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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,213

    Post

    I made up some plain (unembossed) foundation last night. Mostly I'm cuting it for starter strips. I'm using the plain starter strips in all of my bait hives and hopefully will get a chance to see what the feral bees build as far as positioning and size.

    I used the brine soaked boards dipped as described in "ABC-XYZ of Beekeeping". It worked pretty well. I do have a couple of questions.

    Do I need to wash the brine off of the wax? It's not a problem but it is one more step.

    Are there any tips from those of you who have made your own foundation that would make it any easier, better or simplier?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,837

    Post

    KEEPING BEES, by John Vivian, (page 131) describes "making a Foundation Press" and on page 137, tells how to "Make Foundation". Perhaps you can find some new tips there.

    Dave W

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    Hi Micheal,

    Do I need to wash the brine off of the wax? It's not a problem but it is one more step.

    reply:

    What do you use in your brine? Salt? If just salt as I use no you don't have to wash it off.

    Are there any tips from those of you who have made your own foundation that would make it any easier, better or simplier?

    reply:

    You must have the dipping boards well sanded. Also sand them often as the grains in the wood draw out and can cause sticking. Also its best if you soak the dipping boards over night if possible. Also I dip twice too. Dip, then flip, and dip again. This should make a stronger ply and make the wax sheet more even. Some do three plys at higher temps but I have found no advantage. Note: this has allot to do with embossing and the plyability of the wax sheets. I use 190 F for making cut comb foundation. About 160 - 170 F for medium brood. Some dip in cold water. I often don't. Depens how thick of wax sheet I want to make. But have to be careful as if you dip wrong the sheets can blow right off the board. I just let sit and go to the next board. Then cut sheets off a bunch of boards. Stack between newspaper sheets. Then I use a water bath to make warm again to run through the mill so I can get maximum wax shrinkage. Hope some of this can help.

    Clay


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,213

    Post

    >What do you use in your brine? Salt? If just salt as I use no you don't have to wash it off.

    Yes, just salt.

    >You must have the dipping boards well sanded. Also sand them often as the grains in the wood draw out and can cause sticking.

    Didn't have any problems with sticking.

    >Also its best if you soak the dipping boards over night if possible.

    I didn't but I can see it probably would help.

    >Also I dip twice too. Dip, then flip, and dip again. This should make a stronger ply and make the wax sheet more even. Some do three plys at higher temps but I have found no advantage.

    I did three or four. But the wax was about 212 degress F. Basically I went kept going until I couldn't see the wood grain through the wax. I wanted a nice thick starter strip. I figure the bees will pull it out to the thickness the want and use it for cell wall.

    >Note: this has allot to do with embossing and the plyability of the wax sheets. I use 190 F for making cut comb foundation. About 160 - 170 F for medium brood. Some dip in cold water. I often don't. Depens how thick of wax sheet I want to make. But have to be careful as if you dip wrong the sheets can blow right off the board. I just let sit and go to the next board. Then cut sheets off a bunch of boards.

    I did just let it set until it was firm and then cut them off.

    >Stack between newspaper sheets. Then I use a water bath to make warm again to run through the mill so I can get maximum wax shrinkage. Hope some of this can help.

    It's reassuring to hear how someone else does it.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
    Posts
    971

    Post

    Micheal,

    Didn't have any problems with sticking.

    reply:

    This is good. Just run your hands over the boards to feel for raised grains especially on the corners. Sand as needed then soak. I found that using a brine is what helps one go longer here between sandings. I used to use just water and one had to sand almost every other time.

    I didn't but I can see it probably would help.

    reply:

    Old literature said to soak for at least 2 hrs. But I find if you are to work many hrs. You need a long soak especially if dipping in very hot wax as the heat seems to draw the moisture out of the wood after a few hrs. If working just an hour no big deal.

    I did three or four. But the wax was about 212 degress F

    reply:

    Holy molten wax! Thats very hot! At that temp are you having problems with the wax melting off the dipping board as you re-dip? I seem to have this problem at 200 F unless I dip very quickly. Which can cause problems running through the mill. If you have a wavy pattern of wax you will get problems when milling. If the wax waves are not straight across the foundation will bend as it goes through the mill kind of in a slight U-shape. But if just plain sheets I guess it doesn't matter.

    Clay


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,213

    Post

    I have an electric roaster that I bought just for doing wax. You put water in it and then set the pan in that so it's like a double boiler. I don't know exactly the temperature of the wax, but the water was simmering and that's about 212.

    I did dip quickly. I'd be afraid it would melt the last layer off if you didn't. It does end up thicker at the bottom than the top, but I was cutting it for starter strips so I wasn't that concerned.

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