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  1. #101
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,604

    Default Re: Do you make your own frames? Please show me how!

    psfred... Do you use foundation or do you let the bees build their own.

    When using foundation, the bees tend to attach all the way down the sides and across the bottom bars, and as you said, the comb is strong enough to hold everything together. Without foundation, I find that they tie the comb sometimes in the center, sometimes 1/2 way down the sides, but rarely all the way down the sides and across bottom, as they do with foundation. This also helps to strengthen what ever joint is used.

    I use the standard 2 dado cut, divided bottom bar, separation hasn't been a problem. If a problem is observed it may also be a result of bee space not being correct.

    cchoganjr

  2. #102
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,222

    Default Re: Do you make your own frames? Please show me how!

    Well, I'm not going to argue with someone else's experience, and if that butt joint works for you, go for it. The bottom bar joint is weak, that's for sure, with most of the wood missing from the end bar when you cut notches in it.

    I have not yet had the frames stick together badly between boxes. Some burr comb between Kelley deeps, but that's because, I think, that there is too much space between them, almost half an inch. Don't know why, but their frames are not a good match for the boxes like all the other sizes are. If you don't have enough bee space, though, and the bees propilize them together, I'd expect divided bars to pull out on a regular basis.

    I do use foundation in the main -- I like to put two foundationless frames per brood box for drones. Once the combs have been in use a while they are pretty strong (but don't drop a frozen one without cross wires!).

    I don't remember what my Granpa used.

    Peter

  3. #103
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    738

    Default Re: Do you make your own frames? Please show me how!

    Peter - If you're into accurate, repeatable setups...you could cut a tang hanging down in the bottom bar notch of the side bar to fill the gap due to the slot in the bottom bar. That is a tall order to make it fit repeatably, though, and cutting a shim piece to glue and fill after the frame is assembled may not add all that much strength, and would take a forbidding amount of time. The kind of task a machinist calls "government work".

    Meanwhile, back in the real world, I like douglas fir for my top and side bars, and 1/2" x 5/8" oak for my bottom bars, and just shoot the staple through and hope it does not explode. A 7/16" thick side bar tends to hold up to the stapling, have enough glue area, and render good stiffness and strength. Paying attention to the end grain on the side bars - that it is knotless, not crooked nor wavy - usually makes staples go in well. The ones that have undesirable grain go into the "research" pile (foundationless, special frames, next size down, firewood, etc.).

  4. #104
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,222

    Default Re: Do you make your own frames? Please show me how!

    Doug Fir and yellow pine both work well for top bars, but the yellow pine is prone to cracking when nailed through to the top bar from the side, at least the stuff I have. Both machine better than softer pines, but the need for being able to nail it to the top bar keeps me using the softer "white" pine 2x6s for now.

    Any profile is easy to make if you have a shaper, the ability to make cutters, and lots of pieces to cut. I try to keep the variations and complexity to a minimum since I'm using a table saw and band saw. That means no fancy cuts where I'd have to run something through several set-ups (for instance, a groove to shorten the "tang" to fit a grooved bottom bar followed by two more cuts). Takes too long, too much fiddling, and all for three or four pieces.

    I cut two 5/16" by 5/16" slots in the bottom of the block I cut end bars from, leaving 1/8" or a bit less in the center. Leaves space for the foundation to fit between the two parts of the divided bottom bar, but one could also cut the reverse on the end of a large block and cut grooved bottom bars to fit as well.

    Great fun -- have my frame assembly jig laid out, will finish it tomorrow, I think.

    Peter

  5. #105
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    738

    Default Re: Do you make your own frames? Please show me how!

    Yes, it seems to depend on how dry / brittle the yellow pine is, fastener guage size is important, and Yellow pine does crack if the grain is very fine and very dry. Doug fir is stronger, but gets awfully hard as it ages, so get some that is fresh cut. Agree fully about machining custom cutters and getting all the complex shapes and dimensions right in the most detailed profile formed at once in manageable slugs, then slicing them apart. No other way to do it or you're wasting too much time.

