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As someone that works in a couple of specialized industries, I know a *LOT* of so called specialized tools and pieces of equipment are simply repurposed from something else. Good example is that the hive tool is actually just a mini pry bar. You could pay $10-$15 for a hive tool from a beekeeping supply store, or you could buy the exact same thing for $5 from Walmart or an automotive store if you simply know what to ask for.

So does anyone know if there is a generic use that foundation support pins are used for, or are they something that was actually specifically designed solely for beekeeping? I'd hate to keep buying a marked up specialty pin only to find out a couple years later that you just have to hit Home Depot and ask for XYZ pins and get them in bulk at half the price.
 

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I haven't seen the ones in catalogs used for anything else. However, bobby pins (the ones women use for their hair) work very well, are quite inexpensive, and readily available. I'm going foundationless, but I would just use the bobby pins for foundation support if I needed them.

I do know what you mean about the same thing repurposed. My favorite example is the spark plug boot pliers. They are about $4 at Harbor Freight. However, if you sell them on a specialty website, they become "section pliers" to repair fountain pens and cost $15 to $20.
 

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I also prefer bobby pins over the commercial support pins. My favorite are the 100 pack for $1 at Big Lots. They work better than any of the brand name ones I have tried.
 

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I've never found that "support pins" did anything but cause the beekeeper annoyance. They do not hold foundation flat, at least for me, and are a pain to remove or clean to put new foundation in if I need to clean out a frame.

Wire works better and actually does something to keep the foundation flat.

Peter
 
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