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Author Topic: Any one have plans for a homemade elctric wire embedder?  (Read 8798 times)
latebee
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« on: March 14, 2005, 12:34:55 AM »

I have ordered small cell wax foundation for the first time. I have always used the plastic foundation before this. Wanted to try small cell but do not have an embedder. Wondering if you might have plans for one, or a site which may have  a source. I recieve great joy from making my own equipment and having a great time so far.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2005, 06:54:03 AM »

I have heard that a 12 Volt battery charger with a two amp option works great. Haven't tried it.
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Rich V
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« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2005, 10:07:41 AM »

I tried a 12 volt 2 amper battery charger on 100% wax foundation. It wasn't pretty. To much power. Went to a 12volt  35VA transformer. Works great.

Rich V
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Finsky
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« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2005, 10:55:39 AM »

I use 1000 W heater in my self made circuit.  I keep  electric cables in my hands and put the current go through frame wires. So it has been 40 years. Just some electric shocks. Like giant shake hand with me Tongue

Room temperature must be 25C that foundation rest nicely on wires.
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Horns Pure Honey
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« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2005, 05:54:07 PM »

There is one in the mid wetern handbook for raising bees. bye Cheesy
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Jon McFadden
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« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2005, 03:48:46 AM »

My mentor used a jar filled with water. A wire from 115 went to one side of the jar and a wire went from the other side of the jar to his embedder. If he needed more current, he would add salt.
I use a 12 volt 8 Amp battery charger. The battery charger adds a level of safety because of the secondary winding.  
The voltage and current stay the same. The duration is controlled by the embedding board. When I drop a frame on my embedding board, I make sure the wires are making good contact with the foundation. I have two contacts that match the nails on the frame. As soon as the frame is positioned and while watching the wires, I press the upper contact into continuity. When I see the wax start to melt and the wire begin to embed. I release the contact and give it a second to solidify.
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« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2005, 04:11:24 PM »

Hey, I wanted to write and tell people to goto this site

http://www.surpluscenter.com/electric.asp?UID=2005061915072451&catname=electric

http://www.surpluscenter.com/

They are located in lincoln nebraska, I do not work for them I am in oakland california, I am a potter and I have had to rebuild several peices of equipment and they have a lot of different stuff.

What I am thinking is that they will have transformers and dials to turn down the current, I am pretty sure you will be able to build the electrical parts for you wire embedder from stuff from this site.

I hope it helps.
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Donn
Jon McFadden
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« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2005, 10:56:09 PM »

Donn,
There is no reason to control the voltage. 12 volts at whatever current the wire will carry works. Even with the shallow frames, you can control the duration just fine. shallow frames, short time, deeps frames, a little longer.
Using a potentiometer is just added cost. At one time I used an autotransformer for this, but I found that the battery charger voltage (13.5 V) works just fine.
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Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2005, 11:41:37 PM »

Plastic small-cell foundation is still available from Dadant. This saves having to fight with wires. Also provides insurance against wax-moth damage and for those that aren't drawn just right.
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Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2005, 04:29:14 AM »

I'm new at this and am currently soaking up all the info I can and am considering making my own equipment.  I found some plans on beekeepingchapter2 plans for a Electrical Embedder and Embedder Board.  I'm not sure how to transfer the info...if I do I'll copy it over.  Hope this helps.
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« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2005, 02:36:06 PM »

Quote from: Joseph Clemens
Plastic small-cell foundation is still available from Dadant. This saves having to fight with wires. Also provides insurance against wax-moth damage and for those that aren't drawn just right.


Don't waste your time with this stuff if you have large cell bees.  They will not draw it properly and make a mess.  Once they are regressed,  it may be OK.

click image for larger view

Your better off using starter strips and letting them build there own comb for the first regression.
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Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2005, 04:34:24 PM »

As far a pre-regression, most of my brood combs were pierco plastic one-piece frames and pierco foundation in wood frames. MB says that the plastic foundation likely provided the bees with a near first regression. I say this because I initially used all-wax small-cell foundation wired into medium frames. Most of these were initially drawn quite well.

I have been using the plastic small-cell foundation since the moment it first became available, 2 or 3 years ago. Most have been drawn into almost perfect small-cell combs. I experimented with a few deeps, though I am predominantly an all-medium super beekeeper. It was a beautiful sight to see many deep combs in that super that were nealy 100% top bar to bottom bar with sealed small-cell brood.  A few had some bad spots. From what it looks like is that they didn't appreciate that I hadn't adjusted the spacing from 1-3/8" to 1-1/4" as I was still ignorant of comb spacing as regards small-cell vs large-cell. My take is that 1-1/4" spacing for small-cell foundation doesn't give them as much room to make goof-ups as larger spacings do.

Besides, if you don't like how they draw out the foundation, scrape what they did, off and let them try again. The beauty of plastic foundation.
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Joseph Clemens
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No chemicals -- no treatments of any kind, EVER.
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« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2005, 05:25:57 PM »

Quote from: Joseph Clemens
As far a pre-regression, most of my brood combs were pierco plastic one-piece frames and pierco foundation in wood frames. MB says that the plastic foundation likely provided the bees with a near first regression.


Another plus for plastic,  they seem to be hard to come by Cheesy

Seems like you have things pretty much in control and I'm glad things went relatively smooth for you.

I know a lot of folks are toying with the idea of small cell,  and like the idea of plastic.  You are in the minority as being successful getting it drawn correctly without regressed bee (though as you described, your bees may have already been on the regression train).  

