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Author Topic: Extractor advice  (Read 2906 times)
Boom Buzz
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« on: August 09, 2012, 02:23:22 PM »

I am close to pulling the trigger on buying an extractor and would like any advice and or input.  I've narrowed it down to two models

4 frame maxant 3100   http://www.betterbee.com/Products/Extracting/Maxant-3100-Hand-Crank-Extractor-without-Legs

or

9 frame from Brushy Mtn   http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/Deluxe-9-Frame-Radial-Hand-Extractor/productinfo/802/

These fit my budget and my apiary size.  I currently have 11 hives and may grow to 15, but probably won't get much bigger than that.

It seems like a no brainer, go with the 9 frame!  But the maxant looks like better quality to me.  Does anyone have experience or an opinion about either of these extractors?  Any pros or cons would be appreciated.  Also, I would like the option to use a power drill to power the extractor.  It looks like the 9 frame would be better suited for this, however the person at Brushy said they cannot advise doing this  for liability reasons.  Any thoughts on using a power drill especially with respect to either of these two units?

Thanks

John
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Hemlock
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« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2012, 02:42:02 PM »

that 9 frame looks sweet.  I'll tell you though, the hand crank on the brushy is a knuckle buster.  They're set too close to the extractor body.  Plus, the spring loaded grip will pop out of gear while under torque.  If you can mount a cheap motor on to the brushy i think you be happy.  9 frame radial, nice!

Don't know anything about the other one.  That horizontal crank looks like it might be more tiring to use.
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JP
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« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2012, 03:45:02 PM »

Even four frame hand cranks are a pain in the %@# to use. You definitely want to convert the one you choose. The more frames it can hold, the better.


...JP
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Riggs
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« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2012, 03:47:55 PM »

I have the brushy version, I respectfully disagree on the knuckle buster part, but I wasted no time mounting it to a sturdier base. Its shakes pretty bad if not very well balanced.
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mikecva
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« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2012, 03:50:36 PM »

I use a Maxant Model 3100P (9 frame with motor). I do not have the luxury of youth, for strength and endurance.  After watching a friend do hand cranking and hand cranking U-tube clips, I decided to go with the motor driven model. -Mike
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mulesii
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« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2012, 04:41:03 PM »

Boom Buzz: check out H.T. Krantz.  They are offering free shipping on the Maxant 3100H and 3100P.  They also have the lowest price in Maxant that I have seen.
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D Coates
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« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2012, 06:11:16 PM »

Whatever you do take conversion to power into account.  After a few years of cranking you'll want power.  I didn't, but it worked out as there are always beginners looking for used units.  I saved my money and kept watching for a used radial.  Ended up with a bigger one than I thought I'd need (Dadant 20 frame) but l'm so glad I got it now.
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Beeboy01
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« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2012, 06:57:11 PM »

I'm using a 60 year old Kelly two frame reversable hand cranked extractor so I'm a bit out of the loop but here's what I would look for if I was going for a new unit. The radials are the way to go, if you can't afford one with a motor get one that is upgradable down the line. My Kelly gives me a good workout with 6 or 7 supers and I would really like to drop a motor on itbut the upgrade would cost more than it is worth. Get a extractor that sits in a stand, I have seen some extractors that have the legs attached to the extractor body or drum with spot welded brackets. I can't see how something like that would hold up over the years consitering just how much my Kelly jumps around. I would think that the spot welds would pull out or break from all the vibration and twisting produced when extracting. Kelly still makes extractors and to my surprise parts for my unit are still advailable. If you look them up you will find that a lot of thier mid sized units have metal drive gears instead of plastic. They are also made in the USA
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AllenF
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« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2012, 07:00:24 PM »

I have a hand crank.   Used is for years and years.  Plan to use the hand crank until I find a stack of cash laying around.   But, if I was in the market to buy a new one, I would figure out a way to pay for a electric motor model.  
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2012, 07:19:44 PM »

Both the Maxant and Italian SAF are good brands.  My mentor has the 9-frame SAF in the motorized version.  I helped some this year extracting and my first job was loading the extractor as he uncapped.  I paid no special effort to placing the frames in a "balanced" arrangement....each batch of frames we extracted were smooth with little vibration.  Later we extracted some of my honey and some of the combs were a little, uh, non-uniform...from not keeping the frames spaced like I should, etc., (newbee here!! Smiley )....the extractor still ran smooth, though maybe not as smooth as when we extracted my mentors.  The speed control and motor are very smooth.

From all reports the Maxants are fine extractors, but I don't have personal experience with them.

As others have said...if there's any way at all you can get a motorized version...get it!  ...you won't regret it.  While your extracting you can be uncapping the next batch or sipping a cola. Wink

Interestingly I'm debating between these two extractors in the motorized versions...along with the SAF's 18-frame big brother.

Best wishes,
Ed
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BlueBee
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« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2012, 07:48:26 PM »

Ed, I figured you might try Acebirds home made design.

