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Poll
Question: What is your PRIMARY uncapping tool?
Uncapping fork - 12 (23.1%)
Electric Uncapping Knife - 20 (38.5%)
Non-Electric Uncapping Knife - 7 (13.5%)
Serrated Bread Knife - 6 (11.5%)
Filet Knife - 0 (0%)
Electric Uncapping Plane - 2 (3.8%)
Other (Specify in comments) - 5 (9.6%)
Total Voters: 52


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Author Topic: Uncapping Tools  (Read 3718 times)
bassman1977
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« on: May 22, 2012, 08:53:26 AM »

Since I began keeping bees, I have used an uncapping fork as my uncapping tool.  Works well however, when I filter, I get a lot of cappings in the filter which eventually slows the filtration process down considerably, even on hot days.  I want a new method that will eliminate this.  But, while I am at it, I would like to speed up the process of uncapping, ease of use, etc.  So I would like to know what is YOUR #1 favorite go to uncapping tool.  Just vote for the one you prefer the most if you happen to use a variety.  I really appreciate it.  I've been close to pulling the trigger on an electric uncapping knife but hesitate due to the potential to melt wax into the honey or burn the honey.  Anyway, the polling will probably give me some peace of mind and maybe even surprise me.  Thanks!
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danno
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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2012, 09:51:43 AM »

I use a 1958 Cook and Beals decapper with a conveyor tank that holds about  100 frames at a time.  I bought this machine for 500.00    It has 2 motors that run the knives and another motor that runs the 2 conveyor systems.   I really like the flail chain decappers except they take 2 people one feeding and one catching the decapped frames.   I work by myself.   I run a load through.  Load 30 in the extractor.  Then continue to decap while I'm spinning out the first batch.   Its fast enough that I get to take a  break on every batch
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vmmartin
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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2012, 10:47:00 PM »

I tried a high temp heat gun this weekend and was amazed at the speed and ease of it.  Many times faster and cleaner than my hot knife that I used last year. 
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hardwood
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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2012, 11:07:30 PM »

Mike, what was the temp rating on that heat gun? Ever since I saw it posted on here I've been wanting to fool around with it a little. I've got two cheapie heat guns that are rated at 1200F if I recall. Is that enough??

Scott
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vmmartin
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« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2012, 10:41:24 PM »

Scott, it is a 1500 watt gun.  More than sufficient to melt the caps.  The freshly capped frames from this year responded like magic. I mean like 8-10 seconds per side.  I had a few frames that were from last year and they did not do as well.  I guess the caps were thicker or dirtier or something, but i felt like if I held the gun on a spot long enough to melt them, it seemed like it was also getting into the actual comb, so I just scratched those few.  All in all, it worked just like the video of which you speak. I can not see myself using my hot knife ever again, unless I am just looking for some really clean wax.
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kathyp
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« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2012, 08:51:42 PM »

i use a fork a lot, but for nice fat frames the electric knife is a winner.
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Joe D
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« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2012, 10:17:40 PM »


I have always used the uncapping fork, but will have to look into the heat gun.  Sounds pretty good.  Oh, I have only had 1 batch of frames,40 frames, so far this year and this is my first year.

Joe
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Blackwater Bee
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« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2012, 08:54:25 AM »

Cutco Serrated Bread Knife here  grin

Sold the electric uncapping knife because it was so ergonomically unfriendly to my hands and wrists  Sad
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #8 on: May 25, 2012, 09:07:31 AM »

I really like the uncapping plane from Kelly's... https://kelleybees.com/Products/Detail/?id=3336333433333330&grouped=1 .  A little pricey, but if I decide to invest in a heated tool I will go the extra expense and get this planer rather than a knife.

I helped my mentor extract some honey the other day and the uncapping plane does a great job, it just rolls the capping wax off.  I would say *maybe* a minute per frame.  After using the uncapping plane only very minor detail work with an uncapping fork is needed for low spots.  He also tidies up the burr comb on the frames while he's uncapping.  

Ed

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beewitch
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« Reply #9 on: May 25, 2012, 10:31:00 AM »

Since I'm only working with 2 hives, I use crush and strain - so no uncapping tools needed!
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PeeVee
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« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2012, 03:08:03 PM »

I bought an old Cowen a couple years ago in a package deal with 20 frame extractor plus a bunch of other stuff.
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slacker361
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« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2012, 03:27:28 PM »

I tried a high temp heat gun this weekend and was amazed at the speed and ease of it.  Many times faster and cleaner than my hot knife that I used last year. 

I would like to se a video of it
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bens
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« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2012, 09:50:43 PM »

do a search on youtube, I found a couple of videos for heat gun uncapping.
I may have to try this next time.

Bee Spencer - Uncapping Honey the easy way
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Country Heart
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« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2012, 12:24:46 AM »

do a search on youtube, I found a couple of videos for heat gun uncapping.
I may have to try this next time.

Bee Spencer - Uncapping Honey the easy way


bens, good video - thanks for the demo.   Smiley
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slacker361
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« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2012, 08:27:59 AM »

that is pretty freaking cool and sure would save time.... but no cappings wax? I always make me a candle from the cappings ...decisions decisions decisions
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Beeboy01
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« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2012, 09:46:48 PM »

I'm using a serrated bread knife for uncapping. By pressing on the handle of the knife it is possible to bend the blade against the frame to decap shallow comb. Any caps that get missed are scraped with a soup spoon. I have a decapping knife but all I use it for is an extra hive tool to split the hive bodies when there is a lot of burr comb holding them together. Extraction in the shop here in Florida is hot enough, can't see using a heat gun to uncap.
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bassman1977
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« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2012, 09:03:13 AM »

Thanks for the votes.  I am a little surprised by the results thus far.  Seems the non-electric uncapping knife isn't as popular as I would have thought.
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bens
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« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2012, 01:41:32 PM »

Found another video of using heat gun, definitely going to try this in a few weeks.

Heat Gun Uncapping


Electric uncapping knifes only seem to last a season or two for me.  Last year used a cold knife.
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qa33010
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« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2012, 02:28:00 PM »

    We have a Pampered Chef thing that makes me think of some kind of a pastry tool but is used to hold onions and such while you slice them with a knife.  I used it about five years ago, when I couldn't find the serrated bread or meat knives, the extremely sharp tips were excellent.  Been using it ever since!
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Vance G
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« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2012, 08:53:12 PM »

I still want to build the one the eastern Europeans make that is a steam heated vee that you drag your frame over.  it was posted by shanej on nov29 2011  Pull it out and take a gander.  If I were smarter I would bring it here.  Hopefully someone else will.
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