Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Molding Full Wax Comb?

    Just something that crossed my mind while doing something else.

    Has anyone ever tried (or know of someone who did) to mold and pour full comb instead of just foundation? As in taking a drawn frame, pouring up a silicone mold of it, and then using that to make wax comb on demand?

    I currently don't have any drawn frames I could work from as a template so I can't give it a try right now, but it seems like it should technically be doable.
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Franklin, New Hampshire
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Molding Full Wax Comb?

    There was another thread about 3D printing comb.

    Casting comb though would be difficult due to how thin the cell walls are.

    I highly doubt you'd be able to pull the mold with ease or consistency and have perfect pieces each time. Especially when doing a large volume. Your cycle time would need some serious fine tuning. And I would not just do the mold out of silicone due to heat causing any possible sag. When making the mold, I'd make my molds with a hard exterior such as MDF or plywood that would provide the mold with it's rigidity.

    And it would not be a simple straight draw mold. You'd need to pull the mold halves at an angle

    I could see something like this being nice for a beginner to give their package a jump start. I like the idea though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
    Posts
    685

    Default Re: Molding Full Wax Comb?

    Well yeah, I don't mean just have a floppy mold, reinforcing the base would be important. Trying to do entire frames at a time would probably fail as well due to friction (even with plenty of vegetable oil based mold release), but smaller strips or squares may make it easier. I'd also think the depth of the cells would be important as well. Full deep cells would be harder to do, but half deep cells would still give a good start while reducing the force needed to pull them out.

    Might even be able to get away with acrylic resin, come to think of it. Pour it in liquid form over the comb, then melt the wax out. What I really need is some empty drawn comb to experiment with, and I just plain don't have any available at the moment. Oh well, I should hopefully have some to spare next year, and can start playing around with it then.
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Franklin, New Hampshire
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Molding Full Wax Comb?

    You mentioned mold release, why type of effect would the vegetable oil have on the bees? My gut tells me it'd give them dysentery but I could be entirely wrong.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Abq, NM
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Molding Full Wax Comb?

    Check out the work from beekeeper, Lloyd Ziegler in this video called Making a beeswax foundation mold . He used a 2 part liquid silicone material to teach beekeepers in Guinea, Africa. This was for foundation starter strips. I don't know how successful this was, but maybe you can ask him?

    I don't mean to derail this thread, but if we did this for bees, would there be less festooning and would the bees have more energy to do other things like say rest, feed and clean larvae and their cells, tend the queen, clean the cells and the hive, cap cells, guard, patrol, heat or cool the hive, accept nectar, store it, cure it, pack pollen, dance, teach other bees, or pick mites off bees?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Coopersville, Michigan
    Posts
    260

    Default Re: Molding Full Wax Comb?

    Just thinking out loud here, but it's probably not worth the hassle, and would be extremely fragile, just like new comb is. I've found an extra thick coat of beeswax on plastic foundation gives a nice jumpstart. They will pull out the wax you add into cells even when they aren't making wax themselves. Besides if you're just starting out you likely don't have extra beeswax around and you'd have to make it yourself as it would be more than a little pain to ship.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,068

    Default Re: Molding Full Wax Comb?

    The bees would spend more time cleaning up the messed cells than if they start from foundation.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Franklin, New Hampshire
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Molding Full Wax Comb?

    With everything there will be draw backs or tradeoffs. Pros and cons. While it may not be worth while, it's still fun to talk about and brainstorm.

    Let's remember, crazy ideas can turn into worthwhile / beneficial products, services, and outcomes. I bet people laughed when Langstroth came up with his version of keeping a beehive.

    Quote Originally Posted by mountainbeek View Post
    Check out the work from beekeeper, Lloyd Ziegler in this video called Making a beeswax foundation mold
    Thanks for sharing that. Thats a nice way to replicate the pattern of the plasti-cell.

    His second video for casting the foundation is interesting. Doesn't look like a ton of control over keeping a nominal thickness but hey, looks nicely done. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgSTaDBkOw4

    Do you think it's worth the effort to make foundation the way Lloyd Ziegler is doing it, or would using a foundation roller be better?
    Last edited by Jared.Downs; 10-08-2013 at 03:40 PM. Reason: adding

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaston, SC
    Posts
    264

    Default Re: Molding Full Wax Comb?

    look up "Honey Super Cell" foundation or "permacomb"

    for about $3 you can buy a totally plastic drawn comb foundation

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads