Instructables

Silicon Beeswax Foundation and Ingot Molds

video Silicon Beeswax Foundation and Ingot Molds
My Name is David Nash
I have always believed that to be successful you need to solve problems.

I became a beekeeper to help increase out dwindling supply of bees.  I enjoy beekeeping, but I cannot keep as many hives as I would prefer because of the recurring costs involved.

One such cost is beeswax foundation.  The foundation is needed in quantity, is not locally produced, can only be shipped at certain times of the year, and costs around $1.25 a sheet.

I began researching how I could create my own, and found that the machines needed cost approximately $5,000.  I found a cheaper solution in silicon molds, but the commercial molds cost around $500. 

I began researching silicon mold making, and found a cheaper solution.

I have built a prototype that I believe I can reproduce to allow me to provide silicon foundation molds at less than half the cost of the commercially available silicon molds.

A secondary problem came with casting my beeswax into ingots for storage.  The molds available form the major beekeeping supply houses are vacuum molded thermoplastic.  Every mold I have bought has melted with the first casting session.  Since I realized silicon is used in low temp metal casting, I believe it is the perfect medium for casting beeswax ingots.

If I win this contest, I plan on using the funds to create master molds to allow me to mass produce both the foundation molds and ingot molds.  This will make beekeeping less expensive and easier, as well as giving organic beekeepers the peace of mind knowing that the wax used in their hives has not been contaminated with the pesticides found in some commercially available wax foundation.
DavidB255 days ago

Silicon is a semi-conductor element used in computer chips etc. Silicones aka Siloxanes are synthetic relatively inert compounds, Typically heat-resistant and rubber-like, they are used in sealants, adhesives, lubricants, medical applications, cooking utensils, and insulation.

You mean silicone moulding (english spelling) or molding (american spelling) NOT Silicon (the chemical element)

dave.birnie2 months ago

can you show how it works, I watched your original video on youtube about creating the mold, the problem I had was when you used the wax foundation to create the mold the wax did not peel off at all... can you show how well this mold works to create the foundation?

danzo3211 year ago
call me what you will but please, please, learn that silicon is not silicone. Casting uniform sheets of wax doesn't sound hard..