Reposted from Chat
From: magee mississippi
Registered: Aug 2004
posted August 22, 2004 06:11 PM
>Allen said: I just registered for beesource forum and please forgive my ignorance on how to communicate but i resently read about the permacomb subject of dipping permacomb in wax. this seems time cousuming but a great idea. i recently had trouble with acceptance of plastiframe from dadant. so i took a sponge paint brush a 4 in. and dipped it in hot melted wax and applied to plastiframe foundation it can be applied lite or heavy depending on how thick you desire by continuing to re-apply. it amazingly goes on even so i thought it might work on permacomb. i presently don't have it yet but i thought it might help some of you. just dip the brush and make an even stroke across the frame. if one of you with permcomb try this please let me know the outcome.
The problems with wax coating PermaComb that I have faced are, first the cells are deep and you can't easily brush it or spray it into the cells and coat the walls evenly. Second, if the PermaComb is cold the wax clumps up on the PermaComb. Last, my intent is to get natural sized cells out of it, so I need a fairly thick consistent coating.
HereÂ’s what I have for equipment to do this and where I do it. I have an old gas stove with an oven set up outside. I have a table next to that with a Â“turkey roasterÂ” pan. The pan is thermostatically controlled and has a double boiler/steam table kind of arrangement. Meaning it has a roaster pan inside of the roaster. I can put water in the outside part and a little water in the inside roaster with the wax. This keeps the wax from getting too hot. I set the thermostat to about 250 degrees F which boils the water which keeps the wax about 212 degrees F. I have some rubber dishwashing gloves and a frame grip. I set the oven, using an oven thermometer, so that it is about 200 to 210 degrees F. I put a piece of cardboard on the rack (with a fold so it runs up the back of the oven) and put PermaComb in the oven. If you want something as feedback until you get the hang of it, you can put a small piece of wax in one of the cells of the front PermaComb so you can look and check if it has melted yet. When the PermaComb gets up to temp (about 20 to 30 minutes) and the wax is up to temp (the wax is melted and the water in it is bubbling a bit) you pull one comb and dip it. My pan isnÂ’t quite deep enough and I have to lay on one side and wait for the bubbles to stop, then the other side and wait for the bubbles to stop, and then because the pan isnÂ’t quite long enough, I have to put the opposite end in and repeat the process. Now that every cell is full of wax, I have to shake as much of the wax back out as I can. I start by holding it upside down with the frame grip and shaking it over the pan. Then I shake it horizontally to shake one side out more and then flip it and shake the other side out more. Then I hit the top of it on the table several times to knock some more wax out and then I move to a spot beside that spot and slam it flat ways a few times on each side. Then I put the comb in a Langstroth box upside down on the frame rests so it can drain more if it will. Then I do the next comb. After a few combs I go back to the first few combs in the rack and hit them a couple of more times to knock out some more wax and then I put them in a regular box right side up.
I know this sounds complicated, and it is a bit. But mostly it is very messy and very hot. You will have wax all over your clothes and your shoes. The concept is that the comb needs to be hot enough to melt wax so that the wax wonÂ’t clump up in the cells. The wax should be hot enough to run well, but not too hot so it doesnÂ’t melt the PermaComb. PermaComb melts at temps over 220 degrees F. Then you get all of the insides of the cells coated and then you try to get all of the excess off so it doesnÂ’t make clumps and drips and fill up the bottoms of the cells.