Step 1: Melt the wax to pour into the grooves in the frame to hold the starter strips. I bought a crummy double boiler at a junk store in the mountains to use for melting wax. These are cappings left over from last year. As the double boiler heated up, the whole kitchen began to smell like that wonderful honey/bee/wax smell that you can smell by the hives in the hot summer.
Step 2: While the wax was melting I went to my sewing room to cut the foundation into starter strips. My quilting equipment came in handy. I used a rotary cutter blade that I use to cut paper and my quilting ruler and the green cutting board and quite easily and quickly cut the SC foundation into 3/4 inch strips.
Step 3: Fill the groove in the frame with melted wax to hold the starter strip in place. My wax fastener from Dadant hasn't arrived yet so I was up the creek without a paddle (or in this case, a wax tube fastener) and had no way to pour the wax accurately into the frames. On Beemaster, recommendations included using a straw, a bent spoon, a meat injector for grilling. I didn't have a straw, couldn't bend an old spoon without a vise, and didn't have a meat injector - just a turkey baster and it was too big. Then I noticed a small bread pan on my kitchen counter - PERFECT! I dipped it into the double boiler of melted wax and got about a tablespoon. Then I poured the wax gently into the groove and set the starter strips in place.
Step 4: Leave the starter strips to cool in the frames until ready to install in the hives. I actually have a break tomorrow for about 1 1/2 hours in the middle of the day - just enough time to hurry home, put on my bee stuff, and install the nucs into the hives. I can finish making starter strips for the medium box and to put in Bermuda on another day after my wax fastener comes.
Note: The question was asked in a comment - why starter strips? I am trying to get my bees to make natural cells rather than what we request that they make by supplying a preprinted foundation. Bees on commercial foundation build cells that are 5.9 mm. Some beekeepers think that bees naturally build smaller cells - more like 4.9 mm. Dadant now carries small cell wax foundation.
A bee maturing in a small cell matures faster than a larger bee. This supposedly gives the Varroa mite less time in the cell with the bee so the mite cannot mature. Thus less Varroa in the hive.
I am using strips rather than full sheets of foundation because of Michael Bush's approach. The question of is it more work for the bees is answered by Michael in this way:
Doesn't it take longer for them to draw their own combs?
I have not found this to be true. In my observation (and others who have tried it), they seem to draw plastic with the most hesitation, wax with a little less hesitation and their own comb with the most enthusiasm. In my observation, and some others including Jay Smith, the queen also prefers to lay in it."
Some of the beekeepers I most respect are proponents of this, so I am following their lead. Michael Bush (my beekeeping hero) has lots of information on his site about natural cell size.
He typically uses foundationless frames.
A major proponent of small cell is Dee Lusby. She and her late husband Ed have done considerable work in this area.