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  1. #1

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    has anyone tried the Thorne press?
    I seen it in book and was thinking of ordering it because it was only $200.00 and looked at the Tom's for over $700.00.
    any info would be appriciated.
    alos it it worth while to make your own for about 200 hives?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    I haven't seen what the Thorne press is, but a wax-press <> foundation press. They are different. A wax press is to extract the wax out of slumgum. Foundation press is self-explanitory.


  3. #3
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    Dec 2000
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    crown point, NY, USA
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    Hi Don,

    has anyone tried the Thorne press?

    reply:

    I know a few UK beekeepers that have.

    I seen it in book and was thinking of ordering it because it was only $200.00 and looked at the Tom's for over $700.00.

    reply:

    Now don't confuse a foundation press with a foundation mill. They are different. They both do the same thing but one if faster than the other. Probably one is more ecomonic with the wax and quality most likely. Now the Thornes press I believe produces a 5.3-5.4mm cell size (I believe). If that is what you are loking for It may work well for you. But I don't know how much foundation you want to make or how fast you need to make it? If you need foundation quicker you many want a mill? If you want cell sizing other than 5.3 -5.4 you may want a mill? It all depends on what you want and the speed you need it.

    Clay


  4. #4
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    Dec 2000
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    crown point, NY, USA
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    Post

    Hi Don,

    Have you checked this page out:

    www.beesource/suppliers/smallcell.htm


    There are several German presses. Also a new mill maker in the US, The Hawley Company.

    Clay

    [This message has been edited by Clayton (edited January 18, 2003).]

    [This message has been edited by Clayton (edited January 18, 2003).]

  5. #5
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    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    Post

    I have plans to make a foundation press I found in a book called "Keeping Bees" by John Vivian, If anyone is interested, just ask.

    Sol Parker

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
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    Post

    Hello Everyone,

    I have been trying to develop a foundation mold since 1996. At that time small cell foundation was not readily available and I wasn't convinced enough of its merit to buy a mill from Tom Industries. Since it has become readily available from Dadant I guess moment keeps me puttering at with the idea.

    I have made various molds from cement, high density plaster of paris, acrylic patching grout and silicon caulk and others have also tried auto body putty. All these attempts have failed. None of these would turn out a good product or release from the mold easily.

    Having some experience with pottery, I am in the process of use pottery clay with a known contraction rate of about 10%. Using a standard size sheet of foundation as a form should result in a bisque fired small cell size mold. The open structure of the bisque fired mold should allow a soapy water solution to penetrate and act as an effective mold release agent without the risk of contaiminants.

    I don't have my own kiln anymore and am having trouble finding someone who will fire my clay-beeswax in their kiln.

    It's hard to beat Dadants price and quality for foundation unless one needs a gazillion sheets or has lots of time. But these projects sometimes develope legs of their own.:> )

    Any potters out there who would like an interesting project?

    Best Wishes
    Dennis
    Knowing how much my wife likes those little bits of beeswax around the house.

    Dennis Murrell

  7. #7
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    Dec 2002
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    Here's what to do, dont use plaster or cement or anything that heats up when it dries, use water putty, you will of course lose the original sheet of foundation, but you get it off by pouring boiling water over it. You then paint the mold with a thin hard polyurethane and before you make a sheet, spray the mold with a light dusting of Pam or some other nonstick cooking spray and make your foundation, peel it out, and trim the edges. Instant foundation, its a little bit thicker but way cheaper than Dadant or Brushy Mountain. Plus it will prolly only set you back 10 or 15 bucks.

    Sol Parker

  8. #8
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    Aug 2002
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    Post

    So how do you use this kind of mold? Do you make blank sheets and press them between? Do you pour wax on it and press the other half on top?

