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Author Topic: Cell Punch  (Read 627 times)

Offline sc-bee

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Cell Punch
« on: March 26, 2017, 12:18:26 am »


Littlejohn- Talk to me about making a cell punch tool. I had some 1/2 tube cut but it looks a little too big... id of .5in. What have you found to be the ideal id of punch and recommend end punch part to use ie copper ferrule etc?  What about the length of the punch tube itself. I see Cushman's page says 25mm close to  1 inch.

Any other tips on mounting punches on a bar ie. nicot cups, jzbz cups etc?
John 3:16

Offline Jim 134

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Re: Cell Punch
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2017, 11:03:47 am »
   

     This is a compression ring for copper tubing. I have seen homemade ones made with this. The fabricator used a piece of copper strapping or rod. I believe you could use brazing rod as will.  Solder them together how to make a handle. I have one suggestion. I would put my handles on a 45 degrees as compared to the ring. you will not be so close to the comb with my hand. Just an idea which I have seen used. You can buy these rings from a lot of different places. Anybody that sells plumbing supplies. Such as hardware stores and big box stores like Home Depot and the like. They come in all different kinds of sizes. Used mainly on gas fittings as well as oil fittings. Also Airline fittings for brake systems in heavy duty trucks.



                    BEE HAPPY Jim 134  :smile:
« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 11:20:46 am by Jim 134 »
"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
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"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
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Offline sc-bee

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Re: Cell Punch
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2017, 12:41:23 pm »
   

     This is a compression ring for copper tubing.

Yep, I called it a ferrule in the opening post. I was looking for the optimum size of ferrule that would fit a JZBZ good without much smashing. I believe I read in the original post this picture came from, that the rod is from an old windshield wiper blade.
John 3:16

Offline Acebird

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Re: Cell Punch
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2017, 02:22:57 pm »
Any thin walled tubing could be sharpened to cut wax.  Why go to the trouble to make a handle?

https://microgroup.com/store/fractional-stainless-tubing.html
« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 02:38:39 pm by Acebird »
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Offline Jim 134

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Re: Cell Punch
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2017, 03:04:33 pm »
Any thin walled tubing could be sharpened to cut wax.  Why go to the trouble to make a handle
 
Just curious how you going to unload the punch..


        BEE HAPPY Jim 134  :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/

Offline Acebird

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Re: Cell Punch
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2017, 04:09:29 pm »
Blow on the tube.  If the tube is ground from the outside the plug wouldn't stick much.  If you grind it from the inside it will stick quite a bit so depending on what you want you could sharpen one end different then the other.
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Offline sc-bee

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Re: Cell Punch
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2017, 04:58:14 pm »
Any thin walled tubing could be sharpened to cut wax.  Why go to the trouble to make a handle?

https://microgroup.com/store/fractional-stainless-tubing.html

Cause you can.... :wink:
John 3:16

Offline sc-bee

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Re: Cell Punch
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2017, 05:00:08 pm »
Blow on the tube.  If the tube is ground from the outside the plug wouldn't stick much.  If you grind it from the inside it will stick quite a bit so depending on what you want you could sharpen one end different then the other.

Really??? So you have cell punched in the method you are describing--- blowing on the tube ?
John 3:16

Offline Jim 134

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Re: Cell Punch
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2017, 07:36:20 pm »
sc-bee
   Here is something you may enjoy watching. It looks like this guy is learned a few tips on cell punching. I hope you the best if you try it.

         


          BEE HAPPY Jim 134  :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/

Offline Acebird

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Re: Cell Punch
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2017, 08:27:40 am »
If the punch is so large that you pick up multiple larvae then I don't see why you can't skip the wax ring and just place the punched out comb in the JZBZ cup.  SC, why do you think the tubing wouldn't work especially if you are heating it?
« Last Edit: March 28, 2017, 09:05:31 am by Acebird »
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Offline Jim 134

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Re: Cell Punch
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2017, 09:49:44 am »
        sc-bee
    It looks like the guy in the video has had some personal experience. Myself I find it to be very valuable as compared to theory. When I saw this demonstration at field day in Massachusetts. The instructed did the same thing as in the video. That was a couple years ago. No it was not the same person.

           BEE HAPPY Jim 134  :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/

Offline little john

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Re: Cell Punch
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2017, 09:54:31 am »
Written before I realised a thread had been started ....

Received a PM earlier today asking me for any tips/advice about cell-punching - so I thought I'd post the info ...

Ok - so why cell-punch ?  A forum name like 'Little John' might give the clue that I wear XXXL clothes and have hands the size of shovels.  My eyesight, although once excellent, is now rubbish.  So - over-sized hands and crap eyesight together means I have great difficulty manipulating tiny sensitive objects like larvae.  Hence my need to find a suitable method for raising queens.

Ok - so let's say you've found yourself a suitable-sized larva sitting happily in the bottom of a cell in a brood-comb, and you proceed to remove that larva, wax cell and all.  Great - now what are you going to do with it ?  So this is where my story begins ...

The punched-cell needs to be attached to something, preferably some structure which can be used to move the queen-cell once it has been fully drawn and capped. This is a photo of the first method I devised - the 'Mushroom System'. 



The 'mushrooms' were made from gluing short lengths of dowel rod into the blanks which result from drilling holes in plywood with a hole saw.  A dab of molten wax is then dripped onto the end of the inverted 'mushroom stalk', with 8 such 'mushrooms' being held in a purpose-made rack.  Punched cells are then duly attached to those wax surfaces.

As a system it worked reasonably well, except that the bees glued the 'mushrooms' firmly to the bar which made their removal difficult, and there's no straightforward method of protecting the queen-cells from an early emerging virgin, as there is with the cages of the Nicot System. 

