What Do You Use to Uncap
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Lake County Ill
    Posts
    493

    Default What Do You Use to Uncap

    I am considering purchasing an electric knife. The type with a set thermostat. Then I thought I should consider the electric plane. I have 5 hives and if I am lucky this year will have a total of 20 supers. Certainly 10 supers. What do you find to be the best method for a small hobby operation with about 5 hives? I was very impressed with the uncapping machine from Brushy Mountain for about $1,200, but my hobby is too small to justify the price.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Tulsa OK. USA
    Posts
    833

    Default Re: What o You Use to Uncap

    A bread knife works just fine for me. No warm up time, no- is it to warm or to cold, no worry if I drop it in water. But I'm cheap. Jim
    Stop and smell the flowers, 50,000 ladies can't be wrong
    [email protected]

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Pahrump, NV
    Posts
    772

    Default Re: What o You Use to Uncap

    I use the same thing Jim uses. I went down to Cash and Carry also known as Smart and Final and picked up a real long bread knife the ones they us in the restaurants. It was cheap compared to an electric. I didn't like the idea of heating the honey and was to worried about fermenting the honey to use water. Mike

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Norfolk County, MA, USA
    Posts
    231

    Default Re: What o You Use to Uncap

    I use the Maxant planer same money as the electric knife. The planer works well but I have never used the electric knife for comparison.

    I love the planer and bought it after watching this vid from JP the Beeman
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ie2xo6AYzMc
    Think about it....Buy American

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,256

    Default Re: What o You Use to Uncap

    if you want to try and preserve as much drawn comb as possible you can use a capping scratcher and lightly scratch the cappings open.

    i did it this way the last time i extracted. there was no problem with the honey coming out, but there were more cappings to clean out of the strainers and the extractor.

    i think the next time i will try to use the scratcher again, but use it like walt wright and others have described. this involves lifting the cappings off by running the scratcher underneath them.

    i have the thermostatically controlled knife that you described, it works good and is faster. the downside is that you have more prep and clean up with the decapping tub, and you take off some of the drawn comb.

    i wanted to keep the drawn comb thick so that it would be more useful for swarm prevention next year, i.e. checkerboarding and expanding the broodnest.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Ayer, Massachusetts
    Posts
    837

    Default Re: What o You Use to Uncap

    Our UCP actually works better when you hold the frame horizontal and pull the UCP towards your stomach, so the cappings roll out and fall down.
    www.maxantindustries.com
    American made Honey Processing Equipment "Built to last a lifetime"

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,569

    Default Re: What o You Use to Uncap

    Jake, when you have time there's a couple of YouTube videos I'd like Maxant to make.
    1) Proper use of the UCP.

    2) How to maintain the 1400 extractor - what should be done each year to keep it in tip-top shape.

    Thanks.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Wilkes County, NC
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: What o You Use to Uncap

    This was my first year extracting honey. I saved up money and bought the Maxant hand planer. I loved it! I set the blade so it would cut real shallow. I held the frames horizontal over my decapping tank. Once I got the hang of it I could not believe how fast I got them done. The only thing I would caution you of is if you have to stop and do something else, turn the planer off it gets really hot while unused. If you just keep going the temp. stays fine.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,057

    Default Re: What o You Use to Uncap

    I have an electric uncapping knife that I got in a bulk buy from a retiring beekeeper. Works nicely. Would love an automated uncapper but I am too small to justify it.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,256

    Default Re: What o You Use to Uncap

    spark, thanks for posting the link. i wasn't aware that hand-held planers were available. looks like a good way to do it, takes off very little wax. wish i could trade my knife for one!

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Ayer, Massachusetts
    Posts
    837

    Default Re: What o You Use to Uncap

    We do have a vid on our website of the UCP in use!
    Will be making a longer one soon, as well as vids for the 1400 and 3100
    Stay tuned!
    www.maxantindustries.com
    American made Honey Processing Equipment "Built to last a lifetime"

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    El Dorado County, CA
    Posts
    609

    Default Re: What o You Use to Uncap

    bread knife and scratcher.
    when given star thistle make honey

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    13,203

    Default Re: What o You Use to Uncap

    Vegetable knife, no serrations, for fully drawn out comb. Hive tool for the rest.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Perry, Florida, USA
    Posts
    223

    Default Re: What o You Use to Uncap

    I watched the video. Interesting but I can uncap faster and as well with my serrated uncapping knife. I will stick to it until/if I ever get large enough to need a machine.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bowling Green, Kentucky
    Posts
    415

    Default Re: What o You Use to Uncap

    old ginsu knife from the 1980's

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Ayer, Massachusetts
    Posts
    837

    Default Re: What o You Use to Uncap

    Quote Originally Posted by slickbrightspear View Post
    old ginsu knife from the 1980's
    What a beast that knife is.
    I remember cutting down my christmas tree one year with one of those!
    www.maxantindustries.com
    American made Honey Processing Equipment "Built to last a lifetime"

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    918

    Default Re: What o You Use to Uncap

    Last year I bought 2 uncapping knives (cold) and I think it was 2 cappings scratchers for a very reasonable price. They can be submerged in hot water wiped off and then used, but I choose to just run them up and down the frame sawing back and forth, I set the frame on top of a sieve in a 5 gal bucket, any low areas I hit with the fork/scratcher. Not going to work for commercial sized operation, but I'm far from that.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Dunlap, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: What o You Use to Uncap

    A bread knife works without heating it?? Sounds good to me with my little 5 hive operation in its first year! While we are on the topic of honey extraction, does anyone have any recomendations as to where to get a reasonably priced radial extractor???

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    918

    Default Re: What o You Use to Uncap

    Quote Originally Posted by Dunham Bee Farm View Post
    A bread knife works without heating it?? Sounds good to me with my little 5 hive operation in its first year! While we are on the topic of honey extraction, does anyone have any recomendations as to where to get a reasonably priced radial extractor???

    I couldn't recommend Maxant any higher. For a quality product made in the usa you can't beat the price. I got the 9 frame hand one last year and am completly satisfied. They offer an upgrade kit to motorized so if you get tired of cranking you can upgrade. Make your honey pay for the upgrade lol.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,256

    Default Re: What o You Use to Uncap

    jake, is the cutting depth adjustable on maxant's hand held ucp? if so, you made a buyer out of me!

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