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Author Topic: Making foundation  (Read 3895 times)

Offline Ralphee

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Re: Making foundation
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2020, 01:42:11 am »

I don't use foundation, never have, and doubt I ever will - but - I do love a challenge, especially an engineering challenge ...

LJ

That is a better version of what i had planned actually.... The mold and frame i was going to try and cast in one go, but the more i think about it the less i like the idea - air bubbles being the main reason.
Looking at the 'professional' molds you can buy for $800US (they are aluminum) as inspiration, just trying to recreate one of them without that sort of price tag really.
If i cast one side of my plastic frame, flip the whole thing then cast the other side, i will have the spacing right as well (yes its a 'plastic mold' space, not a 'wax space', but close enough for this)
I happen to have a can of spray designed to release casts from molds, its designed for latex and such, but worth a try with an epoxy
Unless i suddenly get a bunch of time free its all hypothetical, life has a habit of getting busy lately!
And don't stress Ben Framed - i know the odds of this being a great success are very slim. The odds of it working are reasonable and its just an experiment really, not planning on going into production or making hundred of foundations (go google the machines that do this! they are great fun to watch!!)
Good tips, thank you

Offline .30WCF

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Making foundation
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2021, 11:27:34 pm »
I just stumbled across this thread, and haven?t put much thought into this before. I use Bondo in some of my taxidermy work. There is a sweet spot where bondo is flexible and impressionable. I mean you have to get it right, but....
If you took a plastic foundation and sprayed it with cooking spray or something, (possibly covered it in plastic wrap?) and smeared bondo all over it kinda thick, 3/8-1/2?, and then kept testing the leftovers in the mixing bowl or putty knife to see when it?s ready to peel. You could peel it off the plastic foundation just like silicone, then lay it down flat and may be even just lay a small piece of plywood on top to press it flat. ( there is a 3 minute window where you can flop a sheet of bondo around like a fruit roll up.) You would need two of these to make paddles trimmed to the right size to press wax.

As for the roller. A 4 inch paint roller.
Strip the nap off down to the plastic, on second thought, who cares, leave the nap on. I would go for epoxy-sculpt (2 part epoxy molding putty) so it would be durable, but modeling clay over the roller and roll the impression from a plastic frame. Once hard you should be able to roll it onto the wax. Things to consider would be the diameter of the roller after the medium is applied. If you roll across the plastic foundation too far and the diameter isn?t sized 100% correctly the pattern won?t line up after one full roll. Just stop at one roll across the plastic to imprint the roller. If it doesn?t meet up just right, leave it to the bees to sort out. If you roll too far in the clay imprint stage you could double imprint the mold with a 50% overlap. Just roll to 90%, roll back and look at the transition, roll forward a little more, roll back and check, roll forward.....until 100% coverage on the paint roller. Hang it up and let it cure.
Once cured, roll it across flat wax foundation.
Probably won?t work. Let me know how it does.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Making foundation
« Reply #22 on: December 15, 2021, 06:34:52 pm »
Hi Folks,

I noticed that no one has responded to this post for a while but as I?m new to the site, I would like to make a comment. I have always made my own foundation. Originally I designed and used a silicone mold. It worked exceptionally well and produced all the foundation that I needed for about a dozen hives. I generally made the foundation as it was needed and put it straight onto frames as wax that it cast tends to be brittle. The bees loved it and seemed to work it just as quick or quicker than commercial foundation. These days I tend to dip flat sheets and roll them though an embossing roller while the wax is warm. If you only have a few hives, the expense of the roller would never be repaid. I was lucky enough to purchase one cheaply quite a few years ago. The advantage of making your own foundation is that you can produce sheets when you want them and utilise your own wax. I have to drive for a couple of hours if I need beekeeping supplies so anything that I can do myself is a bonus. All of my old comb is removed from frames by steaming. Each old comb gives me enough clean, yellow wax to produce at least one sheet of foundation.

