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Thread: Starter Strips

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,712

    Default Re: Starter Strips

    > the cheap-o from Craigslist has allowed me to get an awful lot done that I wouldn't have been able to do otherwise.

    In many cases, the difference between a cheap-o saw and a high end tablesaw is the quality and accuracy of the fence. Since beekeeping woodenware often involves lots of pieces of the same dimensions, its possible to build wooden jigs that ride in the saw's miter slot to provide very good accuracy and eliminate setup time. These jigs don't need to use the fence at all.

    Building jigs is free, and can go a long way towards making a cheap saw perform as well as an expensive saw.
    Graham
    --- Victor Hugo - "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.”

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Vermontville, Michigan
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: Starter Strips

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    > the cheap-o from Craigslist has allowed me to get an awful lot done that I wouldn't have been able to do otherwise.

    In many cases, the difference between a cheap-o saw and a high end tablesaw is the quality and accuracy of the fence. Since beekeeping woodenware often involves lots of pieces of the same dimensions, its possible to build wooden jigs that ride in the saw's miter slot to provide very good accuracy and eliminate setup time. These jigs don't need to use the fence at all.

    Building jigs is free, and can go a long way towards making a cheap saw perform as well as an expensive saw.

    I absolutely agree. However, the fence on mine is accurate enough for beekeeping, it's just not accurate enough for the furniture and other finished goods that I enjoy making. Since I've stopped using box joints for the corners and use a Kreg jig for my joinery, I don't have to worry about a dado blade at all (which is good, because el cheapo table saw won't take one). I also use a router table to cut the frame rests, so very little of building boxes comes off of my table saw. It's just ripping the boards to width. After that I hit the sliding miter saw to cut to length, the router table for the rests, and finally the kreg jig.

    The table saw, even being a cheap one that doesn't get used in every state of the operation, is still an invaluable part of the operation.

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Kemp, Texas
    Posts
    62

    Default Re: Starter Strips

    I read in over three places - catalog, beekeeper's handbook and other keepers to NOT mix wood and plastic in any situation. It is believed to confuse the bees. I built my hive just looking at stuff on the 'net and I'm proud to be in this group. I built my top bars out of Red Oak and made the starter strips of Aspen. Lowes sells really nice aspen that works well, has no grain and doesn't warp. Check out today's post about my endoscope.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,458

    Default Re: Starter Strips

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfallacies.htm#waxplastic

    That you can't mix wax and plastic is not so much a myth as an over simplification. Putting undrawn plastic in with undrawn wax is like putting a piece of cherry pie and a bowl of broccoli in front of your kids at the same time. If you want them to eat the broccoli, you should wait to put out the cherry pie.

    If you mix wax and plastic foundation, the bees will jump on the wax and ignore the plastic. If you put in all plastic they will use it when they need comb.

    There is no great impending disaster if you mix them. They just have their preferences and if you want them to follow your preferences you should limit their choices. Once it is drawn comb or comb that is being used, you can mix it freely with everything with no problems.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Missoula, Montana
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Starter Strips

    well said.

    this makes sense.

    thank you.
    Last edited by Barry; 03-12-2013 at 09:45 AM. Reason: quoting
    Zone4A
    “We can love completely what we cannot completely understand.” -Maclean

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    barry co., Michigan
    Posts
    303

    Default Re: Starter Strips

    my best success with generating straight comb has been using the full length starter strips as others have described. ( i haven't tried the wedge bars yet as this works fine and I have a lot of free foundation). definitely staple them as well, one year it was quite warm and the broodnest heat melted out the starter strips and the were flopping everywhere. what a mess!

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Honduras
    Posts
    228

    Default Re: Starter Strips

    I usually make my starter strips by cutting newspaper or regular white photocopier paper into one-half inch strips and bathing it in melted wax. Putting it into melted wax two times has worked fine but bathing it three times makes them a bit thicker/stronger and they hold up better under rough handling of the bars (such as during transportation to the apiary if they are all bundled together). You could also use strips of cardboard, such as that from a cereal box.

    Your bars need to have a groove for installing the starter strips. Secure them using a bit more melted wax. An advantage of these is that you can make them easily if you do not have a lot of wax on hand. A pound or two of wax can be melted in a small can or pot and the strips of paper easily dipped and covered. You also don’t have to buy or ruin a sheet of foundation.

    Another alternative is to make a simple wax sheet using a dipping board. Wet the board well so the wax won’t stick. Dip it into melted wax two or three times, depending on the thickness of the sheet you want. The resulting sheets are cut into strips and the strips glued into the top bar’s groove using some more melted wax. The disadvantage of this is that you need to melt quite a bit of wax into a larger container so the board can be dipped to make the sheet—not good if you don’t have that much wax on hand. The other problem is that these strips can be fragile, especially on a colder day. If you don’t be careful you can break off all of your starter strips.

    I have also used popsicle sticks successfully as starter strips.

    Click on the link to my photobucket page to find (among other things) photos of my starter strips.

    ----------
    Tom

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Topeka, Kansas, USA
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: Starter Strips

    I have both foundationless langs and Top bar hives, and when I make the foundationless lang frames I have a lot of triangular cutoffs left over that get glued and air-stapled to the bottom of the top bars for guides, and the bees seem to follow them quite well without any waxing.

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