How to Make and Use a DIY Decapping Tub

Beekeeping: DIY Decapping Tub
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While I have a rotary extractor, I mostly use smash and drain honey extraction techniques.  I do this because i find it easier.

Additionally, I want the wax as much as the honey, and because using homemade foundation, I end up breaking a lot of honey comb in the extractor.

I have been using a large tub, and just smashing the comb up and letting it drain out slowly, but the cheap plastic tub broke and I started looking for a new solution.

What I really wanted was the commercial honey decapping tub that I had been drooling over for a while, but at $129 dollars I figured I could do better.

Beekeeping: DIY Decapping Tub
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Luckily, almost all the commercial tubs have the same statistics and features, and are all almost the same price, so it was pretty easy for me to decide what I wanted once I compared it to the commercial one I have shown in the picture.

In order to make my DIY Honey Decapping Tub I simply bought a large plastic tub, and some screws, a board, and a honey strainer.  In total I spent under $50.

The most expensive part was the plastic tote, and the next was the honey gate (linked to below).

Once I figured out where to bolt my frame rest, and drilled the hole for the gate, assembly only took a few minutes.


In the video above I show how I use my DIY Decapping Tub to harvest honey from my beehives.

A commercial tub would be easier as they are built to the dimensions of the typical frame.  I was limited to the tubs sold at the hardware store and mine is a little too little.

Either way the process is very similar either way.

Using a Decapping Tub:

  • Rest the capped frame of honey on the bar attached across the top of the tub
  • Run your decapping knife or capping scratcher down the frame either cutting the cap off or scratching it open.
  • Allow the cut cappings, bits of wax, and honey to fall into the tub.
  • Once the frame is decapped allow it to sit inside the tub and drain.
  • Elevate one end of the tub and open the honey gate to allow the honey to flow into your filtering bucket.

Using the tub is pretty simple.

Lee Universal Decapping Die Review


Gear Review: Lee Universal Decapping Die
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For under $15.00 the Lee Universal Decapping Die is one of the best pieces of reloading gear you can get, heck it’s a bargain at double the price. I have broken a lot of decapping rods over the years and that ended as soon as I got this piece of equipment. The reason this die is so good (Lee calls it “Virtually” Unbreakable) is that the decapping pin is held in a collet so that if the decapping pin hits resistance – say you accidently throw in a berdan primed case, or the flash hole is off center, or WHATEVER, the pin will be pushed up out of the collet instead of bending or breaking under the pressure.

This is a much better design than any of the other decapping systems I have seen. In every other decapping die I know about the pin is threaded or otherwise fixed in the die, so that if it hits resistance it bends. The pins may be inexpensive, but finding a replacement at 5pm on a Sunday can be quite difficult. With the Lee die, you just need to loosen the collet with a wrench and push the pin to the depth you desire and then retighten it. This is much simpler and faster.

What is probably the best review of this piece of equipment is that if you perform an internet search for a review of the Lee Decapping die all you will find are forum posts where experienced reloaders are recommending this equipment to new shooters. I could not find a negative comments about this piece of equipment, and to me that says a lot.

I have no affiliation with Lee precision in any way, other than I like some of their products and I want to share with you what works for me.