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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Earlier this year I made what I hoped would be a sound investment in some extraction equipment that would last me at least 3-4 years. All together it was a large purchase for me and if I had read a review like i'm about to write, I might not have gone the same route. With that being said, lets dive into it!

The equipment I purchased was as follows:
Lyson 30 frame extractor
https://www.betterbee.com/lyson-honey-processing-equipment/lyson218-30.asp
Lyson Uncapping tank
https://www.betterbee.com/lyson-honey-processing-equipment/LYSON-1500MM-UNCAPPING-TANK.asp
Lyson table top steam uncapper
https://www.betterbee.com/uncapping-tools-and-equipment/lyhpw20960lnk.asp

The extractor wasn't as great as I expected, but for the money its flaws were acceptable. The legs are really flimsy and they wobble and flex really bad. It is a must that the extractor be anchored down. I used redhead drop in anchors. I tried tapcons, but a full load on the extractor broke them off real quick. It makes some squeeking noises while its running, but its only because the drum flexes so much that the lexan lid is rubbing against the top the whole time. I run all deeps so it will hold 24 frames, however they arent that easy to get in. I feel like they could have made it a smidge larger diameter to give just a little more room to fit deep frames. I think they made it to fit 30 medium frames and when they finished someone thought it would be funny to put deeps in it for giggles and it barely worked so they marketed it like that. I also wish there was a sanitary fitting THEN a honey gate like they did on the uncapper. Or at least a threaded bung to install whatever you want. I plan to beef up the legs and make a band or 2 to go around the tank to beef it up for next year, but overall I think it is a sound investment for a large hobbyist/small sideliner.

The uncapping tank is by far the best out of the 3. It holds the uncapped frames nicely inside it. the lid actually fits flat on top so bees can't crawl in when cappings are draining. and the drain has a 90 out of the bottom with a sanitary connector and a honey gate. My only 2 complaints about it is that It isn't tall enough to fit a 5 gallon bucket under the drain. I remedied that with some casters on the legs so I can roll it around the shop really easy. The other complaint is that the feet are just a bent piece of sheet metal so when I put the casters on it, the feet bent upwards from the weight and force applied to it during uncapping. Now the casters are angled outward and it wont roll straight or very well at all. I plan to remedy this by tack welding the feet to the leg. These are minor issues that are easily fixed, so overall this uncapping tank is a great buy. I plan to buy another one for next year and I'll explain why later

The table top steam uncapper (to me) was the worst of them all. Now keep in mind that for an uncapper, I thought it was pretty cheap. But I guess you get what you pay for. I will say that it did do its job during extraction without breaking and I'll probably use it next year. The biggest hang up for the uncapper is that when you put a frame in it, the side bars of the frame are resting on top. You have to set the knife blade so that it cuts close to the frame. I did this with a clean foundation frame. The issue is that bees put propolis on everything, even the side bars. So when you put a frame in the uncapper, if there is a lot of propolis on the side bar of the frame, then the frame is resting on top of the propolis and not the uncapper, therefor the knife will not cut the capping off at the same height that it was set at. What ended up happening was every frame I had to scrape clean the side bars before I could uncap it. It was a HUGE time waster. It got to where I couldn't uncap enough frames to fill the extractor while the extractor was running its cycle. It was definitely a bottle neck of the entire operation and I feel like it made the whole process take twice as long as it should have. Another issue with it is something I still can't pinpoint the cause of. When I would uncap a thick frame from a 9 frame deep box, about halfway through the uncapping, it wouldn't cut the wax anymore it would just roll it and pull it off the foundation. It worked really well if it was just taking a thin slice of cappings off, but when it came to thicker frames, it just didn't work very well. I suspect it's because either the knives aren't as sharp as they should be, the knives are losing too much heat when it starts uncapping (heat doesn't transfer well enough through the steam line), or a combination of both. Again i'm using all deeps so This little rig probably cuts just fine through mediums and shallows. I'll probably use it next year and I'll hire a couple hands to keep the process running smoother. The reason I plan to buy another uncapping tank is because the table top steam uncapper takes up 66% of the uncapping tank so there's not much room to hang frames waiting for extraction. There's even less room on the uncapping tank when you have the little uncapping rack installed on the other end of it for manually scratching thinner frames that were in 10 frame boxes.

Overall i'm pleased with my purchase. I think Lyson equipment is priced very reasonably for a small operation and I'm grateful that they have reasonably priced uncapping and extracting equipment for people like me.
 

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Nice to hear an honest review. This is food for thought as I progress in my growing operation. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Your very welcome! I think it would be nice if more people gave detailed reviews regarding the pros and cons of their current equipment. Not necessarily to deter someone from buying something, but to give them a realistic expectation and possibly some advice on how to use it.
 

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"It is a must that the extractor be anchored down." Are you sure? When you bolt the legs down you put more load on your extractor bearing and also raise the natural frequency. To boggle the mind the mass is changing with time. This is harder to deal with than an out-of balance tire.

