Can you post some pics of how the dowels work? I'm interested to see that.
I did some price checking at Lowe's on lumber and figured out how many top bars, end bars, and bottom bars I can get out of a board. Looks like I can make a frame for $0.24 in materials vs. $0.75 for buying commercial frames from Dadant. I need to make 350 medium frames, Trying to determine if it's worth my time.
I make all my frames out of used lumber so they're basically free. Having made many hundreds I can say I'm honestly tired of making them and can't even motivate myself to make any more. If I was in a pinch, sure I'd make them. Short of that I wouldn't even consider it. If you need to make 350, go that extra mile and cut out the parts for 700 or 1000. I can say for myself that it's not worth my time.
Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
Beekeeping Facebook Page
I can buy frames for $65.00 per hundred my time is worth a little something like playing with my grand son
What if the time you spend, making those frames, is more valuable than the frames you make.
It's like saying, you can buy fish for $8.00 a pound, why would anyone want to buy a boat and go fishing.
DLMKA.........So if you can cut out 35 frames in an hour you are paying yourself $17.85 per hour. The uniformity of your frame parts will probably not be as consistent as the one's you'll buy from Dadant or a similar supplier (at least mine aren't). But I like making them.........sometimes. I also like making my bottom boards, boxes, and lids.
Maybe I didn't make myself clear. It isn't how much fish cost, it's all about how much you enjoy fishing. It isn't about how much frames cost, it is all about the joy and pride of making your own frames.
pom51.... enjoys time with the Grand kids, so he buys his frames, rather than making them. Very understandable. Someone else enjoys making his/her own frames so it doesn't matter how much it cost to make them or how much time it takes. That's all I was saying.
Apparently I struck a nerve. Very Sorry.
Last edited by Cleo C. Hogan Jr; 01-07-2013 at 09:48 PM. Reason: additional info
I cut almost 100 end bars from machined blocks tonight in about an hour. Would have taken less time if I'd not also been continuing the rehabilitation of the wonky bandsaw I bought cheap (new guide holder and thrust bearings tonight, made a big difference).
I work slow, since my shop is currently unheated (old furnace quit, haven't got the new one converted to propane and installed), but it took me a couple hours to cut, surface, and slot some 2x6 stock to cut top bars out of and another hour or so to cut them apart. Spent two hours the other night making the blocks for end bars and cutting bottom bars (I used divided bars, so I was sawing 5/16" squares).
So if figure about six hours total on 120 frames. Longest job is the dados on the top bars and cutting the frame wedge, since that's 8 operations per bar.
Plan on 18 hours or so for making 350 frames, not including assembly time (although that's much faster, especially with a jig). Best way to buy the lumber is 2x10 yellow pine, I think, it's the cheapest and straightest while still being easy to work and nail. Scrap is better, but not if you have to work very hard or drive somewhere to get it. I've been scrounging in the scrap bin at Menard's, nice 24" 2x6 pieces for 29 cents is hard to pass up. Lots of 1x12 cutoffs, too, that work well for medium or shallow boxes at 69 cents each.
Please note that if you don't already have the necessary equipment (table saw, planer, and band saw) making frames or boxes is silly -- I've got nearly two grand in the equipment and tools and you can buy all the hobby beekeeping equipment you will ever need for that! However, since I have them, the use is pretty much free to make frames, and my time would be spent on some other hobby or cleaning house, I'm not turning down real paid work.
I'll post some pictures shortly, got things to do for the next couple days.
pom51, I go to the garage to work on stuff to get AWAY from my kids. Love them dearly but I need some shop time too.
If I hated making or building things I would just pay for fully assembled frames, I have the money to just buy the dang things but I get immense satisfaction in doing things for myself, even if it's just once to say I know how.
Went by Lowe's tonight to get some lumber and on my way in I see a pack of culled 1" pine boards, everything from 1X12X10 to 1X4X8. List price on the whole package was over $300, had it marked at $150. Talked to they guy at the counter and it's been there almost a week, in two days it'll drop to $75 unless someone buys it before then. Now we're talking. Probably enough wood there for 1000 or more frames (minus endbars cut from 2X10 planed down to 1.375".
I bought a tablesaw a little over a month ago off Craigslist for $100. Bought a dado stack and freud all purpose blade. Already made 35 supers and 6 screened bottom boards.
>Longest job is the dados on the top bars and cutting the frame wedge, since that's 8 operations per bar.
who needs a frame wedge? I have been using GTB's and GBB's for decades. Dislike frame wedges.
don't get me wrong I make all of the boxes and top and bottoms for I have access to cypress lumber at a very good price. just like to keep all my fingers away from fast moving saw blades. I have all the equipment to make the frames but would better spend my time,making splits or other hive components
It was just a bad analogy based on my personal experience with boats. They require more time to maintain than they gain in fishing time.
Same thing with making bee equipment. Some people get as much, if not more satisfaction, out of making their own equipment, as they do actually taking care of their bees. For these people, the thrill of making it themselves, is the thrill. Not how much time it takes, or how much they can save by just buying it. For those without the proper equipment, or who have other things to do, it is more advantageous for them to buy it. I always tell everyone, do whatever works for you. BIG difference between hobbyist and commercial also.
I am going to back out of this thread. I apologize for straying from the basic intent of this thread, which was a question by Westernbeekeepr. He wanted to know if you make your own frames, and show him how you do it. Unfortunately I responded to questioning as to whether or not a person should make their own frames, or, just buy them.
Thanks again. Happy Bee Keeping.
Last edited by Cleo C. Hogan Jr; 01-08-2013 at 08:57 AM. Reason: spelling, typing
I went to a 4-H style frame for my medium boxes where the only machining done is on the top bar. Your end bars are basically a rectangle and the bottom bar (which is at least 1/2" thick) can be fastened to the bottom of the end bars or between them. It drastically cuts down on machine time and I still just can't find it in my heart to make frames anymore, just too many hives/frames to deal with for me even during the winter. I made the bottom bars thicker so I could run a kerf down the center of them and they would still have enough material below the kerf not to split when i thump honey supers. Boxes I'll make all day long no big deal.
Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
Beekeeping Facebook Page