It can be a real nightmare for newbies that try to jump right in with the small cell plastic.  Drawn comb is very precious, especially for someone just starting out.
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Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2005, 07:52:02 PM »

True, good comb is a precious commodity.

I like the small-cell plastic base foundation because when they do draw it in a way I don't agree with I can simply scrape the comb back down to the foundation, no need for new foundation, no need for wires, no need for more beeswax. And if I neglect the combs in storage the wax moths don't damage the plastic foundation base.

I did use the small-cell all wax foundation with wires. Many of those combs are in good shape. Since it comes in deep size only, I have been cutting them in half to fit into medium frames with two horizontal wires, this leaves a gap beneath the foundation (about an inch). I embed the wires which gives it much more stability. I am frustrated that most of these combs never get attached to the bottom bar of the frames, this leaves them a little bit more vulnerable to handling damage.
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Joseph Clemens
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qa33010
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« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2005, 03:18:46 AM »

latebee,

     Here is where I got the diagram and the info on a homemade embedder; www.ag.uiuc.edu~vista/html_pubs ...click on beekeeping equipment and you should be set.  I don't know how big your operation is, but if it isn't all that big a manual alternative was also discribed using a spur embedder (looks alot like the spur tool used in sewing and quilt making or the one used with screen embedding for windows) heated.   Any way it's the University of Illinois website county extension beekeeping.  Hope this helps.

                                                  qa33010
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Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)
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« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2005, 05:10:09 AM »

latebee,

     Here is where I got the diagram and the info on a homemade embedder; www.ag.uiuc.edu~vista/html_pubs ...click on beekeeping equipment and you should be set.

     You can also try just ag.uiuc.edu~vista and then click on pubs, then click agriculture, then click on beekeeping, and finally equipment.  I noticed that sometimes the whole address will throw me to Pluto.  Sorry!
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Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)
Joseph Clemens
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« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2005, 07:01:26 AM »

Below is the link to the actual image of the plans mentioned in the above link:

http://www.ag.uiuc.edu/~vista/html_pubs/BEEKEEP/CHAPT2/2-18.gif
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Joseph Clemens
Beekeeping since 1964
10+ years in Tucson, Arizona
12+ hives and 15+ nucs
No chemicals -- no treatments of any kind, EVER.
Robo
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« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2005, 07:16:20 AM »

That is the plans that is in the "Beekeeping in the Midwest" book (A very good book I might add, especially for the price, even if you aren't in the Midwest).  It can be difficult to navigate to, so I have pasted here.

Thanks QA.....





 Beeswax comb foundation, plain or wired, produces the strongest combs if it is installed in wired frames before it is given to a colony of bees. To be acceptable to the bees, the frame wires must be embedded in the wax of the foundation. The job of embedding can be done easily and quickly by using an electrical embedder and a special embedding board shown in the construction plan on the next page. The embedder heats the wire by briefly short-circuiting a 12-volt electrical current. The embedding board serves as a base on which to press the heated wires into the beeswax of the comb foundation.

The electrical embedder consists of a transformer, used to reduce house current to 12 volts, whose output wires are connected to copper contacts at either end of a 3/4-inch-square piece of wood. There is only one critical dimension in making such an embedder. The copper contacts must be spaced so that their centers are 6 inches apart for fulldepth (9-1/8-inch) frames and approximately 2 inches apart for shallow (61/4- and 5-3/8-inch) frames. These contacts are pressed against the end portions of the wire that cross one end bar at right angles to it (see detail in construction plan). All the wire in the frame is heated at once when electrical contact is made.

The embedding board is a piece of 3/4-inch-thick lumber cut to fit closely within the frames being used. It should be approximately 7-5/8 X 16-5/8 inches for full-depth frames, narrower for shallow frames. In order for the wires to make the best possible contact with the wax, the embedding board should have a convex curve on the longer dimension of its tipper surface. From its 3/4- inch thickness in the center, the board should taper to 1/2 inch at its outer ends. The cleats beneath the board provide needed additional height.

Place the frame on the embedding board with the comb foundation (already attached) beneath the wires. While pressing on the frame, contact the wires on the end bar with the embedder. Hold it in contact only briefly, a second or two at first, until you learn how much heat is needed to sink the wires into the foundation. Too long a contact will produce heat enough to cut plain foundation into strips or to melt wax away from the intersection of vertical and horizontal wires. Before embedding foundation, be sure it is warm, at least at room temperature. Afterwards, do not subject it to cold temperatures because the contraction and later expansion of the wax may cause the foundation to pull away from the wires.
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qa33010
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« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2005, 01:04:35 AM »

Quote from: Joseph Clemens
Below is the link to the actual image of the plans mentioned in the above link:

http://www.ag.uiuc.edu/~vista/html_pubs/BEEKEEP/CHAPT2/2-18.gif




     Thanks!!!  I can't seem to get it right.
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Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)
qa33010
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« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2005, 01:05:19 AM »

Quote from: Joseph Clemens
Below is the link to the actual image of the plans mentioned in the above link:

http://www.ag.uiuc.edu/~vista/html_pubs/BEEKEEP/CHAPT2/2-18.gif




     Thanks!!!  I can't seem to get it right.
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Everyone said it couldn't be done. But he with a chuckle replied, "I won't be one to say it is so, until I give it a try."  So he buckled right in with a trace of a grin.  If he had a worry he hid it and he started to sing as he tackled that thing that couldn't be done, and he did it.  (unknown)
latebee
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« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2005, 10:44:19 PM »

Really appreciate all the info every one has given here. Actually I only have four colonies and three nucs,but I did want and embedder and have built one.
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