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trying to make cell punch tool using compression fitting, but what is used as the shaft that can be welded/soldered on to the i think is brass fitting?
 

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A piece of common steel wire can be soldered to the brass compression sleeve. You could rip a slender piece of copper out of a short piece of copper plumbing pipe to make a handle. You could flatten the end of a 3" nail but that is a little stouter than necessary.

You can make a nice slender cutter out of the side of a magnum rifle shell casing. Makes cutter ring and shaft all in one piece. I believe 300 Win. Mag. cutter ring is the shoulder diameter. About 1/2" just right.
 

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Quite a lot about this subject including the history of cell punching on the link below.

http://www.dave-cushman.net/bee/cellpunch.html

This can be from any source, but spent bullet cases are also suitable, so if you know someone who goes shooting you may get some from them.

The earliest reference I can find to cell punching is in L.E. Snelgrove's book "Queen Rearing", where he writes of an article in "Journal d'Agriculture" of Quebec published in March 1918, which details a method by E Barbeau. Mr E Barbeau, of St Eustache, Quebec had an article published in the July 1919 edition of the American Bee Journal (ABJ)
 

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Made one a few years back by brazing the head end of a finish nail onto the fitting and pressing the pointed end into a pre drilled hole in a piece of dowel rod.

Don't solder it, melting temp of solder is too low if you get a little liberal with the heat.
 

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Made one a few years back by brazing the head end of a finish nail onto the fitting and pressing the pointed end into a pre drilled hole in a piece of dowel rod.

Don't solder it, melting temp of solder is too low if you get a little liberal with the heat.
I think you are referring to heating the cutter prior to punching each cell. A compression sleeve is quite fat so it does not cut cold so well. The cutter from a cell casing is very thin making heating unnecessary.

If you do decide to braze the nail to the compression sleeve it will have to be a low temperature brazing alloy since common bronze brazing alloy will melt at similar temperture to the brass compression sleeve.
 

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Exactly and good points on the thinner material and brazing rod alloy. The compression fitting is rather robust on material, I like the thinner material idea.

Cell Punch.jpg
 

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I found that the Dave Cushman write-up on cell-punching gives the impression that it's somewhat complex - whereas nothing could be simpler ...

I agree that thin section tubing is highly desirable - a suitably-sized brass cartridge case would be ideal. Sadly, we're a bit short on that kind of artillery in Britain (Exmoor apparently being the exception :) ).

The best I could come up with at short notice was the split skirt of some DIN connectors, which I soldered together and attached to a s/s shaft (ex windscreen wiper insert) with JB Weld. They worked ok, heated either by courtesy of dipping in boiling water, or by hanging them onto the element of a soldering iron, held down to around 120 deg C.



These were the next ones I made - one of which is a queen-cell punch intended to be used with a Hopkins frame. For this I cannabilised a 'D-sized' NiCd battery and used it's case - this time soldered onto 'I don't remember what' which is secured as usual with epoxy into a short length of dowel-rod for a handle. Seen here with an artifical queen-cell (as it was winter):



... and yes, it worked like a charm ...




Although I haven't experienced any tool failures yet, this method IS rather slow and does turn perfectly good comb into something resembling a Swiss cheese. :)
LJ
 

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Something that may be a bit less "Swiss cheese" give the small amount of cells most non grafters are in need of, but one step beyond the standard cut strip method
https://youtu.be/kyzAS5eZ2xA?t=406
 

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Good video. Bit of thread drift, but it is interesting to see how others prepare for raising queens. Leave it to the Germans to make things precise and complicated. Cool little mating nucs with the glass sides.
 
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