    Good luck on the frame jig - I would hate to make frames without the gluing /stapling jig! Makes it all worth while. My next one will be bigger - I'm thinking 50 at a time, but the glue drying is the limiting factor, so may stick to 30. A gang brush for the glue may make it work, though, as will a mist water sprayer to keep the glue from drying out too fast.

  6. #106
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,705

    Default Re: Do you make your own frames? Please show me how!

    Well, I've perfected the process of manufacturing frames, and I don't think I can make the design any better than it is now. I cranked out several dozen this past Saturday, and I couldn't be more pleased. Thanks for everything so far, everyone. I can make frames for about $0.23 apeice (mostly recycled wood, of which I have a pretty much unlimited supply), not counting my time, and the time factor depends on how many I make at a time, which can be a pretty large amount. Here are some photos:

    Picture 001.jpg

    Joseph's recommendation for butt-joint bottom bars worked well for me:
    Picture 002.jpg

    Picture 003.jpg

    Instead of using a saw to neck down the endbars, I did it on the router. It turned out excellent. I think it looks better and more professional . Pics below:
    Picture 004.jpg

    Also thought the top bar/end bar joints turned out well too:
    Picture 005.jpg

    Picture 006.jpg

  7. #107
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,222

    Default Re: Do you make your own frames? Please show me how!

    Those look pretty good!

    I've got my end bars drilled and tapered -- used the jointer set to cut 1/8", don't know why I made all those frames last year with straight sides, my jointer sits right beside the table saw!

    I'll be bringing up the parts to the house tonight, it's way too cold to work in the garage (less than 20F outside and no heat out there) to put them together.

    I've got about 100 to put together for the three hives I want to start this year, plus a bunch for honey supers (50 at least).

    Peter

  8. #108
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,705

    Default Re: Do you make your own frames? Please show me how!

    Thanks, Peter!

  9. #109
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,222

    Default Re: Do you make your own frames? Please show me how!

    Finished my jig after dinner and made 22 frames tonight -- man that jig sure is nice, even the rough one I made where some of my end bars don't fit well!

    Now if I can just learn to nail properly all will be well!

    Peter

  10. #110
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,705

    Default Re: Do you make your own frames? Please show me how!

    Peter, would you mind posting photos of your jig? I love seeing the ways different folks do stuff.

  11. #111
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Portland, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    222

    Default Re: Do you make your own frames? Please show me how!

    Not sure if this will help anyone. I just stumbled on this link to plans for frames. Might be worth a look.

    Westernbeekeeper, great job!

    http://www.beeclass.com/dts/beeequipment.htm#Building
    Beeman
    All things may be lawful; but not all things are advantagous.

  12. #112
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
    Posts
    738

    Default Re: Do you make your own frames? Please show me how!

    Western Ben - In the second photo, it looks like you may have made a rabbet joint rather than a butt-joint on those bottom bar-to-side bar joints. Did you cut a rabbet in the bottom of the side bars? That is probably a stronger joint than the one I'm using because the staple is going sideways, not vertical. I will make a few, calculate gluing areas, and run some destruction tests. Why didn't I think of that? I wonder what else this will lead to....stronger frames are a good thing....maybe frames that kill wax moth larvae, or a built-in beetle trap? Thank you for causing me to question everything!

    P.S. It appears that your'e doing excellent work.

    Peter - The frame jig does make one appreciate good accuracy and size-repeatability. Isn't the frame assembly jig right up there with the bellows smoker, foundation wax, and the honey extractor, as far as beekeeping inventions go? I put it up there close, if not equal. :-)
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 01-22-2013 at 05:43 PM.

  13. #113
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,705

    Default Re: Do you make your own frames? Please show me how!

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    In the second photo, it looks like you may have made a rabbet joint rather than a butt-joint on those bottom bar-to-side bar joints. Did you cut a rabbet in the bottom of the side bars?
    Nope, just a butt joint.

  14. #114
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,705

    Default Re: Do you make your own frames? Please show me how!

    Hey folks,
    Check out my new thread on making frames. It's a photo tutorial. Here's the link: http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...Photo-Tutorial

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