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Author Topic: Narrow Foundationless Frame for Langstroth  (Read 2212 times)
MrVitaminP
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« on: May 07, 2013, 01:12:40 AM »

I'm new to beekeeping - haven't started yet, still in the research phase. I'm thinking about using foundationless frames in a Langstroth medium super. Additionally, I am considering using a narrower frame spacing. So, I have put together a design that I am planning on building. It is based on recommendations from several sites as well as descriptions of the original Langstroth frames morphed with the more modern Hoffman style frame. I'd appreciate it if you guys could look at the design and provide feedback and constructive advice.

http://sdrv.ms/11dLXLn

« Last Edit: May 07, 2013, 01:22:47 AM by eivindm » Logged
D Semple
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2013, 06:38:52 AM »

Nice job, your close. 

A few small recommendations:

- I don't think your 1/4" drop down top bar bevel provides enough guide and needs to be more pronounced.
- having a beveled bottom bar is unnessary, weakens it, and requires two extra woodworking steps.
- your going to want to change your top bar width to 15/16" for 1 1/4" frames so you have the right bee space between your top bars.

Good job.   ......Don

 
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Steel Tiger
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2013, 07:04:59 AM »


- I don't think your 1/4" drop down top bar bevel provides enough guide and needs to be more pronounced.


 The drop down on my frames are approximately 1/4 inch and the bees are building on them fine. They weren't beveled and most were put between drawn frames, so that may have made a difference.
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MrVitaminP
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2013, 12:07:42 PM »

- I don't think your 1/4" drop down top bar bevel provides enough guide and needs to be more pronounced.
The 1/4" bevel was based on descriptions and drawings from W. Augustus Munn (A description of the bar-and-frame hive - 1844). His comb guide extended 1/4" and ended in an 1/8" flat. Given that others are using popsicle sticks for their guide, I figured that this would be sufficient. It is an easy change, if not.

- having a beveled bottom bar is unnessary, weakens it, and requires two extra woodworking steps.
The bottom bar is based on comments from other foundationless beekeepers who indicated that they ended up with better bottom attachment when a bottom guide was provided. Not sure how accurate that is, but that was my thinking. Again, a pretty easy change if it isn't accurate.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2013, 01:05:03 PM »

> The drop down on my frames are approximately 1/4 inch and the bees are building on them fine

Everything about comb guides is trying to stack the deck.  Some bees will do well with the least guide, and others require a better one.  I'd rather count on the better one.  I've done many that were 1/4" just because I had a scrap of wood that size... but when doing it on purpose, and not trying to use up scraps, I prefer to make a good bevel that is more like 3/4" or 1".
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Michael Bush
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MrVitaminP
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« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2013, 01:56:26 PM »

> The drop down on my frames are approximately 1/4 inch and the bees are building on them fine

Everything about comb guides is trying to stack the deck.  Some bees will do well with the least guide, and others require a better one.  I'd rather count on the better one.  I've done many that were 1/4" just because I had a scrap of wood that size... but when doing it on purpose, and not trying to use up scraps, I prefer to make a good bevel that is more like 3/4" or 1".

How about a comb guide at the bottom, does it make any difference?
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Steel Tiger
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« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2013, 10:55:31 PM »

How about a comb guide at the bottom, does it make any difference?
Bees will build down until they hit the bottom of the frame whether it's beveled or flat. Taking time to bevel it will just be extra, unneeded work.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2013, 09:07:30 AM »

>How about a comb guide at the bottom, does it make any difference?

Not enough to be worth the effort... but it may get the bottom attached a little bit sooner.  I have experimented with them, but I don't do them now.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
MrVitaminP
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« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2013, 10:47:14 PM »

Updated the drawing with the recommendations. The comb guide is configured so it can be made with a 30 deg. chamfer bit. So, the length is a little odd. However, it is much more pronounced that the previous 1/4 inch version. Thoughts?

http://sdrv.ms/ZQLcVz
« Last Edit: May 09, 2013, 07:11:27 PM by Robo » Logged
Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2013, 09:09:34 AM »

I'm fond of a 45 degree slope, but that should work fine.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
MrVitaminP
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« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2013, 11:50:36 AM »

I'm fond of a 45 degree slope, but that should work fine.
How do you get a 3/4" to 1" comb guide on a narrow frame if you use a 45 degree slope? The top frame has a width of 15/16. If I'm doing the math right in my head, that would mean that you'd have a max height of 13/32.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2013, 12:11:54 PM »

I use a lot of different comb guides.  Some are just strips of wood.  Some are the wedge turned edgeways.  Some used to be wax strips.  3/4" to 1" is a generality of what seems to work for all of those.  When I make my own narrow frames I usually cut the top bar from a one by so it's 3/4" wide.  Then it has about 1/4" down and then the slope is a 45 degree angle down to the center from both sides.  I don't remember exactly how deep that is, but 3/4" to 1" is in the ballpark...
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
kkcattle
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« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2013, 12:20:56 AM »

I am only a third year beek, and have been building my own frames also.  My top bars are similar to yours, but I run a shallow kerf down the center of v.  I find it easy to pour melted wax into the kerf, and if I want I can also wedge foundation in the kerf.  I am not sure of the length of the guide, but I use 7/8" thick stock to make top bars, and use a tablesaw for all cuts.  by the way I would be interested in knowing what cad program you used to draw your frame designs with.


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