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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Home made frames

    So last year I tried making home made frames. These are simply made from strips of 19mm (3/4") pine boards. The strips I used are 11mm (7/16")

    For spacers I use 8mm map pins.

    They work well. Very little propolizing of the pins and a tiny area where frames join, so much easier to separate. It also means you don't squash bees putting frames back together!

    It's also easier to see down between frames and they are lighter.

    The only issue I have had is that frames can slap together when they are empty, because it's more like a pivot point.

    They are cheaper to make than to buy, but not too much, so it's not really worth the time spent. But thought I would post for those who are interested.




  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    lafargeville ny usa
    Posts
    704

    Default Re: Home made frames

    last year I bought some nucs that had similar frames. before heading home I put in push pins to prevent frame damage and squishing bees. it worked great on the 100 mile [170 km] trip home. however some of the pins started to come loose over the summer and drop into the hive so I took them out. just spaceing the frames works better for me. for moveing the hives I think the pins are a good idea.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: Home made frames

    I also made some homemade ones when I was first starting out - definitely not worth the time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Home made frames

    I make the standard frames for about $0.64 in materials; it requires a little skill + tools, but very simple. I have an instructional thread here: http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...Photo-Tutorial

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Bayfield, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    139

    Default Re: Home made frames

    My issue with frames is when you set them back in you squish bees between the frame and ledge they sit on. Takes me the longest time to make sure they are out of the way. Maybe if that yellow pin was there instead it would be a real boom. I have learned (the normal way) that squishing bees creates an unhappy group of bees, and they become a bit aggressive.
    "Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever." year 3, 14 langs and 2 top bars
    www.4cornersbeekeepers.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Mtn. View, Arkansas, USA
    Posts
    1,270

    Default Re: Home made frames

    I used screw eyes to get frames evenly spaced when I made jumbo sized frames. I found if another set was placed about midway down the end bar they don't bang together when moving. I placed the 2 screw eyes on the right side end bar to face away from me when I held it and the 2 eyes on the left side faced toward me.

    It is much easier to purchase frames than it is to try to make them, the reason I made the jumbos was because they were hard to buy.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,970

    Default Re: Home made frames

    I would place a second pin lower down the bar to prevent slapping. I would also just place a pen on one side of the frame. this would also serve to help keep frames oriented in the same direction.

    I have made a lot of frames. I agree they are a pain and they are first on my list of things to not make in the future and just purchase so I am working with the shoulder. I have nearly a thousand of them to make this winter and will probably start placing a nail in them as a spacer.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Richland Iowa USA
    Posts
    154

    Default Re: Home made frames

    the side plates are about the easiest part to make, and can be made fast using 2x10's Think its a great idea!!! Just think the time spent with pins could have made the side plates as quickly.. I made 200 today in about a half hour (side plates) its the top bars that take the longest for me.....



    Progression of a frame from right to left... Of course I use mediums, so I dont have any supports.. if I need to extract and they havent attached the sides, I drill holes and push the plastic frame pins in from the sides...
    Dont get me wrong here. i am NOT degrading what was done at all.. but would like a bit more detail in the construction steps.. learning how, and what others do often has me modifying what I do!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Home made frames

    SS1, could you give a detailed description of how you mill the 2x10 for the side bars?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    660

    Default Re: Home made frames

    Quote Originally Posted by SS1 View Post
    ...would like a bit more detail in the construction steps.. learning how, and what others do often has me modifying what I do!
    I'm only using a circular saw in a tabletop.

    Cut 19mm (3/4") pine boards into the following lengths:

    482mm (19") - Top bar
    428mm (16.85") - Bottom bar
    220mm (8.66") x 2 - Sides bars

    With the circular saw cut 11mm (7/16") strips.

    Put a groove on both the top and bottom bars.

    Assemble with 3 icecream sticks as a comb guide and 2 bamboo skewers for comb support.

    Tap in the 4 map pins.

    That's it.
    Last edited by MattDavey; 11-12-2013 at 04:52 AM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,970

    Default Re: Home made frames

    I am also interested in how to get the block milled for the end bars. I do the end notches as a block but then cut each individual end bar to make the rest of the cuts. It would be much faster to do them as a block.

    I agree top bars are also time consuming. I have managed to speed them up quite a bit. Mainly with the use of a radial arm saw and jigs. I also cut the end taper with a dado blade on my table saw. Still a lot of cuts required on individual bars.

    I cut boars to length on my radial arm saw with a stop block. no measuring for each cut and dead on accuracy. I then rip each bar form the board with the table saw. The groove and tapered end are cut on the table saw with the use of a jig and a dado blade. The end is then shaped either with a dado blade and table saw or a series of cuts with the radial arm saw and jigs. It is a system that even a person with little experience can do without many mistakes.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Richland Iowa USA
    Posts
    154

    Default Re: Home made frames

    I run the 6 1/4 piece of 2x10 through the planer to get it to 1 3/8.. I raise my table saw blade up all the way and shave the sides 1/8 in about three passes per side until the bottom of the 2x measures 1 1/8 and both sides are shaved pretty evenly.. its not nearly as bad as it sounds.. takes about three minutes to complete...
    I set up my router table with a 5/8 bit to run the middle of the 1 1/8 or smaller side of the 2x10 and run it through the table. then I flip the 2x end for end and run the other side.. turn it around side for side and run it through again to make the wider slot for the top bar. Making sure your dimensions are always the same you never have to change the router, and your top bars will always turn out the same dimensions so you can standardize your top and bottom bars to fit... Doing it this way you can rip out side plates at around 20 per 2x10 (or was it a 2x12????) section in only a few minutes...

