No problem if you like a good fight! That's what you'll have trying to get cappings off the hardware cloth. Then you have to get the cappings out of the extractor and into a melter. I've never seen an extractor which would make it an easy operation. Suggest you look around and buy a used one.
Using an extractor for a wax spinner is no new idea. I don't know the brand name, Hubbard perhaps(?), but I have seen an extractor which one could put perferated sheet metal panels inside the basket, load w/ cappings and spin away. You will have to dig those cappings out once you are finished. Sore back on it's way.
Before cappings spinners, some beekeepers would throw their cappings into a shed and let the bees work them over, getting all of the honey and leaving the wax. But you'd better treat for AFB if you do.
Maybe you want to get yourself an old washing machine. Just a thought.
As to modifying an extractor, I wouldnt buy new stuff, I just found a commercial fabrication place here that does alot of stainless work. They basically gave me a little more than a quarter on the dollar quotes compared to the "bee suppliers" for tanks and doublewalled stuff.
But back to extractors, I have extras, and I dont mind cutting one up. I do have a ringer washer, but it goes back and forth not in a slinging motion. technically I could probably use a press if I used a nylon bag... In the end Ill probably just use a melter, since I have a couple of those, and I like alot of honey in the foundation Im making.
Skinner, if one of your extra extractors is a Kelley's, they make a cappings basket that fits into their extractors, converting it into a cappings spinner. I'm upgrading to a 20-frame radial this year, and took the reversible extractor baskets out of my old kelley's 2-frame reversible extractor, and popped in their basket. That might be as cost effective as having something fabricated locally. Might be worth looking into. Good luck to you, sir!
depending on the amount of hives you have, a good used one will pay for itself the first year.
We bought a used maxant junior, paid about 800 for it and saved a barrel of honey last year on a 135 hives. Considering honey was $1.4 a pound and 600 pounds in a barrel...
Ours is not bolted, it does walk like a washing machine does that is unbalanced. I just shut it off and rebalance the load.
lol! But Im broke!!! Im just trying to be resourceful. We have 50ish hives, hopefully at least 250 more by the flow... I guess it would be useful. I probably need a real uncapper first... this hot knife is gonna get oooooold.
I built a cappings spinner to fit in my extractor - it worked just fine - basically just a reinforced cage with a nylon bag inside. THe nylon does NOT work by itself. It gets spinning really fast and then about the time that the honey starts flying there's a rip and cappings start spurting out.
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