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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    watertown,wi.,USA
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    464

    Default Galvanized extractor and use of it? Please comment.

    I recently bought an old(50 years possibly) 4 frame Farm Master extractor off of Craigslist. I am fairly sure that it is galvanized. The spout looks to be a bit rusty and the drum and basket seems to be a bit dirty. It spins very well and seems like it will work great. I am guessing that it had been sitting in an older garage for the last 5-10 years. I would like to use it this fall for my first time of honey extracting, but I am a bit concerned about the safety of galvanized and how to clean it up so it is usuable for honey extracting. I am planning on extracting and then straining it out immediately after, and then bottling, so the honey would not be sitting in the drum very long. It seems that the biggest scare about galvanized extractors is the use of lead. It makes me wonder then, what did beekeepers do 50 years ago when most if not all extractors were galvanized? Thanks, juzzerbee

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Lander, WY
    Posts
    261

    Default Re: Galvanized extractor and use of it? Please comment.

    Should not be a problem. in fact probably the next best thing to stainless steel. Problems with galvanized occur well over 1000 F and breathing the fumes, I'm not aware of lead being associated with galvanized metal. How do you know it is galvanized? I'm a blacksmith/metalsmith and have a hard time, sometimes, telling. If only 50 years old it may well
    be stainless, I'm 62 years old and I'm stainless

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,067

    Default Re: Galvanized extractor and use of it? Please comment.

    Some buy epoxy food grade coating and paint. Some do. some don't worry about it.
    There is a chem reaction in the ph of honey and the zinc in the metal but it is of a minor value.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    715

    Default Re: Galvanized extractor and use of it? Please comment.

    Should be no problem...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    jacksonville,fl.USA
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Galvanized extractor and use of it? Please comment.

    I use a galvanized extractor and I have notice that every time I go near it I get tired and sore, it started happening so much this spring that I bought a stainless steel extractor that was bigger and much nicer but the same thing happened I got tired and sore, every time I walked by it .it must be the lead . I was thinking about getting a study together and see if anyone else was having the same problem.I spoke with some very old bee keepers and they confirmed that they had the same experience when they walked by a galvanized extractor, but they also said he was better in the winter. One claimed that when he ate the honey most of the pain went away.I am starting to notice every time I walk by my lawn mower I get the same sensation, I will look today and see if it has any galvanized parts.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
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    1,998

    Default Re: Galvanized extractor and use of it? Please comment.

    Quote Originally Posted by flbee View Post
    I use a galvanized extractor and I have notice that every time I go near it I get tired and sore, <<snip>> I was thinking about getting a study together and see if anyone else was having the same problem.<snip>
    You can probably get a government grant for at least several hundred thousand dollars...it sounds like a green job. Of course, to prove the green-ness of it you will need a nice stainless steel, powered one to compare it to so you might could get the grant up closer to a million. Just thinking...

    Ed

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Shoshone County, Idaho
    Posts
    567

    Default Re: Galvanized extractor and use of it? Please comment.

    Our forefathers (beeks) all used galv. extractors b/c that is all they had and I would say that just as much or more honey has been extracted on galv. as stainless.
    I am sure we also all grew up eating honey from these extractors and are we still kick'n, obviously b/c were are sitting here typing/reading BS !
    Hugus Creek Honey Farm: St. Maries, ID / Lewiston, ID
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,489

    Default Re: Galvanized extractor and use of it? Please comment.

    Galvanized extractors are now forbidden in commerical use, I think. I would buy stainless myself if I were going to do more than hobby beekeeping for several reasons.

    First, if you leave the honey in contact with the zinc coated interior of the extractor for any length of time, it will dissolve in the honey enough to be found in the packaged product at levels that are of concern, mostly in the last bit out. This won't be a problem if you do what we do, to whit extract, strain, and package all in an hour or two. Run that extractor a week or so in a bigger operation, you might be in trouble.

    Old extractor are likely soldered, with lead solder. Same concerns, only the lead is much more of a problem than zinc. Not an issue if brazed, but that depends on age.

    Last, the honey will eventually remove all the zinc in the seams where it's almost impossible to remove, and then you get corrosion, rust flakes and who knows what bacteria growing.

    The extractor we use is galvanized, so was my Grandpa's, and we didn't die from zinc poisoning or lead toxicity, so using one is fine for hobby use. If your operation is large enough to need a license, you will be required to use stainless steel, and that's a very good choice anyway.

    I don't think you can buy a new galvanized extractor anyway, only used ones.

    Peter

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Shoshone County, Idaho
    Posts
    567

    Default Re: Galvanized extractor and use of it? Please comment.

    Just let your honey run right out of galv. extractor right away and you will be fine, I don't know of anybody that lets honey sit in an extractor unless you want a honey shower!

