I've been trying to figure out an easier way than cutting, shaving or shredding wax to make salves and creams. After reading online and consulting with my friends, I tried several methods and there is a clear winner.
We get the wax from the organic farm next door, but it's not cleaned or prepared in any way. So after melting it down, straining and cleaning it, it needs to be prepped for making salves. We've been shredding which is a huge pain and time consuming.
On wax paper, I dribbled melted wax (melted in a double boiler) to make small dots for one method and for the other poured a thin layer in a cookie sheet as Tina Sams recommended and scored it like Judith Milar suggested. It breaks right up once it's cooled to the proper temp and scoring made nice sized pieces.
The wax had to be just turning semi-solid to score it, when it started to turn opaque and it held the cut of the knife without wax oozing back into the cut.
It takes a while for the wax to cool enough to get brittle, but boy when it does it is fantastically easy to snap into pieces when it's that thin. Scoring also allowed me to break the pieces up much earlier than when the wax wasn't scored because the unscored wax stayed in the rubbery stage longer. Peeling off of the wax paper at the score and moving apart allowed the little pieces to finish cooling even faster. Next time I'll make the scores much closer together to make even smaller pieces. On the test sheet I did without scoring, I had to wait much longer to break the wax up into pieces. The sheets were poured about an 1/8" thick.
So now I can just grab a handful of these babies when doing a recipe and if there is a hair too much, I can snap a piece in two as easy as you'd break off a piece of chocolate, even easier actually.
I can’t wait to try the wax flakes in my next batch.