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Author Topic: home made wax foundation machine Take One!  (Read 6935 times)
divemaster1963
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« on: May 21, 2013, 11:09:27 PM »

OK time for subjective input and comments.

I have built a press for making foundation because I cannot afford the cost of the roller units. so check it out and tell me what you think.
I have made a dipping board to make the blank sheets.

 first the molds:


























now for the press. I can adjust the thickness of the sheets by removing shims between the rollers.












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don2
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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2013, 11:16:24 PM »

Not like the one I was thinking of. If you have the opposite's correct for the bees don't see why it wouldn't work.  Smiley d2
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divemaster1963
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2013, 11:18:41 PM »

it is a exact negative of a foundation sheet.

john
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AllenF
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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2013, 09:19:10 AM »

Where did you find the rollers?
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divemaster1963
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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2013, 08:16:45 PM »

Where did you find the rollers?
they are stock steel rods. i cut them to length and then put them in my old mill and drilled and taped the ends then I just rough milled the faces for traction. then used angle iron for the ends. and a old handle for a transfer pump to turn it with. I am still deciding if I nee to groove the ends and attach a figure eight band to help the bottom roller turn when pressing.

john
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AllenF
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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2013, 09:06:16 PM »

Nice. 
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vmmartin
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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2013, 10:37:55 PM »

Very nice work.  However, what we think is pretty much useless if the bees do not like it.  I would love to see how they take to it.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2013, 01:05:46 AM »

You are very industrious divemaster!

Nicely done  applause applause applause
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squidink
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« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2013, 04:43:29 AM »

That's fantastic! Keep us posted on how the bees like it!
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divemaster1963
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« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2013, 09:16:28 PM »

Im dipping sheets this weekend and willgive report back. I have tryed it with pieces of wax and the turned out great with differnt thicknesses. I even got one so thin you could alnost read thru it. It whould make for some great cut comb foundation.

stay tuned. Wink

John
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Better.to.Bee.than.not
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« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2013, 02:58:10 AM »

I am confused.....you have a mold there, and then you also have a roller. the roller doesn't appear to have a comb imprint on it, so what are you then doing, using the roller to make a blank that is whatever thickness you wish, and then the mold to imprint the comb pattern? basically your roller is a tablet press machine in other words, not a comb roller or foundation machine?
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 03:18:34 AM by Better.to.Bee.than.not » Logged
divemaster1963
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« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2013, 07:56:12 PM »

I am confused.....you have a mold there, and then you also have a roller. the roller doesn't appear to have a comb imprint on it, so what are you then doing, using the roller to make a blank that is whatever thickness you wish, and then the mold to imprint the comb pattern? basically your roller is a tablet press machine in other words, not a comb roller or foundation machine?

Basically is a litho press. you dip a plate into wax and make sheets of wax with no impression on it. you can use the blanks as starter strips or the whole sheet to get the bees started. when you have a pile of sheets dipped you place them in about 90-100 degree water with a little soap and then place the warned sheets between the plates with the comb design on it then run it Thur the press then separate and then you have a new foundation sheet any thickness you want from brood sheet thickness to cutcomb thickness. it is the same as the rollerpress with the impression on the rollers. I have thought about attaching the sheets to two dough rollers and then running the sheets Thur that. same principle as the steel roller press.


john
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Better.to.Bee.than.not
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« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2013, 12:39:58 AM »

oh...you roll the imprinted honeycomb sheet through the rollers, which presses it together on the soft wax sheet and thus makes the comb foundation sheet from the blank....gotcha. I didn't even think of that. neat. any difficulties with alignment though? I have heard if the cells are out of alignment the bees wont take to them that well, nor will it be as strong as it should be. does this work well with the bees? At $1,000+ ea. for a metal comb roller, guess if this works it'd be something.
thanks for the info.
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divemaster1963
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« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2013, 09:27:26 PM »

well it partly worked. I dipped about 100 sheets in about 2hours tonight. when I went to press the sheets the rollers keep slipping. I need to make gears for the rollers. Or I am thinking about making two plates and mounting them to to rollers and thus making the foundation roller press.


Stay tuned for further developments. Wink

John

P.S. I could just place the blank sheets in the frames. the bees will draw it out. My uncle did that way back before they had the roller mills out.
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JWChesnut
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« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2013, 10:13:13 PM »

Your craftsmanship is impeccable.  The crank is cool.
My sister owns a large litho/etching press.  These have a movable bed (1/2"-1" steel !) that is gear or chaindriven in sync with the rollers.  Typically only one roller (upper) is driven, the upper roller is are often a larger diameters, so upper and lower don't turn on the same rotation,  lower roller is a snubbing device to apply pressure on the movable bed.

