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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yep, I'm a newbee all right.

Now, I purchased most of my equipment when I was in the lower-48 last year - freight to Alaska is a killer - and my supplier told me to keep the all-wax foundations cool.

Which I did.

What is not clear is at what temperatures I ought to be working with them as I prepare my frames and foundations for next week's arrival of bees.

I am no butterfingers...but the very first foundation I handled snapped clean along one of the vertical wires. Oops.

The second one shattered into three pieces.

This is not a good trend. So:

1. At what temps SHOULD one be handling foundations;

and

2. What is it like to perform some beeswax welding? I don't, of course, have any spare wax..... :eek:

and

3. How rare a goof is this? I wonder if the rest of the world's idea of "keep cool" differs from what mine is. As a hint, it was cool this morning here: -3ºF.....
 

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Dump the wax and go to plastic, drop it kick it, work it below zero, if wax moths chew it up scrap it off and give it back. Mice will chew the wax and pollen off and leave the foundation alone. If the frame goes to pot snap it out and put it in a new frame. I have used both and found they will draw out plastic as well as wax.
 

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I don't know what temp to work with the wax, but disagree with going plastic. I have plastic frames that are 2 years old and still not drawn out all the way. However last time I was at Mann Lake buying frames, they tried to sell me some plastic ones. I told them I had not had much luck with those, the guy there swears by their plastic frame inserts and gave me 3 to try out, so we shall see. I have been building frames for the last few days because swarms have been popping left and right here, I'm using unpainted equipment and still running out. I would think that -3 would be just a tad cold to work with wax. I have built frames in the mid 40's with no problems.

Craig
 

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Bring your foundation in the house and let it warm up to room temp., needs to be a little on the flexable side to keep it from breaking. What the supplier was trying to say was don't leave it out in the sun or in a hot place (like you car or near the heater) it will melt or get so soft it will stick to each other. If using wedge type frames the wax needs to be soft enough to crush under the wedge and not break when you nail it in.

HTH and good luck, when does it worm up enough to play in the bees up your way??

G3

Forgot to mention, go ahead and use the broken pieces, if you are cross wiring it will hold it flat anyways.
 

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I agree with G3, bring it in the house and let it warm up a few days, it will be fine to work with after warming up. -3 is too cold to be bending wax.
 

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Dump the wax and go to plastic, drop it kick it, work it below zero, if wax moths chew it up scrap it off and give it back. Mice will chew the wax and pollen off and leave the foundation alone. If the frame goes to pot snap it out and put it in a new frame. I have used both and found they will draw out plastic as well as wax.
you DO know, they draw really bad burrcomb if introduced not in a flow, AND might I add, one of my commercial buddies tells me the only way to get it to 'work,' is to 'paint' molten wax on with a cutdown paint roller. I digress. Plastic is a double edged sword.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the input so far, but I'd like to draw the thread back to an original question:

Can this Humpty Dumpty put those shattered foundations back together again?
 

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You can also weld the cracks using the proper tip for a Weller soldering iron. It is shaped like a pancake turner. It is called a Smoothing Tip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
THOSE are the answers I was looking for! And I do have a Smoothing Tip for my Weller.

Delighted to hear I needn't drag out the Millermatic :D
 
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