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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Strafford, NH, USA
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    353

    Default Adding motor to hand crank extractor

    I have an old (very old) 9 (medium) frame extractor that I got from my mentor (~75 years old) that used to be his fathers back in the day. It is a stainless tank with an iron frame rest/basket. I had the basket powdercoated last year and it is worlds better, but after hand cranking again this year I really want to upgrade to a motor.

    I see the motor conversion kits available from Maxant and others, but at ~$350 I am thinking it isn't worth it and being the DIY kind of guy I am would like to "rig" up something myself. Does anyone have a suggestion or solution for finding a cheaper motor/gear set I could rig up?

    I guess I should also say that I don't have a treadmill or the desire to take one apart. Maybe just any idea of what to search for to buy off the shelf parts for horizontal to vertical drive and motors...

    Thanks!
    Dan
    Last edited by Fishman43; 09-20-2013 at 11:51 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Cupertino, CA, USA
    Posts
    280

    Default Re: Adding motor to hand crank extractor

    I'm facing the same problem so I was hoping you would get some responses. I've been using an AC electric drill with a dimmer switch for speed control and it works but not so great. What is needed IMHO is a DC motor with a speed control like an electric airplane motor and speed control (or treadmill, or trolling motor, or cordless grinder, or cordless drill, or auto window motor, or ...). That may not be so cheap for the power needed. If you insist on a right angle gear box, adapters at the motor side and extractor axle side might be the most hassle, plus you need a gear reduction that's about right. But I guess your hand crank already has the right angle "gear box". Please post what you discover.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,116

    Default Re: Adding motor to hand crank extractor

    Assuming your existing crank setup already does the horizontal/vertical rotational change as part of a gear reduction assembly, I'd explore removing the "crank" part of the crank handle, and replacing it with a heavy duty AC corded drill. Just chuck the remaining shaft into the drill chuck. Find a way to secure the drill to the extractor.

    Add in a speed controller like this and extract away ...
    http://www.cmlsupply.com/router-or-p...Fc2f4AodbVYAFQ
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,092

    Default Re: Adding motor to hand crank extractor

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishman43 View Post
    I have an old (very old) 9 (medium) frame extractor that I got from my mentor (~75 years old) that used to be his fathers back in the day. It is a stainless tank with an iron frame rest/basket. I had the basket powdercoated last year and it is worlds better, but after hand cranking again this year I really want to upgrade to a motor.

    I see the motor conversion kits available from Maxant and others, but at ~$350 I am thinking it isn't worth it and being the DIY kind of guy I am would like to "rig" up something myself. Does anyone have a suggestion or solution for finding a cheaper motor/gear set I could rig up?

    I guess I should also say that I don't have a treadmill or the desire to take one apart. Maybe just any idea of what to search for to buy off the shelf parts for horizontal to vertical drive and motors...

    Thanks!
    Dan
    That old are you sure it isn't galvanized sheet metal and not stainless?

    I have known people to use a drill motor to power a handcranked extractor. Maybe that would work?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Cupertino, CA, USA
    Posts
    280

    Default Re: Adding motor to hand crank extractor

    You can pay $25 for an AC motor speed control or you can pay $5 for a dimmer switch at Home Depot. Here is what I use. Since the electronics clips the AC sine wave, it controls the voltage a little like pulse width modulation but as the load changes when the extractor comes up to speed, the speed of the motor tends to keep increasing so you still have to twiddle the knob.
    http://picasaweb.google.com/MichaelJ...40291990974210

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    High Hil, MO
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Adding motor to hand crank extractor

    I'm in the process of building one from a kids battery powered scooter. The motor has plenty of power and speed. After I try it a few times then I might pick up a transformer and convert it to AC. Found the scooter on trash day so there is no cost and it just needed new batteries.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morris Plains, NJ USA
    Posts
    236

    Default Re: Adding motor to hand crank extractor

    To power my extractor I plan on using an AC variable speed "hammer" drill with the hammer function off. These are hefty drills in relatively small package and not terribly expensive. A typical workbench drill probably could not power an extractor whilst the hammer drills have lots of power.

    You also get the advantage of being able to easily drill into concrete; just make sure that you use the correct drill bit.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,887

    Default Re: Adding motor to hand crank extractor

    >That old are you sure it isn't galvanized sheet metal and not stainless?
    I second this. Brand new extractors in the '60s were galavanized. Still have mine.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    817

    Default Re: Adding motor to hand crank extractor

    The gear ratio in the hand crank is a step up about 3.5 to 1 which is the wrong way if you want to motorize it off the crank. You are looking for about 300RPM of the basket and most motors will run efficiently at a higher rpm so you will likely need some gear (or pulley) reduction. I have used one with a simple syncronous AC motor that used a belt and pulleys for basic reduction and had a slip clutch with tensioner to allow enough slippage to come up to speed slowly. That gets around any electronics for speed control. I dont know what brand it was but think its factory. That is about the simplest way to get speed control and motors at any garage sale.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    940

    Default Re: Adding motor to hand crank extractor

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    >That old are you sure it isn't galvanized sheet metal and not stainless?
    I second this. Brand new extractors in the '60s were galavanized. Still have mine.
    I am guessing that he meant the beekeeper was about 75 years old, not the extractor...just worded poorly.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Strafford, NH, USA
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: Adding motor to hand crank extractor

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    >That old are you sure it isn't galvanized sheet metal and not stainless?
    I second this. Brand new extractors in the '60s were galavanized. Still have mine.
    Yep, sorry. The beekeeper is 75. The extractor was his fathers. Not sure how old it is but definitely older and definitely stainless.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Add in a speed controller like this and extract away ...
    http://www.cmlsupply.com/router-or-p...Fc2f4AodbVYAFQ
    That and an electric grinder might just get me there. The grinder would have the speed and the horizontal to vertical conversion. Does the speed controller work on any electric motor... I will have to look into this option.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,116

    Default Re: Adding motor to hand crank extractor

    > and an electric grinder might just get me there.

