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Thread: Uncapping FORKS

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Whidbey Island, WA, USA
    Posts
    182

    Sad

    Ok, I guess I shoulda asked about forks verse knives. I really only have a few frames to extract each year and the electric knifes seem to be a pain, soooooooo, any recommendations on uncapping forks?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

    Post

    I don't have an electric uncapping knife;I have two knives I keep in hot water and alternate between uses. It's no trouble at all and easy to clean up. I have a cappings scratcher for the places the knives miss.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Mason, MI, USA
    Posts
    1,015

    Post

    I also use long serated knifes that I pick up at garage sales and just heat them in a pan of hot water. Just dry them off before uncapping
    Clint

    ------------------
    Clinton Bemrose
    just South of Lansing Michigan
    Beekeeping sence 1964

  4. #4
    jfischer Guest

    Post

    If you don't want to buy an uncapping knife,
    FORK IT!

    The forks are pretty much all the same,
    cheap plastic handles, and pretty decent
    metal fingers.

    Slide under the cappings, and lift to remove
    a nice "slab", or use it in the "Freddy Kruger"
    style to slice open the cells, and let the
    extractor do the rest.

    The "Freddy Kruger" approach means that
    you will have lots more little chunks of
    wax in the honey than you might like,
    but you can filter the honey a bit.

    Anyone know of a decent uncapping fork,
    perhaps with a wooden handle rather than
    the plastic? I've never broken one, but
    I rarely use it.

    Did you know that if you put an uncapped
    frame on a laser cutter, and tune the beam
    just so, you can vaporize the cappings
    without heating the honey much at all?

    Its pretty cool, but laser cutters are
    just a tad more expensive than other
    approaches, and people tend to WANT the
    cappings wax, as it is the nicest wax.

    It also makes a mess on the laser cutter bed.

  5. #5
    Brewcat Guest

    Post

    Anyone use the steam-powered doodads? Do you need a dedicated steam-generator or would a modified pressure cooker (weighted gauge removed and replaved with heat-rated tubing, done frequently in homebrewing circles) be adequate to power a knife?

    ------------------
    Ben Brewcat brewing in Lyons, CO

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,825

    Post

    Betterbee has a Deluxe Stainless Steel Uncapping Tool, # CAS3, with a wooden handle and and scraper blade.
    http://betterbee.com/products.asp?dept=1217

    Better link, I think.

    [This message has been edited by odfrank (edited December 13, 2004).]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    san antonio.texas USA
    Posts
    488

    Cool

    I use a capping fork to finish up frames in the areas where my knife or plane doesn't get easily.I could not find my cappings fork last year so I used a large silver serving fork from the house. The serving fork worked great! I washed and returned the fork before my wife found out .

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
    Posts
    1,895

    Post

    I used electric uncapping knives in the past and found them to have a number of draw backs. Time, comb damage, cappings, etc.

    Two years ago, I changed to one of the honey punches. It is significantly less strain on the wrist, less time, less mess, less honey lost in cappings, less cappings wax, less comb damage.

    I use the punch on both permacomb and standard wax comb frames.

    I have found that a bucket of hot water is required when using the punch. I use it to keep the punch free of wax and honey.
    www.plastools.com/honey_punch_order.htm

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Whidbey Island, WA, USA
    Posts
    182

    Post

    Mountain Camp, what does the honey punch look like and how is it used? I checked out your link and there is no picture and then checked out four other supplier websites (searched for keyword "punch") and found nothing. What size do you recommend?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
    Posts
    1,895

    Post

    It looks like a paint roller with spikes.

    You simply roll it over the capped frame and it punches holes through the caps.

    I have the 4" size and have used it for 2 seasons so far.

    I am going to order a 2" one as well for mediums and less than fully drawn areas.
    www.plastools.com/honey_punch.htm

    [This message has been edited by MountainCamp (edited December 15, 2004).]

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Whidbey Island, WA, USA
    Posts
    182

    Post

    Thanks for the info. Looks Interesting. How did the bees do in the frames the subsequent year?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
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    Post

    The bees did fine. They cleaned up the comb and went to work filling it again.

  13. #13
    twind59 Guest

    Post

    Mountaincamp:
    Does using the honey punch eliminate having wax to process from uncapping? I am considering trying this device. Thanks
    Barry
    Indianapolis

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Round Top, New York - Northern Catskill Mtns.
    Posts
    1,895

    Post

    "Does using the honey punch eliminate having wax to process from uncapping?"

    It does not eliminate wax processing from the extraction process. But, what it does do is reduce the processing and volume of wax that is a by-product of extraction.

    Using a plane or knife to uncap, you cut off not only the wax used to cap the cells, but also a significant amount of the cells walls. This produces a large quantity of large pieces of wax and a significant amount of honey mixed with the wax.

    This wax and honey mixture requires processing to recover the honey.

    The honey punch perforates the cell’s caps and does not damage the cell’s walls.
    The wax produced as a by-product is fraction of that of other methods. It is also a smaller wax flake. The processing is simply to strain the wax out of the honey and allow the wax to sit and drain out.

    I extracted a little over 1,100 lbs of honey this year and my wax byproduct amounted to about 2” – 3” in the bottom of a five gallon pail. Using a electric knife, I would have had a few pails of wax cappings covered with honey, even after spinning them.
    For me, I do significantly less damage to the comb, have less wax to process, have less lost honey mixed with wax, and an easier time uncapping.


    [This message has been edited by MountainCamp (edited December 19, 2004).]

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159
    I second the Honey Punch! I've used mine two years now and I have no use for a knife except to clean the endbars.

    The four inch is fine for drawn comb, but the two inch works better for PC. With PC there is no need for hot water to keep the honey from making the rollers sticky. For heating the roller for use with drawn comb, use a crock pot with a spacer in the bottom to keep the roller from touching the bottom and melting. Keep a towel handy to dry the roller with a quick roll across the towel.

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