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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico
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    147

    Default First of Many Foundationless Frames

    I was able to finish 6 foundationless frames last night - here is a shot of one of them.



    I worked out the process to make these pretty quick so I'll be able to blast off a bunch of them a lot quicker in the future.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,379

    Default Re: First of Many Foundationless Frames

    Looks great.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Corvallis, Oregon, USA
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    1

    Default Re: First of Many Foundationless Frames

    Hi Cactii,

    Any chance you would be willing to share your process, maybe with some pictures? I am planning on building up some more foundation-less frame hives next year and would greatly appreciate some insight into making these.

    Thanks,

    - Josh

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico
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    147

    Default Re: First of Many Foundationless Frames

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh McCallum View Post
    Hi Cactii,

    Any chance you would be willing to share your process, maybe with some pictures? I am planning on building up some more foundation-less frame hives next year and would greatly appreciate some insight into making these.

    Thanks,

    - Josh
    Hi Josh,

    I have a thickness planer, jointer, router, table saw and a miter saw so all that makes it a little easier!

    Basically I just took the Dadant frame design plans from this web site and built them exactly as they are but I left the top bar square and then cut a 45 on each side while leaving a 1/8" landing in the middle.

    I need to pick up a set of dado blades for my table saw because doing the slots in the side bars on the frames with the router seems real dangerous to me. Either that or I will make up some sort of sliding box jig to hold 20 at a time or something so that I can run them over the router all at once with more safety and stability. This way there will be more support on the little fingers too and they won't get ripped apart as they do sometimes when I'm doing them one by one.

    I've jigged up my router so that it mounts upside down on a piece of plywood that I can clamp to a table or insert into a bigger table I made for it.

    I'm a bit busy right now but I will try and get some pictures the next time I make some. I will be making some way before January for sure as the orange trees will begin flowering over here by then.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cleveland, Texas
    Posts
    1,378

    Default Re: First of Many Foundationless Frames

    I build all my own frames (foundationless or not). I use only a miter saw for cutting the stock to length and then a table saw with a 3/8" dado blade, a rip blade and a set of self designed proprietary slides and jigs (and a crown stapler for assembly). I don't do it all at once, but break it up into steps. I start with a slug of endbars (can put out 600+ endbars in an hour) then top bars (can do around 300 in an hour) and then bottom bars (can do 1000+ of these in an hour). At this point assembly is the slow step (I need to build a bigger assembly jig) but I still manage 100+ per hour. I do have an advantage in that I mill my own lumber and can customize the rough-cut stock (11/8ths for endbars, 9/8ths for top bars and 3/4 for bottom bars) to maximize my output. One of the intended advantages of my endbar design along with faster milling time is it significantly reduces the swaying of the frames in the hive during transport yet still allows for bee space between the endbars. I'll try to post some photos of the finished product later.
    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico
    Posts
    147

    Default Re: First of Many Foundationless Frames

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene Weitzel View Post
    I build all my own frames (foundationless or not). I use only a miter saw for cutting the stock to length and then a table saw with a 3/8" dado blade, a rip blade and a set of self designed proprietary slides and jigs (and a crown stapler for assembly). I don't do it all at once, but break it up into steps. I start with a slug of endbars (can put out 600+ endbars in an hour) then top bars (can do around 300 in an hour) and then bottom bars (can do 1000+ of these in an hour). At this point assembly is the slow step (I need to build a bigger assembly jig) but I still manage 100+ per hour. I do have an advantage in that I mill my own lumber and can customize the rough-cut stock (11/8ths for endbars, 9/8ths for top bars and 3/4 for bottom bars) to maximize my output. One of the intended advantages of my endbar design along with faster milling time is it significantly reduces the swaying of the frames in the hive during transport yet still allows for bee space between the endbars. I'll try to post some photos of the finished product later.
    I agree with this... you have to jig everything if you want them to turn out nice and consistent.

    I use up a lot of my scrap lumber and that is why I send it through a thickness planer or use a jointer on it. Usually these pieces aren't used in other things because they are a bit twisted or have a knot in them somewhere. The jointer and thickness planer allow me to use up wood that I would otherwise throw away or burn.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Pittsburgh PA
    Posts
    399

    Default Re: First of Many Foundationless Frames

    I just rip the top bar at 45 degrees both sides as cacti said, before assembling the store bought frame. I have four hives double deep and ALL the frames are foundation-less. I never had a second thoughts about it.
    There is no greater satisfaction than the satisfaction of a job well done.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico
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    Default Re: First of Many Foundationless Frames

    Quote Originally Posted by balhanapi View Post
    I just rip the top bar at 45 degrees both sides as cacti said, before assembling the store bought frame. I have four hives double deep and ALL the frames are foundation-less. I never had a second thoughts about it.
    Looking at the prices of Dadant frames and hives I'd buy them and do the modification as well. I mean really at 85 cents a frame I'm not saving any real money by making them myself. However, since I am in Mexico the stuff that is available here has something to be desired.

    Quality is real low and they don't pay attention to the dimensions between top bars and the 'bee-space'. This is one of the reasons I am building my own stuff and trying to change my setup while I still have very little.

    Knowing this you can imagine what hives probably look like here with lots of burr comb and everything all out of place. They don't think about what the bee naturally and instinctively wants to do and try and mimic their setups to suit. Anything goes over here I guess.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cleveland, Texas
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    Default Re: First of Many Foundationless Frames

    The 85 cents a frame does not include the cost of shipping, and that costs about as much as the frames themselves. Because I mill all my own lumber, their is a cost savings for me although I'll admit that it is not a big one, there are several other main reasons I build my own frames:

    1. I like my design better and its not commercially available.

    2. I use 1-1/4" spacing and commercially available frames are all at 1-3/8 spacing and there is a lot of inconsistency in their designs.

    3. I don't have to be concerned about being at the mercy of the supplier and their shippers. When my stock of frame parts is running low, I can stay up a little later for several nights and refresh it.
    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

  10. #10
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    Sep 2009
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    Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico
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    Default Re: First of Many Foundationless Frames

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene Weitzel View Post
    1. I like my design better and its not commercially available.

    2. I use 1-1/4" spacing and commercially available frames are all at 1-3/8 spacing and there is a lot of inconsistency in their designs.

    3. I don't have to be concerned about being at the mercy of the supplier and their shippers. When my stock of frame parts is running low, I can stay up a little later for several nights and refresh it.
    Those sound like good reasons to me. We're in the same boat there, quality of stuff here is really low.

    I have a woodworking hobby so having the the means to do it all is nice. Sounds like you too like to have quality parts and control over the product. I hate having to be at the mercy of anybody so I'm with you there too.

    Plus - I take pride in all my work but it's not as if building bee equipment is like building a nice maple coffee table or alder bench.

    It feels more "pioneering" building it all yourself anyways.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cleveland, Texas
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    1,378

    Default Re: First of Many Foundationless Frames

    There is one other pretty good reason I do it. Hurricane Ike left me with a pretty large inventory of extremely low cost Southern Yellow Pine sawlogs, so I can't see letting that opportunity go to waste. Since I have the means to do it, it makes more sense to turn them into beekeeping equipment than to sell them as raw timber.
    "The UNKNOWN, huh? That would be SNORBERT ZANGOX over in Waycross."

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Dolny Kubin, Slovakia, EU
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    13

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico
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    Default Re: First of Many Foundationless Frames


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