# Thread: Hacksaw based decapping tool

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## Re: Hacksaw based decapping tool

Originally Posted by Aric
Did a bit of digging on McMaster's website, and have come to the conclusion that yes, you probably could heat this if you wanted. Would take a bit of electro-wizardry to keep the volts and amps in line with the max temp of the wire, but from a technical standpoint would be doable.

Attachment 11085

Which is to say if "V=IR" doesn't ring a bell I can honestly say you probably shouldn't be thinking about heating the wire. And frankly, the 0.014" diameter wire I used passed through so easily it's not even worth the bother. Even if you're like me and happen to be an engin-nerd that happens to have a constant-current power supply on the shelf from the DIY anodizing setup. Small diameter wire just cuts so easily that heat isn't needed.

(lots of edits while trying to get the attachments to play nicely.)
Correction, That is E=IR, not V, and for something like this, I think you might want the equation P=IE (not a joke, oddly enough)

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## Re: Hacksaw based decapping tool

That would play heck on a block of cheese too.....

Good idea.

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## Re: Hacksaw based decapping tool

Originally Posted by Sovek
Correction, That is E=IR, not V, and for something like this, I think you might want the equation P=IE (not a joke, oddly enough)
Correction, he had it right the first time. It was V=IR looonnnnggg before someone decided to label a Volt as Electromotive force.

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## Re: Hacksaw based decapping tool

Both are correct. Engineers tend to use E=IR where as Physicists tend to use V=IR. Different groups use different lettering. Either way they are equivalent.

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## Re: Hacksaw based decapping tool

Interesting!
Will a frame wire works for this? Or is it too thick or something else?
Maybe to use a frame wire on a screw end hack saw. I got one here.
At what angle or degree do you cut the comb?

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## Re: Hacksaw based decapping tool

Originally Posted by sqkcrk
Can you connect it to an electricity source to make it hot? It's a good idea. Well done. How many frames did you uncap w/ this tool?
Short answer is yes, if you use a non-conductive frame. I tried it a few years ago with guitar strings. Works, but I had trouble breaking wires.

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## Re: Hacksaw based decapping tool

Neat idea. How did the comb hold up through the process? It didn't get ruined or break did it? I have some very fine copper wire that I might try it with. Did you just run it right along the top and bottom bars? The comment made about making a 2 sided contraption sounds like something I am going to try to figure out if my copper wire works. Just today I posted a thread about uncapping knives and which route to go...sounds like the, "Aric3000" invention might be the best route to go. Thanks again, juzzer

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## Re: Hacksaw based decapping tool

Originally Posted by borncamp
Both are correct. Engineers tend to use E=IR where as Physicists tend to use V=IR. Different groups use different lettering. Either way they are equivalent.
FWIW, V=IR was pretty much the first thing taught in EE101, so figured if that was unfamiliar then the equations that derive from it are also a mystery.

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## Re: Hacksaw based decapping tool

Originally Posted by juzzerbee
Neat idea. How did the comb hold up through the process? It didn't get ruined or break did it?
Comb held up quite well once I got the technique down (took 2 frames), and has less damage than I would get using a scary-sharp carving knife. Quite literally the wire would sever the cells cleanly and the cut-off capping would adhere back to support the cut. From there a bit of off-angle scraping with the wire would drop the sheet of cappings. Would get video, but lots of rain here lately.

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## Re: Hacksaw based decapping tool

A guy at work brought me a few strings, I intend to try this. Aric, could you post what technique you changed to get it to work well? I envision you would hold it upside down to have the cappings fall off rather than lay there. The other thing was there was a bronze string he brought in. I figured I would put it in series and get the wire hot. I figure the resistance on the steel wire changes too rapidly and it would melt off quickly. I figure I either need to bring it up slow or simply turn down the rheostat after it is hot.

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## Re: Hacksaw based decapping tool

Wow, that's an unhappy hive! Thought I could sneak in, get a pic of a frame and back out without suiting up or smoke, and boy was I wrong! Not surprising since I made a royal mess of that hive last week cutting out burr comb, sending unripened honey everywhere, which resulted in the queen being killed. I requeened them on Wednesday since there was absolutely no eggs or larvea, but guessing they're not feeling so safe yet.

Anyway, here are some pics....

Hard to get a good one without using three hands, but this is basically how I did it but with one hand on the frame and the other on the saw. Balanced it on a corner and then sliced through the comb on an angle using the top and bottom bars as a guide. I did it on the top side so I could see what was happening and so I could save as many bees as possible. Once cut through I turned it vertical and slid the sheet of cappings/burr comb off. What didn't work so well was having the wire perpendicular to the frame and trying to slowly push it through. Dunno if it was the slicing motion or having it on an angle that fixed the crushing problem, but it seemed to work better so that's what I used. Oh, and I did not need to heat the wire; only to keep it taut in the hacksaw frame.

frame1.JPG

This is one of the frames that got cut. Admittedly they have had a week to fix things up, but I don't see much sign of repair.

frame2.JPG

frame3.JPG

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## Re: Hacksaw based decapping tool

Click on this link; this is not the first time the idea has come up. http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...wire+decapping

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## Re: Hacksaw based decapping tool

Thanks, Crofter! Good to hear it had come up before, but that thread seems to be a lot of people who hadn't tried it debating the merits.

Fwiw, it worked great for me as described above and I saw no need to heat the wire. If I can find a volunteer to video I'll pull a frame or two from the other, happier hive to show it in action.

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## Re: Hacksaw based decapping tool

"Thanks, Crofter! Good to hear it had come up before, but that thread seems to be a lot of people who hadn't tried it debating the merits."
Yes.
"Fwiw, it worked great for me as described above and I saw no need to heat the wire."
I used a coping saw frame and solid quitar string to make a similar device for cutting bars of homemade soap. It works well. I would like to see a video of your decapper. Cheers.

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## Re: Hacksaw based decapping tool

I sent David a PM, I hope he will come back and tell us what worked or didn’t. Sharing knowledge from years ago is what makes this forum so cool. I suppose it also means that your mistakes will remain for a long time!

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## Re: Hacksaw based decapping tool

David, said his \$8 knife worked better.

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## Re: Hacksaw based decapping tool

Here's the old thread on my hotwire decapper. I lost interest before I got around to trying a heavier wire. The guitar wires were breaking too quick. Sorry the picture is no longer available. It was an square frame out of PVC with turnbuckles like the hacksaw has to hold the wire across the middle. PVC was too flexible. I'll do wood if I try it again. Radio shack power supply with reostat for the heat.

http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...ight=decapping

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## Re: Hacksaw based decapping tool

Ross, could you see if you could find and repost the pictures? Seriously I follow your site for building things all the time and if you did not pull it off I am concerned since you are generally a step ahead of me. If I could continue the path though…
What do you use now?

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## Re: Hacksaw based decapping tool

I'll see if I can find them on my server.

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