After reading a lot of posts about other members' home-built honey extractors, I decided to build one myself. Thank you to everyone for their great ideas that I incorporated into my build.
I've been working on this project off and on, a few hours at a time for the last 3 weeks or so. Today, its about 80% finished.THE APEX APPARATUS MARK I HONEY EXTRACTOR
I started with a white, food-grade poly 55 gallon barrel. It originally held a dilute solution of hydrochloric acid that is used to clean dairy milking equipment. After a thorough rinsing, the hydrochloric acid smell was completely gone, and the barrel is absolutely clean on the inside.
I cut out the top and kept the stiff rim attached to the barrel. I used the router to trim up the saw-cut so it is smooth. I cut off the bottom as well. I will attach a plastic funnel to the open bottom; so the honey will run down to the center, and out into a 5-gal bucket.
I found the motor in my shed, it was in a box of ceiling fan parts from long ago. There were 2 of the motors in the box. The motor is sealed, no windings are exposed.
SEALED MOTOR AND BRACKET ON PLYWOOD FOR BASKET
The bottom and top of the frame basket are made from plywood. The two squares are screwed together until the circle is cut and the many holes drilled, so the two pieces will line up. Slots were cut with the router to hold the ends of the honey frames' top bars.
The motor support bracket is made from 1-inch PVC plumbing pipe and fittings.
FLIP SIDE OF MOTOR AND BRACKET
After separating the two plywood circles, I cut the top circle into the outer ring, and the inner clamp circle. A 3/8th fiberglass rod was cut into 1-inch pieces to make the pegs to hold the inner ends of the frames. The basket will hold 4 deep frames, or 8 super frames.
WHITE PEGS HOLD THE INNER PART OF THE FRAMES
CLAMP CIRCLE DETAIL
The clamp circle holds down the inner part of the frames and keeps the basket steady.
I made beeswax furniture polish from 1-ounce of wax to 1/2 cup of olive oil. I melted the wax in a small canning jar, in a water bath on the stove. I heated the oil in the microwave to 160F and stirred it into the melted wax. When it cooled, it made a fine cream paste. I polished all the wood parts after sanding off the rough spots.
SCRAP PLYWOOD USED TO TEST THE BEESWAX POLISH
The assembled basket, motor and bracket were installed into the barrel. The motor is under the basket. I had to cut the bracket and use two pipe unions to get it to fit into the holes in the side of the barrel. I used heat-shrink tubing on the ends of the bracket, next to the drum, where the honey would contact the PVC pipe.
BRACKET, MOTOR, AND BASKET IN DRUM, BOTTOM VIEW
I used 3/8th threaded rod to hold the top and bottom of the basket together. Heat-shrink tubing was used to cover the exposed thread, to keep the honey off the galvanized metal rods.
BASKET AND CLAMP CIRCLE, TOP VIEW
Aluminum flat stock was used to make the basket brackets, to hold the outer ring securely to the axle. The wing-nut on the axle applieS pressure down onto the clamp circle, to hold the frames securely.
The bracket to hold the axle securely to the rim of the barrel, and to center it is made from deep uni-strut. I'll get the bearing and uni-strut parts to complete this bracket on Tuesday.
AXLE BRACKET ON TOP OF DRUM
The extractor is nearly complete at this point. I need to make and install the legs, and the funnel to direct the honey into the bucket. The axle bracket needs a few more parts. The Control box with the switch and rheostat for the motor need to be installed.
I looked into the hive last Tuesday. The super was about 1/2 full then. About the time the extractor is completed, there will be honey-filled frames to test how well it works