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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
    Posts
    752

    Default Q: Cowen Uncapper Steam Source

    So I bought a cowen uncapper at a bee auction yesterday. It looks sound mechanically, but the steam/hot water source was missing.

    Where can I get a replacement? Is there anything that I should look for? It's an older one, with chains on the area were the frames are loaded vs angled for gravity fed.

    Wish I had brought more money, some young guy picked up a full cooks and beal 120 extractor line for ~2.6k. (mumbles)

    Thanks.....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,033

    Default Re: Q: Cowen Uncapper Steam Source

    Hi Kevin. We just made a closed recirculating system from a small water heater, pump and expansion tank that also doubles to warm our floor sump. There are numerous ways to do the same thing with a small crude boiler setup with some sort of heat source, I am pretty sure that Mann Lake or Dadant sells something like that as well. I havent gone that route because of fear it will get neglected and not get filled in a timely manner and also because I didn't want to work beside it. Cowen also sells a hot water source for over $1000 here:
    http://www.cowenmfg.com/pages.asp?pageid=105983
    Hope your cutter serves you well. The C&B system was probably a really good buy. I bought a used one pretty cheap about 10 years ago and it's been a real good machine.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
    Posts
    752

    Default Re: Q: Cowen Uncapper Steam Source

    Using water, do you know what temperature the water should be running at? I'll probably make my own, the 1k price tag makes me sad.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,033

    Default Re: Q: Cowen Uncapper Steam Source

    Perhaps a water heater with temps on the dial (do they exist?) or else just installing a temp gauge on the water line. I really wouldn't worry too much about that though, just see how it is heating the blades and how quickly the cappings are sliding off and keep bumping it up until you are satisfied. Be sure to use an expansion tank, it's the real key to making it recirculate properly.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Kenosha,WI
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: Q: Cowen Uncapper Steam Source

    We use anelectric small boiler purchased from Dadant about 20 years ago. It has done a great job making steam for the Cowan Silver Queen uncapped. It is made of a heavy Guage propane tank and pressure is limited by a ten pound cap that prevents over-pressure. We do have to add water every couple of hours but the power sight glass is easy to check the water level at a glance. If I had to do it again, the hotel water heater would do the job in a closed loop and avoid purchase of a dedicated boiler. You will enjoy the Silver Queen.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,651

    Default Re: Q: Cowen Uncapper Steam Source

    We used a pressure cooker until switching over to electric blades from Kelly.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
    Posts
    752

    Default Re: Q: Cowen Uncapper Steam Source

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    We used a pressure cooker until switching over to electric blades from Kelly.
    How much are the electric blades? Any other gotchas or modifications that need to be done to the uncapper? I had a frame explode in a very exciting way, after it entered the machine slightly crooked.

    Fortunately, it was a new frame with foundation. A full frame would have made an exciting mess. Previously, I ran 10 or so test frames through fine.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,471

    Default Re: Q: Cowen Uncapper Steam Source

    Look in the Kelly catalog for a "calrod" and attached controller. Mount it in an old tank and hook up a Grundfoos pump. Try 150 deg, and see how that works.

    Crazy Roland

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,651

    Default Re: Q: Cowen Uncapper Steam Source

    I don't remember the cost of the electric blades, partner paid for them. Fairly easy swap out, and just mount the switch/thermostat box. No waiting for steam build up, or reheating after lunch, or the steamer running out of water. The elbows that push the blades away from the approaching frames are not as good as on the originals.
    My exploding frames are the 40 year old ones with pity soft lugs, or the ones from suppliers that are a fraction too thick, or the ones with metal frame repair ends. We just cut them up into the capping spinner and make nice new ones.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
    Posts
    752

    Default Re: Q: Cowen Uncapper Steam Source

    I sent Kelly an email. If the price is right, I might look at buying those. It's that or source a water heater/pressure cooker.

    I'm excited to see it in action. I'm hoping that I still like it afterwards. *grins*

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