View Full Version : Electric Embedder
12-16-2002, 02:07 PM
Has anyone used the electric embedder they sell in Dadant? I have a hard time getting the wax to seal around my wires (foudation) w/out it burning through. How does it work? Do you set the little board on top of the wires? Any hints on getting the wires melted into the foundation? I currently use a battery charger on 2 amps to heat my wires.
12-16-2002, 03:18 PM
Hi Oscar -
Yes, I have used the embedder that Dadant sells. It works fine, but is slower to use than the current method I use. Dadant's embedder is designed for a single length of wire at a time that is as wide as the frame, meaning you will have to use it 3 to 5 times per frame depending on how many horizontal wires you use. It has to be used in conjunction with a form board (http://www.beesource.com/plans/formboard.htm) to get good results. This will help to keep the wax flat and the wire to embed evenly.
The wires should be on top of the foundation and the embedder sits on top of the wire. The embedder has 4 copper tabs that stick down from the wooden bar but only the outside two have wires connected to them. The current passes from one tab, through the frame wire, to the other tab, causing the thin wire to heat up due to resistance. The other two tabs merely give equal pressure on the wire at evenly spaced intervals. Apply even pressure as you engage the switch momentarily and reengage as needed till the wire starts to melt the wax. In time you will get the hang of it.
Make sure you are using the correct size transformer also.
12-16-2002, 04:37 PM
Do you have plans for your current embeder Barry? Or a picture with instructions?
Embedders are easy to make. I used a vcr power supply, got 17v ac from its transforer. Mounted the two leads to a board, and I have an embedder. Its not sophisticated, but it does the job. One or two quick hits, and the wire is covered. I burnt thru a few times, but after a while you just know.
What is a good output amperage to use? I have a door bell transformer,that i thought I would give a try.
12-16-2002, 07:57 PM
I use a 24V. transformer from an old sprinkler clock. Have also used a 12V car battery charger.
12-16-2002, 08:36 PM
I use a 25v transformer on the embedder from Dadant.
12-16-2002, 08:51 PM
> Do you have plans for your current embeder Barry?
No plans, but I have some photos posted here: http://www.beesource.com/eob/wire_embedder/index.htm
I've used the heating element from a cloths iron for resistance and embed the whole sheet of foundation in one shot by clamping onto each end of the wire. I won't recommend it as there are some hazards with it if not done properly. I think a battery charger would be safer.
12-17-2002, 06:01 AM
I find myself interested in embedding now, after all these years. I've always used either prewired foundation (in the "W" formation), plastic based foundation (Duragilt etc.) or solid plastic foundation (Rite Cell etc.) for brood and frames to be extracted, and used surplus with split pins or just starter strips for cut comb. Actually I raised bees for 26 years without every owning or using an extractor, but now that I have one I do like it.
Now, though, I find that 4.9mm foundation is not available prewired, in plastic or in any other reinforced system, so I am wiring. I have bought prewired foundation (in 5.4mm and drone size) in the "W" formation and had good luck with it. It doesn't take much wire to do the "W" (although I didn't put it in) and doesn't even used the holes on the sides. In fact it can be embedded before you put the foundation in the frame. I have used "X" formation without embedding it by puting one cross peice on one side and the other on the other side and using pins to keep things straight.
Here's a picture of that: http://www.beesource.com/eob/althive/bush/bush5.htm
I haven't extracted any of these more than once, but they seem to work ok so far. I got this design from someone who has used it for years.
My first question is what are the advantatages of embedding? Is it stronger than if you alternated the wires on ever other side? Does the foundation stay straighter when the wires are embedded?
My second question is how time consuming is it? It looks like it's a lot of complex work for such a simple thing.
I'm not sure if I want to get into embedding or not. It just looks like a lot of extra work. What are the payoffs?
12-17-2002, 06:15 AM
Thanks for all the replies.
I have made the foundation board from the plans on this site, and have used it last winter. However, what I have been doing is connecting the leads on a batterycharger to a wire at one end, and then connecting it all the way down to the other. It heats all three wires at once, but my problem is getting equal pressure on the wax and wire throughout to get it to embed into the wax. I thought I would try the embedder if it worked better. I don't have a lot of hives, so if it takes a little longer, that is fine.
12-17-2002, 06:39 AM
Okay Oscar, now I see what you are doing. Embedding the complete wire that may go back and forth a few times requires a different approach. Throw out the form board when doing it that way. I simply wire the frame, lay the foundation on top of the wire, heat the wire for about 3 seconds and at the same time run my hand all over the foundation applying slight pressure. The last two photos on the page I mentioned show this procedure. It is very important that your wire be very taut. It's one of those things that can't be explained well. One just has to learn to do it. But I do not use a form board when embedding this way.
12-17-2002, 10:32 AM
I embed all wires at the same time using a formboard and a piece of wood that will fit inside the frame to apply equal presure on the foundation and wires. the board is made of 3/4 inch plywood and applies the proper pressure where 1/2 inch won't
12-17-2002, 01:56 PM
Thanks guys. I will give it another try before buying the embedder.
The form board, that I use is actually 3/4 inch in the middle. but it tapers down to 1/2 on the sides. If I were to do it again, I would taper it to 5/8, but with it being concave, its easy to let the frame provide the pressure. I saw what were the amps of the transformer, not sure, but a doorbell transformer should work. I read somewhere, that lower voltage is easier to embed with. Not less current flow, and less power heating the wire I understand why. I guess, its like I said before, after a while you just know how long to be connected.
12-17-2002, 03:15 PM
Thanks all. I've been using the battery charger for along time (years). Was just looking for the deluxe type embeder, something fancy yet fast. Might just stick with the battery charger I'm pretty fast at it, having tons of practice. Was looking for a flip the switch on and off 3 second type embedder. Something that sank the wires in really well without much fuss if any.
12-19-2002, 09:20 AM
I have used a transformer from an electric train, I just put alligator clips on the leads. This worked great because of the variable power range.