    You will not get any rust if you take the advice of the 83 year old beek I bought my galv. ext. from, " Do not clean your extractor until you are going to use it the following year and it will never rust".
    And he was exactly right as the wax and honey coating keeps it from rusting, but yet it cleans up really nice with very hot water right before use! (words of wisdom)
    Also 1 year I thought I would be a smart young beek and not heed his advice and I washed it right after use, with'n 3 weeks light rust started forming on the not galv. parts.
    So I had to re-clean then rub with light coat of veg. oil! Never do that again, listen to you elders and take there advice into consideration b/c they have been there and done that!
    Hugus Creek Honey Farm: St. Maries, ID / Lewiston, ID
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Whitefish, MT
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Galvanized extractor and use of it? Please comment.

    I have an older extractor that I have used for years..yes it's galvanized. I have been reading as much as possible lately as to should I get rid of it or paint it with the special paint or what.
    The more I got to thinking about it the more my head hurt, and then sitting at the computer and looking at a box of cough drops I realized that a person can buy honey zinc lozenges (do a goggle search). So wait just a minute....we do not want the honey in the Galvanized (zinc) coated extractor but we will used honey zinc lozenges...and yes it is the same zinc?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Kenosha,WI
    Posts
    190

    Default Re: Galvanized extractor and use of it? Please comment.

    We use a fifty frame Woodman galvanized extractor and have no reason to replace it. There is no lead solder, no rust and the galvanized coating has proven durable. Use your new used extractor, take care of it and your grandchildren will be able to enjoy it later.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    watertown,wi.,USA
    Posts
    464

    Default Re: Galvanized extractor and use of it? Please comment.

    Great,great, great comments! I enjoy the humor, it's right up my alley. I will just use it as is and hopefully I will have nothing to worry about. I did a search of this topic the other day and the responses were much different back in 2007 and 2010. Most everyone at that time suggested to get rid of galvanized, it's too dangerous, or to have it coated with camcote. Funny how things change. Anyway,
    Mtn.Bee- What did you re-clean the rusty parts with when you had to clean yours? Also, I am assuming that the vegetable oil was to coat the non galvanized surface from rusting again??? Dadant is just down the road from me and I see that they sell a food grease. I think that it is intended for the crank and handle but, would it be okay to use on the spout where my extractor is slightly rusty? Or would that be bad for the honey?
    MT204- Great point on the lozenges!!! I enjoy when I discover things like that!!!
    Thanks all, juzzerbee

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    98

    Default Re: Galvanized extractor and use of it? Please comment.

    I bought an old galvanized extractor years ago that was starting to rust in places. I cleaned it up, using a wire brush on the rust, and coated with epoxy I got from Kelley's. It made a durable clean finish that lasted until I upgraded to a SS extractor. I wouldn't let honey flow against anything that's rusted. I would either replace the spout or clean and coat it as described above.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Galvanized extractor and use of it? Please comment.

    I also just got my hands on an old galvanized extractor, and I was thinking of camcoting the interior and doing like a rustoleum paint on the outside just to pretty it up a bit. Since I am only painting the exterior I should be ok ...right?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Hazard, Kentucky
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: Galvanized extractor and use of it? Please comment.

    Hey Alan277 I am getting ready to do the same thing to mine. Its in good shape now and I've used it several years, but I want to clean it up a bit so I got the epoxy coating from Kelley and I'm going to repaint the outside. I think we would be doing the right thing...........I have never been afraid to use the galvanized one as long as its is clean and no honey for use left sitting in it
    Last edited by wheeler88; 06-17-2012 at 01:16 AM.
    Matt....

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: Galvanized extractor and use of it? Please comment.

    Wheeler...my thoughts exactly..as long as the honey does not sit in it we should be OK...as others have said...its been used like that for decades. How are you planning on painting the outside..I read online that painting galvanized is tricky. It was recommended to use an etching primer, before painting. Are you thinking of brushing paint on or spraying?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,998

    Default Re: Galvanized extractor and use of it? Please comment.

    Krylon H2O, but don't use the primer. Google it.

    Ed

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Hazard, Kentucky
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: Galvanized extractor and use of it? Please comment.

    You brought up a good point on the painting. Mine has been repainted once before and has held up good over the years, but it is starting to look worn. What ever is on it has done it well. I will have to investgate the painting issue. I may be able to just repaint over mine, but I will check into it......
    Matt....

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Hazard, Kentucky
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: Galvanized extractor and use of it? Please comment.

    Found out all we have to do to paint galvanized metal is alittle sanding if needed and wash with a vinegar/water solutation before painting. Like Intheswamp said don't use any primer.... I think I will be spraying mine........
    Matt....

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Chesnee,S.C.
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Galvanized extractor and use of it? Please comment.

    i have a old galvanized power ext. that i bought used about 30 years ago. it was slightly rusty. sanded,washed with vinegar, rinsed,primed with primer made for galv. metal, then put 2 coats of epoxy ester made by cambridge coatings.inside & out. have recoated 1 time since then. it looks good & works good. use it every year. i bought the epoxy from kelly's.
    wishbone

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