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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
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    6,216

    Default Uncapping frames

    Currently I use Cowen's reciprocating heated knife uncapper.
    Does anyone use Cooks and Beals rotary knife uncapper?
    Better/worst than the knife? Advantages/disadvantages ?

    Thanks
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,377

    Default Re: Uncapping frames

    I have used about everything out there. Chain flail, Cowen, Bogenschutz, hand scrappers, hot hand knives. Seems like each style has its strengths and weaknesses. The big issue is how the uncapper is integrated into the rest of the system. Every system seems to have its bottleneck. What ever you use make sure its not the problem child. If you have a well adjusted (not a frame cruncher) Cowen I'd stick with it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,452

    Default Re: Uncapping frames

    Haven't actually used a "bogey" but I think they may be a bit louder, more trouble prone and harder on frames though they may do a better job on new soft comb. I think theres a reason the Cowens seem to have taken over the market.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,216

    Default Re: Uncapping frames

    Ya, I've heard they don't push wax. I've also heard C&B are set so that the cutter gets 99% of the cappings where as the knife will get let's say 90%. No secondary frame scratcher after the uncapper ... ?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,852

    Default Re: Uncapping frames

    In order for your cowen to work correctly, dont you have to clean off all burr comb and propolis from the frames before putting them on the uncapper?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,216

    Default Re: Uncapping frames

    Not usually, we just make sure the frames are broke apart and send them through. Cowens system does a fantastic job except it does require a scratcher after the uncapper for missed frames.
    My question to the fellows using C&B's rotary knife is does it do a better job than Cowens knife system?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,852

    Default Re: Uncapping frames

    I appreciate the knowledge and dont mean to be off topic. The current uncapper I use is a Gunness and though it has served me well, I am unsatisfied with noise, how much it beats up my frames and it flings honey all over the place even with the guards in place.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,452

    Default Re: Uncapping frames

    If you are running the slotted blades instead of the serrated blades, large chunks of burr comb will simply get smashed against the frame, while serrated blades wont do that. However I prefer the slotted blades as they are more trouble free and less likely to snag a frame with a warped top bar. When loading a Cowen I try to spot that burr comb and pull it off as I separate the frames.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,216

    Default Re: Uncapping frames

    >>dont mean to be off topic. <<

    off topic, ha ha ha!
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,216

    Default Re: Uncapping frames

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    When loading a Cowen I try to spot that burr comb and pull it off as I separate the frames.
    ya me too, but usually Im not running the machine LOL

    Ive heard the slotted blades are hard on new wax.
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    734

    Default Re: Uncapping frames

    The slotted frames destroy brand new comb. It would tear almost down to plastic foundation even with the widest and hottest setting. Works well on older foundation.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    530

    Default Re: Uncapping frames

    Same subject, different gadget.

    Has anybody looked at or used something like the uncapper in this video ?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snKalnyDcmg

    At the 2 minute mark, it starts showing the uncapping stuff. It cuts slits to open the comb, and no cappings to deal with. How does that look to you folks with a lot of 'been there, done that' ? It looks appealing for a new build, because no equipment needed to deal with cappings.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,898

    Default Re: Uncapping frames

    Looks interesting, but I couldn't really see an up close of the slitters and what they look like. Its probably similar to that manual one from Brushy Mountain, only automated. How would it do on the low spots of comb?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
    Posts
    530

    Default Re: Uncapping frames

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    How would it do on the low spots of comb?
    That's why I'm asking the folks that 'been there, done that'. The one thing I did notice in the video, those frames are awfully clean. Either they have very neat and tidy bees, or, the hidden expense is having somebody spend an inordinate amount of time cleaning frames, before they reach the uncapper.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
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    1,852

    Default Re: Uncapping frames

    They did look very clean, but then again they are plastic and as you remember from the duracrap days, bees dont do much on slick plastic. Maybe thats why they suggest plastic.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    2,898

    Default Re: Uncapping frames

    They suggest plastic because the top bars are usually consistently straight. The plastic frames today sure get burred up.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,852

    Default Re: Uncapping frames

    Yes they do get burred up but are very easy to clean off too. I have to disagree about the straightness of plastic. I have seen warped plastic frames from sitting in sun.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
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    2,898

    Default Re: Uncapping frames

    I don't think plastic frames are always that straight either, but that is what the video said about using plastic frames in their uncapper.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,852

    Default Re: Uncapping frames

    I see what you are saying. Yeah I didnt read much of the caption, just watched the video hoping to see what they use for the uncapping. It looks like a very expensive precision setup. I wonder if they dont make beeswax candles in Finland or if the bees would reuse the wax or pitch it outside the entrance as trash. I think we are all missing major parts of that picture, and only seeing a sales pitch with that video.

    Though it is interesting.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    groveton tx
    Posts
    139

    Default Re: Uncapping frames

    Cook and Beals is the best. It cuts the wax perfectly. Granted it is louder than Cowens. But if you have other machines running at the same time it won't matter much. Stick with the Cowen if you have garbage frames though.

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