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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bellingham, WA, USA
    Posts
    79

    Default My first go at making foundationless frames

    So I've been slowly working out construction of my own frames from the plans I downloaded from this site. I'm planning on going foundationless, so I wanted to modify the design a little to provide more of an attachment point. So I went with 5/4 x 6 cedar boards, ripped to 19 x 1 1/16. I cut the ends as normal, but the bottom half I cut using a 45 degree bit on my router table. Here's the result:

    No, the parts are not glued, nailed, or anything yet. These parts were just put together for the photo. I'll be building a jig for assembly.


    Fig 1. Frame pieces all placed together


    Fig 2. Close up of frame end

    BTW - the side bars are made from 2x4's and bottom bar ripped from 1x6.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Lake County Illinois
    Posts
    260

    Default Re: My first go at making foundationless frames

    I like the way they look.

    I am resigned to use popsickle sticks.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Duvall, WA
    Posts
    57

    Thumbs Up Re: My first go at making foundationless frames

    Those look great. Let us know how they work

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Farwell, Michigan,USA
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: My first go at making foundationless frames

    Those look good. I just started the same thing today. But Im using the popsickle sticks as well. When using the sticks do you need them on the bottom and top of the frame? I thought it was just the top?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Huntersville, NC
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: My first go at making foundationless frames

    I like making my own boxes, bottom board, cover etc. but I never grew interest in making my own frames because there is a little too much detail (work) to be done and the ones I purchase are rather cheap. Since you are making the frames, are you only planning to make a small amount or will you make a lot (say 100 or more) yourself? In other words is there a limit to how many you would make yourself versus buy and assemble?

    By the way, your frames looks great.
    Thanks,
    Will

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bellingham, WA, USA
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: My first go at making foundationless frames

    Thanks for the encouragement everyone! I've got about 100 frames worth of side bars cut, and half that of top bars so far. I've ordered two packages of bees for the Spring to put in all medium boxes, so I plan to make a little over 100 frames for the 5 boxes per hive. There's some variation, and I'll see how each holds up.

    @roughneck942003: You'd only need the popsicle sticks on the top. The frame in my first picture is upside-down, because that gave a better view of the top bar.

    @Will O'Brien: My materials cost is about 52 cents a frame with the wood I buy at the local big-box home improvement store. At the 67.5 cents I could get them shipped from Mann Lake, compared to all the labor I put into these, I don't think I'm making much money. I do spend a bunch of time setting up and testing each cut, so when I do make pieces I want to cut at least 100 frames worth to make the effort worth while. If my top bars work out well I may just buy the side bars in bulk and make the bottoms (they're _easy_) and custom tops myself.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,866

    Default Re: My first go at making foundationless frames

    Cedar is not strong wood. You might be better served making them out of pine. Sure be cheaper and frames are out of the weather so I see no advantage to cedar. I may be wrong. Why did yo chose cedar? And you can buy budget frames from western bee for about 54 cents apiece plus shipping. A lot of lost finger opportunities in making a hundred frames on a table saw. I just put together twenty five of them and they are really pretty good. Only one top bar was a little warped and I can straighten that if it's a problem.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bellingham, WA, USA
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: My first go at making foundationless frames

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    Cedar is not strong wood. You might be better served making them out of pine. Sure be cheaper and frames are out of the weather so I see no advantage to cedar. I may be wrong. Why did yo chose cedar? And you can buy budget frames from western bee for about 54 cents apiece plus shipping. A lot of lost finger opportunities in making a hundred frames on a table saw. I just put together twenty five of them and they are really pretty good. Only one top bar was a little warped and I can straighten that if it's a problem.
    I chose cedar because it was the only wood that came in 5/4 where I went. It wasn't expensive at $4 for a 5/4x4x8 to make 15 tops. If Lowes had 5/4 in pine for less I'd go that route. As for strength, they're plenty strong at 1 inch thick, and the V-cut bottom adds further strength.

    I'm not worried about loosing a finger. I've got years of time working with table saws and routers and have plenty of respect for their power to maim. For me it's about both owning the hive and having a reason to go work in the shop now and then. I'm certainly not saving money making them myself.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,866

    Default Re: My first go at making foundationless frames

    Hey what your doing is fine it's purty, it's yore frog you boil it any way you want. I am turning the wedges on my store boughts. I certainly like the looks of the V on yours according to the Bush man it is the best.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Andover, MA, USA
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: My first go at making foundationless frames

    The smell of cedar taints the honey, are you sure you like it that way?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Polk Co, NC, USA
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: My first go at making foundationless frames

    Those are gorgeous! I have just been glueing little triangles to the ready made top bars and they are downright embarrassing next to yours.