Cheers

Les

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Making foundation
« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2022, 09:35:50 pm »
Les I had already tried the sheet type set up that Skeggley posted. It did work but not as well as I had hoped. I tried it because Tim showed it working for him with just the flat sheets. Looking back, my sheets seemed too weak now that I think about it. Tim shows his bees working if fine and didn't seem to have problems. I just got tied of fooling with it. I was thinking 'lately' if a person had a roller embosser, it might be a different matter and well worth it? Especially if you can emboss wire into the foundation all at the same time? You have reported on your roller embosser recently. For the price, I have came to the conclusion, for my needs, either go foundation less with skewers as I have been doing, or simply go plastic. I am transitioning to plastic for my honey suppers and hope to eventually have plastic all the way round. Especially at the price Acorn sells it. (At least the last time I checked).

Phillip





« Last Edit: January 12, 2022, 11:42:19 pm by Ben Framed »
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline paus

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Re: Making foundation
« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2022, 11:02:08 pm »
I am not sure that we, as the bee's keeper should use any foundation that determines what size cell the bees need.  I am happy with foundationless frames.  Let the games begin.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2022, 07:37:24 pm by paus »

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Making foundation
« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2022, 01:03:44 am »
I am not sure that we, as the bee's keeper should use any foundation that determines what size cell the bees need.  I am happy with foundationless frames.  Let games begin.

Very good point Paus. Keeping foundation-less in the brood box is something I will consider after reading your post. Sticking with foundation-less 'skewer frames' in my brood boxes. My transition for 'both' honey supers as well as plastic in brood boxes is not written in stone as of yet. The reason I am converting over to plastic in honey boxes is because of 'time' and 'effort' including smoother extraction, plain and simple. I enjoy extracting honey with my extractor but I do not enjoy what I have experienced when I used foundation-less frames with 'no' support. I shortcut-ed some of my deep frames last season with unsupported foundation-less frames because of lack of time to build more even though I thought I had plenty ready to go supported frames on hand. (which I did not) un-supported new frames of honey was no fun to extract. For a number of reasons that could have led to much more blow out, if I had not went through great pain to avoid during extraction.

As The15thMember pointed out on another topic, the foundation less wax frames need to be attached, sides and bottoms, as well as the top starter strips. Middle support such as skewers for example should also be incorporated in foundation-less for extaction. Even if all the sides and bottoms are not completely attached I found I could get by better as long as I had middle support. Without this middle support I had to add rubber bands just as in a cutout situation in order to keep for having too much blow out with unsupported foundation less frames. Your method of skewers are the best method I have used, for foundation less but with my increasing number of hives. (Over 30 now): It is now 'time practical' to use plastic. If I had and only wanted a hand full of hives, what I have been using, would be great.

I still watch a number of videos with an open mind, seeking to explore advancement in methods. Just a couple examples. Jeff Horchoff of Jeff Horchoff Bees honey extraction works great with plastic foundation. Same for Bob Binnie. I am thinking that someone as small as myself could benefit with plastic honey frames as well. Even though I do not need or could justify, such expensive nice equipment as they have. Though in my small hobby operation I can see where plastic can be a tremendous help.
 
You last post and good point of letting the bees build the type comb they want in the brood boxes sounds reasonable. This thinking may help me hold off from plastic in brood boxes for a while. Thank you Paus for all you have taught me and continue to teach me.

Phillip




« Last Edit: January 13, 2022, 07:10:58 am by Ben Framed »
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline cao

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Re: Making foundation
« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2022, 01:40:56 am »
Another advantage to using foundationless frames in the brood nest is that when you want to replace the comb after a few years, all it takes is a knife to cut out the old comb.  No plastic to replace or clean.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Making foundation
« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2022, 01:50:07 am »
Another advantage to using foundationless frames in the brood nest is that when you want to replace the comb after a few years, all it takes is a knife to cut out the old comb.  No plastic to replace or clean.

