A tutorial on how to make a small wax melting stand that runs off a sterno (welding is required but you can work your way around that with nuts and bolts.)
metal wire(12-18 Gauge)
wax and mold
Step 1: Cutting the Metal Down to Size
Cut a 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 sqaure of sheet. This piece may vary on how big your sterno is, make it an adequate size to fit your sterno with about 1mm to spare on one side of the square.
For the wire cut a 9 inch length and at the base bend it into an L with the bend leaving 1 inch on the bottom. Next make another L bend, but in such a way that when looked at from the top it forms a 90 degree angle. Then you can set those two pieces aside until needed
Step 2: Making the Crucible
In order to make the crucible(Part of the stand where the wax will melt and then be poured into the mold or cast.) you will need to think of what size you will need. I will list a few suggestions and then show how i made my crucible.
Sugestions on crucibles.
1: An altoids tin would be perfect for small wax objects or crafts.
2: A soda can or soup can would be great for large amounts of wax, yet they wouldn't look that great and would mostlikely break from constant use.
3: Tubing would be exellent because of it's durability to stand up to hot tempatures and it is easy to maniupulate into different sizes.
My crucible consits of two square washers,sheet metal and a magnet. Position your washers in a V shape and weld at the bottom and inside for water-tight seal. The gaps at the sides can be sealed by two V shaped pieces of sheet welded at the sides of the washers to make a fairly good sized crucible.
Next drill a hole at one end and use a magnet as a valve, when the magnet is placed over the hole the wax dosen't flow but when removed you have a nice steady flow of molten wax.
Step 3: Welding the Stand
If you have novice welding skills this process will be easy. weld the 1 inch bend of the wire to the 3 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch piece of sheet. The next weld will be joining the 3 inch bend of wire to the topmost, far end from the spicket or hole in the crucible, give it a slight tilt for the best wax flow possible. An optional feature which i find very helpful is a piece of sheet bent into a V to act as a troph to send the wax farther away from the sterno for ease of use. Most of these connections can be sustituted with nuts and bolts if needed, althogh welding is most easy and should be used to create this stand.
Step 4: Melting Wax Into a Mold
For your first time using this stand or before any use check for any holes or leaks. First make your wax into schavings and insert them into the crucible. Ignite the sterno and when the wax melts add crushed up chalk for color if needed. Once all the wax is melted remove the magnet and let the molten wax flow into your mold and let cool for 20-40 mins before removing
Step 5: Enjoy Wax Objects!
Remember to always wear safety gear and keep water or fire extinguisher near you when using this stand. I am in no way resposible for your actions or injuries when you interact with this piece of equipment. Enjoy!