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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Delta, Utah
    Posts
    494

    Default Box and frame making equipment

    I know commercial beekeepers that make all their own equipment with a radial arm saw, a table saw and a jointer. I know the companies that make and sell thousands of boxes and frames use specialized equipment. Does anyone know how to get a hold of this type of machinery? Thanx.
    -Rob Bliss
    Bliss Honey and bee supplies

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default Woodenware mfg.

    Some of the saws and equipment are available commercially, others are specialized and often designed by the owner or operator. The entire operation must be focused on MOST EFFICIENT USE OF MATERIAL. In order to achieve this you must be manufacturing boxes AND frames and everything else. So the entire system complements itself.

  3. #3

    Default

    You can got to a company like exfactory.com tell them what you want too make and they can tell you what machines you would need. The sell alot of used equipment for wood shops.

    I don't know about frames but I think the best boxes would come from a good High speed CNC router and an accurate cutoff saw to cut the boards to length.
    Columbia City, Indiana

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,497

    Default

    Rob,

    Most commercial beeks I know buy their equipment. Two reasons for this. One is the labor involved is just too much. They already spend enough time just maintaining existing equipment and their hives. Taking the time to make it plus the expense of the machinery to make and put together boxes would be a full time job. Second, by buying in bulk, for us anyway they are almost cheaper then just buying the wood. Combine that with the time and cost of equipment and it comes out way cheaper to order in bulk.

    Just my two cents.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Owen, WI, USA
    Posts
    2,553

    Default

    I agree with Alpha, it is cheaper to buy in bulk, but there are a couple of factors that would make one lean towards making your own.
    The first would be to keep a full time crew busy in the off season, if they didn't otherwise have enough to do. The next would be timely availability. This year we ordered wooden ware in January and the stuff just trickled in. After waiting for almost two months for word the semi was on it's way, and with spring almost upon us, we finally settled for lesser amounts with a different supplier than our initial order, due to a huge backlog. Wood ware seems to be in short supply this year. Or maybe they just wanted to sell to the higher paying hobby/sideliners first.
    Sheri

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Default Box and frame making equipment

    I bought 100 six frame nucs from an outfit in Los Angeles many years ago.

    Here is what I noticed when I shook the hand of the owner:

    Missing digits on one hand and old scars.

    His employees were scared up and also missing digits.
    We make our living with our hands.
    Sooo you might want to reconsider the making of hive wooden ware.
    Hope you had a good trip back home.
    Ernie
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,166

    Big Grin

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnK and Sheri View Post
    The first would be to keep a full time crew busy in the off season, Sheri

    What off season??? JOHN....... has Sheri been drinking again.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hillsboro, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    1,672

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default Bee woodshop

    Rob to answer your question; jointing, cutoff, ripping&gang ripping, shaping, power feed,can all be accomplished with stuff on the market. A machine shop can build you a single arbor finger jointer and handhold cutter if you want. If 7/8" wide top bars are acceptable ( straight no shoulders ) then you are set up for everything but end bars. That requires a fairly complex machine. Also if you want full width 1 1/16" wide top bars that requires more process. Seems to me it is also important to be near a source of supply for lumber otherwise like we hear so often: " The freight is KILLIN me! "

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    berkshire county MA
    Posts
    1,472

    Default

    My thoughts as I daydreamed in the past about making equipment were using an arbor with multiple dado head type saw blades to cut the finger joints. I see the hauncher is similar but uses shaper cutters instead and looks very heavy duty.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    860

    Lightbulb

    When I was younger I built a lot of new equipment. Some I still use. I own my own custom cabinet shop and build cabinet in my off season.
    New equipment! I'm a second generation comm. honey producer and I just go in and buy of other comm. guy for pennys on the dollar. Why buy new. The last guy I bought out the honey was still on the bees to be extracted, and I sold all the honey for more then I paid. I've got enough equipment for my boys to produce if they want. The comm beekeeper is a dieing breed. Only wish the younger generation could see what hard work does for the soul.
    I like building cabinets over bee equipment, and it pay better too.
    Ron

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,364

    Default

    You just need one of these.....
    http://www.myoldtools.com/boxjoint/box1.jpg
    http://www.myoldtools.com/boxjoint/box3.jpg
    http://www.myoldtools.com/boxjoint/box4.jpg
    http://www.myoldtools.com/boxjoint/box5.jpg
    http://www.myoldtools.com/boxjoint/box7.jpg
    It's a purpose made box joint machine to cut multiple sides at a time. The carriage moves back and forth across the multiple cutter head. The head can be set up in 1/8" increments. Built in the early 20th century, prior to ball bearings. It has been changed over to ball bearing now, but i have the original babbit bearing boxes with it. If you want to go into the business, let me know
    http://www.myoldtools.com/boxjoint/box2.jpg

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