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Author Topic: Homemade Frames  (Read 7749 times)
Haddon
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« on: April 26, 2011, 02:41:59 PM »

So has anyone tried making their own frames?

I can tell you a 2x4 stud will give you 70 deep end bars.

And can anyone tell me why top bars are 1 1/8 inches wide instead of 7/8 inch which is the with of the top fork.

For cutouts I think a 7/8 inch top bar would be better because the rubber band would contact the comb more, less flopping around in the frames.

I do have to say you need a really square table saw which mine is not so its all a little off.

I would love to know if anyone else has ever played with making their own and how you might have changed the design to make them more homemade friendly.

 grin
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« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2011, 03:24:48 PM »

Frames are cheap.  Fingers are not.   I tried it once but to many cuts to make to close to the blade. 
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« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2011, 03:45:03 PM »

My Grandfather built his own so I wanted to try and the fact that I have somewhere around a zero dollar budget for this little hobby. That was the motivator and the fact I am trying to make increases this year hopeful it will be better than last year the true sign of crazy.

Side note neighbor is doing a kitchen remodel so free hive material on the side of the road right in front of my house.  grin

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« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2011, 07:09:29 PM »

I've made my own frames for an odd sized hive (shorter and square)  I use a 1x10 for the top bars of the frames and a 2x6 for the side bars and bottom bars.  Everything from the 2x6 gets ripped to 3/8" thick, then sized from there.  The bottom bars are 5/8" wide and the side bars are 1 3/8" wide.  I timed myself and it took me a little over 90 minutes to go from 2 2x6x92 5/8 (stud length) to finished product.  I ended up with enough stock for over 60 frames.  

Here was a little about my process.  I first made a pattern board with all the cuts I was going to need so I could easily reset the table saw if needed.  Then I ripped the 2x6 into 3/8" wide lengths.  I then had a lot of pieces 1 1/2" wide x 3/8" thick. I then ripped the stock slated for side bars to 1 3/8" wide on the table saw - one single pass.  Then I ripped the stock slated for end bars to 5/8" wide, two passes.  Cut the 5/8" wide x 3/8" stock to length for the bottom bars and you are done.    I then cut the 1 3/8" x 3/8" stock to length for the side bars.  I then used my router table with a 3/4" wide bit to notch out all of the tops and a 5/8" wide bit to notch out the bottoms.  Then two passes through to get the sides down to 1 1/8" wide on the router and they were done.  With the top bars I cut the 1x10 into 1 1/8" wide pieces and then to length.  I then set the router up again with a 3/8" wide bit to notch out for the sides.  It takes 4 passes per top bar, but you can clamp a few together so it takes less work.  Then I used a 1" bit to cut the bottom side where it contacts the frame rest.

Edward

« Last Edit: April 26, 2011, 10:57:16 PM by edwardw » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2011, 01:07:02 AM »

I have made a few.  When I was a carpenter the wood was easy enough to get for free as scrap but the detailed work is more than I want to do.
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« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2011, 02:08:00 PM »

The precision of manufacture required of Lang-Dadant-National-etc hives is their biggest economic drawback, even when viewed for a self-labor perspective. Ultimately, it's frames that drive the hive manufacturing business. Any idiot with a circular saw and carpenter's square can make boxes, lids and floors of respectable quality, but frames are another matter. To a lesser extent, this is also true of inner covers and queen excluders, but these are less universal tools.
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« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2011, 08:21:04 PM »

My friend/mentor/partner makes them by the hundreds as we need them. He uses 2x lumber drops for the end bars. We collect them from various places. For other hive and frame parts we use lumber from logs we haul to a band saw sawmill. We get the logs for free and he saws them for half the lumber.

He has developed a system and lots of jigs to speed up the process. It also helps that he has plenty of time and a large shop.

Steve
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2011, 12:12:07 PM »

edwardw

what router bits did you use and how did you do it I know nothing about router bits but I do have my dads old router table and would love to find another way to make the dado cuts.

This is how I was doing it
I cut the 2x4 into 9 1/8 peaces

then use the table saw to cut them down to 1 3/8 inch thick that takes 2 cuts

Then I set the dado blade up in the table saw the dado cuts look the worst I am using a cheap table saw and the table is not level next to the blade so small work ends up guess work.

