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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    bridgewater , nova scotia
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    Lightbulb wax dipping tank design

    Hi , I am designing a wax tank for dipping hive boxes in, The main problem I see with dipping tanks is that it takes way too much wax to get the box covered .

    SO... I am going to build a tank with a VOID made in the center to take up unused space and thus needing less wax for dipping and easier to maintain the heat with the void holding the heat inside the tank better.

    I am going to make it deep enough for 2 boxes and the void will come up half way to the 2nd box and still have a small space for dipping small items like tops or bottoms , but I will most likely just be doing boxes. Because I am switching over to pallets now.

    What do you all think of the idea ???


    Thanks
    Ben L
    Ben Little <The Little Bee Farm> https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBeeFarm
    Nova Scotia Canada

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    5,890

    Default Re: wax dipping tank design

    There are several alternatives to a "doughnut" style tank. One is to put some concrete blocks in the middle of a rectangular tank to reduce some of the wax required. Alternatively, since hive bodies are not square, you can insert one hive body the "short" way into one (or two) bodies sitting flat in the tank.

    You may find this document on dippping hive bodies useful: https://rirdc.infoservices.com.au/downloads/01-051.pdf
    Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 11-15-2013 at 05:46 PM.
    ultracrepidarian >> noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside of his expertise

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: wax dipping tank design

    I considered building a donut tank, but the extra effort and decrease amount of wax might lower it's effectiveness.

    I.e. when your dipping, you would lose more wax quicker, when the pool is smaller.

    I'm not sure if you would have any problem with heating the wax, since it might not be able to boil efficiently. I should have a 24x24x24" tank in the couple weeks. Thought process being that it would provide enough depth to do 2 boxes plus misc items in the middle and allow for wax's volume increasing. I haven't calculated the volume of the supers, so 24 high might not be quite enough to account for the rise of the wax. *shrugs*
    Solo for the last 4 Years, ~60 Hives, TF + Oils.
    http://tradingwebsites4bees.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    bridgewater , nova scotia
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    672

    Default Re: wax dipping tank design

    the volume of your tank , how much wax do you need for it ?
    Ben Little <The Little Bee Farm> https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBeeFarm
    Nova Scotia Canada

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
    Posts
    784

    Default Re: wax dipping tank design

    This is pretty similar to the setup that I plan on using... If you figure out 2 inches around the side of a box and 4-6 inches above it.. Should give you a rough idea on the volume...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5UUJT8ooVE
    Solo for the last 4 Years, ~60 Hives, TF + Oils.
    http://tradingwebsites4bees.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
    Posts
    1,198

    Default Re: wax dipping tank design

    are you sure ya want to dip supers in your area? they last forever but the insulating quality of wood is lost as the wax fills the pours in the wood. may make wintering difficult.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: wax dipping tank design

    Quote Originally Posted by beeware10 View Post
    are you sure ya want to dip supers in your area? they last forever but the insulating quality of wood is lost as the wax fills the pours in the wood. may make wintering difficult.
    ...and I get 5 gallons of exterior paint for $15. Hmm...I would like to give dipping a try though, but just can't justify it yet.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tipton, TN, USA
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    784

    Default Re: wax dipping tank design

    I'm just looking to find a way to make the bee boxes last longer. Perhaps it was the type of wood or the wood working technique.

    But I have quite a few that expand/contract that break the glue or pull apart at the seams, whether they are painted or not. This year I'm going with all cypress wood, so I'm hoping that it's more stable than pine.

    I'm not really concerned about the insulation factor... From what I can tell, if you keep them dry and fed.. They can survive. Maybe that changes significantly in the northern states, but I'm not to worried about it here.

    *shrugs*
    Solo for the last 4 Years, ~60 Hives, TF + Oils.
    http://tradingwebsites4bees.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    bridgewater , nova scotia
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    672

    Default Re: wax dipping tank design

    Quote Originally Posted by beeware10 View Post
    are you sure ya want to dip supers in your area? they last forever but the insulating quality of wood is lost as the wax fills the pours in the wood. may make wintering difficult.
    I am new to wax dipping, and I am a little curious as to where you read/heard that wax replacing pores in wood makes it lose it's R value ? If it is still wrapped with plastic wrap , I don't understand why it would matter if it was waxed or not.

    Just curious .

    Ben
    Ben Little <The Little Bee Farm> https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBeeFarm
    Nova Scotia Canada

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Georgetown, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: wax dipping tank design

    I don't think the insulating properties of the wood would be affected as the wax will only penetrate 2 to 5mm depending on the dwell time. In will penetrate more on the cut end but I think it's negligible

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Forest grove, Ore USA
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    191

    Default Re: wax dipping tank design

    I made mine two inches bigger in all dimensions than a deep. I should have made it four. I immerse the wooden ware at 240f for 13 minutes and wax goes all the way to the center of the wood. I cut a couple boards after waxing to check.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Tipton, TN, USA
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    784

    Default Re: wax dipping tank design

    What is your wax mixture ratio? I'm assuming your using paraffin and rosin?
    Solo for the last 4 Years, ~60 Hives, TF + Oils.
    http://tradingwebsites4bees.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Forest grove, Ore USA
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    191

    Default Re: wax dipping tank design

    50/50 paraffin and some microcrystalline that was a close out at a pattern supply shop.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,810

    Default Re: wax dipping tank design

    Without a "donut" in the middle the level of wax rises very little when adding boxes. With the "donut" in the middle the level of wax rises dramatically when adding boxes. In the long run the level of wax is much easier to manage with a regular box, but yes, it takes more to fill it at first. You can also fit a box on end in the middle. With ten frame deeps you can fit one ten frame deep on end in the middle of two ten frame deeps stacked up. With ten frame mediums you can fit two ten frame mediums on end in the middle of three ten frame mediums stacked up. With eight frame mediums you can fit one eight frame medium on end in the middle of three eight frame mediums stacked up...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    bridgewater , nova scotia
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    672

    Default Re: wax dipping tank design

    So does any of you actually dip your boxes ? If so please tell me how much wax you use in your tank and if you can , please tell me the size of the tank and how many supers you do at a time.

    Main reason is that paraffin and micro 50/50 is around 3.80/pound ! but I am sure it could be cheaper somewhere in Canada ?!?

    Thanks
    Ben Little <The Little Bee Farm> https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBeeFarm
    Nova Scotia Canada

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,810

    Default Re: wax dipping tank design

    I might build it differently if I were making it, I bought it already made and it was designed for ten frame boxes. But mine is about 18" wide by 24" long by 22" tall. I don't fill it full, of course but I calculate takes about 230 pounds of wax/rosin to fill it full enough to use. I'm running 2 parts beeswax to 1 part gum rosin. It dips one and two halves of a box each batch. The bottom box is the only one that is done. The one on top of that is half done, the one in the middle is on end and it's half done. Then I put a new box on the bottom, flip the top box to get the other half and the center box to get the other half and cook again. I would prefer it was deep enough to do four one shot... which would be a stack of three with one down the middle on end...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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