With a few hints and a bit of background in vibrations I went an alternate path to mounting my Lyson extractor especially after recognizing the changing mass and time issue. I put three wheel casters on the three legs - generally allows rotation about its CG, I think. I put a thick semi-soft, thick piece of rubber under the casters (cut from a door mat). Sounds crazy?

My first spin -out started with high expectations. Disaster! Initially I thought it failed me as I started up slowly but the oscillation got worse. Then an epiphany moment! Inspection showed I failed to uncap one side of two frames which were quite close together ( sabotage!). I corrected the issue and started up again. I could clearly see a circular pattern in the honey draining out - about 1 1/2"diameter, not bad. Increased speed and in a short time I was up to maximum RPM with a 1/2" diameter honey circle. The first time I ever reached maximum without holding on and dancing. I extra spin to really dry the frames. With the Lyson I could walk away with the timer automatically shutting it off. I wait with baited breath for my next test trial.

Why I bought the Polish made Lyson; 1) mentioned acid resistant stainless steel, 2) electrical safety features and interlocks with a panic shut-off button ( grand children resistant), 3) dc motor drive ( good feature) with a "screaming" inverter ( negative feature), clean top deck - DC, belt drive motor is on the bottom, 4) top plexiglass cover is interlocked to shut off power, 5) it cleans easily with a hot water blast.

Improvement(s): I intend after a few trials to add air-dampers ( shock absorbers) to the top of the extractor to eliminate what I think is "rocking" due to the rubber pads. I am hoping it will really smooth it out along with good de-capping and smart position selection for heavy versus light frames. ( may be an induced problem form your steam de-capper)

Complaint: manufacturers do not provide enough design details and performance details. Trust me is not acceptable by me. The lack of instructions for installation and operation, shows a lack of awareness. At least Lyson specified a few things and the safety features convinced me to buy unseen from Betterbee.

Overall - I am happy with the machine. It was a present:D and presented a good puzzle to try and solve. Looks good too!
 

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Great review, BWilson. Just ran across this while searching the Lyson uncapping tank online.

I do appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback- a big help!

Russ
 

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I have a 9 frame Saf radial extractor , hand crank that was purchased from Brushy Mountain many years ago. It did not take long to wish I had an electric motor. I would not pay the $500 (later almost $600) for their motor conversion kit. This past summer I bought a Lyson motor from Betterbee with the adapter pieces for my particular extractor. I just wish the longer adapter was. 250 to .300 longer. I had to attach a flat piece of aluminium to the center bar of the lid (used the same holes already in place) to put the controller on and get it away from the lid. I am very happy with their motor. It seems to be a good product at an affordable price and my wife and I have had good experiences with Betterbee.
I used to bolt the hand crank to a triangle frame of 4x4s and stand on the frame while it scooted and sometimes hopped across the kitchen floor (left scratches). After getting the electric motor I finally took the advice of someone else on Beesource. I put a foam mat (from Lowes) on the floor,casters on the legs, started up slowly and let the extractor move freely. Big improvement! It shook much less, made small circles draining in the bucket. Just had to occasionally return it to home base but even that wasn't difficult.
 

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I have a 9 frame Saf radial extractor , hand crank that was purchased from Brushy Mountain many years ago. It did not take long to wish I had an electric motor. I would not pay the $500 (later almost $600) for their motor conversion kit. This past summer I bought a Lyson motor from Betterbee with the adapter pieces for my particular extractor. I just wish the longer adapter was. 250 to .300 longer. I had to attach a flat piece of aluminium to the center bar of the lid (used the same holes already in place) to put the controller on and get it away from the lid. I am very happy with their motor. It seems to be a good product at an affordable price and my wife and I have had good experiences with Betterbee.
I used to bolt the hand crank to a triangle frame of 4x4s and stand on the frame while it scooted and sometimes hopped across the kitchen floor (left scratches). After getting the electric motor I finally took the advice of someone else on Beesource. I put a foam mat (from Lowes) on the floor,casters on the legs, started up slowly and let the extractor move freely. Big improvement! It shook much less, made small circles draining in the bucket. Just had to occasionally return it to home base but even that wasn't difficult.
Glad you like the rubber mat - caster trick. My 20 framer stays in one place.
 

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Thanks for your honest reviews. I've seen the Lyson equipment on display at various conferences. It's pretty and shiny but not nearly as heavy duty as what I have from Dadant and Maxant. It doesn't appear the savings is all that great either.
 

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Good info here. I’ve been thinking about a Lyson powered extractor, thought not the 30 frame.
Glad to have a good honest and well written review
 

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Thanks for the review. Have you looked at the Kelly Vibrating knife for an uncapper? It is a nice piece of equipment. You might also consider selling the extractor and looking for a used Dadant 20, it will do 20 deeps or 36 mediums.

I have wondered about that steam knife. It sure looks good on the video's. It is surely loosing heat half way through the cycle and rolling the comb as you describe. I had a hot knife that use to do the same thing.
 
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