Uncapping - hot air gun or knife...?

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House Bee
Jul 21, 2009
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Pocklington, Yorks, UK
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To a novice, the idea of uncapping with a hot air gun seems to have many advantages.

Question for those who have actually tried this method of uncapping - Does it work ok? and what are the pros/cons?

I'd read somewhere that frames uncapped using a hot air gun do not extract as easily as those who have been uncapped using a knife (although if the hot air gun has melted the cappings off, I can't see how this can be the case).
Ignoring the actual issue of how well the hot air gun works it begs another question.

When I extracted Manley frames, I took them back to the top and bottom bar, so I was taking off some 2cm of wax and honey per frame.

As I had premises and a spin dryer modified for this purpose, it was not an issue and the benefit was two fold.

One was that the returned combs gave the wax working bees work to do.

The second was it gave me quite considerable quantities of high quality wax for candle making.

Points to consider when minimising wax removal.

Uncapping also makes the cells somewhat shorter which will improve extracting efficienty and reduce extracting time...
If using a hot air gun don't bang the frames as you need the air under the cappings for it to work. If you bang the frames this air gap can be lost. I learned this from someone who used the hot air gun method on a large scale.
I use a hot air gun and it works really well. No problems extracting and unless you want/need the cappings it is far easier and less messy.
I wonder if a hot air gun could help with osr if I miss the extraction window?
VEG, what type of super frames do you use?
(Assume any will work for this)

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