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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone ever tried "Cooking" the hive boxes as pieces before they are assembled? You could get away with a much smaller pot and smaller amount of paraffin and resin.

The issue I'm concerned with is warping, growth etc., especially if you've already cut the box joints.

Just curious if anyone has tried this with any success.

~Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah there is a thread on here about it...Its expensive if you do it yourself!

http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=243088&highlight=kentuckybee
I was thinking about dipping just the pieces prior to having the boxes assembled. The advantage being is that you could dip many more pieces in a much smaller area which would mean MUCH less wax and cost.

For instance. It would take an volume of ~13.5 gallons or ~107lbs of product to cook a single deep box. If you wanted to have it large enough to do bottom boards you'd be looking at almost 16gals and only able to do one at a time.

To do the same in single pieces you'd need only ~3.5 Gals or ~26lbs of product.

You'd also be able to get away with a much smaller tank, which is means lower cost.

I was thinking of making a tank that was 10 x 11-12 x 23-24. Filled 1" from the top you're looking at 12 gals of product. With a rack I would be able to dip two boxes at a time as well as bottom boards and tops, except for the top cover portion which is completely covered anyway.

12gals is 96 pounds. I found a place that sells the Rosin for 1.65$ a pound so if I did it 1:1 Rosin/wax (Place only sells 25Kg bags) total cost would be around 170$ or so. I figure you're going to spend 20-30$ on paint to do the same job and I love the idea of having a natural finish. Not to mention that once you're set up the cost will go down per hive and the finish lasts longer than paint.

However my concern would be everything moving during cooking and not having the fingers fit together anymore. I guess you might be able to cook it and then put in the fingers as they are almost completely sealed with glue once assembled.

~Matt
 

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That's a neat idea,,,,,think a retired turkey deep fryer would work:scratch:
I use alot of recycled lumber to make my boxes,,,,top, inner covers,,,not frames,,,The lumber likes to twist or warp a bit. I have found a set of decent furniture clamps aides greatly in getting the wood the "remember" when it was straight. Moist heat is not as bad as dry heat for wood but heat does funny things sometimes and alot has to do with the grain. IMO I'd bet if you put the parts together pretty soon after it has cooled ,you'd be O.K. I'd still have the clamps handy:D

Hope it works and please let us know

Rick SoMd
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That's a neat idea,,,,,think a retired turkey deep fryer would work:scratch:
Actually looked into that and there are some versions of deep friers that would work, but they are the larger ones. Mine was not deep enough. There are however several other "Deep pots" that would work for doing single pieces as well.

I'm actually going to make mine since I have access to some fabrication facilities...assuming I decide to do it at all :)

Hope it works and please let us know

Rick SoMd
Well I'm just not sure it's worth the risk if I can't find someone else that's done it. Maybe I can find someone that has a regular cooker and send them a few scrap pieces to "Cook" and see how bad they move.

I really don't want to drop 200-250$ in material and pot to find out that the first one warps all over the place and doesn't work.

All in all though if the boards don't move too much I think it's a better way to go. Even in mass if you wanted to make a much larger pot you could do almost 5 deeps in pieces in the same space it would take to do 1 assembled.

~Matt
 

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I would like to know if the glue would stick to wax. Has anybody built a dipping tank that is raised in the center so it is just an inch or two from the inside of the supers? It would sure capture and transfer heat to the wax mixture better with a raised center portion. Anyone with a welder and a sheet metal brake could build us all tanks.
 

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If you dip before assembly will you be able to get the parts together? You must not be talking about finger jointed boxes. Are you?

And if you stacked a bunch of boards in the vat, won't the faces of the boards stacked on each other prevent coverage?
 

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I tried it. It seemed like a good idea. But I could not keep the pieces from getting stuck together and couldn't get the wax to run between stacked up boards. I even tried bundling them with spacers between, but it was just not practical.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If you dip before assembly will you be able to get the parts together? You must not be talking about finger jointed boxes. Are you?
I am talking about finger joints. My question is whether the boards will warp, fingers grow expand etc etc and not got together.

Wax making the joints not stick is less of a concern.

Also as I mentioned maybe cutting the fingers after dipping might be a possibility.


And if you stacked a bunch of boards in the vat, won't the faces of the boards stacked on each other prevent coverage?
I was going to make a rack. This would serve two purposes. First you wouldn't have to weigh the pieces down to keep them from floating and also keep them separated. They would not be stacked on top of each other, rather side by side and separated by the rack.

~Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I tried it. It seemed like a good idea. But I could not keep the pieces from getting stuck together and couldn't get the wax to run between stacked up boards. I even tried bundling them with spacers between, but it was just not practical.
Did the boards hold shape and go together without problems?

I would think just stacking them and putting spacers between wouldn't work. I'm thinking of a rack, something similar to what is used in the plating industry.

The rack would hold the boards apart as well as act as a weight to keep the boards submerged.

If you had success with it to the point that they would assemble without problem it sounds like the boards aren't warping all that much.

~Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
A rack might work, but the work of building the rack was more than I wanted to do,
Luckily I have access to a pretty well equiped machine shop so it won't take me too long.


so I just stack the boxes with one on end down the middle and do that. I never had trouble with warping.
Good deal. I'll give it a go. Looks like I should be able to do two complete boxes in pieces in a pot that can do pieces of everything including the bottom and use only around 9-10 gals, ~80lbs of product.

If I get it done I'll let everyone know how it worked out.

Thanks for the info,

~Matt
 
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