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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is anyone trimming the end bars on PF120 frames so they are 1-1/4" wide vs 1-3/8"? If you are doing this successfully, please let me know how you are doing it. I am preparing to do this on my most recent shipment of 180 frames, but am hoping that someone else has worked out a way to do this successfully, so I won't have to figure it all out on my own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ben,
I use 8-frame supers; in honey supers I plan to fit seven frames so each is built-out more than otherwise, to permit easier uncapping/extracting. It doesn't matter so much in the honey supers, but I use slatted racks on the inside walls of my brood supers and even though I can still fit eight of the PF120's into these brood supers, they can just be squeezed in. I would rather they fit more easily so the outer surfaces of the outer combs weren't pressed up against the slatted racks, so the bees would be able to fully utilize all sixteen comb surfaces and not just fourteen.
 

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I, too, would like to do this with 8-frame mediums. Just went out to the shop to experiment with the router table. A straight bit will trim the frame cleanly. Now I just have to make a small sled for the table to control the depth of cut. I'll let you know what I come up with.

Cy Brewster
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cy,
I can get my router table to perform like a mini-jointer, with a straight bit, maybe you have something there. I am waiting to hear how your experiment goes. It would likely be easy to router-table joint a 1/16" off each side except for those darn top bars projecting beyond the ends.
 

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Joseph,

Yup, that's what I was trying to do, but the side being cut is real short and at one point I was cutting "free-style," and putting dings in the frame. I think I'll try a zero clearance insert in the router table fence -- just clamp a sacrificial piece of wood on the fence and push this through the bit. Should work as you say, setting up the fence to "joint" the side of the frame by 1/16". With the sacrificial fence, just clamp a 1/16" scrap of formica or some such to the outfeed fence.

Cy
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I'm planning to see how my band saw can tackle this issue. If that doesn't work, I think my best bet would be to try Michael Bush's suggestion and turn my carbide tipped blade around backwards in my table saw and try that.

I was just thinking that one of those stationary sanding machines, especially the kind that are used to sand projects to a preset thickness would probably be able to accomplish this feat. Sure wish I had one. I do have a regular jointer, but its been idle so long I'd have to clean it up a bit before I could try it. I stopped using it about fifteen years ago, after I had an accident with it that trimmed off the tip of the ring finger on my right hand.
 

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Joseph

I've used a bandsaw to cut a lot of PF-120's up and take the foundation out and put it into wooden frames (I like them better) The bandsaw works great. It helps a lot to have a slower moving cutting tool like a bandsaw that doesn't tend to melt the plastic. The problem you have with this is getting a nice straight cut. Maybe you can rig some kind of fence up

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Howdy Dave,
I too have used my bandsaw to cut some of the PF120's out of their frames and then I too put them into wood frames. I definitely prefer having the PF120's plastic foundation in wooden frames, but it's hard for me to justify the time spent doing this and how I then have fewer wooden frames for foundationless combs.

I definitely will try trimming some PF120 end bars on the bandsaw, it seems like it may be the simplest solution.
 

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Last year I trimmed about 150 PF 120's on my table saw. I used a regular ripping blade. I did NOT turn the blade backwards.

I set the fence at 1 5/16. The saw blade is up out of the table about an inch or so. I held the frame perpendicular to the table, with the end bar up against the fence. Slide it through cutting off 1/16. I flipped the frame to the other end, and repeated.

Once I had the first side of the end bars trimmed, I set my fence to 1 1/4. Pay attention to which side of the end bar you trimmed the first time. Hold the frame perpendicular to the table and run it through on both ends.

This method accomplishes the job very quickly. When holding the frame perpendicular to the table, I did rest the frame on the ear of the top bar, and also resting on where the bottom bar and side bar meets. This keeps the frame pretty stable while cutting.
 

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Had to wait for the glue to dry on my sacrificial fence, but tried it out this morning and it worked great -- fast and safe (no more gouging of the frame). I set it up to "joint" the frame ends as you said, Joseph. You can see photos on the flickr page below. I also have side racks and there's a photo showing 8 cut-down frames with plenty of room for manipulation of frames (standard 12 1/4" inside width). My side racks are 1/2" thick.

Cy Brewster

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/?saved=1
 

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I use a low angle block plane and shave them down by hand. Doesn't take as long as one might think. With a sharp blade the plastic cuts like butter. :D
 

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I use a low angle block plane and shave them down by hand. Doesn't take as long as one might think. With a sharp blade the plastic cuts like butter. :D
A low angle block plane worked great and is much quicker than I thought. The current PF-120 top bar is 1" wide so shaving 1/16" off each side of the end bars leaves a full 1/4" bee space between the top bars while providing 1 1/4" spacing. Here is a photo of nine PF-120 frames in a Rossman 8-frame commercial cypress box.

Wood Wood stain Furniture Rectangle Hardwood
 

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I'm planning to see how my band saw can tackle this issue. If that doesn't work, I think my best bet would be to try Michael Bush's suggestion and turn my carbide tipped blade around backwards in my table saw and try that.
Band saw ??? I like better Michaels Bush's idea better but why not try both, You are risking only one frame per idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
A low angle block plane worked great and is much quicker than I thought. The current PF-120 top bar is 1" wide so shaving 1/8" off each side of the end bars leaves a full 1/4" bee space between the top bars. Here is a photo of nine PF-120 frames in a Rossman 8-frame commercial cypress box.
I have not pursued this any further since I began this thread, but I continue to contemplate it quite frequently (I still have several full-size hives where the frames/combs are crowded too tightly between their vertical slatted racks). I appreciate the updated information about the top bars being only 1" wide, I hadn't realized that, so after trimming the end bars they still have an eight of an inch of clearance between their trimmed end bars and top bars (1/4" total clearance between the top bars of adjacent frames).

I look forward to seeing your photo.
 

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I just run them thru my table saw and mark the cut ones with a sharpie vee toward the side cut to index them so I keep them facing the right direction. trimming both sides would be better I imagine. I just used a standard carbide blade carefully.
 
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