+1 on the motor.
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2012, 08:03:53 PM »

To much engineering involved in it, way above my pay grade.  I need something simple, like Curiosity. Smiley

Ed
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Joe D
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« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2012, 11:40:56 PM »

This year I used the best extractor ever, a freind in the local bee club bought a new 12 frame ext. and let me use it.  It is electric don't rember the brand or where he got it.  Now I have bought an extractor for myself  "a Bix 8 frame extractor"  haven't put it together yet but it will be going by next time to sling honey.  I am planning to put a motor on it.   Good luck with which ever you decide to get, John.



Joe
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Boom Buzz
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« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2012, 12:55:40 AM »

Hey all, thanks so much on the replies and advice on my extractor decision. 

I am hearing loud and clear consensus on going with the motorized version or at least being able to upgrade to motorized quickly.  I hadn't realized this was as big a priority, so I like the confirmation that motorized is important.

And I figured more frames is better, so 9 is better than 6.  I misspoke about the Maxant above, so thanks to Ed (Intheswamp) for reminding me it is a 6 frame.  So now I am thinking 9 frame motorized is the right choice, however the 18 frame SAF is only $120 more...decisions, decisions...  I think I need to reconsider...

One thought though.  I do not have a dedicated honey harvest room.  For those of you using 9 frame or larger, is your set up dedicated?  Or are you storing your extractor and getting it out when time to harvest?  From that standpoint the 6 frame Maxant may be more maneuverable and easier to store.

Thanks Mulesii on the H.T. Krantz info.  They were not on my radar, and with their low prices and free shipping on the Maxant I will keep them in mind if I go that route.

Thanks again for the info..

John

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Intheswamp
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« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2012, 09:42:50 AM »

John, definitely go powered if you can do it.  The size factor between the 9-frame and the 18-frame is something that I'm pondering.  I'm familiar with the size of the 9-frame SAF and can move it carefully without help, I'm wondering if the 18-frame might be a little bit awkward for one person to handle.  The 9-frame is shown as being 128 pounds...breaking it down into separate parts would lighten the weight to be carried.  I haven't found a listed weight for the 18-frame unit but truck freight is mentioned. 

I'm not sure whether I will have a dedicated extracting area or not, for now mobility is a concern of mine.  If I knew for certain I would have a permanent place for the extractor I would probably go with the 18-frame.  I'm also not sure how many hives I will ultimately have.  My mentor extracted right at 165 gallons last year using the 9-frame powered unit.  He is retired, though, and has more daytime hours to work with than I will have...but, will I ever get anywhere near 50 hives?...that's an unknown at this point of my beekeeping journey.  Probably the 9-frame (or even the 6-frame) would do me good...probably. 

Before I do anything, I will discuss it with my mentor, especially since he's been using the 9-frame for several years. Smiley

Ed
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2012, 09:45:02 AM »

Will you be picking up at a store or having it shipped?  If you will have to have it shipped see if the vendor will be coming to a beekeeping meeting within a reasonable distance of you...many vendors take orders to be delivered at meetings and thus you dodge the shipping costs.

BTW, did you get some emails from me?  Just curious...

Best wishes,
Ed
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Boom Buzz
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« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2012, 10:15:21 AM »

Hey Ed, thanks for the additional input.  And I did receive your emails.  I emailed back so hopefully you got it.  Let me know if you did not.

So if I stay around 15 hives for my apiary then maybe the 18 frame is overkill and I am fine with the 9 frame.  I do need to find the weight of the 18 frame, it just might be to heavy to e moving around.

15 hives X 3 honey supers each (in a good year) = 45 supers X 10 frames (if full) = 450 frames  shocked at the very best - probably will never see this much really so that is the high end boundary - thus 50 loads with the 9 frame.  My main honey flow is from alfalfa, in which the real flow happens for about four weeks starting late July into August. 

I will be having it shipped, so a couple of phone calls to see if I can get free shipping sounds like a good idea. 
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2012, 10:32:54 AM »

Something else to think about once you get several hives in your yard is bulk storage.  A 10 frame medium box should yield around 2.5 gallons of honey.  If you extract five supers in the morning you will have 12.5 gallons of new honey to deal with which equates to 50 quarts.  Figuring you are straining between the extractor and your catch bucket (5-gallon bucket in my current arrangement) the next process will either be putting a lid on the bucket or proceeding to bottle.  Either way, you've got to have two more 5-gallon buckets to catch the rest of the honey in.  My mentor uses a 2.5-3 gallon ss bucket which he then pours over into an 18-gallon holding take (with honey gate on it).  He lets the honey sit for a day or so so that the bubbles and any flotsam can come to the top and also so any solids can sink to the bottom (below the honey gate level).  With my little bit of honey this year I used three 5-gallon buckets for my seven gallons of honey...I was transporting from his honey house to my home so the buckets worked good.  I just thought I'd throw the bulk storage issue at you. Smiley

Oh yeah...uncapping tank and uncapping tools... Wink

Ed
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Intheswamp
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« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2012, 10:33:50 AM »

John, I didn't get your email, either.  You might want to just PM it back to me...

Ed
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mulesii
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« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2012, 10:43:52 AM »

Boom Buzz:  Not sure what size frames you are extracting, but the Maxant 3100 is a nine frame extractor, depending upon your mix of frames.  The extractor extracts 6 medium/shallows radially and 3 deeps/medium-shallows tangentially (total of nine).
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