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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Dunno if anyone has tried this before, but it seems a hacksaw makes for an excellent decapping tool if you replace the blade with a length of small diameter spring wire (think high E guitar string).

I had a spool of 0.014" diameter spring wire handy, so cut a length to fit the saw frame (washers on each end of the wire to make mounting easier) and hot **** did it cut through the comb like warm butter when tensioned. No problems with sticking like I get with a carving knife, and no visible damage to the comb. In fact, the hardest part was getting the cut cappings off of the frame! All it took was a quick slicing motion.

Anyway, not often do I have an idea that works on the first try, so figured I'd share. Hard to see in the pic, but yes, there is a very small wire mounted on the hacksaw. :)

decapper.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! Will get a better pic up once my FTP server comes back online.

Getting the length right was a bit of a pain, but not too bad and would have been easier if I had an old-school hacksaw that simply had a wingnut on the end. Much like guitar strings needing to be played a while before keeping pitch it stretched during use, but once it settles it it should stay taut fairly well. Smaller diameter might be better, but 0.014" is what i had handy and seemed to work just fine. Iirc a 1/4 pound spool was under $10 at McMaster Carr, and likely has several lifetimes worth of wire (half a mile or so....)
 

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for some reason I thought it said decapitating tool.... I was like... well don't know what you need that for... lol


Looks like a great idea! hope it works for you.
 

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Can you connect it to an electricity source to make it hot? It's a good idea. Well done. How many frames did you uncap w/ this tool?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Making it hot was my original intent, sqkctk, but figured I may as well try what I had on hand before ordering nichrome wire. And have to say, not being tied to batteries or an electric outlet is far nicer than I'd envisioned. Plus making it hot means insulating the collection points and dealing with stretch in the wire, and frankly I'd say it's not worth the bother.

Unfortunately McMaster Carr's website doesn't handle linking very well, so best I can do is www.mcmaster.com and search for stainless spring wire. They're one of the premier industrial suppliers on the East Coast, and absolutely fantastic.

Oh, and I uncapped one side of 10 medium frames with it. First two didn't work so well (went too slow), and the rest were easy (much faster and on an angle with a slicing motion).
 

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I wonder if stainless frame wire would be too thick?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I actually thought about using the frame wire I got from Draper Bee (my local-ish supplier), but it seemed too soft to keep straight. Almost strikes me as soft iron binding wire, and for this sort of thing a high-temper spring wire is more appropriate.
 

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Slicing or sawing. I would think that a single strand smooth wire would work best. Not a guitar wire.
 

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We have surgical stainless wire of various diameter...used for orthopaedic repairs...what diam (size) are you using? What is "spring" wire.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Slicing or sawing. I would think that a single strand smooth wire would work best. Not a guitar wire.

IIRC the B and high E wires on a guitar are plain (perhaps the G as well? Gave mine away years ago...), and only mention the guitar since that's the quick and easy way to find short lengths of small diameter spring wire. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Oh, and apologies to the mods... Not here much and didn't see the equipment forum when posting from my phone. :)
 

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Do the cappings fall off? or do they kind of hang on, and stick?? either way I love the idea and will try it. Necesity is the mother of invention they say :} thanks

==McBee7==
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Definitely stick, but in a completely detached sort of way. Generally took 3 swipes to go across the frame (mediums, the long way), and then a bit of gentle poking with the wire to get the detached comb to pull free in sheets.

Seriously surprised this isn't old news, so will see about checking my other hive this weekend and getting some video of it in action.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
We have surgical stainless wire of various diameter...used for orthopaedic repairs...what diam (size) are you using? What is "spring" wire.
"spring" wire is just that... wire used for springs. :)

Which usually means a high carbon steel like 1080 or a work-hardened 300 series stainless, either of which are readily available as the smallest two guitar strings or in bulk from a place like mcmaster.com. (http://www.mcmaster.com/#music-wire/=s3kola) I used 0.014" diameter because that's what I had handy from another project, which involved hand winding very small torsion springs. Smaller would cut with less force, but would stretch more and be more prone to breaking.


wire.JPG
 

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Single-wire guitar strings can be had from .008~.020". Above that is typically wound wires. There shouldn't be much of a need for heat using such fine gauge wires.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Did a bit of digging on McMaster's website, and have come to the conclusion that yes, you probably could heat this if you wanted. Would take a bit of electro-wizardry to keep the volts and amps in line with the max temp of the wire, but from a technical standpoint would be doable.

spring wire.jpg

Which is to say if "V=IR" doesn't ring a bell I can honestly say you probably shouldn't be thinking about heating the wire. And frankly, the 0.014" diameter wire I used passed through so easily it's not even worth the bother. Even if you're like me and happen to be an engin-nerd that happens to have a constant-current power supply on the shelf from the DIY anodizing setup. Small diameter wire just cuts so easily that heat isn't needed.


(lots of edits while trying to get the attachments to play nicely.)
 

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Great idea. I think heating would make the wax melt then harden back and stick.
How about a 2 sided model? Slide the frame between two taught wires and get both sides at once. I suspect it may be a lot of tension but if the frame for each wire is not shared it would seem doable..
I don't think frame wire is stainless BTW. None that I've ever purchased is. MIG welding wire is a high carbon wire that can be stretched without breaking. I may try some. I don't think the wire would have to be as thin as mentioned but I can confirm this. Great find!
 
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