    Eek a beek, that is bad news for me about the cedar! I have a quilt box with cedar chips on my hive for temp, moisture control and noticed that my SHB disappeared the week I put it on. I was hoping to keep it on all year. does the cedar have to contact the honey to effect it?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    havana fl
    Posts
    1,353

    Default Re: My first go at making foundationless frames

    From looking @ the photos the cedar looks like western cedar the kind they use for house siding its’ not the same as the red cedar that is used in a cedar chest. Western cedar doesn’t have that beautiful smell to it. Different tree. ☺ But I could be wrong.
    Im really not that serious

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Andover, MA, USA
    Posts
    88

    Default Re: My first go at making foundationless frames

    http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/htdocs/...arwood_oil.pdf
    http://www.thegoodscentscompany.com/data/rw1003031.html

    @Lauren: No. Cedar outgases cedrol which is soluble in water and hence can be absorbed by honey. The good news is that it is approved as a food additive. The issue is a matter of taste. If you like it and will consume the honey yourself then there is no problem. If you intend to sell your honey then you need to understand the local market acceptance to cedrol flavored honey.

    If SHB is sensitive to cedar then that would be interesting. Please continue posting your observations if you decide to keep working with cedar chips. I do not think bees are sensitive, at least I infer that from the popularity of cypress wood for hive boxes and the fact that cedar is in the cypress family. Cypress wood also contains a sesquiterpene that discourages insects. It bears watching however since cypress boxes and frames are eventually (or perhaps frantically) sealed with propolis varnish by the bees but they would have no defense against cedar chips if it bothers them.

    @mac: Western cedar is milder and has its own unique chemical profile but it is discussed along with the other cedars in the government document above.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Bellingham, WA, USA
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: My first go at making foundationless frames

    Quote Originally Posted by Eek-a-beek View Post
    The smell of cedar taints the honey, are you sure you like it that way?
    Hmmm... hadn't heard that it taints the honey, but certainly something to consider, as the cedar I used is pretty aromatic when cut. Thankfully I've got a couple months to off-gas before putting bees in there.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,297

    Default Re: My first go at making foundationless frames

    Aromatic cedar might taint it a little but his red cedar won't hurt anything. I've cut up tons of red cedar for exterior house trim and siding, it has very little cedar aroma. I certainly wouldn't use the closet liner cedar.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Limestone Co, Alabama
    Posts
    1,674

    Default Re: My first go at making foundationless frames

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren View Post
    ... that is bad news for me about the cedar! ...does the cedar have to contact the honey to effect it?
    I don't think you have any worries. Back when the Earth was young and everything on it was organic, even before there was such a thing as a World 'rassling' Federation, this strong man named Sampson kilt a lion with his bare hands. Sometime later as the story goes, old Sampson went back and a swarm of bees had taken up residence inside the dried out body caviety of that dead lion. Sampson robbed that bee colony and no mention was made about the honey from inside the dead lion tasting or smelling like rotten lion meat.

    So I don't think your honey will either taste nor smell like cedar.
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,827

    Default Re: My first go at making foundationless frames

    Can't say I've made frames out of cedar but I've made boxes out of it and they worked fine and everything tasted fine. I wouldn't be concerned about using cedar for frames.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    havana fl
    Posts
    1,353

    Re: My first go at making foundationless frames

    Quote Originally Posted by fish_stix View Post
    Aromatic cedar might taint it a little but his red cedar won't hurt anything. I've cut up tons of red cedar for exterior house trim and siding, it has very little cedar aroma. I certainly wouldn't use the closet liner cedar.
    O.K. I thought red cedar was the kind ya use for a cedar closet cause its red and western cedar was the stuff for siding. I also have cut a lot of siding I guess I was calling it the wrong thing. Live and learn.
    Im really not that serious

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Rhinebeck, NY
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: My first go at making foundationless frames

    Wow, beautifull woodwork but why not simply take a top bar from, for example, Brushy Mountain Bee Farm (at 42 cents a bar or 95 cents for a full frame) and tack and glue a narrow piece of cove moulding (inverted) to it? It ends up looking much like yours.

    Mike

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Limestone Co, Alabama
    Posts
    1,674

    Default Re: My first go at making foundationless frames

    Eastern red cedar, if I recollect, is the wood in every kindergarten kids' No.2 (graphite) lead pencil.

    Ive seen enough school kids gnaw on lead pencils, and I bet you have too, that I would suspect if anything, we humans kind of enjoy the flavor of cedar. Be happy!
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

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