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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Redwood City, CA
    Posts
    103

    Default Re: uncapping for 100 hives

    Not to hijack, but I will be buying an uncapper for either next year or the year after. Looking at comparative pictures from Mann Lake and Maxant, does anyone know if they are the same, just re-branded or completely different designs?

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,001

    Default Re: uncapping for 100 hives

    Quote Originally Posted by Beetastic View Post
    Not to hijack, but I will be buying an uncapper for either next year or the year after. Looking at comparative pictures from Mann Lake and Maxant, does anyone know if they are the same, just re-branded or completely different designs?
    Mann Lake is reselling Maxant.
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Redwood City, CA
    Posts
    103

    Default Re: uncapping for 100 hives

    AstroBee, did you end up purchasing a Maxant system? Would love to hear your experience.

    Thanks!

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Ottignies, Belgium
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: uncapping for 100 hives

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    Not trying to in any way be rude but I am really having trouble with the visual picture of a 40 year veteran with a heated knife getting outpaced by someone wielding a cold knife. Hand uncapping was something of a legacy in our family with the standard always being that you were expected to do 150 to 200 medium boxes per day and we did it daily for weeks on end.
    A Master uncapping knife has a touchy thermostat. They need to be turned high enough to do the job when in continuously use but NEVER left "dry" for long or they can be burned out. When properly adjusted it is quite literally like a hot knife through butter. A single swath through a medium frame should be no more than 3 to 4 seconds per side another 5 to 10 seconds on the top and bottom bars and the rest of the time is devoted to removing the frames, scraping the box and setting the uncapped frame on a holding rack or directly in the extractor. A fourth person in the extracting room could speed things quite a bit by relieving the uncapper a from the work of scraping boxes and carting in more stacks of honey. Deeps take a bit longer though it is quite possible to cut them in a single swath as well. As I said, I guess you just need to see it in action to fully understand. The fact that you are working alone makes it somewhat of a moot point, though, as a hot knife should never be left unattended for more than a minute or so, which means constantly unplugging and reheating which isn't a good option.
    Sorry, I disrupted your thread, I'll let it die. Best of luck.
    Just wanted to voice my appreciation for your experience and articulate replies. Everyone will make their own decisions but its always good to have multiple views, especially historical ones that die out from group think and the pursuit of unskilled cheaper ways of doing things. I didn't see it as a disruption

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    723

    Default Re: uncapping for 100 hives

    Last year my employee and I with normal knives uncapped 40 mediums of 8 frames each in about 4 to 5 hours. I have an electric extractor that is not automatic. About 50 % of the time my employee was with the extractor and to take frame and to put them. Last year I draw 8 ton of honey with this process. This year I expect extract at least 12 ton with the same procedure. Making some minor adjustments I think I can go from 40 to 60 mediums in the same time.

    It's just my experience. I agree with Jim when he says that a trained hand can make faster and better than a machine. I can do much faster than this example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PHUwUGpFWQ. The only con is that we get tire and the machine does not. From a certain size I think is essential to mechanise the process.
    "We are two abysses - a well staring the sky." Fernando Pessoa

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,409

    Default Re: uncapping for 100 hives

    We have run a maxant chain uncapper for 12 years. Beats a knife or plane hands down if nothing mre than the eventual carpal tunnel from the hand jobs. We run 200 - 2 queen units and in decent years 6-7 supers per hive. Our issue with the chain u ncapper has become processing cappings. We used to uncap over our clarifier and have gone to the capping tank they sell with the unit which will fill in about 3 hours of uncapping. We have multiple cappings tanks and feed the cappings into a max ant spinner which is a bit of pain but cappings always are. I've seen and heard complaints about having to add pillow blocks but we never needed to. I consider the Maxant chain uncapper a good investment for your size Astro. I loved the plane but your arms will fall off after a day or two of that . I can't count the burns I have from the electric knife, two of which are still in the drawer next to the plane, they are the last resort for us.

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    49,290

    Default Re: uncapping for 100 hives

    >I purchased the sideliner slit uncapper. http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com...oductinfo/795/ It works well for me.

