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Author Topic: Buying an extractor, opinions wanted  (Read 3782 times)
Lesli
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« on: February 08, 2005, 08:07:10 PM »

Hey All,
I got an unexpected bonus at work (long story, but I worked several days nearly non-stop after a vendor trashed our entire workplace's email system, putting 11,000 users out of business...). Anyway, work is kind enough to show their gratitude with some extra cash, and I thought this would be a good time to spend it on--what else?--bee equipment. What I most need now is the uncapping tub, knife, and extractor.

So what are people using and what do you like?
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Kirk-o
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2005, 08:22:21 PM »

I got the cheapest stainless stell one I could get from Dadant about 300.00 hand cranker holds two deep frames crank then turn them around and crank some more well made good quality stainless steel
kirk-o
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"It's not about Honey it's not about Money It's about SURVIVAL" Charles Martin Simmon
golfpsycho
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2005, 09:35:35 PM »

The two and 4 frame hand crank models are enough for most hobbyists.  However, it can be like buying a boat.  You always wish you had gotten a bigger/faster/ more comfortable one.  Trading up is pricy.  Think how many hives you want to eventually have,  buy accordingly.
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Robo
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« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2005, 09:56:54 PM »

Lesli,

I have an old Kelley 4 frame extractor with motor conversion and it has served us well,  dad bought it used about 30 years ago and added the motor conversion.  We also have the pierce electric knife with internal thermostat that is about the same age.  

As far as an uncapping tub,  we have one with the hot water tubes to melt the wax and seperate the honey.  It worked well when we had 100+ hives,  but it is a pain to clean an is not worth the effort for just a few hives.  Now we just use a rubbermaid garbage can with a wooden rack on top.  Works quite well.  Perfect height and when you plan on extracting more than once, we just put the cover on and don't have to worry about ants/mice/.....  getting into it.  We found a metal basket that fits inside, but doesn't go all the way to the bottom.  This way the cappings can drain.

I don't know much about all the new stuff on the market, but I can say that Kelley stuff is built well and will last forever.  They are a good down to earth American company.  They don't have all the fancy catalogs and stuff of their competitors, but they are usually cheaper and their stuff is equal or better.
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2005, 10:03:16 PM »

I bought just a plain uncapping knife - non-electric - and don't like it. I have no experience with an electric one, but I believe it would work better. We also bought a plastic extractor. We went the cheaper route cause that's all I had to work with. The plastic extractor is OK..... but that's all. It works fine, and spins great, but leaks at the honey gate and makes a mess. I plan to try something to seal it up..... like that tape you use with water pipes.

Beth
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Jay
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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2005, 10:23:19 PM »

Beth, that's called teflon tape.  Lesli, if you can go with a radial extractor rather than a tangential one, it is much more of a labor saver. No flip flopping frames back and fourth and radial is less stress on the wax in the frame. They are more expensive though.
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Lesli
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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2005, 06:47:47 AM »

Thanks for the replies, all. I'll have 6-7 colonies this year, and would like to go bigger, so I figure I'll get electric. Thanks for the tip to look into Kelly. I'd forgotten about them!
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Rich V
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« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2005, 10:18:39 AM »

30 years use, and bought used. That says alot for the manufacturer.
Has to be good equipment. Built well.

Rich V.
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beesharp
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« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2005, 05:55:02 PM »

Here's some information on extracting. I'm very happy with a 9-frame handcrank. It worked with my budget and can be upgraded to electric if we expand our numbers.
http://www.sunshinehoney.com/honey/pages/extract.html

Jim
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Robo
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« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2005, 07:33:07 PM »

Jim,

Nice description on the extracting process,  but I don't think you emphasized enough how sticky it gets cheesy

One thing though,  your hands never feel as clean as when they are all stick with honey and you rinse them off with warm water.  Better than soap.

Nice website by the way,  I just sent you an invite to join Beemaster's webring.


Lesli,

One good point that Jim brings up is keep the whole process in mind when buying equipment.  If you plan on having someone help you,  one person can be uncapping and the other extracting.  In this case a larger extractor does not neccesarily make the job go quicker, because you will constantly be waiting for the uncapper to catch up.

Not sure what size frame they refer to when sizing an extractor.  I previously said mine was four frames,  but that is because we only use full deep supers.  It will hold 8 medium frames.   Working with my dad,  the four deep frame uncapping is just about right with the extracting time.
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Horns Pure Honey
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« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2005, 07:43:02 PM »

You are right about the  honey on the hands. I found a spa that will buy honey from me so they can use it as a skin treatment, not cheap either to have honey poured on ya, lol.
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Ryan Horn
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« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2005, 09:16:04 PM »

I Will second the pleasure of dealing with the Walter Kelly company. One of the old beekeepers in our club grew up near there and visits family there every year as well as Kellys store.
They have treated me very well from the queen I bought thru them to the frames.

I don't have much of my own equipment, a used two frame galvinized antique I haven't ever used. I worked out a share croppers deal with my friend. He has a 18 frame radial, uses an electric knife with the thermostate in the handle. He uses a old kitchen double stainless sink with a frame over the top with 1/8 hardware screen and a couple of sharp pins to hold the bottom of the frame while he slices. I load the extractor and when that is finished I move the cappings to the second sink to drain thru a screen he has there too, while he rest his wrist. He starts the extractor draining into a 5 gallon pail thru double sivies. When the pail is nearly full I dump it into another tank thru the long filter with the fine cloth filter. From there it goes into the bottleing tank and it is his baby.
When I buy my own extractor I'm going to go the over kill route. Better to have more than not enough I think.
am seriously thinking of an uncapping plane rather than a knife too but haven't seen much information on them.
 Cheesy  Al
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beandoggle66
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2005, 12:38:57 PM »

Beesharp (Jim),

Have you ever thought about going with the shallow divided frames for your comb honey?
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