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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,933

    Default Cowan handyman or Maxant chain uncapper?

    These two units are priced about the same, which is better?

    Kelly's handyman knives are electric heated while the Unit from
    Dadant or Cowen is steam heated. Is it worth the extra money
    to go steam heated compared to either the maxant or the electric
    knife handyman?

    Are there other options for uncapping with severe carpel tunnel
    with about 50 hives. Either uncapper seems like overkill for
    50 hives, but I don't know if I can physically uncap the honey from
    that many hives with my uncapping plane, once I get everything
    established and stabilized. I plan to stop expanding at 50 hives.
    Also I'm extracting on 4 different occasions this year, and will likely
    continue to do that. So ease of cleaning is an issue, if I have to do it
    4 times a year.

    I'll be extracting at around 80 degrees F.
    Last edited by MichaelW; 06-18-2008 at 02:29 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Smile Here is a BeeSource link

    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Fremont, New Hampshire, USA
    Posts
    695

    Default Maxant

    I have a Maxant Chain Uncapper. I modified it slightly for better comb width adjustment.
    PM me if you have specific questions.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default Small scale uncap

    See if you can find a ( Rose ? ) hand plane uncapper. It is much easier on your wrist. The Maxant flail uncapper disguises drone from worker comb.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,933

    Default

    Honey House, thanks. I may have some more specific
    questions about the Maxant later on.


    *** I think I'm deciding on the Handymand from Kelly's with the
    electric knives. Has anyone had problems with the electric knives
    not being hot enough while extracting in the summer?


    Larry, I have the maxant plane uncapper, but it will be too much
    for my wrist even for the 30 hives I have now,
    when I get more drawn comb and honey supers.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Schenectady, NY, USA
    Posts
    266

    Default

    I've tried electric knives, including those from Kelley, and now use the water-heated uncapper from Cowen. I would not go back to electric. Any chain uncapper does a better job than any knife system at uncapping because the chain uncapper will get all the low spots. However, the chain uncapper also pushes wax and other inpurities into the honey and it must then be removed by either settling (a long process) or filtering (which I prefer to not do). I suggest spending the money and getting the water heated knives.

    But consider steam. I know nothing about steam, except that the even heat provided is admirable. Dadant sells a neat little steam jenny.
    Lloyd Spear, Owner of Ross Rounds, Inc. Manufacturers of round section comb equipment and Sundance Pollen Traps.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,933

    Default

    When you say water heated Cowen, do you mean the Handyman?
    If so how do you have water running to it? Does it come with
    a means to do that from Cowen? Like a water reservoir and heater?

    I'll be getting the Kelly Multipurpose Tank which has a 3000 watt
    heated water compartment in it. I suppose that should work for water source
    as mentioned in another thread? I'll need to run it anyway to melt capping's
    and separate honey.

    How does the chain uncapper handle new foundation?
    Will a nylon filter clear the honey from a chain uncapper?
    Last edited by MichaelW; 06-25-2008 at 02:49 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Schenectady, NY, USA
    Posts
    266

    Default

    Yes, I am referring to the Cowan Handyman. It uses a water reservior and a heater. The chain uncapper has to be set to 'barely do the job' to handle new foundation. Nylon filters come in all kinds of mesh sizes and 'some' of those will clear the honey from a chain uncapper...but the higher mesh counts fabrics will not let honey pass through unless the honey is heated to 120-130 degrees.

    Don't misunderstand me, the chain uncappers are great for commercial beekeepers who will always heat their honey to 150 degrees and higher so their filters work as designed (in other words, they'd heat their honey to this extent regardless of whether they used a chain uncapper). They are also great for those commercial beekeepers who run their spinners 'correctly', which very few do, as the spinners will remove the wax pushed into the honey. Finally, those few commercial beekeepers who will let their honey 'settle' for a minimum of 3-4 days will not put into barrels the various debris that comes with honey chain uncapped.

    All others will put a lot of 'other stuff' into their honey. The buyers of commercially produced honey quickly learn who has 'clean' honey, and who not. Those buyers who buy by the trailer load do not care as they process all their honey as if it arrives very dirty. Others, like myself, care a great deal and will pay premiums to those few commercial guys who 'take care'.

    I guess it comes down to the fact that chain uncappers allow all beekeepers to do their job easier and faster. The guys who care will take the time to clean up the extra debris and still come out ahead. The guys who don't care will just plain speed up their operation.
    Lloyd Spear, Owner of Ross Rounds, Inc. Manufacturers of round section comb equipment and Sundance Pollen Traps.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,288

    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by lloyd@rossrounds.com View Post
    They are also great for those commercial beekeepers who run their spinners 'correctly', which very few do, as the spinners will remove the wax pushed into the honey. Finally, those few commercial beekeepers who will let their honey 'settle' for a minimum of 3-4 days will not put into barrels the various debris that comes with honey chain uncapped.
    .
    Ouch ouch !!! those's silly commercial keepers. lol

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,933

    Default

    Thanks again Lloyd. How does the Cowen handle 10 frame honey
    supers? Do you need to use 9 frame supers with that?

    I suppose I would order the 'old style' knives from Cowen as their
    website says they work best for frames with new foundation. Any
    thoughts on 'old style' verses 'new style' knives?

    I'm leaning towards the water heated Cowen, but I want to make
    sure it will work for my needs. I don't heat honey, but letting chain
    uncapped honey settle for a week or two before I
    bottle is not a real problem, but it could get inconvenient once my
    honey tanks are full. I don't sell bulk honey, just bottled honey.

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