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Discussion Starter #1
I'm hoping that someone can recommend a low cost semi-automated decapper for a sideliner. Ideally, the decapper would be less than a $1500 used, but in good shape. Most of the units I've seen look unreliable, but that just from looking a pictures.

Any suggestions about which units to consider ....... or avoid?

Thanks in advance for the help.

Regards,
Tucker1
 

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How many hives and how many supers of honey are you looking to extract?

If you have an open mind about it, I have an uncapper that I can recommend that won't cost you more than $10.00 or so. No moving parts and no electricity needed.
 

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how many hives/frames do you plan on running through an un-capper. Do you have "enough" extractor to justify the expense of an uncapper? An uncapping knife and good un-capping tank such as the MAXANT will do a lot of frames with at lot less expense. Its surprising how fast one can un-cap with a $100 dollar hot knife and a little practice. Either way un-cappers are nice but are expensive, I will keep my eyes open for you. Good luck
steve
 

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Discussion Starter #4
To answer your questions, I hope to have about 30 hives by next spring. I'll be buying about half of them from a good friend and fellow bee keeper. Both my wife and I are in our mid 60's and getting a little old to be doing all of this using a heated knife (bought from Dadant awhile back). We have a nice extractor, but the decapping is just too "hands on" for the two of us. I guess it's all the time you spend standing up on a concrete floor. I've seen decappers that range from $450 to more than $3500. The $3500 units are too expensive, but do the $440 units really work? What does the used decapper market look like?

Regards,
Tucker1
 

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I got a used maxant chain uncapper for $700 , Its pretty old but still runs good, not much to break down. Everything is replaceable. Now the back up is my 20 frame extractor.:D
 

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Sorry BG, but I don't think that Tucker needs anything more than a hive tool to scratch the capping off of the comb. I know guys w/ a thousand colonies who use a hot knife and a hive tool. Mechanical uncappers aren't necassary for a small sideline outfit. I don't think that quicken the process enuf to make the expense in money and space worthwhile.

But hey, that's just me.
 

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Tucker1 says...
Both my wife and I are in our mid 60's and getting a little old to be doing all of this using a heated knife (bought from Dadant awhile back). We have a nice extractor, but the decapping is just too "hands on" for the two of us. I guess it's all the time you spend standing up on a concrete floor.

I totally agree. Some in here are younger and don't realize the pain and stress of standing on hard floors and the issues with pain and numbness from arthritis and carpletunnel (spelling?) and what-not. All the repetitive motion and stress of hanging on and pushing that knife to decap. I'm doing all comb honey this year, might extract a box or so is all, and I just use a cappings scratcher. I've liked the looks of that Brushy Mountain uncapper, but it's still out of my price range.
 

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That was 40 supers so 400 frames in 3 hours. That sounds good. Dont have problems like that yet. Hope to someday. I can see age starting to make some of these tasks not as much fun and throwing some cash at it important.

Tucker good for you and good luck. I would be interested to see what you finally decide on. Please post your final solution. I will be in the same boat someday.
 

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A heated vibrating knife works good and fast. All you do is pull each side of the frame over the knife blade and scratch the low spots. Run 8 frames in a 10 frame box and you will do very little scratching at all.
 

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Not knowing you situation or reason for wanting to purchase but I have a few thoughts here for you. I got a maxant uncapping tank, I can remove capping faster with a hot uncapping knife. I extract 20 frames at a time. I'm normally way ahead uncapping waiting for the extractor to finish. Everyone has their reason for things they want. I thought I wanted one aswell. After getting a good uncapping tank and a larger extractor it works fine for my wife and I. You may want to look at kellys vibrating knife. Never used one but I think it may be a cheaper fix for you. Anyway my 2cents............
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the replies and suggestions. The pictured unit looks like it might fit the bill. Now I need to see if I can find a used one or get a paper route and start saving my money. I appreciate all of the help and comments.

Regards,
Tucker1
 

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A heated vibrating knife works good and fast. All you do is pull each side of the frame over the knife blade and scratch the low spots. Run 8 frames in a 10 frame box and you will do very little scratching at all.
I got one of these off ebay (I think its the same thing ;)) for around $200, plus shipping. Very happy with the way it runs (1960's built), looks almost brand new. It has a GE motor, made by Adkins saw, ALL AMERICAN made which makes it a collector's item ;). Can't wait to try it out.

I got tired of burning honey with the electric knife, could not moderate the temperature, always up and down, too cold or cooking the honey. I figured the steam heat will be kinder to the honey, heck of a lot easier and faster.
 

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I know a guy who runs around 100 hives with a partner. They use a Hackler Honey Punch and these can be found for well under $100 and even less for the smaller versions. I see two disadvantages with a Hackler. Those of us who have a market or use for beeswax will not get any or extremely little with a punch. Second, the points will probably load with cappings and need a hot water dipping occasionally.

To describe a Hackler briefly, imagine a tool that looks somewhat like a paint roller, made of stainless steel with sharp points on the roller. The device punches or pierces holes in cappings to allow the honey to flow in the extractor. They come in two or three sizes and I'd guess you may still want a scratcher for any low spots that get missed.
 
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