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Author Topic: What knife?  (Read 1405 times)
ShaneJ
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« on: July 26, 2012, 04:57:18 AM »

Hi guys,

The time has come to purchase myself an uncapping knife. So far I have been borrowing a steam knife from the local apiary/my mentor. The steam knife has always worked very well but I would think an electric knife would be less hassle? No setting up the boiler etc.
My mentor says the steam knifes can keep up the heat better than an electric when doing a lot of frames. Anyone have any input on this? Mind you this guy probably tried an electric knife back in the black and white days and I'm sure they'd be much better now.
An advantage I see with a steam knife is I don't have to worry about my partner dropping it in a sink of water when she is cleaning up  Smiley  I assume this wouldn't be good for the electric knifes?

I have also been looking at the Maxant uncapping plane as per JP's video but I'm not sure I want to spend that much money huh Are they really that good? I have all deep frames so would need to do two passes each side. Anyone else use on on deep frames? I have read a lot of comments about having to turn it on and off a bit to regulate the heat? Has this requirement been sorted at all?

So can anyone offer me some advice?

Thank you
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Shane
Intheswamp
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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2012, 09:19:52 AM »

Howdy Shane.  Newbee here, so take it for what it's worth.

I used the wood handled uncapping plane at my mentor's when I extracted my honey there.  It works very well at taking the cappings off.  Takes a little practice to get it "right" (but whatever you use will take a little practice).  The over-heating issue is a fact.  Why didn't they incorporate a thermostat...Huh  My mentor's extractor is a 9-frame (mediums) so the plane would stay on through 9 med frames of uncapping.  By the end of the uncapping the plane would be very hot.  I'm thinking of buying an inexpensive router control to use to turn the heat down a bit.  I've done some research and have found folks successfully using the controllers to control camera lighting and heating elements in homebrewing equipment that exceed the wattage of the uncapping plane.  I meant to get a controller last trip to Montgomery to experiment with but <sigh> forgot it.  Undecided

I'm trying to decide between a knife and plane, too.  Cost really isn't that different.  If I go with a knife it will be electric for simplicities sake...and one with an adjustable controller on it.
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ShaneJ
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2012, 09:45:14 AM »

Thanks for you input.
My trade/background is in electronics and electrical so making a controller for the plane isn't a big deal but it does add more cost(no so much in my case) and more points of failure.

Have you used a knife as well as the plane?

I have only ever used a knife and the only time I have found it not so great is when the comb isn't fully drawn. I think the plane is meant to be better in these instances? Though I cant imagine it would be any better on those small sections of comb that aren't drawn amongst the comb that is.
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Shane
Intheswamp
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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2012, 10:03:58 AM »

I agree with you about more gadgetry the more chance of failure...I think that's covered in Chapter 8 of the KISS manual. Wink

The router control that seems to work well is a cheap one that costs US$20.00 or less if it's on sale.  The guys talking about them seem very satisfied with them.  I'm thinking the plane runs 500-600 watts and these controllers are rated at up around 1800 watts.

Anyhow...  I haven't used a knife, but watched an old fellow down close to the Florida line (O.J. Blount) use a *cold* knife to uncap two supers.  He believe he did have a heated pot he kept it in when he laid it down.  It really seemed to work ok for him.  The uncapping plane can he used to touch up the comb...tilting it to the side at a slight angle lets you use one end or the other to some extent.  It is really good, too, for cleaning up the edges of the frames.  All along I still used the scratching fork to take care of skipped (low) cells. 

It would seem, for deep frames, that a knife might be a touch better in that you would have one smooth surface on the comb once you made a pass with it.  With the plane two passes would be required and the overlapping edges may or may not be flush with one another.  I'll have to let someone else give you some actual feedback on using the plane with deep frames, though.

I'm trying to decide on several items for my "honey house" so that I can have it delivered this October at our state's annual beekeeping meeting (no freight charges).  Knife or plane is a deciding point for me, too.

Ed
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www.beeweather.com 
American blood spilled to protect the freedom and peace of people all over the world.  320,000 USA casualties in WWI, 1,076,000 USA casualties in WWII, 128,000 USA casualties in the Korean War, 211,000 casualties in the Vietnam "conflict", 57,000 USA casualties in "War on Terror".  Benghazi, Libya, 13 USA casualties. These figures don't include 70,000 MIA.  But, the leaders of one political party of the United States of America continue to make the statement..."What difference does it make?".

"We can't expect the American People to jump from Capitalism to Communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of Socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have Communism."..."The press is our chief ideological weapon." - Nikita Khrushchev
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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2012, 10:19:40 AM »

I have also been looking at the Maxant uncapping plane as per JP's video but I'm not sure I want to spend that much money huh Are they really that good?
I have the Maxant uncapping plane and really love it. To me it's faster than the electric knife which I used before i got it.

...DOUG
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ShaneJ
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« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2012, 10:22:22 AM »

I'm in the process of building my honey house(a one use shipping container with air con) and just need a knife/uncapper to finish off my equipment list.

Doug do you use the plane on any deep frames?
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Shane
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« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2012, 12:30:05 PM »

So far shane only been on mediums but I don't think there would be much difference except more area to plane. You can control the depth of the blade since there is an adjustment screw.

...DOUG
KD4MOJ
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AllenF
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« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2012, 06:05:21 PM »

I use a very very old electric knife that I inherited.   It is as old as I.  Still works well.  But when it dies, or runs away, I will upgrade to the plane.  There is just no need to spend the money for it until I need it.
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Joe D
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« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2012, 12:22:10 AM »

The fellow in our club that helps me(use his extractor) just uses a scraper.  I don't know what works better among the options, but have wondered about a heat gun.  Saw someones video that used one.




Joe
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ShaneJ
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« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2012, 03:46:16 AM »

I have also wondered about the heat gun idea. But if it does in fact do a good job without doing damage to the honey and comb, why hasn't everyone been doing it?
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Shane
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