The litho stone is moved through the press carried on the movement of the bed plane.  This is different than the "pasta" roller design, were the material is drawn by the friction on the rollers.  In an etching press,   the active movement of the bed plane that carries the plate through the pressure (viz. Rembrant Press).  Some litho presses have a floating bed, and the movement of the upper roller is the motive.

You can look at the suppliers catalog to get an impression of the designs.
http://www.conradmachine.com/conrad_machine_printmaking_catalog.pdf
« Last Edit: May 26, 2013, 10:44:49 PM by JWChesnut » Logged
divemaster1963
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« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2013, 01:18:47 AM »

Your craftsmanship is impeccable.  The crank is cool.
My sister owns a large litho/etching press.  These have a movable bed (1/2"-1" steel !) that is gear or chaindriven in sync with the rollers.  Typically only one roller (upper) is driven, the upper roller is are often a larger diameters, so upper and lower don't turn on the same rotation,  lower roller is a snubbing device to apply pressure on the movable bed.

The litho stone is moved through the press carried on the movement of the bed plane.  This is different than the "pasta" roller design, were the material is drawn by the friction on the rollers.  In an etching press,   the active movement of the bed plane that carries the plate through the pressure (viz. Rembrant Press).  Some litho presses have a floating bed, and the movement of the upper roller is the motive.

You can look at the suppliers catalog to get an impression of the designs.
http://www.conradmachine.com/conrad_machine_printmaking_catalog.pdf


all is as stated. I was just using the term litho so that he would be able to envision the way the plate is moving Thur the rollers. to imprint the sheet. . But thank you for the proper terminology and device description.
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JWChesnut
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« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2013, 10:15:34 AM »

I'm trying to envision your production process.  You dip/pour/paint/roll melted wax onto a sheetform to make a thin sheet of un-imprinted stock. How does this thin sheet peel up?  Are the sheets thin flexible metal?

You run the thin wax sheet as a sandwich between top and bottom molds with imprinted design.  How does the now sculpted wax peel off the sandwhich between the two molds?

Your original is a commercial foundation, from which you made a negative inter-mold of using the urethane epoxy? Later you made two positive working molds off the negative.  Are the working molds also epoxy?

Could you make a "litho-stone" out of casting plaster, or do you need  flexibility in the imprinted mold to get the wax to peel?
Can you use artists latex as the mold-inter-mold.  http://www.aeromarineproducts.com/latex-mold-rubber.htm
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divemaster1963
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« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2013, 10:01:01 PM »

I used a sheet of plastic foundation as the positive to make a negative of each side of the foundation. done one side of the plastic foundation then flip and make a mold of theother side. this gives you a mold when placed together of a sheet of foundation. I then have a turkey roaster that i place wax in a bath of water at about 145-160 degrees. this keeps the wax melted. I then have a dipping board the size of a peace of foundation that I dip into the wax then it soft hardens in seconds then I place it into a tub of water and it slides right off the board. the water is about 100 degres so the sheet stays soft. I then place the soft sheet between the molds sprayed with release agent then run it Thur the rollers. then put it all in another tub of water at 60 degrees to remove the molds then walla a sheet of imprinted wax foundation. trim to fit into fame with wires.

does that help.

I am having problems with the molds slipping. I am changing the way it rolls Thur the rollers. still a work in progress. but I will solve it.


John
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divemaster1963
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« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2013, 08:24:40 PM »

so far this is what I have found in my trial. I have a had time making the press using two plates to make the foundation. So I have gone to the old way (don't fix it if ain't broke rule.) I am dipping a plate in wax and just making sheets ( one to two dips per to keep them very very thin.) I place the blank sheet in the frame. I have notice that the bees are all over the blank sheets and are building comb. I tried two sheets one thin one a little thicker. they prefer the thinest sheet to build on. So I guess the keepers of the pass where right you can redesign the mouse trap a million ways it still does the same thing as the first. Trap mice.


John
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Better.to.Bee.than.not
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« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2013, 06:30:15 PM »

yep. most fishing lures are made to catch the fishermen more then the fish really. many do not use any foundation at all, though I'm not one of them, my current line of thinking is simple is probably better. 1/4" strip or more, or maybe in your case super thin blank.
the only real value I think in a foundation is really to attempt to keep things straighter anyways. I do not want to train my bees not to make wax or comb thats for sure.
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