    I'd love to hear more details about what you do and don't like about it. I have yet to hear an in depth review and you've provided more than anyone in the past on it...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    3,190

    Default Re: uncapping for 100 hives

    Quote Originally Posted by Beetastic View Post
    AstroBee, did you end up purchasing a Maxant system? Would love to hear your experience.

    Thanks!
    Sadly, no. I just powered through using my standard method. Still dreaming of the day when I can mechanize this a bit more.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lee\'s Summit, MO
    Posts
    1,633

    Default Re: uncapping for 100 hives

    Quote Originally Posted by Joel View Post
    We have run a maxant chain uncapper for 12 years. Beats a knife or plane hands down if nothing mre than the eventual carpal tunnel from the hand jobs. I can't count the burns I have from the electric knife, two of which are still in the drawer next to the plane, they are the last resort for us.
    I bought one last year and have done 2 harvests with it. Prior my right hand would go numb towards the end of the day from my electric knife and take a few days before the numbness was gone. Long term I knew I had to find a different/better way. The Maxant uncapper can be tough on new comb but it's rock solid and saves time for me. I did get a Maxant cappings spinner (mid way through the year) to speed up my cappings cleaning too. I've used it once but I didn't do it right and dumped almost of my cappings in at once (to save time) and overwhelmed it. Operator error... add increasing quantities gradually next time grass hopper.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,001

    Default Re: uncapping for 100 hives

    Quote Originally Posted by D Coates View Post
    Operator error... add increasing quantities gradually next time grass hopper.
    I bought a Maxant spinner this winter as well - I'll have to keep this in mind. I was wondering if I could just dump a whole pail of cappings in at once.

    I was planning to buy the uncapper/spinner combo, but chanced upon an older cast aluminum cowen uncapper that had been modified with flails instead of knives. Needs a little work, but the price was right.
    Adam - Zone 5A
    www.adamshoney.com

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Redwood City, CA
    Posts
    103

    Default Re: uncapping for 100 hives

    I am thinking of pulling the trigger on the Jr Cappings Spinner + Chain Uncapper through Mann Lake. They have their 11% sale right now. It's not gonna get any cheaper than that.

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,409

    Default Re: uncapping for 100 hives

    the capping spinners is really meant to uncap into...we scoop fresh capping (from the same day) into ours from the cappings tank with it running, it is the part of the process I still am unhappy with. If you dump a pail in or let the cappings sit over night they will compress and not spin out well. We have tried all kinds of cappings process on the simple level and yet found one we like. From the other post about float separators I see I am not alone. We run a Maxant chain u capper, extractor 1996 20/40, 200 lb clarifyer, honey pump and have a Maxant plane in reserve. We have run well over a half million lbs through this set up in the past 13 years and the only repairs, breakdowns have been an extractor bearing and motor and one heating element for the clarifyer. Could not be happier.

  13. #73
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Virgil, NY USA
    Posts
    103

    Default Re: uncapping for 100 hives

    Hi,
    My friend uses a Maxant auger to move his wet cappings to his maxant spinner continuously while extracting. Works very well. Saves the step of shoveling or dumping pails etc. The auger works well to move honey from open head drums also. Like everything they build, like a tank.
    BTW I use a small Gunness chain uncapper for 700 hives. They built this model about 10 years ago. Only for a couple of years. It is a lot faster than a maxant, as you can feed multiple combs in horizontally.Works best with 2 people.
    Nick
    gridleyhollow.com

  14. #74
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Redwood City, CA
    Posts
    103

    Default Re: uncapping for 100 hives

    If my apiary was any bigger, I would look (well, I have looked at the Lyson Uncapper/Auger system. BetterBee can source them. You get the cappings pressed and ready for melting with the honey extracted right away. Looks like very little waste and quick to boot.

    I think it's important to note that every machine has parameters. The cappings spinners work great, as long as you use them correctly. Don't dump in 50lbs of slurry at one go and you should be fine. I've got an older Maxant Uncapping tank that has a nice basket which fits into the tank and allows the cappings to drain. I don't think I'll have any problem with the spinner if I allow for proper draining.

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