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  1. #1
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    Default Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

    I dipped my first hive bodies yesterday using the 'standard' 75% paraffin / 25% gum rosin recipe from Mann-Lake.

    The gum rosin caued lots of gobs to stick on the surface and turned the mixture a deeper brown than I would have liked, so I would like to use as little as possible. So for those who have experence with wax-dipping hives, my questions are:

    1/ Is gum-rosin really needed? What happens if you dip in 100% paraffin?

    2/ from 0% to 25% is a large range - what is the minimum % of gum rosin needed to get the most important benefits?

    3/ When I see how much of my gum rosin ended up concentrated in lumps on the wood, and I also see how well protected and hard (not sticky) the diiped wood that is not covered with gobs of resin cam out, I believe that cutting the amount of resin down to 5-10% should work about as well - has anyone tried less rosin in the 5-10% range?

    -fafrd

  2. #2
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    Jan 2010
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    Missoula, MT, USA
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    50

    Default Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

    Are you using an old deep fryer or a massive kettle? Any advice on what to use for this method or where to get it?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

    I had a custom metal box welded out of sheet steel. I'm really a newbie at this and was hoping some of those with more experience wax dipping hives could give me some answers to my questions on the need for Rosin in the wax mixture.


    -fafrd

    Last edited by honeyman46408; 03-24-2010 at 09:15 AM. Reason: unnessary QUOTE

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Hays, Kansas, USA
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    Default Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

    I just got done building our hive body 'french fryer' but haven't tried it yet - this weekend is the launching. Like you, fafrd, I'm wondering proper ratios for economics and effectiveness to use. These conversations about hot dipping always seem to turn into talks about what metal to use, how big, what color, why is the sky blue, etc. But we don't ever seem to get much nuts and bolts data about effective batch recipes. So, is the Mann Lake 3:1 the best? Is resin really 100% necessary? (We never really got a firm answer to that one last time this was discussed. What other product recipes work effectively and economically?

  5. #5
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    May 2007
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    Hays, Kansas, USA
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    Default Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

    Nobody has alternative recipes for resin/wax ratio that are time tested? Hopefully, we get to test out our new box 'french fryer'. I'd rather wait to discuss construction details until I know it works. Let's just say- no open flames for safety and we need to be able to work this inside the s hopdue to weather, safety and other concerns. 11 ga. double welded steel, wrapped in insulation. Did you think with my background I would make an uninsulated dipping box? Duct wrap insulation to keep the heat in where it belongs, making it more comfortable to work around and for better energy management (reduce wasted heat). I think we can get the basic bugs worked out during its maiden voyage.

    I am interested in what ratios of resin/wax work if anyone has suggestions in that avenue.

    Thanks!

  6. #6
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    Sparta, Tennessee
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    Default Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

    Quote Originally Posted by fafrd View Post
    I dipped my first hive bodies yesterday using the 'standard' 75% paraffin / 25% gum rosin recipe from Mann-Lake.

    The gum rosin caued lots of gobs to stick on the surface and turned the mixture a deeper brown than I would have liked, so I would like to use as little as possible.
    Just a couple thoughts. I am thinking the globs formed because you didn't have the mixture hot enough. Second, I use 2 parts wax, 1 part rosin, not 3 to 1 like you indicate.

  7. #7
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    Berkeley,California, USA
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    Default Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

    My temp was about 280 degrees F - what is the temperature you recommend to use? From my first dipping experience, it seems like the rosin dissolved more evenly following 2 hours at temperature. How long do people typically wait at temperature before dipping the first hive? I dipped immediately and maybe that was a mistake. At the same 25% / 75% ratio, I would wait a couple hours before dipping the first hive next time to see if that improves the outcome. I am still interested to try a lower ratio of rosin.

    Is there a reason you use 33% rosin, not 25% rosin as recommended by Mann-Lake?

    Is there no data or experiments from anyone who has tied a lower concentration of rosin?

    I see that some people have tried 100% wax and that the resut is 'too sticky' - has anyone tried a ratio of rosin that is less than the 25% ratio recommended by Mann-Lake?

    -fafrd
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 03-26-2010 at 06:44 PM. Reason: unnessary QUOTE

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

    When I first started dipping my woodenware, others advised that they used 2 parts wax, 1 part rosin. I tried it and it worked for me. I tend to follow the old saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." I also, just stir the tank until the rosin completely dissolves in the wax. The rosin did glob up the first time I tried it, because I didn't wait for the rosin to completely dissolve. I run my tank around 275+.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffzhear View Post
    I stir the tank until the rosin completely dissolves in the wax. The rosin did glob up the first time I tried it, because I didn't wait for the rosin to completely dissolve. I run my tank around 275+.
    Thanks for the info. What you have said helps convince me that, like you, I did not wait long enough for the rosin to completely dissolve on my first attempt. When adding a significant amount of new rosin to the mix, how long do you wait at temperature before dipping?

    I am still interested to try using less rosin. In Australia, they apparently use 100% paraffin with no rosin. I find the 25% rosin mixture a bit too brittle and a bit too brown for my taste, and would like to know what the lower limit is too avoid the 'stickiness' that apparently results if there is no rosin at all.

    I also would like a lighter color and more natural wood finish. My hives now come out the color of mahogany or brown leather and I would like them coming out closer to the natural pine lightness that they started with. What color are your dipped hives coming out? Are you painting after dipping or leaving natural wood finish?

    If I do try dipping with less rosin, I will let you know the result. Among other things, rosin is more expensive and harder to find than paraffin or beeswax.