    I need to replace my radial arm saw.. after about 30 years the old craftsman died on me... Went down to get a new one.... 1500 dollars??? Really!!! I paid 185 dollars for the one I had brand new!!! After looking at the one they had for 1500 i have VERY great doubts it will last anywhere NEAR 30 years.... I may end up buying a sliding Miter saw and modifying my table to make it work.. as stated.. i use blocks at pre measured distances to cut lots of boards fast.... but for 1500 dollars I can do a HECK of a lot of measuring....
    I will try to get Pics for you tomorrow to make it clearer...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Honey Hive Farms, Winfield Missouri
    Posts
    357

    Default Re: Home made frames

    Not sure how you do this and make money. We wanted to make our own frames and we wanted to use a 3 axes router, but hasn't happened yet as we have so many irons in the fire. Nice pics and set up.
    Honey Hive Farms "Saving the world one bee at a time"
    www.HoneyHiveFarms.com

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,356

    Default Re: Home made frames

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey Hive Farms View Post
    Not sure how you do this and make money. We wanted to make our own frames and we wanted to use a 3 axes router, but hasn't happened yet as we have so many irons in the fire. Nice pics and set up.
    Never heard of a 3 axes router. Sounds like something from a woodworking horror movie.

    Until our shop burned up a few years back I was making specialty comb honey frames on our Multicam 3 ax-I-s router among other stuff. I don't think a cnc 3 ax-I-s router is cut out for price competitive frame manufacturing. Killer machine for making lots of stuff though......

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,970

    Default Re: Home made frames

    Thanks SS1. Yeah the cost of the toys makes it hard to save by making your own any more. Watch garage sales or craigs list. I got mine for $300.

    I do not have a planer. But am thinking of a method that woudl start with cutting a dado for the end notches first. then making jigs to reference form those notches for all other cuts on the table saw.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,838

    Default Re: Home made frames

    Quote Originally Posted by SS1 View Post
    I need to replace my radial arm saw..
    Not sure what the situation is in Iowa, but, in my area, (Louisville Ky, Nashville TN,) you can get a fantastic radial arm saw for less than $150.00 off Craigs List.

    cchoganjr

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,492

    Default Re: Home made frames

    I make my end bars from 2 x stock (any width). Run it through the planer to the correct width (1 3/8 or 1 1/4"), cut to length, then mill a slot to match the size of the top bar and bottom bar, whatever you want to use there, then slice to width on a table saw or band saw.

    I've found that it's best to have several saws set up (best) or to at least run a pile of lumber through each stage, makes the work more efficient. I like to cut blanks for top bars in 2 x stock and cut ten or so blocks to length, then cut the ends -- I use a taper, but flat is fine too -- then cut the whole set into pairs, then split them all into individual bars. Set up the dado to cut the side recess, run all the bars through, both ends, then cut the bottom dado on all of them. Takes a while to get from 2 x 12 to finished top bars, but they are all the same that way and when you run them through the last step you have a year's supply, or at least I try to do it that way.

    Same thing for end and bottom bars, I fill up a big box of identical parts, then assemble when I have everything done.

    Peter

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,587

    Default Re: Home made frames

    I started out making frames for the first year. Then I found out that the time and energy it took to make them could be spent better. Just wasn't my cup of tea I suppose.
    Woodenware however, is a totally different story. I still make everything ..... but the frames.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Richland Iowa USA
    Posts
    154

    Default Re: Home made frames

    I'll have to start looking on Craigslist.. def need to replace it..

    psfred.. I have often thought of setting up another table saw.. if I start getting a lot of orders I probably will to save time and help keep everything consistent..
    Mr.B.. having the time on my hands to spare allows me to make a lot of frames.. if you dont have the time buying them is the best answer. I enjoy doing it too which helps a lot.
    www.outyard.weebly.com 8 yrs aiding 40+ hives 3 yrs personal. 40+ of my own now (T, TF Goal) Zone 5a

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Dos Palos, Ca. USA
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: Home made frames

    Ok here is how I make my end bars. First I locate good clean 2by material with very few knots. I either Plane or use Joiner to get the desired width of 1 3/8 inch. then I block out for the desired length next I use a Shaper with the correct size cutter to cut the groove for the top Bar and then change cutter for the bottom bar. Then I move to the Joiner and have it set up with a jig which lets me slide it across the cutter at angle so it leave my sholder and trims away the wood to leave a block of end bar material ready to go to the table saw and rip out the end bars one at a time I try and use a good blade that is thin and has carbide teeth set to ripe only.

    Making top bars is easy if you have cutters made to turn out the bars with the correct bevel on the ends, as for making the groves to interlock with end bars this can be done with a simple adjustable dado with carbide teeth. For Bottom bars use the same Dado to cut the ends make your cut the width of the end bars grove and then just use table saw to cut out the bars to 3/8 thickness. For making the grove in both top bar and bottom bars just set a dado or take two thin framing saw blades 7 1/4 in. use a washer to space them and set ther so you alternate the tips of blade so they will make a clean cut wide enough to fit in foundation set depth to desired depth. Use blade for skill saw for this. I like to use good clear sugar pine for this also since it is easy to use and strong clean wood.

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