Is my idea brilliant or stupid?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Lake Worth, Florida, USA
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    235

    Default Is my idea brilliant or stupid?

    I'm the uncapper in the family. I don't enjoy it. Takes too much time. My hubby has a long wait between extractor runs waiting for me. He does uncap the low spots for me with a scratcher though. I've tried lots of ways to uncap but settled on a cold knife. Now it's getting dull, my thoughts are turning to an electric knife. I live in South Florida so I had thought I didn't need it but as the last 2 winters have been so mild, our bees have been active year round. The supers have been on for more than 2 years and the wax can be quite hard. I'm considering a hot knife. I've been researching them and don't want to fork over the $$ for one with a controller. Now, here's my idea, could I buy a cheapo electric knife and use a footpedal with it? The footpedal is something I already own. It's a good one. Fixes the problem of overheating as it is only on when I want it to be. Or turns off between frames if I want.

    So what do you all think? Would it work well or is it stupid idea? I thank you in advance for your responses.....
    South Florida, 9 hives, TF, foundation free, slatted racks, bottom entrances, zone 10b

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    NW Florida
    Posts
    1,140

    Default Re: Is my idea brilliant or stupid?

    I simply bought a hot knife that plugs in, no petal or dial. Got it on amazon.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Milford, Michigan USA
    Posts
    294

    Default Re: Is my idea brilliant or stupid?

    I plug my electric knife into a power strip and switch it off when not needed. From what you describe your suggestion is more or less the same thing. I started with a cold knife and quickly changed to heated and am glad I did.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,138

    Default Re: Is my idea brilliant or stupid?

    I like your idea of the foot pedal. It would certainly relieve the strain on your "trigger finger". Some folks on here use a cheapo electric knife with one blade in it. I tried it and still prefer the longest serrated bread knife I can get so I can use the frame as a guide. I would probably change my mind if I had a lot to do, but I don't. J

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Milford, Michigan USA
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    294

    Default Re: Is my idea brilliant or stupid?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fivej View Post
    I like your idea of the foot pedal. It would certainly relieve the strain on your "trigger finger". Some folks on here use a cheapo electric knife with one blade in it. I tried it and still prefer the longest serrated bread knife I can get so I can use the frame as a guide. I would probably change my mind if I had a lot to do, but I don't. J
    I know she said electric knife but I took her to mean a hot knife

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Lake Worth, Florida, USA
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    235

    Default Re: Is my idea brilliant or stupid?

    Quote Originally Posted by MichiganMike View Post
    I know she said electric knife but I took her to mean a hot knife
    Yup, you're right. I used both terms for hot uncapping knife. Didn't mean a turkey knife. Hum..... I've got one of those too.......may try it with the one blade. For the hot knife, my thought was the foot pedal would make the process more idiot proof and keep from burning honey or setting a fire plus using something I already have.
    South Florida, 9 hives, TF, foundation free, slatted racks, bottom entrances, zone 10b

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Jacksonville, Morgan County, IL
    Posts
    205

    Default Re: Is my idea brilliant or stupid?

    Quote Originally Posted by CessnaGirl View Post
    don't want to fork over the $$ for one with a controller.
    Let me see if I get this:

    You have invested well over 3000 dollars ( $ 350 / colony, the 'going rate') and you can't bring yourself to spend the $$ for a heated knife with integral thermostat ?

    'Good grief' is putting it mildly...............

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    NW Florida
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    Default Re: Is my idea brilliant or stupid?

    To keep the hot knife from burning honey, keep it at an angle with just the edge going along the wood frame.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
    Posts
    1,716

    Default Re: Is my idea brilliant or stupid?

    For goodness sake spend a few more bucks on a Harmony farms uncapper you could then uncap and go and watch a movie and leave your hubby extracting for a few hours.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Cleveland, TN
    Posts
    70

    Default Re: Is my idea brilliant or stupid?

    CessnaGirl:
    I use a foot petal off/on switch for turning my uncapping plane on and off and it works very well. Have not tried it with my electric knife but it should work equally well.
    Ken

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    camden, tennessee, USA
    Posts
    307

    Default Re: Is my idea brilliant or stupid?

    The foot pedal thing sounds good. Even the power strip but my glass top range is already crowded and pretty sticky for extra cords.

    I currently use a serrated cold knife to uncap. In the past I had borrowed a hot knife from my bee club president and it worked perfectly. Never got too hot. It was old with a wooden handle and somewhat worn. I could not discern a manufacturer. I bought a middle of the road, not the cheapest or most expensive, hot knife from amazon. The thing gets wayyyyy too hot. I think you could brand woodenware with it. I have often wondered if I wired a dimmer switch into the cord if I could control it that way. Just wondering...

  13. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4,742

    Default Re: Is my idea brilliant or stupid?

    I dont know what the watt rating is on the hot knife. The light dimmers are max 600 watts. I use them for controlling hot wire bow for foam cutting and have used them on angle grinder and palm sander. I think you would be OK for the hot knife but check to see if it has a rating.
    Frank

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Covington County, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,508

    Default Re: Is my idea brilliant or stupid?

    I finally settled on an electric fish fillet knife (not heated) before I bought the Simple Harmony Farms uncapper.

    As to your idea of incorporating a foot pedal, I think that is a smart idea.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Livingston county,Michigan,USA
    Posts
    117

    Default Re: Is my idea brilliant or stupid?

    Simple harmony farms ...you will not regret it!

  16. #15
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Castle Rock, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,699

    Default Re: Is my idea brilliant or stupid?

    I've heard of folks using electric knives with good results. Some even used a crock pot to heat them between frames (with proper precautions). Let it stand in the hot water between manipulating frames, & it appears to work fairly well. If the frames are pre-warmed to ~100*, no extra heat may be needed.

    I'm on my second thermo controlled uncapping knife. The first lasted ~20 years. Averages out pretty cheap in the long run.
    After 40 years of beekeeping, I've come to realize that the bees can fix most of my mistakes.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    camden, tennessee, USA
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    307

    Default Re: Is my idea brilliant or stupid?

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    I dont know what the watt rating is on the hot knife. The light dimmers are max 600 watts. I use them for controlling hot wire bow for foam cutting and have used them on angle grinder and palm sander. I think you would be OK for the hot knife but check to see if it has a rating.
    Thanks.

    600 watts sounds like a lot but heaters, and heating elements, from what I have seen can require some pretty high wattage's. I wouldn't think it would be like toaster but I'm not sure. Thanks again.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    Sioux City, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Is my idea brilliant or stupid?

    I bought this one from Dadant this last Summer and went through around 100 supers with it.

    I'm currently refurbishing an old steam heated uncapping setup but didn't get it done in time for the honey season, so this knife worked great in a pinch.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Young County, Tx
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Is my idea brilliant or stupid?

    Quote Originally Posted by Treehopper View Post
    Simple harmony farms ...you will not regret it!
    Yes Harmony farms or this: https://www.dadant.com/catalog/m00334-uncapping-roller

    I gave up on the knife several years ago.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    2,573

    Default Re: Is my idea brilliant or stupid?

    I still have 3 BIG (12") cold wavy-serrated knives that live in a bucket of hot water when not de-capping, but I would love to try all the hot knives. My advantage is that I use 5-1/4" shallow frames in 5-11/16" deep, square honey supers now that I have Modified Square Jumbo Dadant beehives. The bigger, thicker knives hold enough Q-energy to "hot knife" a shallow frame half quickly without any tearout of combs.

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