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Newbie and embedding wire in natural foundation

1310 Views 31 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  moussy
Ok. I got my first piece of wired foundation secured in my wedge/bottom groove medium frame, but then tried to set it on fire while embedding it. The first try blew the circuit breaker on my Betterbee device. The second attempt was too long because the wire in the middle doesn’t get warm enough. Try just little taps to the wires at the end of the frame?
I am using an embedding board and am pressing lightly on the middle of the foundation as I make contact with the two ends.
Can I try a solder iron to each side instead?

Also, I think it was Crofter who mentioned he uses a pair of channel locks to put the nails into the top wedge to secure the foundation. This worked like magic and no misfires with my hammer into the comb. Thank you!
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The current on time should be about 3 or 4 seconds. You may have to put some resistance in the circuit to slow it down. I have an old battery charger that on the 2 amp range is about right. Are the kinks in your crimp wiring oriented properly?
I’m actually not sure about the direction of the crimps in the wiring. I wired the frames keeping it an open circuit per the instructions on the bettercomb sheet. It said I would short the breaker if I just used one nail to wire the frame in a complete loop. I do have a battery charger in the garage but I’m not sure how old it is, maybe 10 years? I could try it but I read the newer ones may not work. I stepped away from the whole thing. I do need a better place to do this job. I tried it in my walk-in closet so I could heat up the small space easily with a little space heater. I’m going to return to an unfinished woodshop so this less worries about burning my house down! ****, things were going so well up until this point. I did run an embedding wheel over it, but by then my closet was colder and the wheel did very little for me except stick the wax to my embedding board. I will keep a piece of wax paper under it next time.
I’ll also need to study your embedding device.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm embarrassed that I didn't give a thought to the wire already embedded in the foundation. The contraption I bought is primarily designed for the Bettercomb and stated could be used for natural foundation. There is another one available by Dadant that looks similar to Crofter's embedding device but it's sold at a premium. I have 100 frames eseembeld and 50 of those are wired so far. I may take my Bettercomb wires and solder on pencil probes. Oddly enough I've acquired the skills for simple soldering ( I had to rewire a few vintage sewing machine motors) but that information didn't spill over to this misadventure.

My better comb device -
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Dadaist embedder:

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Updated: even though I'd rather not admit to this debacle, I always like to hear a conclusion to a problem and maybe it will save someone else. And I truly appreciate everyone's 2 cents.

I tried simply using an old battery charger at 2 amp output and the clips to touch along individual wires but the first spark sent me scampering. I'm afraid electricity is above my pay grade. I am using a spur embedder with my craft heat gun running right over the top of it. I got a little overzealous with one and the wax thinned too much so there are some bare spots. Hoping I can just pop that in a honey super? I also stepped on a wax foundation in my frustration the last time I tried this. I took the wax off and am saving all the shavings in a little vintage double boiler. I promised my husband some beeswax pinecones for fire starters.
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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I am in Menomonee Falls. In February, I could stop by with a working embedder.

Crazy Roland
That is an incredibly kind offer. I am stubborn though and am determined to make my first 100 sheets work! I think the crimped wire foundation just creates too much interference to be able to use electricity to heat the horizontal wires I've put in the medium frames. Heating up my embedding tool and a little bit of the wax is working ok for the little that I have left to do. It's unlikely my queen will lay eggs where I've put my wire, but maybe on my next 100 they'll be even prettier. I might even be efficient at it if I get to 500 or 1000 frames in this adventure called bee keeping.

I will say that my previous questions on the best way to install the wedges was really helpful. I had been clipping the long wire hooks off of the sheet if they weren't close to a 90 deg. angle as was suggested. I got distracted on one sheet and missed a really bad wire. Lo and behold that end of the sheet was a warped mess and I knew exactly how to remedy it. Sometimes it's the little things that keep me going!
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Ok! My type A personality wants both functional and beautiful frames. I’m sure I will look at my first 100 and just shake my head. February sounds like a great time to meet, Roland. By then I will have the rest of my frames wired and ready for foundation.

Crofter, I did start weaving my foundation sheets in between the two transverse wires shortly after I took photos of first fails.l, but I did so indiscriminately. I will pay closer attention to the shape/curve of the existing crimped wire moving forward. Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Roland, I tried sending you a message or conversation but it’s not a feature I’ve used. It may have worked? I may have accidentally just posted to a different board? It’s been a day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
And Roland saves the day! I have over 50 foundations to go and his embedding device works like a charm. I am going to take some detailed photos and put my Dad (retired lineman) on the task the next time I head to La crosse. Thank you all! I truly appreciate it.
 
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