  9. #9
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    Dec 2000
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    crown point, NY, USA
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    Post

    So how do you use this kind of mold? Do you make blank sheets and press them between? Do you pour wax on it and press the other half on top?

    reply:


    Which mold you talking here Micheal? The one in John Vivians book you pour the wax in. It would probably not be what you are looking for as it would probably yield about 4-5 sheets per pound where in a mill you can get 7-8 for medium and thin around 10 per pound. Also when you slam the mold shut you will most certainly have stretching of the cell size and the ply ability of the sheet mya be not so good. Since you mention you need 1000 sheets of foundation for starters of clean wax in another forum it would take forever and would not econimize on your clean wax either. But would probably be OK for those who don't care much on cell size and just keep a few colonies. The european presses use sheets to my knowledge.

    Clay


  10. #10
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    Dec 2002
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    I agree with Clay, not real great economy, and Vivian was only trying to make a foundtation in fairly small numbers for his cut comb honey.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
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    There is no problem to build the own wax mold from real silicon not the paint able silicon. I made my own two years ago and there is nothing wrong with.

    Here is a site. http://www.imkereibedarf-rettig.de/frameset2.htm go to the German word “Preise” on the left and on those site is a picture.

    http://www.swienty.com/tysk/wachswalzen.html on this site is a wax press (left) from nirosta that means stainless steal and the mold is from silicon also

    http://www.alfranseder.de/beschreibgussf.htm
    I hope I could help but don’t give me the red flag. They all commercial but you can get an idea how to build.


  12. #12
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    Aug 2002
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    Casper, Wy, USA
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    Hello Axtmann,

    I had thought about using the commercial silicon mold mixtures that cure at room temperature. However,most of the liquids are exothermic and generate quite alot of heat while curing. A spreadable silicon paste is also available. I don't know if it gets as hot as the liquid mixtures.

    Did you use the liquid. If so did the heat generated cause any problems?

    Also, silicon can be quite sticky. What do you use as a release agent?

    Thanks for the information and your experience. I know foundation molds are quite common in Europe but are unheard of here.

    Best Wishes
    Dennis

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    9,303

    Exclamation

    Sol Parker wrote:
    use water putty,
    <snip>
    You then paint the mold with a thin hard polyurethane and before you make a sheet, spray the mold with a light dusting of Pam or some other nonstick cooking spray and make your foundation, peel it out

    Hi guys -

    Been there, done that. I followed Vivian's plans and never could get it to make a good sheet of foundation. The major problem are the cell walls. I used Duragilt 5.4 cell size foundation to make the impressions from. All I can say is good luck. It might work if one could cast a piece of foundation without cell walls. Let us know how you make out.

    Regards,
    Barry

  14. #14
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    Dec 2002
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    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
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    Hello Bwrangler

    I used a spreadable silicon paste for bathtubs or so. - 100% silicon -
    There is no heat involved. I made a mold with a wax foundation in the middle, and piano hinges at the back. You must work from the back of the foundation.
    Spread the silicon exact in the foundation otherwise you will get some failings. But the bees don’t care. Use a spatula or putty knife and be sure, there is no air left in the cells and you will have a nice mold.
    Make two frames first with the hinges; fill one frame with cardboard than put the foundation in. Now is the wax in the middle of the both frames. Fill one site, let it dry and then screw a plate on the back and one half is don. The dry silicon can’t hold on the back plate (1/4 plywood or 1/8 aluminum) glue it with fine layer silicon on.

    Now the other half, like tow picture frames with hinges and than close the back. It’s hard for me to describe but I hop you know what I mean, otherwise ask again.
    Fill the half mold from the back and let it dry for a few days than go to the other site. Don’t remove the foundation till both part a dry. Put with a fine paintbrush Vaseline onto the foundation so it’s easier to open the new mold.
    If you start to make new foundation with your mold, don’t use any cocking fat or Vaseline. This would contaminate your new foundations in the beginning. Nothing sticks on the “pure silicone”, if it is hard to get the new foundation out use a compressor and blow air between, it works and you will have a clean product. You can clean the mold with hot water and soap if necessary. I never had to clean the mold in over two years.

    If your not sure what to do, go in a craftwork store and ask for a little broshure to make silicon molds.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Birmingham, West Midlands, UK
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    Post

    I've been told that silicone hasn't got that good a life expectancy, and that its better to use fibreglass. Does anyone know whether this is true?

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