shape. As the
sediment settles to the bottom of the wax when melted, a portion may be
dipped off nearly pure without straining.

Wax in cool weather may be whitened in a short time in the sun, but it
must be in very thin flakes; it is readily obtained in this shape by
having a very thin board or shingle, which should be first thoroughly
wet, and then dipped into pure melted wax; enough will adhere to make
it the desired thickness, and will cool instantly on being withdrawn.
Draw a knife along the edges, and it will readily cleave off. Exposed
to the sun in a window or on the snow, it will become perfectly white,
when it can be made into cakes for market, where it commands a much
higher price than the yellow. It is said there is a chemical process
that whitens it readily, but I am not acquainted with it.

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