Kinks in wire on frames & How tight does it need to be?
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  1. #1
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    Default Kinks in wire on frames & How tight does it need to be?

    I'm assembling my first two hives and had some questions on wiring wood frames with wax foundation.

    • The wire kinks easily when I am wiring the frames. I tried to pull it out straight and it just broke the wire. Will the kinks matter once it is embedded in the wax foundation?
    • How tight does the wire need to be? I have it tight however there is a slight amount of play in the wire.


    Thank you!!

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Kinks in wire on frames & How tight does it need to be?

    I don't think the kinks will matter much once it's embedded but if you can keep the wire as straight as possible it'll be easier to work with. It sounds like the wires might be too loose. When I wire up foundation, I pull the wire tight while slightly bending the ends inward. When I release the pressure, the wire tightens right up.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Kinks in wire on frames & How tight does it need to be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenseye View Post
    I don't think the kinks will matter much once it's embedded but if you can keep the wire as straight as possible it'll be easier to work with. It sounds like the wires might be too loose. When I wire up foundation, I pull the wire tight while slightly bending the ends inward. When I release the pressure, the wire tightens right up.
    Thanks...It was loose when I was feeding it through the eyelets and then I would remove all the slack after making it through all the eyelets.

  5. #4
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    Crown Point, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Kinks in wire on frames & How tight does it need to be?

    Wire crimper will solve your lose wire problems. Use staples instead of eyelets sooo much cheaper. https://www.beesource.com/forums/show...t=wire+crimper

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Kinks in wire on frames & How tight does it need to be?

    Kinks are unacceptable. If the wire doesn't break when first tensioned, it will when you put it in an extractor. A blown out frame in an extractor is a continuing disaster (it clogs the filter).

    You need a spool reel for the wire. The best reel is one with moderate friction -- to keep the wire from over running and spilling. I find the best is just a square dowel stuck in a block of wood, and the spool slipped over top. No need for anything fancier -- as you want friction.

    I run the wire through a path of eyelets, so the exit off the spool is controlled by the fairlead.

    I tighten wire by pulling the wire off axis on the side bars and capturing the spread with a 5/16" staple. Use a thumbnail or a blunt awl to pull the wire off center.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Kinks in wire on frames & How tight does it need to be?

    Don't take the wire from the center of a coil, or over the end of a spool. That puts a twist in the wire which makes it want to kink. Do as JWChestnut suggests.
    Bill

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Kinks in wire on frames & How tight does it need to be?

    Not having all this advise when I started, I pre cut my wires to about the right length then tie the ends where it will be embedded in the comb. I crimp the wire with sheet metal workers crimping pliers.
    Started summer of 2013, just another new guy, tinkering with bees.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Kinks in wire on frames & How tight does it need to be?

    I used the tablesaw to make a wire holder that maintains tension on the spool and prevents run-off. the wire feeds through an eyelet upward to where I pull it through the frame eyelets and attach it at one end. I then pull the wire tight and twist around a nail so that the entire wire is under tension tight enough to twang when plucked. I have very few problems with the wire kinking with this setup.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Kinks in wire on frames & How tight does it need to be?

    I double for using staples instead of eyelets - cheap, fast and easy.

    Definately no kinks. Just dont unwind much wire at once and you should be fine after some practice.

    And, yes, keep wire as tight as possible, but without bending sides much. If you can play "Smoke on the water" with your frame, than its fine.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Kinks in wire on frames & How tight does it need to be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    I used the tablesaw to make a wire holder that maintains tension on the spool and prevents run-off.
    I second making a wire spool holder.

    For tightening make a spreader. Measure from the bottom of the top bar to the top of the bottom bar. Cut a piece of wood longer than this. Wedge it between the top and bottom bar. Make it long enough so that you are scared the frame will break. It will bow the top bar upwards, the bottom bar downwards and will move the endbars closer. Cut two notches in the spreader for the wire to pass through. Wire up the frame with the spreader in place. Pull out the spreader. The wire tightens to about an "a"string.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Kinks in wire on frames & How tight does it need to be?

    Clever, ToeOfDog.
    Bill

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Kinks in wire on frames & How tight does it need to be?

    This guy uses some tool to tension the wire

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmeF4pwbtcA
    Zone 7a - 1650ft

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Kinks in wire on frames & How tight does it need to be?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spur9 View Post
    This guy uses some tool to tension the wire

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmeF4pwbtcA
    That is the tool I use to tension my wires. No more clamps and wedges to prebend the sidebars, though used to be what I did. Added benefit is the rippples left in the wires gives a much better grip on the wax. The ripples also have spring to them so there is a follow through action as the sidebars yield over time.

    Some people got bad knock off models that had improper crimp wheels and could not get them to work. The wheels have to be a left helix and a matching right unless they have straight flutes. That crimper is the best $5 investment I have made.

    That said, when I have used up the last of my stock of wired wax foundation I will be going to plastic foundation;I just finished installing a bunch of wired foundation and the novelty has worn off. Not as much fun as it was at first!
    Frank

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