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Author Topic: How in the world does one use the wax tube fastener?  (Read 5309 times)
tillie
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« on: March 27, 2007, 09:25:07 AM »

OK, I realize that I am often the constructionally challenged poster on this site, but I can't make sense of the wax tube fastener.  I bought it from Dadant and it came with NO INSTRUCTIONS. 

I bought two of them and neither had instructions......so last night I needed to fasten starter strips to my newly cleaned medium frames - I melted wax in the double boiler and poured it into the tube.  The tube is then very hot and NOTHING comes out of the tiny hole in the tip.  I tried to reinsert the wooden handle but it was difficult with the hot tube to hold.  The instructions on the product description say to fill the tube by lowering it into a container of hot beeswax and then putting your finger over the hole at the tip - it's hot as H..... - how in the world do others do that?  And what about all the wax that will then cover the tube that you are supposed to put your finger over the tip of - hot again as H....  This seems like a masochistic act to me.....

https://www.dadant.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=231

I ended up using the bread pan to pour wax as I did when I installed the first starter strips (Necessity is the mother of invention) and it worked GREAT.  http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php?topic=8193.0

What should I do to make the wax tube fastener functional?  How do the rest of you happy tube users keep from
1.  getting burned? 
2. dripping wax all over the place? 
3.  getting the wax to come out of the tiny hole? 

I now have a tube (now happily cold) full of hardened wax, starter strips fastened with a bread pan pourer, and new boxes on the hives, but I bought the tube fastener because everyone who uses them sounds so happy about it so what gives?

Linda T forever constructionally challenged in Atlanta
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Cindi
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« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2007, 10:13:45 AM »

Linda, no kidding!!!  I wonder too about it.  The catalogue says to put the fastener into hot wax and fill it up basically.  So, ya, wax on the outside of it, hot wax trying to get it out of the hot wax. 

Maybe put the bottom of the fastener into the wax and fill it up with a little spooon or something  rolleyes

Likes2grill said in that previous post that he just uses a metal meat injector, like one found in the barbeque section of a hardware department.  Think that is what I might check out. 

Good for you Linda, your rolling along really nicely with your new bees.  Best of luck with these guys.

I am down to one hive from the remaining two that I had.  The weaker of my two colonies was down to about 200 bees, so basically I shook this little bunch of bees infront of the stronger colony and killed the poor old queen.

The stronger colony had about 5 frames of bees, capped brood and larvae, it is doing really well, considering I didn't think it would make it either, but looks great compared to what it did a while back.

I am getting (four) 5 frame nucs around May 5, I will be working hard this year to keep these colonies strong and healthy, ready for next year.  It sounds so weird saying that I am getting ready this year for next years production.  But I guess that is how it goes.  Maybe I will catch some swarms this year and that will help with build up too.

I only know of one beekeeper that is close to me, that's it.  So if I want to catch a "non-feral" swarm I must rely on him to not do swarm prevention methods.  Have the best of the day, Linda.  Cindi
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« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2007, 08:23:21 PM »

I put a tin can in a pan of boiling water to melt the wax.  When it's melted, put the wax tube fastener in the wax and wait for it to get up to the temperature of the wax.  If you don't let it get hot, the wax just congeals inside and won't come out.  If you lift it out now and then you'll see if wax runs out the tip or not.  Once it's warmed up the wax will have run into the tube.  You put your thumb over the hole and pick it up and it's like putting your thumb over the end of a drinking straw to keep the liquid in the straw.  When you have the tip of the wax tube fastener over the spot you want to wax you lift your thumb to let the wax run out.  I hold the frame at a slight angle to the side and a slight angle down and start at the top.  The wax runs down the foundation and the top bar all the way to the other end.  When you want to stop you put your thumb back on the hole and move to the other side.
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Michael Bush
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Kris^
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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2007, 08:24:54 PM »

I use a convenience store coffee stirrer as a wax tube, which is essentially a thin straw.  Remember when you would put a drinking straw into your bottle of soda-pop, put your finger over the top of the straw and draw it out of the bottle?  Then put the bottom end of the straw over your mouth, lift your finger and let the soda run into your mouth?  Same principle.  Just put the bottom end of the wax tube where you want the wax deposited, then lift your finger.  If you wait too long, it'll harden though.  If you lift your finger a little bit, a little bit of wax will leak out, and if you run the open end of the straw along the slot where your strip of foundation is set, you can run a bead of hot wax along the edge. 

-- Kris
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tillie
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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2007, 10:17:45 PM »

so Michael, do you wear gloves?  Or do you have hands of asbestos?  How do you not get burned by the hot wax on the outside of the tube that has been submerged in the hot wax for filling?

I get it that my tube last night was cold, thus the wax hardened - my educational experience was so NOT PRACTICAL - you wouldn't think I had any sense at all - but now I do understand why the wax didn't flow, but I still don't know how not to burn the heck out of my hands.....

Linda T with a wish to preserve my skin in Atlanta
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2007, 06:32:05 AM »

>so Michael, do you wear gloves?

No.

> Or do you have hands of asbestos?

No.

> How do you not get burned by the hot wax on the outside of the tube that has been submerged in the hot wax for filling?

I don't put my finger in the wax.  The wax doesn't have to go all the way up the tube.  Half to three fourths will work fine.

>I get it that my tube last night was cold, thus the wax hardened

Yes.

> - my educational experience was so NOT PRACTICAL - you wouldn't think I had any sense at all - but now I do understand why the wax didn't flow, but I still don't know how not to burn the heck out of my hands.....

Try less wax in the container.

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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Cindi
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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2007, 09:39:35 AM »

Ha, I thought I was the only one that used to put my straw into a drink, put my finger over the tip of it and then pour the pop that was drawn into the straw into my mouth.  Guess all kids do that (and adults too).  Best of a day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
tillie
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« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2007, 09:45:56 AM »

Thank you so much, Michael, I get it now.....the tin can is BRILLIANT. 

This is why I bought two of the wax fasteners - the second one can be filling and heating up in the tin can while the first is in use....The tin can allows the wax fastener to stand on end rather than lie on its side - which is what would happen in the double boiler.  I've always understood the finger over the tip of the straw part but just didn't imagine touching the very hot tube, but half way is possible if the tube can stand vertically as it can in the tin can.

Thank you - I wish Dadant would say that a tin can or that heating the tube in a vertical position helps with effective use.  Anyway, when I do it again, I'll post photos - it's my experience over the years that when one person is confused about something, others are as well, so when I finally do this right, I put up pix for the other confused folks out there.....

Linda T excited potential wax tube fastener user in Atlanta
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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2007, 10:02:16 AM »

I have used 2 of these over the years & both ended up coming out of the wooden handle in the middle of a job [BIG MESS!]. I ended up drilling a small hole through the top of the metal [but not deep enough to affect the suction action with the hole near the top]. I put a small screw through the hole & into the wood. Now the handle stays on just fine. Good luck!
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« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2007, 11:36:29 AM »

When I use the meat injector I leave the metal needle out and just use the syringe part. Like the tube you have to keep it warm but it gives you good control of how much and where.  Smiley
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2007, 07:04:06 PM »

>both ended up coming out of the wooden handle in the middle of a job

To be honest I not only put a hole in it and put a small nail in the handle to hold it on, I also increased the size of the hole in the tube slightly because it would get plugged up occasionally.  A bit just slightly bigger than the current hole works well.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
tillie
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« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2007, 10:43:08 PM »

I have such a hard time with the fact that this wax tube fastener doesn't come with directions - after all the posts, I now see that the black wooden part of the handle that everyone is talking about actually has a tiny hole in the side.  This is, of course, where you put your thumb to hold the wax in as one would with a straw.  Because I had no idea how to get the wax into the tube, I took one of mine apart and now will have trouble with it staying together.  The other one is still all in one piece and I can use it as it was intended......