All those cuts are made with a solid block

I then rip the blocks into 3/8 inch end bars

I am leaving them a full 1 3/8 wide all the way down because they are to be used in cutout and I firgure if the bees want to talk to each other they will leave wholes in the frames to travel threw.

Oh you get 7 bars per section of 2x4 and a stud gives you 10 sections

Top and bottom bars are so easy it really needs no discussion
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edwardw
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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2011, 02:26:18 PM »

I use the router with a 90 degree vertical fence and a 3/4" diameter router bit and a 5/8" diameter router bit for the side bars.

I go about making them a little differently then you - I would not want to rip a 2x4 to a 1 3/8" x 4 just because it takes a flip of the work.  I also don't cut them to finish length first because I don't like working with short lengths on a table saw.  My frame sides are ~7" long so I cut my 2x6 to 49" long and then use the other piece that is ~43" long for bottom bars.

I take the 49" long piece and rip it into 3/8" wide strips.  You end up with a lot of strips that are 3/8" thick x 1 1/2" wide x 49" long.  Then I set the table saw to cut 1 3/8" wide and run all of these strips through.  This keeps the blade much lower when ripping all of these to size.  After this point I finish cut them to their final length 6 3/4".  You can stack 5 of them at a time on the saw and with the appropriate stop you can make short work of it.

After I have them cut out to rough form, 3/8" thick, 1 3/8" wide and 6 3/4" long I stack 3 of them together at a time on the router table and run them through to create the 3/4" wide x 7/16" deep notch.  This takes a bit longer but isn't that time consuming.  After notching the tops I then replace the 3/4" bit with the 5/8" bit and then I repeat the procedure.  The nice thing is after you setup a jig for the 3/4" bit when you change to the 5/8" router bit it is already centered. 

After this I use the router as a planer to cut them down to 1 1/8" - 1/8" per side.  With a stop setup on the table this goes really fast.


I generally try to work with as larger/long piece of wood as I can, that way it is easier and you aren't as close to the sharp tools.  I once did a lot of carpentering and have seen what happens when humans fight power tools.

Edward
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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2011, 04:57:09 PM »

I cut mine down to frame size because of the fact most of the lumber I can get isn't straight.

I might start trying to use the router table from now on.

I need to get one of the better table saws back working too.

I have 3 table saws the no name bench top cheap one that I am using, then a craftsman stand alone that for some reason quit working you can hear the power kick on but it will not start turning, and my cousin gave us a old craftsman one of the belt drive ones with external motor but the motor was bad but he gave us a extra motor to replace it with its a heavy duty saw table must be inch thick cast iron. I want to get the old one back going. I think it might be the compositor on the newer craftsman.
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« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2011, 08:43:40 PM »

For $4 you can get a 2x6 x 92 5/8" stud from Lowes/Home Depot/Menards/BMC/ABC Supply/Sutherland's.  I use those to make the sides and frame bottoms.  If you don't want to play as much with the table saw for $12 Home Depot sells wood lath.  There are 50 to the bundle and they are approximately .325" thick and 1.5" wide x 48" long.  That way you don't have to rip anything down.

Edward
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« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2011, 01:57:53 AM »

This is the difference we dont have a  Lowes/Home Depot/Menards/BMC/ABC Supply/Sutherland's we do have a Homefront their lumber prices stink. Now 30 miles from here we have a true value they have good prices  cheesy
What type lumber you use sproose don't tell me you use yellow pine. I use sproose for the sides now for top and bottom boards I use 1x matterial bottoms are 3/8 by 3/4 so I just ripe 1x into 3/8 peices tops are 3/4 thick so I use 1x for that too.
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« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2011, 03:36:42 PM »

For the bottoms I still use 2x material.  The leftover piece that was 43" long - that becomes bottom bars.  I rip it so it is 3/8" thick x 1 1/2" wide x 43" long.  Then I cut it so I have lots of pieces that are 3/8" thick x 5/8" wide x 43" long.  I took an 1/8" off the bottom bars so I could get two out of a 2x material. 

The top bars are the only thing that I use 1x material for - I use a 1x10 and rip into 1 1/8" strips.  Next time I *may* cut them to length and do the end work first on the router then rip them, but I'll have to see.

Edward
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« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2011, 09:54:31 PM »

edwardw

what router bits did you use and how did you do it I know nothing about router bits but I do have my dads old router table and would love to find another way to make the dado cuts.

This is how I was doing it
I cut the 2x4 into 9 1/8 peaces

then use the table saw to cut them down to 1 3/8 inch thick that takes 2 cuts

Then I set the dado blade up in the table saw the dado cuts look the worst I am using a cheap table saw and the table is not level next to the blade so small work ends up guess work.

All those cuts are made with a solid block

I then rip the blocks into 3/8 inch end bars

I am leaving them a full 1 3/8 wide all the way down because they are to be used in cutout and I firgure if the bees want to talk to each other they will leave wholes in the frames to travel threw.

Oh you get 7 bars per section of 2x4 and a stud gives you 10 sections

Top and bottom bars are so easy it really needs no discussion


My friend makes his end bars similar to your process except he uses an old joiner to shape the blocks .

Steve
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« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2011, 02:40:23 AM »

My main motivation for making frames was to get narrow frames (1 1/4" spacing).  Otherwise, it definitely, in my opinion, is not worth the work.
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Michael Bush
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edwardw
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« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2011, 10:47:05 AM »

Here is a picture of the pieces of a frame that I've made.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Edward
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« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2011, 09:25:48 PM »

Great looking frames a lot better looking than the ones I make or have made so far.
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« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2011, 10:06:47 PM »

im starting wonder if they dont cut those out with a big cooke cutter lol.

i thought about using a powered coping saw,  you should be able to stack layers and cut at same time from a pattern.  maybe 4 or 5 at a time
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« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2011, 08:31:56 PM »

I have make my own frames for years, I use 2x12 cut to the length of the ends I will be making.  I use a shop built adjustable tenion jig and dado set to make the notches in the ends.  I can make each cut and know that the notch is centered and the correct depth, I make several at the time, I run all of my tops first then change the setup and run all of my bottom notches.  Next I rip the 2x12's to width, then is use a routertable and fence with a straight bit to cut the relief on the sides.  By using a stop block all of your relief cuts will be identical. If you feel that you do not have the time or skill too build a tenion jig you can purchase one from Sears, Home Depot, Lowe's, or one of several other mail order catalogs they range in price from around $50.00 to as much as you want to spend.

Over the years I have found that bees will build their own comb faster than they will draw out foundation and you will not regress your bees and your bees will reward you greatly.  For this reason I only make frames with a comb guide and don't use foundation.  You will have larger bees and you will not be interfearing with their natural instinct at comb building.

http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/1489/dsc03437a.jpg
http://img847.imageshack.us/img847/8581/dsc03438h.jpg
http://img218.imageshack.us/img218/3493/dsc03441copy.jpg
http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/6339/dsc03444p.jpg
« Last Edit: May 08, 2011, 12:32:24 PM by beemaster » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2011, 11:56:20 PM »

Edward, rbinhood
We need a Youtube video of the making of these things
In fact I looked and can't find any videos on making them

Tommyt
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« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2011, 12:20:31 AM »

My main motivation for making frames was to get narrow frames (1 1/4" spacing).  Otherwise, it definitely, in my opinion, is not worth the work.


I totally agree! I bought 300 frames unassembled and vowed not to do that again either. I do not have the time for all that. If you add in the value of your time invested into the frames there is no way it is worth it! If it takes you 2 hours to make 10 frames from scratch and you pay your self $10 an hour, then you have a $20 investment in 10 frames. I can get assembled frames at Brushy Mountain Bee Farm for $1.50 each. That is 15 vs your 20, and I did not even break a sweat!
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« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2011, 01:08:15 AM »

I make my top bars 3/4" wide because it's the width of a one by...
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2011, 10:51:37 AM »

Here is a couple of pics of the shopbuilt tenion jig that I use to cut the notches in the top and bottom of my ends for my frames it is quite simple to build and is adjustable, so getting the notches centered is very easy.  Once you setup for the top cut make several and then setup for your bottom and do the same.  After you have these done rip each to the desired width then setup your routertable and cut the relief on the sides using your fence with a stop and straight cutting bit, every relief cut will be uniform.  If anyone is interested in building a tenion jig I will work up a set of drawings and instructions to build one, and I will work on getting a video of it in use in the near future.  Also a pic of a foundationless topbar with demensions I use for comb guide and one of a frame end.

OK the links have been added to and earlier post.  There's a couple of the shop built tenion jig, one of a topbar with combguide, and one of a finsihed end.

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« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2011, 12:30:02 PM »

rbinhood

 I'm sure you tried to post pictures (thank you)
But to due so you have to contact a moderator and he will
post it or get you permission to post your own
They keep new people from pictures to keep spaming/porn away

Tommyt
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« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2011, 09:11:41 PM »

I make my top bars 3/4" wide because it's the width of a one by...


how do you make your sides?
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« Reply #25 on: May 09, 2011, 02:11:36 AM »

I've done a few different things.  I've built the standard hoffman but skinnier (1 1/4" end bars).  I've build like a picture frame sort of things with beveled material and a nail on the side for a spacer.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #26 on: May 15, 2011, 09:28:46 PM »


Thats one of the home made frames still haven't got to try them out on a cut out yet. Bottom bar was a painted 1x6 I savaged from the neighbor's remodel.
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« Reply #27 on: July 07, 2011, 11:20:56 PM »

I know old thread. But i did a serch and this was the best DIY frame to pop up. Just thought id post a link to some plans. Future DIYers might find it help full. FYI I built some frames and they turnd out great ! used some for my cut out.

http://www.beeclass.com/dts/beeequipment.htm
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« Reply #28 on: August 09, 2011, 02:33:35 PM »

I needed 10 frames fast so I decided to build my own.  The wood from Home Depot cost 19.00. So I am already at 1.90/frame! Of course I bought wood strips that were already the correct dims. and not just a 2x. Plus my time...I think I'm just going to buy a case of 500 from a bee supply next time! rolleyes
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« Reply #29 on: August 09, 2011, 04:11:49 PM »

I was just wondering what everyone was getting as a cost per frame.

I'd be interested in making my own frames if it was worth the time. But when I can buy them for $0.59 each from Miller Bee Supply, why bother even trying to cut them myself?
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« Reply #30 on: August 09, 2011, 04:51:43 PM »

Iíve built plenty of frames and I canít think of any good economical reason for building them yourself unless you want to do some non-standard bee keeping.  Iím contrary, like to experiment, and like some of the ideas I hear for alternative ways of doing things.  Things such as narrow frame bee keeping, large comb beekeeping, and custom queen mating nucs. 

A side benefit of custom frames is you can get creative with the designs and not follow the old Hoffman design.  Frames are a lot simpler to make when you donít try to copy a machine.  I really like Roboís frame spacing idea and have been using that in my custom experiments.  There is SO much less propolis problems between the frames using Roboís push pin ideas.  A lot less bees get squished as well.

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« Reply #31 on: December 15, 2011, 02:42:10 AM »

So has anyone tried making their own frames?

I use a design I got as a teen some 50 years ago from my 4-H beekeeping club leader. It's not self-spacing, but it's easy to make.

I'm too new to this forum to be allowed to post URLs, but you can go to my website and look under "Hives and Equipment" for "Langstroth Frames (Simplified)" to find plans for these simplified frames.
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« Reply #32 on: December 16, 2011, 10:41:23 PM »

I've always made my own frames.  I run out batches of deep/medium frames that have 7/8" top bars and 1 1/4" thick end bars.  They're not quite standard but they work well in my foundationless setups.  I make them all out of recycled wood so there's relatively little cost involved and it gives me something to do during the winter.  The real trick though is to make them 200 - 300 at a time.  I crank out about 100 standard width frames for mediums and deeps also.
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« Reply #33 on: December 18, 2011, 11:21:04 PM »

So has anyone tried making their own frames?


I use a design I got as a teen some 50 years ago from my 4-H beekeeping club leader. It's not self-spacing, but it's easy to make.

I'm too new to this forum to be allowed to post URLs, but you can go to my website and look under "Hives and Equipment" for "Langstroth Frames (Simplified)" to find plans for these simplified frames.


Thanks for mentioning your site. Its quite a comprehensive website. Hopefully this Langstroth Frames Simplified link you mentioned comes through here. It is indeed simple to where a shop challenged guy as myself could even make.

David aka AMR
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