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Discussion Starter #1
I was making my own for a while, but time seems to be getting away from me, and I plan to purchase some frames this week. I will either be going foundationless (mostly) or wax foundation (to help keep alignment), and was wondering if there is a particular brand you favor? I have seen a fellow beek's Kelley Bees S-type (wedge top bar, solid bottom), and was thinking they looked pretty solid. Not sure how they will stack up once shipping is added, though.

Your thoughts? Or does it really matter, Mann Lake, Kelley, Brushy Mtn, etc?
 

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I was in the same boat as you, liked to make my own foundationless frames but kept running out of time. I've started using the Kelley F-type frames and like them OK. I've been considering buying just the top bars from them (they sell them individually) and making my own end and bottom bars, as I like to have a comb guide on the bottom bar as well and won't have to shave them down for 1-1/4 brood frames. It's been my experience that they attach the comb to the bottom much quicker and more securely if they have a bottom comb guide. On my homemade frames I use a triangular bottom bar with the point upwards, and a v-shaped cutout to match on the end bars.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Do you have any pics of your own frames? How are you making the triangles for the bottom bars?

I simply cut a groove in the top bars and stick a strip of excess wood, or if I am out of thin strips, I use popsickle sticks to get them started.
 

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The triangles for the bottom bars are the scrap that is left after cutting the top bar bevel. (you get twice as many as you need, since you get 2 off of each top bar, so I use the other one as a comb guide for my top bar hives comb guide by gluing and nailing it down the center of the top bar.) Here is a picture of one of my frames that the bees have built new comb on and have started filling with nectar. Notice how much attachment there is already to the bottom bar. I don't have any pics of making the frames, but I'll try to take some of the components and post them when I get a chance. You can probably get the idea from this pic, though:
FoundationlessNectarFrameSmall.jpg
 

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I like the way you do your frames, oldfordguy, and I too am going foundationless. I love the ease of assembly of the Mann Lake frames with the beveled dadoes that allows the top and bottom bars to fall into place easier and quicker than the square slots of the other manufacturers. However, they don't make the top bars for foundationless beekeeping like Kelley does. Some guys say you can buy the wedge top bar and just turn the wedge up vertical when you nail it in for a starter strip, but I have just put a few frames in this week to see how good they work and don't know yet till next inspection. If it works okay, I might order the Mann Lake frames because the go together easy, and just make some chamfer strips for the bottom bar like you did.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Surely someone here has an opinion about the particular brand of frames they are using? Or a brand they prefer over another one???
 
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