Good point Cao, and even another would be if we had supersede cells or swarm cells on brood frames and wanted to salvage these, we can cut them out and use them from foundation-less frames. I don't know if it is possible on plastic?
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Making foundation
« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2022, 07:14:23 am »
I would like to add another point if I could. When I used to make cast foundation, the silicone mold was constructed using a sheet of plastic foundation as a guide. From memory it was about 5.3mm cell size. I was told by a a couple of beekeepers that this was too large for the brood box. I used it anyway as it was all that I had. The bees drew out comb quickly and the queen would lay out the frames with no apparent issue. I couldn?t see how there was any problem at all. A year or so later an accidental occurrence showed me what was actually happening. In a couple of my hives, I had my homemade foundation as well as some of the commercially made foundation side by side in a brood box. The commercially made foundation was a slightly smaller cell size to what I was making. Both frames had open brood and what I saw made me smile. The bees increased the cell wall thickness on the larger home made foundation to give them a size that suited their needs. It was spring at the time and I also noticed that there were areas where the cell size was increased to produce drone comb. Sometimes I believe that we try to overthink things. Our bees are amazing creatures that have the ability to adjust and adapt to the problems that we throw at them. I must admit however that the more efficient we can be in presenting the ideal conditions for our buzzy friends, the greater the return will be in the long run.

Cheers

Les

Offline Jim 134

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Re: Making foundation
« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2022, 05:57:01 am »
      I don't believe I shared this.... Information in a long time... I was a beekeeper in North Africa..   Sponsor by United States Peace Corp.. In 1983 to 1985.. It was nearly impossible to get wax foundation... So I went foundation less... Yes it worked well.
They're also. Was no Honey extractors.. Did a crush and strain... This was a new concept... To the beekeepers I was helping... The biggest thing that took off for me..  Solar wax melters..  This was in a country called Tunisia.. Before this I never did foundation less..  The site I was assigned to... What is right along the Mediterranean sea..  There was square miles of  Thyme and Rosemary.


               BEE HAPPY  Jim134   :smile:
« Last Edit: January 14, 2022, 06:08:19 am by Jim 134 »
"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
        Chinese Proverb

"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Making foundation
« Reply #30 on: January 14, 2022, 12:00:31 pm »
      I don't believe I shared this.... Information in a long time... I was a beekeeper in North Africa..   Sponsor by United States Peace Corp.. In 1983 to 1985.. It was nearly impossible to get wax foundation... So I went foundation less... Yes it worked well.
They're also. Was no Honey extractors.. Did a crush and strain... This was a new concept... To the beekeepers I was helping... The biggest thing that took off for me..  Solar wax melters..  This was in a country called Tunisia.. Before this I never did foundation less..  The site I was assigned to... What is right along the Mediterranean sea..  There was square miles of  Thyme and Rosemary.


               BEE HAPPY  Jim134   :smile:

All Interesting Jim, tell us about the unique honey from these herbal plants. Was there a noticeable difference in its taste than other honeys?

Phillip
For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Offline Jim 134

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Re: Making foundation
« Reply #31 on: January 15, 2022, 10:11:36 pm »
      I don't believe I shared this.... Information in a long time... I was a beekeeper in North Africa..   Sponsor by United States Peace Corp.. In 1983 to 1985.. It was nearly impossible to get wax foundation... So I went foundation less... Yes it worked well.
They're also. Was no Honey extractors.. Did a crush and strain... This was a new concept... To the beekeepers I was helping... The biggest thing that took off for me..  Solar wax melters..  This was in a country called Tunisia.. Before this I never did foundation less..  The site I was assigned to... What is right along the Mediterranean sea..  There was square miles of  Thyme and Rosemary.


               BEE HAPPY  Jim134   :smile:

All Interesting Jim, tell us about the unique honey from these herbal plants. Was there a noticeable difference in its taste than other honeys?

Phillip


             I never could smell or taste very well... I know the locals could tell... This honey brought a premium price... At was  1 1/2 to 2 times the price of regular honey... Honey from eucalyptus trees... What's about the same price.... As honey in the USA at that time....  As compared to the USA...

                       BEE HAPPY  Jim134   :smile:
"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
        Chinese Proverb

"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/