Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Columbus, MS, USA
    Posts
    29

    Default Aluminum in Homemade Honey Extractor?

    I am new to the forum, but have been keeping bees for several years. My Dad has taught me what his dad taught him and so on. We have been using a 2 frame tangential extractor for several years. I now want to build a radial extractor. I have the food grade barrel that i want to use so i know the dimensions. My question for the moment is, can you use aluminum as the supports for the frames? I know i can make it strong enough, but this is more in the line of is it acceptable to use aluminum as a component of the extractor. Is it safe for aluminum to contact honey, are there reasons not to use aluminum rods and extrusions? These seem pretty light weight, I can weld them etc.

    Just a question and i appreciate your comments, warnings, advice etc, in advance.

    Tim

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

    Default Re: Aluminum in Homemade Honey Extractor?

    Don't know how safe it is but I can tell you for sure that the acids in honey will eat bare aluminum or galvanized metal; the galvanized metal leaches out zinc which is bad medicine. If you can weld aluminum you can weld stainless.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    986

    Default Re: Aluminum in Homemade Honey Extractor?

    If you are going to weld joints some of the extrusions and its alloys are considered un-weldable. I have done some the weld zone goes granular and fail immediately and others crack after a few years. Lots of the alloys are very weldable so if you are going to a lot of trouble fabricating it is well to know for sure the weld characteristics. Any fasteners should be aluminum or stainless not brite plated carbon steel.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    986

    Default Re: Aluminum in Homemade Honey Extractor?

    Quote Originally Posted by fish_stix View Post
    Don't know how safe it is but I can tell you for sure that the acids in honey will eat bare aluminum or galvanized metal; the galvanized metal leaches out zinc which is bad medicine. If you can weld aluminum you can weld stainless.
    You are not wrong about the welding, Lol! I have been doing some contemplating of building one too. I know there are some food items you should not leave laying around in aluminum cookware but usually not a problem if washed out after use. Agree on the galvanized bad business especially since some of the offshore stuff can have a high percentage of lead and cadmium that should not be there. I possibly have a line on one that needs the screen replaced and stainless is a lot harder to find in the sticks but better for peace of mind. The same issues are legend with home made hootch.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Kirkland, WA, USA
    Posts
    1,020

    Default Re: Aluminum in Homemade Honey Extractor?

    Stainless steel bike wheels work pretty well for frame supports.
    http://www.voiceofthehive.com - Tales of Beekeeping and Honeybees

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,732

    Default Re: Aluminum in Homemade Honey Extractor?

    I would highly recommend 304L SS. In most food situations, Hard coated Aluminum is allowed for incidental contact, not immersion. When you price Hard Coat(a kind of anodizing) , you may find 304L SS cheaper, because it is priced by the square surface. Do it once and do it right.

    Crazy ROland

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Columbus, MS, USA
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Aluminum in Homemade Honey Extractor?

    Thanks for the replies. I have been looking for a source for the SS i will need. There are some on line suppliers, and i will also check with some machine shops in my area. I see that the 304L is recommended, is there a type of SS that i should stay away from?

    Thanks,
    Tim

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,297

    Default Re: Aluminum in Homemade Honey Extractor?

    Some types are not weldable by normal means. Stick with the 304L and you'll be OK. With all the shipyards in MS you should have a metal supplier close by rather than buying from a welding shop and paying a couple of middle men.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    986

    Default Re: Aluminum in Homemade Honey Extractor?

    I think anything in the 300 or 18 8 series will be Ok. 304L is excellent but if you find a 316 cheaper it would be more than adequate. Stay away from any so called stainless steels from the 200 series (they really are not stainless). A steel warehouse or distributor that will also do retail sales is the place to look, otherwise a fabricating shop will likely put on at least a 50% markup.
    Stainless stock was a crazy price a while back.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,732

    Default Re: Aluminum in Homemade Honey Extractor?

    303 is for machining, not welding. 316 is rarely cheaper, if my memory is right, it has more chromium and nickel. Stick with 304L. There are numerous on line metal suppliers. Check if "Copper and Brass" has an outlet near you. I believe they are a division of Thysen Krupp. That is where we got all of our SS from in my previous job.

    Crazy ROland

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads