Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Brandenburg, KY
    Posts
    332

    Default Cleaning equipment in a lye bath Part 1

    We just completed cleaning some used equipment using the lye bath method. Thought I'd post photos to show how we did it. This is the first time I've tried to post photos here. Hope it works.

    We set the bath up in a small water tank and used two turkey fryers to heat the water up. We used 30 gals of water and 3 lbs of lye.



    To hold the frames down, we used scrap chip board and drilled holes in it. A couple of block on top and we were ready to cook!!



    After twenty minutes, we pulled the frames out. For this part, we used chemical resistant gloves from the hardware store, they were $6.



    From there, they were laid down and rised off with a water hose until the water ran clear or no more "soap" bubbles formed on them



    continued in part 2
    Last edited by kbfarms; 11-17-2010 at 07:11 PM. Reason: resized the photos to 640X480

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Brandenburg, KY
    Posts
    332

    Default Re: Cleaning equipment in a lye bath Part 2

    Ok, we then dipped them in a bucket with 3 1/2 gal of water and 1 gal of vinegar. Some of the frames picked up scum from the lye bath, so that was wiped off before dipping if the hose didn't knock it off.



    After the vinegar dip, they were "hung" on PVC pipe to dry and then hosed off a final time.
    Frames came out really clean.



    Here is a before and after of a inner cover



    We'll do this again. The thicker frames came out great, if you have old, thinner types of frames, they will loosen or fall apart. We just ran a batch of those then tossed them and burned the rest. They are not worth the work. It worked great, equipment came out very clean. We are sold on this for used equipment. If you are going to dip your boxes, do that last as it will take off quite a bit of paint. You don't want to get the paint scum on your frames.
    Last edited by kbfarms; 11-17-2010 at 07:18 PM. Reason: resized to 640X480

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,407

    Default Re: Cleaning equipment in a lye bath Part 1

    I did the same thing in a 55 gal drum, i highly recommend that you do not use one, there is just not enough room. Also a wood fire underneath the bath instead of propane burners is better. At least on the 55 gal drum i could only fit one burner and it took 4 hours to boil 30 gal, but with a campfire boiled the water in less than an hour. Other than that it worked like a charm, but it was a lot of work.

    Dan
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 12 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Brandenburg, KY
    Posts
    332

    Default Re: Cleaning equipment in a lye bath Part 1

    It took an hour with 2 burners to get it to boiling. We could do 20 deeps or 30 mediums at a time in the tub.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,407

    Default Re: Cleaning equipment in a lye bath Part 1

    Yeah, your way looks much better. I might try it again with the water tank, but never again with the barrel. Just way to much work and time for the reward, i could only run 20-30 frames at a time.
    Dan
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 12 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Lincoln County, WI
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Cleaning equipment in a lye bath Part 1

    First year for us. We used this method to get started. Equipment was purchased from known beekeepers with likely no disease but we cleaned this way anyway. A reliable way to sanitize based on a couple of websites. The idea seems to bee that the heat will sanitize and the lye will break down any organic material which may contain disease. Made sense and we would do it again in spite of it being very labor intensive.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,729

    Default Re: Cleaning equipment in a lye bath Part 1

    KBfarms - where did you buy the lye? It is hard to find around here.

    Roland

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Munfordville, Ky. U.S.A.
    Posts
    1,245

    Default Re: Cleaning equipment in a lye bath Part 1

    [QUOTE=Roland;595650]KBfarms - where did you buy the lye? It is hard to find around here.


    I'm not KB farms but I googled where to buy lye and found several sites. Hope this helps.
    So much to learn, so little time!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Brandenburg, KY
    Posts
    332

    Default Re: Cleaning equipment in a lye bath Part 1

    Our local hardware store had it. The next time though, we'll probably buy on-line. Soap folks sell it plus it's cheaper. It was $10!!!! a lb at the local harware store, but we wanted it for the weekend and didn't want to wait on shipping and push it to the next weekend. Candem Grey essential oils has 30lbs for $46.00. That is where we'll probably buy the next time.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,407

    Default Re: Cleaning equipment in a lye bath Part 1

    You can get lye much less expensive. It is drain cleaner. I bought it in 1lb packages for $3.50 each. You have to get the 100% lye drain cleaner. I live in a town of 10,.00 with a little ACE Hardware so anyone should be able to find it locally. I hope that helps.

    Dan
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 12 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,938

    Default Re: Cleaning equipment in a lye bath Part 1

    I cleaned a lot of frames made by others in lye years ago. I ended up with a lot of nice clean frames that still needed re-stapling, grooves cleaned, and re-wiring, but were impossible to glue. It was a lot more work than making new frames correctly, and taking the tank equipment and fuel costs into consideration, was not a great value. I bought and made new from then on.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon City, Oregon
    Posts
    991

    Default Re: Cleaning equipment in a lye bath Part 1

    At first glance I thought your tank said TATER !!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Lincoln County, WI
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Cleaning equipment in a lye bath Part 1

    We have a chemical company nearby and paid $20 for 10 lbs. This was really a cost effective way for us to get started. I like the wood fire idea and should have used wood instead of LP. Next time.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Brandenburg, KY
    Posts
    332

    Default Re: Cleaning equipment in a lye bath Part 1

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    I cleaned a lot of frames made by others in lye years ago. I ended up with a lot of nice clean frames that still needed re-stapling, grooves cleaned, and re-wiring, but were impossible to glue. It was a lot more work than making new frames correctly, and taking the tank equipment and fuel costs into consideration, was not a great value. I bought and made new from then on.
    The newer frames remained tight with wire intact. We did not have to clean any groves. Any additional work on the frames was due to the scum some of the frames picked up when being removed from the tank. That had to be hand washed. Eventually, we started skimming that off with some cardboard to keep it off the frames. We did not do anything else to the frames. If they were loose, we junked them. You're right about junk frames not worth anymore effort. Most of the boxes came out fine, I think we'll have to rescrew only a couple of them. The queen excluders came out very clean. I was concerned about the metal, but it was fine.

    We are going to use the tank again this weekend to make candy boards. If you don't have equiptment on hand you will have some sunk costs. However, if you can reuse the tank you will eventually come out ahead ...maybe . Was an interesting exercise. Thinking about making a hydrogen dirigible next.

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads