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Foundation makers?

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jezd 

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Anyone out there make their own foundation? I ask because a kind retiring beekeeper locally has given me his foundation moulds and press - just wanted to bend someone’s ear before I give this a go.

Do's and don’ts etc

Cheers

Jez
 

Poly Hive 

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Highly acceptable to the bees. Use very clean wax.

My tip is this, and I honestly can say I never observed issues with it.

Use very strongly dosed water to lube the plates. Mine had so much washing up liquid in it, it was green.

Have boiling water to hand or access to it for when you discover you do NOT have enough washing up liquid in the situation.

When I ran evening classes this was the most popular and fun evening of all.

PH
 

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With a lot of washing up liquid as a release agent, did you rinse the sheets of foundation afterwards, and more importantly just how?

After all we woudn't want bees foaming at the mouth and neither would we want to damage the foundation having got it thus far.

Sounds interesting PH. Fortune smiling on you Jezd, good luck; I'm still following your adventures.
 

jezd 

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lol, just dipping my big toe in as we go along, will try the foundation side over the holiday period - thanks PH for the feedback

Jez
 
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Cast foundation is very brittle so when you are fitting it to the frame make sure it is done in a warm room and the wax itself has warmed up. The sheets shatter if dropped, unlike rolled wax.
 

jezd 

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Cast foundation is very brittle so when you are fitting it to the frame make sure it is done in a warm room and the wax itself has warmed up. The sheets shatter if dropped, unlike rolled wax.
can you explain for my simple mind what type this falls into, first melt the wax in volume and poor onto a flat bed and drain, cool it off and place the sheet in a plastic mould and then roller and trim - is this cast type?

ta
 
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If you put it through a roller then it should be ok. It is the stuff which is simply cast in for example a silicon mold which is brittle.
 

Poly Hive 

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Was it washed? No. Did they foam at the mouth. NO.

Did they like it.... like a 7 year old liking xmas...LOL

Brittle yes.

What I had the use of was an old double sided aluminum mould. Pour in a mug of wax, close it and pour off the excess quickly.

It was possible to make some 30 sheets an hour, and then one had to trim them to size with a pizza cutter. So make sheet, trim to size, throw excess back into melting pot and make the next one.

PH
 

Hombre 

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Thanks PH, it seemed like a reasonable quesiton to ask otherwise doubt would begin to form at a critical stage and perhaps lead to a wrong decision for lack of guidance on the matter.

You clarified it beautifully and I don't that many bees could all be wrong could they!

The senior triumvirate :svengo: sorted out the wax mechanical quality issue also. I guess that the stresses of rolling affects the wax bonds. A bit like rubber needs to be flexed to keep it supple.
 

sherwood 

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I would strongly advise that you use rainwater unless you are in a softwater area, it tends to give far better results. I use a tray that has an outflow that captures the water in a bucket and this gets continually recycled. The key to the whole thing is keeping a sufficient ammount of wax at the right temperture.
I use a large diametre urn with a stainless steal basin floating in it. The deeper the basin the better as you have to keep dipping a jug or large mug in it to enable you to pour it into the mould. Be prepared to get wet.
 

jezd 

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oliver90owner 

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I would strongly advise that you use rainwater unless you are in a softwater area

Most water hardness is the 'soft' version (bicarbonates, or hydrogen carbonates, of Calcium and Magnesium) and is removed by heating to near boiling, followed by cleaning away the carbonate deposits, so mostly no need to overly worry about the source.

Permanent hardness would be little problem if recycling the water (after the initial use, that is).

Regards, RAB
 

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