    While the angle drive may be attractive, the motor speed may not. Handheld drills seem to have an RPM of around 3500, but angle grinders are often double (or more) that RPM.

    A low speed, high torque arrangement will work best. That is what makes a motor (with the treadmill speed controller and an appropriate belt/pulley arrangement) from a recycled treadmill attractive.

    I recently bought the key components of a new but stripped 21 frame SS extractor from Brushy Mountain's NC Bargain Barn. My original plan was to build the whole extractor, but getting a drum, honey gate, reel and associated bearing system
    for $125 was hard to pass up. I am still planning to use the treadmill speed controller/motor that I salvaged earlier.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Strafford, NH, USA
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    353

    Default Re: Adding motor to hand crank extractor

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    > and an electric grinder might just get me there.

    While the angle drive may be attractive, the motor speed may not. Handheld drills seem to have an RPM of around 3500, but angle grinders are often double (or more) that RPM.
    You think the speed controller wouldn't be enough to reduce the speed to a usable RPM? I rigged up a system last year using an old planer table feed drive and pulley. That setup didn't get enough rpm going to extract the lower 1/3 of the frames even using a 6" pulley on the drive side and a 1" pulley on the driven side. Between that and again hand cranking this year, I would think that having a higher available RPM would be better... if you think the variable speed controller could reduce the RPM enough on the bottom end.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    6,116

    Default Re: Adding motor to hand crank extractor

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishman43 View Post
    You think the speed controller wouldn't be enough to reduce the speed to a usable RPM?
    The maximum RPMs of commercially built extractors seem to be in the range of 300-450 RPMs. This speed is somewhat dependent on the diameter of the rotating reel that holds the frames. IMO, the goal of using a speed controller should be to to allow a variable speed in the range of 0 to say 500 rpm.

    The higher the design RPM of a given motor, the less likely it has enough torque to start itself, the extractor mechanism and the frames/honey load unless proper gearing is in place.

    I rigged up a system last year using an old planer table feed drive and pulley. That setup didn't get enough rpm going to extract the lower 1/3 of the frames even using a 6" pulley on the drive side and a 1" pulley on the driven side.
    Perhaps I am misunderstanding your terms, but to reduce the speed of a motor, you need the large pulley on the extractor shaft, and the small pulley on the motor shaft. If your motor nameplate speed is 1725 RPM. and you want no more than 500 RPM on the extractor, a 2" pulley on the motor and a 7" pulley on the extractor work out to 492 RPM for the extractor reel.

    A useful calculator:
    http://www.blocklayer.com/pulley-belteng.aspx
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Strafford, NH, USA
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    353

    Default Re: Adding motor to hand crank extractor

    The planer feed motor is geared to run extremely slowly to feed the board stock into the planer at a constant workable feed rate. As such I had the larger pulley on the drive side and the small pulley on the driven side. Even after running for ~10 minutes at full speed I still had a sizable amount of honey in the lower 1/3 of the frames.

    7000 down to 500 RPM might be a bit much of a reduction! Back to the drawing board...

    Thank you for helping!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Adding motor to hand crank extractor

    http://www.harborfreight.com/7-inch-...der-92623.html

    This is what I will be using on my extractor. the drive system will be via a 1/2" wide flat belt (similar to what runs a vacuum cleaner beater-bar) that goes around a 3/8" diameter shaft on the sander and a 4" pulley on the extractor. this will yield a 10:1 reduction ratio and be able to spin the extractor from 20-330 RPM. the handle of the sander has a variable speed dial built in and you can lock the switch to the on position. the head of the sander has a couple of drilled and tapped holes for handles that can be used for mounting, but I plan on replacing the 4 screws that hold the output shaft housing to the sander head with longer ones and attaching to a mounting plate.

    I have one of these that I have been using for auto-body work and they are decent for the price. When I am ready to mount one on my extractor, i'm going to buy a new one. they go on sale for $39 from time to time.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Strafford, NH, USA
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: Adding motor to hand crank extractor

    I looked at those, but questioned the motors ability to spin the extractor full of frames... Do you think it has the power to do so?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Cupertino, CA, USA
    Posts
    280

    Default Re: Adding motor to hand crank extractor

    I would think that 10 amps times 110 volts, ie. 1000 watts is over 10 times the power needed to spin up some frames. My 2 amp drill motor is plenty of power since fast acceleration is not important. You will need a ratchet drive of some sort so it will "free wheel" while spinning down. I disengage my drill to let it spin down when finished. There is a lot of angular momentum built up and you can't have that driving the motor when you power down.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,591

    Default Re: Adding motor to hand crank extractor

    I am sure there are free treadmills on Craigslist in your area. Many times the motor and controller are fine. These make great setups (with some modifications for mounting) for extractors.

    BTW, treadmills are easy to dismantle and you did say you were handy.....

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Honey Hive Farms, Winfield Missouri
    Posts
    357

    Default Re: Adding motor to hand crank extractor

    Honey Hive Farms,

    I have seen people use drills, I never have..and probably never will. just an FYI

    Variable speed is great if you can get this on or with your motor.

    Tim Moore
    Honey Hive Farms "Saving the world one bee at a time"
    www.HoneyHiveFarms.com

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