    -fafrd
    Last edited by fafrd; 03-27-2010 at 09:05 AM. Reason: fixed typo

  10. #10
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    May 2007
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    Hays, Kansas, USA
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    Default Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

    So, when it comes to adding the resin & wax, I assume you add a little of both at the same time to make sure they blend together well?

    Also, what kind of tongs or devices are some of you using to insert and remove the hive bodies? Thanks.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

    I started at athe ratio mann lake stated also. I then kept adding wax and no more rosin. my double boiler does not get over 210 so the rosin sat on the bottom in globs. I dipped these boxes back when i first joined beesource. so for the past 7 or 8 years these boxes look great. how much rosin made it into them is very low from my take. I put them in for 15 min then flipped them over for another 15 min then pulled. they came up great looking.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

    Quote Originally Posted by rainesridgefarm View Post
    I started at athe ratio mann lake stated also. I then kept adding wax and no more rosin. how much rosin made it into them is very low from my take. they came up great looking.
    rainesridgefarm,

    any idea how much additional wax you added afrer the original mann-lake ratio? Did you double the amount of wax or was is much less than that?
    Was the dipped body sticky at all or did it have the varnished / brittle finish that you get with the 25% rosin ratio of he mann-lake recipe? Also, what color did your dipped bodies come out? Where they more mahogany / brown leather colored or clear / wax-coated-wood colored?

    Quote Originally Posted by rainesridgefarm View Post
    my double boiler does not get over 210 so the rosin sat on the bottom in globs.
    Any specific reason to use a double-boiler? The paper I read on wax-dipping in Australia was based on the use of direct heat, so that is what I use - propane burner from a camp stove dirctly on the bottom steel suface of the vat. You need to watch the temperature to keep it from getting overheated, but other than that it seems to work very well - the double boiler seems like a lot more trouble, espcially if you can't get much over the temperature of boiling water...

    -fafrd

  13. #13
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    Feb 2008
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    Reno, NV USA
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    Default Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

    Since I have not mixed paraffin and rosin my two cents are more from a science standpoint. It seems to me that the rosin is added to change the melting point of paraffin. Since paraffin wax comes in different melting point ranges, it seems like purchasing the higher melting point waxes (closer to 160F) would allow one to use less rosin.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

    I did not have brittle boxes at all. They looked more like nice light furniture stain then anything. I put them in and let them heat up and you could see some bubbles coming off the wood. I started with 50lbs of rosin and 200lbs of wax. I am sure I added over 300 more lbs of wax till i was finished. you could tell the rosin was at the bottom because as you lifted the boxes out it would roll of the bottom of the box coming out of the wax.

    I did it inside my honey house and did not want to risk burning it down. I also had a old maxant bottleing tank that I wanted to use. higher temps would let you do them faster.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

    Quote Originally Posted by rainesridgefarm View Post
    I started with 50lbs of rosin and 200lbs of wax. I am sure I added over 300 more lbs of wax till i was finished.
    rainesridgefarm,

    if your estimations are correct, you started with a 20% rosin concentration (lower than the 25% recommended by Mann-Lake) and you further diluted it to about 9% (50 pounds of rosin out of 550 pounds total).

    Were the hives 'sticky' at all (especially in the heat of summer)? Do they feel more like the outside of a candle, like a varnished piece of wood, or like the original unfinished wood?

    With the 25% rosin mix, my finish is closest to varnish, and it is 'brittle' because if I scratch it with a sharp piece of metal (or even the corner of another dipped hive), it leaves a shallow white powdery scratch on the surface.

    I think I am going to follow your lead and try reducing my rosin concentration into the 5-10% range. Thanks for the additional information and I appreciate any other insights you can provide.

    -fafrd

    p.s. where did you purchase your wax from? Mann-Lake or did you find a surce which is less expensive in those quantities?

  16. #16

    Default Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

    it felf more like a candle then a varnish but looked like a varnish in the sun. I think it also depends on how long you soak it for. if the wood heats all the way thru when it cools it draws the wax into the wood. if to hot it almost cooks the wood and thins the wax out so you have a thinner coat for the wood to draw in to it.

    I got my wax from www.candlesupply.com

    good luck

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Sparta, Tennessee
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    Default Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

    Quote Originally Posted by fafrd View Post
    "Thanks for the info... What color are your dipped hives coming out? Are you painting after dipping or leaving natural wood finish?

    If I do try dipping with less rosin, I will let you know the result. Among other things, rosin is more expensive and harder to find than paraffin or beeswax.-fafrd"
    My woodenware comes out a natural color and they are darker now that I have switched to darker beeswax vs paraffin. No, I don't paint while hot. My boxes and top covers are branded on all four sides with my name in three quarter inch letters and are easy to spot and less obvious when they are on location.

    Let us know how you make out with the reduced rosin.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

    Quote Originally Posted by rainesridgefarm View Post
    I got my wax from www.candlesupply.com
    thanks rainesridgefarm,

    candlesupply.com has a lot of different melt points - which one did you use?

    Their prices seem better than Mann-Lake, but I can pick up from Mann-Lake without having to pay shipping, so it probably comes out close to a wash. The fact that you can select the meltpoint of the paraffin from candesupply.com is an advantage over Mann-Lake, though.

    -fafrd

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffzhear View Post
    Let us know how you make out with the reduced rosin.
    I will let everyone how it comes out when I educethe concentration on rosi from 25% to 10%...

    Do you use any specific meltpoint of paraffin, or is it all the same? (I don't believe that Mann-Lake specifies the MP of their paraffin).

    -fafrd

  20. #20

    Default Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

    I used a high melt point parafin. I am not sure which one it was years ago

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