Hmm. Wow. Nobody wants to build their own frames. Can't blame any of you when you consider the price of new wooden pre-manufactured frames and the skill levels needed to re-create those specific designs.
I've been hemming and hawing over making frames with dowels, though. Be warned, I haven't tried this out but it passes my "absolutely useless idea" test. Okay, here's the idea:
Finished 2x material is 1 1/2" inches (38mm) thick, which is pretty wide for the brood nest but almost perfect for the honey storage area (I'll get back to this). So, we plane our 2x stock down to 1 5/16" (about 33mm) thick. Now, we're spot-on for brood combs. Cut to the length of your side bars. Use a belt sander, planer, router or whatever to reduce 2/3 of that length by about 3/16" on either side. Through the width of your stock, drill a 3/8" (about 9.5mm) hole centered very near the "bottom" of your new side bar stock. Again through the width, drill two more holes, centered but separated by 1/8" (about 3mm) and parallel to the "top" of your new side bar stock, also of 3/8". Drill a series of holes in various places for your foundation wire, of slight less than the OD of your eyelets, if you bother to wire your frames (I don't). Slice your side bar stock into 3/8" thick pieces by ripping lengthwise through the thickness. These are your side bars. You should be able to get close to 90 of them (medium) from an eight foot 2x4.
Get some 3/8" dowel. Each frame needs two pieces 19" (about 483mm) long and one piece 17 3/4" (about 450mm) long. These will become your top and bottom bars. Fit the two long dowel pieces through each hole in the top of your side bars such that 1" (about 25mm) sticks out at either end. Glue and nail in place. Fit the third piece through the holes in the bottom of your side bars, flush on the outside. Glue and nail.
Wha-la! You now have a frame. It even has a slot between the top rods to slide a bit of foundation into.
Now, these are not going to be the strongest of frames, mostly due to the length of the dowels, but the rectangular shape of the Langstroth box is an irritation of mine from long ago. Moving along... They should work just fine for your medium or shallow height boxes, even for honey. I don't think I'd trust them for deep honey supers. Those of you who run mediums for honey and deeps for brood, these should be plenty strong for deep brood frames. Since that starting 1/2" thickness of the 2x material is perfect for the width of honey frames, why bother planing them thinner?
You should be able to make these for close to half the cost of pre-manufactured frames.
Comments? Suggestions on improvements?