How to Make and Use a DIY Decapping Tub

Beekeeping: DIY Decapping Tub
Buy at Amazon

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
Buy at Amazon

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.

How to Extract Nitrocellulose from Ping Pong Balls

How to Extract Nitrocellulose from Ping Pong Balls

 

How to Extract Nitrocellulose from Ping Pong Balls
Buy at Amazon

Ping pong balls are made of nitrocellulose, I am sure that many would like to create non-nitro based balls, but industry has never been able to create ping ping balls with the same bounce as the nitrocellulose based balls.

Now, while extracting nitrocellulose from ping pong balls is easy, the nitrocellulose is adulterated with camphor.  This turns the explosive potential of the balls down while making them more plastic.

Now, while I like to extract the nitrocellulose to make nitrocellulose lacquer for making e-matches (electric initiators) for my rockets, woodworkers have long used nitrocellulose lacquer for fine furniture and musical instruments.

How to Make Nitrocellulose Lacquer:

  • Ping pong balls, acetone, scissors, a wooden stir stick, and a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.
  • Simply cut up 4 or 5 balls, and cover them with twice as much acetone as you need to cover the balls.
  • Let sit overnight.

Additionally, I like to add in some double based (smokeless) gunpowder that I save from my mistakes while reloading.  It gives me a hotter flame for igniting my model rockets.  Additionally, it allows me to waste less powder when reloading.

So now you know how to extract nitrocellulose from Ping Pong Balls.  Its easier than editing actually, I just realized that for some time this said nitroglycerine.  I guess that was a Freudian slip, because it would be really neat to have a easy way to get nitroglycerin, but it would probably be illegal, and I would not want to break the law.

Kitchen DIY: Cooking Pizza in a Pie Iron

Kitchen DIY: Cooking Pizza in a Pie Iron
Buy at Amazon

Pie IronThis is a fun “camping” recipe that kids of vast range of ages can make themselves with little adult supervision.

While being a easy favorite for kids, cooking with a pie iron is infinitely adaptable you can use it with eggs and sausage to make a breakfast meal, eat it for lunch or dinner, use pizza dough, biscuit dough, or sliced bread – or even use apples and sugar to make it a dessert.

As with many of my projects, once you learn the technique you can take it and make it your own special recipe.

Material:

  • 2 pieces of bread per pizza
  • Butter
  • Pizza Sauce
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Dried Italian Seasoning (Oregano)
  • Garlic Salt
  • Topping
    • pepperoni, pre-cooked sausage, hamburger, whatever you want – or just make a cheese pizza

Tools:

  • Pie iron
    • Unless it’s just for one or two people, one pie iron is never enough.
  • Campfire gloves
  • Knife
  • Spatula

Procedure:

  1. Heavily butter one side of each piece of bread
    • For biscuit dough and pizza crust dough – heavily butter the pie iron instead.
    • Pull biscuit dough until it is flattened out to fit the inside of the pie iron – use 1 biscuit for each side
    • For pizza crust: butter the pie iron, lay the dough inside one half of the pie iron, with an equal portion hanging over, then fold the back over the toppings before closing pie iron
  1. Generously spread pizza sauce on one side of bread/biscuit/dough – to suit your taste.
  2. Add shredded cheese, and toppings if used.
  3. Spread pizza sauce on the other piece of bread/biscuit, or flap of pizza crust.
  4. Season with oregano and garlic salt, then close pie iron.
  5. For pizza crust – fold flap in, over cheese and toppings first.
  6. Trim off any excess ingredients sticking out of the closed iron.
  1. Cook over medium coals, or low campfire flame.
    • For bread pizza: after three minutes, rotate pie iron and cook for four more minutes.
    • For biscuit and pizza dough: rotate after four minutes, and cook for five more minutes
    • These are only approximate times. Use your own judgment and keep in mind that pie irons can be closed and re-cooked if you want more them more well-done, but you cannot “un burn” pizza.
  2. Open pie irons and use a spatula to remove pizza.

CAUTION! Pie irons will be very hot. AND, the insides of the just-cooked pizza will be very hot! Do not let young kids try to handle them until they have time to cool – which should only be a few minutes.

How to Modify a TDI Knife with Tek Lok

 

Modifying A TDI Knife with Tek Lok
Buy at Amazon

I love my Ka-Bar TDI, it is very ergonomic and designed to be used weak-handed to help defend against gun grab situations.  I modified it to make it easy to carry.  Additionally, if you need a smaller EDC knife, I have a post on how to conceal the Ka Bar LDK.

The problem with the TDI is not the knife.  It is an extremely well designed knife, with a nice Kydex sheath.  In order to keep it inexpensive something had to give.

What “gave” was the belt clip.

I am not the only person to hate the mounting system on this knife.  Ka-Bar even sells replacement mounting hardware to replace the belt clip when it invariably bends.

This post shows how I went about modifying a TDI knife with Tek Lok

The belt clip is just a thin piece of tempered steel.  If the knife ever catches on something the loop will open up.  Unfortunately, it will never bend back to hold the knife tightly again.

This problem with an otherwise fantastic knife has created a small cottage industry of custom sheathes for this knife.

However, I like the sheath that came with it so I decided to see if I could engineer a solution.

Introducing Tek Lok

Modifying A TDI Knife with Tek Lok
Buy at Amazon

I happened to have some Tek-Lok belt clips in the shop from an earlier project. It seemed like a perfect fit.  A good knife mounted to a well thought out belt clip.

Its such a good idea that I was not the only person to think of if, however, most people used the large Tek-Loks, and drilled holes through their sheaths to mount the two together.

Looking at the sheath, the mount, and the two sizes of Tek-Loks, I saw that a small one fits flush against the old belt clip.

I cut off the belt clip from the mounting bracket and used my grinder to smooth everything out.

I then used a punch to mark out the 4 mounting holes.

After drilling out the 4 holes, I mounted the tek-lok to the mounting bracket made from the old belt clip, and then mounted the bracket to the sheath.

It does stick out a little more (about 1/8 inch) than the old system, but it is MUCH more secure.

One thing I need to mention is that the small tek-lok was not designed for use on wide belts like my 5.11 rigger belt so it does not “slide on”, I have to force the belt into the tek-lok, and then clamp it shut.

While this is not that difficult, it is an extra step when getting dressed. On the other hand, this makes the knife fixed and it does not move on your belt.

I am very pleased with this project, and it is one that I use quite a bit.