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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
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    1,084

    Default How to make wax foundation

    Scott J. - could you guide me toward making my own foundation? How is it done? Molded? I was going to try machining some plates, but I heard it was done between two rollers. Is there a book on the subject?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lk Stevens, WA
    Posts
    166

    Default Re: Making Foundation

    I have a roller mill that was made by Tom industries. He has passed away recently I understand. I have seen a few mills for sale here on beesource every once in awhile. I don't know where I could guide you to learn how to do it. There is no book as far as I know on how to make foundation. I learned how to do it from ED and Dee lusby. I do enjoy makeing it. To me its a relaxing thing to do in the winter with the nice smell and all. I can usually make 150 to 200 deep sheets a day. If you come up with a roller PM me and I could write or talk you through the process.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,649

    Default Re: Opinions on wax spinners

    Charlie -

    I have photos of making foundation when I was at Ed and Dee's. I suppose I could get them posted somewhere.
    Regards, Barry

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Lunenburg,N.S. Canada
    Posts
    281

    Default Re: Opinions on wax spinners

    Didn't Don the "fatbeeman" have a couple of sets of rollers for sale recently? I even think they were small cell.
    I thought I saw a posting of his about it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,649

    Default Re: Opinions on wax spinners

    It was deleted for lack of contact info.
    Regards, Barry

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Pinellass County, Florida
    Posts
    1,114

    Default Re: Opinions on wax spinners

    Barry
    Did you Post your info on this?
    I would like too see any of the How to's

    Thanks
    Tommyt



    Thanks for follow up post
    Last edited by tommyt; 02-26-2011 at 11:29 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,649

    Default Re: Opinions on wax spinners

    It will be a day or two. I have to scan the photos first. These were probably the last pictures I took with my SLR film camera.
    Regards, Barry

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    1,084

    Default Re: Opinions on wax spinners

    Thank you, Scott! I'm looking forward to it, Barry, and early thanks for your efforts. PerryBee, I appreciate the lead. Any idea what the cost is?

    I'm a machinist, and could make a similar machine, perhaps just off the pix, but I would need to see them. If it works out that way, I could perhaps make a blueprint and a manufacturing sequence to post on the build it yourself section, so long as I'm not violating any patents.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,649

    Default Re: Opinions on wax spinners

    Turns out I already had the images on my computer. Here is the page:
    http://www.beesource.com/resources/e...ax-foundation/

    These were taken in 2001. My son Jon (in the photos) is now in the Army in Afghanistan! Time flies.
    Regards, Barry

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Lunenburg,N.S. Canada
    Posts
    281

    Default Re: Opinions on wax spinners

    kilocharlie:

    Jan. 14/11
    fatbeeman says: "I have several wax mills for sale. 1 for 1300.00 and 1 for 2000.00 I will teach you on the mill you buy. Mills pay for themselves in short time. Also you recycle your own chemical wax." (I am pretty sure Don meant to insert the word "free" after chemical but forgot). He's a small cell guy and he might even have a video on youtube.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,812

    Default Re: How to make wax foundation

    Kilocharlie - with all respect, if my memory is correct, the first gentleman to make a foundation mill(Ohmstead(?)from Fond du Lac Wisc?) had to invent a new method of machining to make it. If you have a sinker EDM, with a 4th axis, you are all set. On a historical note, I was able to inspecta foundation mill (in a bee museum in Cassvill) that I suspect was my Great Great Grandfather's. It did NOT have the same cell size as "regular" foundation.


    Roland

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    1,084

    Default Re: How to make wax foundation

    Barry, that is an awesome photo / instruction set! I suppose the setting between the rollers determines brood foundation, thin surplus, etc. Do we crimp wire the brood foundation afterward, or can the wires be rolled in?

    I'll probably be able to build that machine myself, as it looks fairly simple. I may even add micrometer adjustments for thickness. And the description of the modified water heater was clear enough. It shouldn't be too difficult, either.

    Big THANK YOU, and please do send my best wishes to the star of the pix over in Afghanistan. You are both heroes - Barry for running Beesource and his boy, Jon, for defending the non-Taliban extremist portion of the world!

    I raise bottle of mead to you and two to Jon if and when you scalp Bin Laden. We're cheering for you.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 02-26-2011 at 07:18 PM. Reason: omission

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    1,084

    Default Re: How to make wax foundation

    Thanks, PerryBee, and thanks, Roland. I know enough to look at one first before attempting it, and to receive instruction from a few different sources, get some experience on one, to draw a blueprint, and write a manufacturing plan.

    A sinker EDM machine would do it on a dividing head or a CNC EDM on a 4th axis "divider" head, such as a Haas unit. It could also be knurled on a lathe, if I make the knurl wheel and mount it on my old knurl tool and set the thread bar and RPM so the helix angle at 30 degrees. There are at least 6 other methods I can think of.

    I notice the bees tend to offset the cells of one side of a comb from the other side, such that when I look into the center of a hexagonal cell, I can see the other side has the corners of 3 adjacent cells centered in the floor of the hexagon I'm looking through.

    So the rollers must be geared to stay out of sink a half of a cell.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 02-26-2011 at 10:32 PM. Reason: omission

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Lexington, South Carolina
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: How to make wax foundation

    This lady has some videos on making wax foundation. They will give you the basic http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLkSOSsSGDs

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Lexington, South Carolina
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: How to make wax foundation


  16. #16

    Default Re: How to make wax foundation

    That is one sweet machine, with some excellent engineering to boot.

    It's amazing to think bees can do the very same thing on their own.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,649

    Default Re: How to make wax foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    I suppose the setting between the rollers determines brood foundation, thin surplus, etc.
    There are adjustments on each end of the rollers. Dee keeps it set to give a fairly thick foundation. The bees will work it down when they construct the comb.

    Do we crimp wire the brood foundation afterward, or can the wires be rolled in?
    Dee crimps her wires and embeds them with the same setup I show here:

    http://www.beesource.com/resources/e...and-embedding/

    She uses staples instead of eyelets.
    Regards, Barry

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    1,084

    Default Re: How to make wax foundation

    Thanks, Barry. Again, killer photo / instruction set. I was actually wondering about the 9 vertical, crimped wires with the hooked tops that comes embedded in wired foundation. It doesn't appear to be melted in place. I use the four horizontal wires threaded through the frame in addition to vertical wires on deeps (three on mediums, zero horizontal nor vertical wires in comb honey). The combs just stay so much straighter that way. I'm trying some foundationless frames as well this year.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    1,084

    Default Re: How to make wax foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland View Post
    ... On a historical note, I was able to inspecta foundation mill (in a bee museum in Cassvill) that I suspect was my Great Great Grandfather's. It did NOT have the same cell size as "regular" foundation.


    Roland
    Now that's cool! Cassvill goes on my "someday" vacation plans. I'm also going to look up Olmstead, and other early patent apps for foundation machines. I'm already hunting through them for the Apidictor and it's derivatives.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Buda, Texas
    Posts
    922

    Default Re: How to make wax foundation

    Barry, thanks for the photos, thanks for the website, and most of all, tell your son THANKS for his sacrifices on our behalf. I wish him Godspeed and will keep him and his comrades in my prayers. He looks like a son anyone would be proud of.
    "I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. " John 10:11

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