My woodworking skills were nil before I began keeping bees. Bought everything the first year, built my boxes and bought frames the second. Shipping costs pushed the price per frame with foundation over $2 a frame, and I got some frames with warped top bars. I figured I could do better than that. So this year, using good quality 2X4s, I ripped out 100 or so frames, brood and super. They cost about 25 cents apiece for the medium frames, 30 for the brood frames. I used starter strips for the brood and wired foundation for the supers. They make good quality frames, and I provide my own quality inspection as I make them.
The biggest investment is time. It took several evenings to cut the frames out. It's a thing to do in the winter when you have some time on your hands, not when you're pressed to complete other tasks. I don't know if I would do it again if I could find a local supplier to pick up just a few dozen frames. Or a place to buy the frames dissasembled in bulk for a decent price. But if I do make more next year, I'll make larger runs of each part at a time. Once you get the tooling set up precisely, the process goes fairly quickly.