Hello fellow beekeepers,
I'm looking into designing a honey extractor that squeezes out the honey via a pic press. I can't really explain it that well, so I'll post a link to my site that has a powerpoint automating the design
Pin Press Powerpoint
This press will use the plasti-comb (fully built comb frames) so that the holes will line up with the pins all the time. I figure that by the simple rules of displacement, when the press goes in - the honey comes out (and down with gravity as long as the honey hasn't crystalized). As for the wax cappings, these will be pressed into the plastic comb and "refitted" to the comb lining, and the remaining wax that is dislaced is either left on the pins when the press is removed or falls down off the pins.
Now, the only thing I can think of that might be annoying is that if the pin press were to get a compacted clusted of wax that won't fall off the pins - and this would eventually cause the press to malfunction. I would have to build a cleaner system if this were the case.
Anyways, I thought I'd throw that out to see what you all though of the idea and if there are any problems with doing it this way that you can think of!
Thank you all for your time!
PS. I know this looks a bit like a step backwards in how things are done, but I'm trying to automate my honey house so that everything can run smoothly with no falling or breaking of frames in the current extractor units.
Interesting idea, but not sure of the advantages.
With the results you desire, you would need to have "Pin point" accuracy or some damage would surely occur. Lining up the frames each time could prove difficult especially if the molds creating the frames (Permacomb?) are not identical. I have to believe that there are multiple cavities producing the frames for efficiency reasons. If this is the case,you would need to verify that each frame has the cells in identical locations. Any variation could result in a problem.
If you are concerned about wax build-up on the pins, you could always incorporate some type of heat to periodically melt the wax off (cartridge or steam).
I would think that the pins would need to be stainless and hardened as well. Making those to your desired specifications could be costly. You would need to have the pins to be removeable as well in case the need to replace any arose.
I think a pin press will also slow up your extracting to a large degree.
1. Only one frame is extracted at a time
2. You will have to wait on gravity to remove all the honey or you could lose part of your crop.
Unfortunately, I'd rather not post the full implementation of such an extractor (or the need for it, compared to conventional methods), but I would say that although the method is slow - there is a benefit (for me) to squeezing out the honey instead of whipping it out.
The benefits of this design in general terms that I can see are:
1. No frames are damaged (and with your suggestion, I would need to make sure all the combs are built exactly the same (I did mean permacomb) as well as make sure that the press can line up the frames to virtually pin point accuracy).
2. No need for a hot knife or automatic uncapper. Also, all honey would be extracted in any given transaction (note, that the press will probably not press out as much as whipping the honey out. But the efficiency of the press when using my system is less of a concern than it would be in a conventional honey house, but only based on that the honey has either fallen down, stays on the pins, or stays in the frame (ie. can't have any dripping of honey without something catching it).
3. Completely automatic and therefore time is not as much of a concern then a 120 frame extractor running four men to extract 700-800 frames an hour. If the extractor could be built with proper error correction then it could be run over night (making up for the time lost for the single frame extraction).
My needs are to reduce any dependency on human control and reduce the cost of an automated extractor by a huge factor (looking at $1000 Canadian compared to a $40,000 120 frame ex and a $10,000 uncapper)
I think your right about the build up of wax and removing it through heat. I can program a heating element to heat up the pins when there is too much on the press. I think instead of being able to remove the pins separately, I'll incorporate a mold idea (or a bunch of pins in the same mold) so that if the mold breaks, I just replace the mold - if I didn't go with that then being able to remove the pins would be the way to go.
Sorry that I can't explain more to put this "inefficient and slow" method into better perspective, but there is a reason for the madness..
Thanks for your reply
Devices similar to what you propose have
existed for some time, and are most often
used when dealing with heather honey, which
is almost impossible to extract with normal equipment.
The second and third devices shown on the page
are the ones of interest - I'm not sure that
the roller is going to work well, or at all.
If you try and squeeze the honey out of each
cell by pressure alone, you are going to have
a problem with the gap required for the honey
to get past the "probe" or "pin". A large
enough gap will result in a less-then empty
It might be possible to insert a tiny tube and
use air pressure to simply "blow the honey out"
of the cells, but this would make quite a mess.
what makes heather honey so hard to extract from the comb?
I'll have to look into those presses for more ideas. As for the pins being smaller.. yes, they would have to be. Since the cells are hex and the pins will probably be round, there will be spaces already for the honey to seep out the sides. I don't know if this is enough and some tests will have to be done. I plan on ribbing the pins so that the honey can "pocketed" on the pin if the honey can't get all the way out (It looks like the hand press (second picutre on the link) is ribbed too!).
Blowing the honey out is a good idea. I was trying to stay away from a lot of little pieces that all need to be working properlly in order for the press to work without surpervision. But, it could be stated that since you would be blowing into the cell, then the pins would "clean" themselves if they were to be blolcked by wax or debris (Another idea was to suck out the honey.. but I figured that would give me too many problems).
> what makes heather honey so hard to extract
> from the comb?
It is highly thixotropic, which is a fun way
of saying that it flows like molasses at the
You'd think that higher RPMs on the extractor
would do the trick, but more than one Scots
beekeeper has found out the hard way that
wax comb comes apart at lower G-forces than
the heather honey comes out of the comb.
Ahh.. extremely viscous honey.
Well, I'll let you both know how things go with the press. I'm building along with a school project I need to submit this spring so - hopefully all works out and I'll have an operational machine by then.
Thank you for your reply's. If the only thing thought that could be wrong with the method is the lack of speed, then I should be on the right track. As for accuracy... I'll find that out soon enough.