Why doesn't the manufacturer make a red circle around the tiny hole? Why doesn't Dadant supply directions?  Probably most of you think that any moron would figure it out, but I have a PhD and am not a moron and had no idea how to begin to use the thing.

You know, I am a fairly alone beekeeper but for this forum.  Most of the members of my bee club use poison in their hives and think small cell needs to be proven by Jamie Ellis, who is a frequent speaker at our meetings, and the research at UGa before they will consider it.  The wax tube fastener has never been mentioned in my beekeeping life except on this forum....so without a wax tube fastener mentor or this discussion, I was doomed forever to be unable to use the thing. 

I posted about it on my blog and shortened the name "wax tube fastener" to $^* for faster typing and someone wrote a comment that he wondered if my initials for the thing reflected my feelings about it!  Anyway, always trying to be positive, I'll try it with my next round of starter strip fastening and see how it works now that I FINALLY understand it.

Linda T
« Last Edit: March 29, 2007, 12:29:50 AM by tillie » Logged

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czech bee
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« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2007, 03:22:49 PM »

Hi Tillie,

I understand your disapointment....
When I was wondering about glueing of the starter strips, I just started to use bigger plastic syringe. I also use small coffee pot, which is used for türkish coffee, it has plastic handle and it is designed to pour easily liquids.
Lumir
 
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« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2007, 04:17:41 PM »

I love reading these post. Now I don't have to ask this question. Ann and I have 150 wireless sheets to do this to. Guess we'll be buying a meat syringe. What a brilliant idea !!
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« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2007, 04:32:47 PM »

I wonder how a Glass Syringe would work on this task?

Probably have to wear gloves, but the glass should hold in the heat.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2007, 10:31:08 PM »

The wax tube fastener has about a 1/16" hole in the tip.  Anything more would be way too big.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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Cindi
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« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2007, 11:33:20 PM »

I despise plastic.  Everything that I use in my house is glass, save the kitchenware that is used for the younger souls.  I hate the feeling of drinking, eating or whatever out of plastic.

Get the glass stuff.  Yes.  Clean, no lingering germs in crevices, glass, the one and only.  Best of the day, good health.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
tillie
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« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2007, 11:40:50 PM »

The wax tube fastener is made of aluminum with a wooden handle - no plastic anywhere.

Linda T
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2007, 03:20:04 PM »

>The wax tube fastener is made of aluminum with a wooden handle - no plastic anywhere.

Really?  All three of mine are copper.  In fact it's just a piece of 3/4 copper that has been reworked on the end and put in a wooden handle with a thumb hole...

I wonder how they welded the aluminum?  The copper is just soldered.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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tillie
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« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2007, 03:41:35 PM »

You know, Michael, I am constructionally challenged.  Mine is a silver color - maybe it was painted - but I think of copper as a copper color.  I suppose the end of the pipe was soldered so it must be copper, like yours are.  I tried to see how mine was crimped and melded at the end but it's covered with wax and I can't tell.  How do they solder it and leave the tiny hole?  Do they put something in to hold the hole while the rest is being soldered?

Listen, it's amazing that I am understanding ANY of the construction aspects of this beekeeping stuff.  I couldn't find a spoon that would bend when you suggested I try that in lieu of the $^* - although my daughter said that stainless steel wouldn't bend - I'd need a different spoon than the ones I had. 

Just to solidify my point, I went to Home Depot today to get the right wood screws to attach the bottom board to the nuc I built last night so I could use it to catch a mythical swarm some day, and I had to ask for help for that to get the right screws - I was looking apparently at metal screws rather than wood screws - so it's hopeless for me to presume I understand the wax tube fastener.  I'd much rather trust your knowledge and expertise and say, it's made of COPPER - just not of plastic as an earlier post presumed.

Linda T, continually constructionally challenged in Atlanta
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