Then I hit upon the idea of modifying the Nicot cell-cups to replicate the 'mushroom stalks'.  This was done by slicing-up some suitable dowel rod into short lengths, and gluing them with epoxy into NEW, UNUSED cell cups.  Then, wax was dripped onto their ends as before, and having attached the punched cells, the resulting queen-cells - when fully drawn and capped - could be treated in exactly the same way as if they had been created by initially grafting a larva into a cell-cup.

Here are some modified cell-cups:



and here's one inserted into a rack, showing the cages which I consider one of the best features of the Nicot System.




Ok - so now that we've established a technique for handling punched-cells, we can now address a method for creating them in the first place ...

Cell-punching is very similar in principle to using a pastry-cutter, except that we need to heat the ring punch (typically with boiling water), in order for it to cleanly cut through the wax comb.  The comb itself should neither be old comb (for that is far too tough to cut), nor brand new comb (for that is too soft to handle).  Brood comb which has been used once or twice is ideal.

Punch tools can be made from a plumbing fitting which is known as an 'olive' in Britain, but maybe you call these 'ferrules' or perhaps something else.  It's the round copper or brass 'collar' which is slipped onto copper pipe before connecting it to a compression fitting.  Any hardware store supplying plumbing fittings will stock these.

I've made several punches by soldering a couple of short pieces of brazing rod to a brass olive, and then epoxying the brazing rod into the end of a dowel-rod handle.  Then bend the brazing rod to give a comfortable working angle - there are a couple in the next photograph, along with a Queen-Cell punch (more about that in another post).



A word about size.  The most common olives are 1/2" diameter in the US, and 15mm in Europe.  This size is really too large, and often a second cell is accidently included - so, be on the look-out for this, and simply spike the unwanted larva.
I suppose an olive could always be cut and squeezed to reduce it's diameter - but I've never done this.

You'll also see that I've cut a slot into an illuminated magnifying glass, so that the punch tool can be inserted through that.




Ok - so - procedure ...  place the illuminated magnifying glass on the comb surface, and find yourself a suitable larva.  Place the hot punch around the selected cell, and press gently downwards.  The punched cell will come away with the tool, and then be 'stuck' inside it.  So - if you go back to the 'Nicot Cages' photograph, you'll see a simple solution.  Push down onto that vertical dowel rod, and the punched cell lifts out.  Then hold that cell - ever so gently - in your left hand.  With your right hand, using the modified(*) soldering iron shown, melt the wax on top of a modified cell cup and, pulling the iron away to one side, gently place the punched cell onto the still molten wax.  Within seconds, it will be set in place.

And that's really all there is to it.
LJ

(*)  This iron has been modified in two ways: it has a diode fitted in the plug, so that it now runs on half power (a Dave Cushman idea), and it's round copper bit has been replaced by a copper tube, hammered flat to form a spatula tip (a Little John idea !).  A useful tool, but a 'hot knife' would do the same job.
A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping - http://heretics-guide.site90.com

Offline little john

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Re: Cell Punch
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2017, 09:56:48 am »

Follow-up.  You may have noticed in the photograph of the 'Nicot Cages', that these are unused - and there's a reason for this.
With the exception of the Laying Cage (which I've never been entirely happy using) the Nicot System is really good, but unfortunately is expensive. However, a Chinese clone can be purchased via Ebay, for very silly money.  It's quality is not quite as good as that from the Nicotplast Company, but it's perfectly acceptable.

But - potential problem - parts from the Chinese clone are NOT interchangeable with those of the Nicot System.  The cell-cups ARE - which arguably is the only really important thing - but the holders and cages can't be swapped around, as there is a small diameter difference.  Hence, I've been using ONLY the Chinese kit, and the Nicot stuff remains unused, just in case anybody should ever want to buy it ...  :smile:
LJ
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Offline sc-bee

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Re: Cell Punch
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2017, 08:52:58 pm »
Little John,
Thank you very much for the detailed post. I am no do-it- your selfer so I bought a tool from Carriage House Bees. It was $18 bucks with shipping. I think the size covers just one cell. I did make some cuts on some 1/2 copper tubing and realized it was a little large.  I may move forward with those just for giggles and smush a few eggs inside the large diameter.

I am with you on the large hands etc except I am wider than tall with XXXX's attached  :wink:



John 3:16

Offline Jim 134

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Re: Cell Punch
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2017, 08:50:10 am »
       Have a beekeeper that I know  in Massachusetts .  What she does is collect Benton Queen cages resize the hole. To fit. JZ-BZ Queen cup and uses them for the Cell protector. Once the Queen cell is capped. Hope you have a little fun in your adventure of trying to raise Queens. Well with the least this tool it is welded together. You will be able to use a blow torch to heat your punch up with hahaha

Of course you can buy Benton Queen cages from Walter Kelley bee supplies.

https://tinyurl.com/lytss7t

                  BEE HAPPY Jim 134.  :smile:
« Last Edit: March 28, 2017, 08:31:04 pm 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 capt44

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Re: Cell Punch
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2017, 12:50:32 pm »
I cut some tubes from an empty .45 caliber long brass cartridge.
I used a tube cutter and got 3 cuts from it.
Works perfect and cuts thru the outer cells leaving the center cell intact.
Richard Vardaman (capt44)

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Cell Punch
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2017, 01:11:00 pm »
I like that idea. It would work better than the compression ring. Not so thick of a wall.
Jim
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Offline ondine

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Re: Cell Punch
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2017, 06:16:37 am »



Sorry about the sound quality
This is the one I make
I haven't got any on eBay this year but might do soon
They are not hard to make and the idea uses standard cupkit parts

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