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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just curious how many of you have your own extractors, how many borrow an extractor and how many of you have actually made your own extractor?

I am considering building an extractor out of a plastic 55-gallon drum and bicycle rims from some plans I found at:

http://www.voiceofthehive.com/VotH/15_1_Voice_of_the_Hive-Roll_Your_own_Extractor.htm

Anyone recommend another set of plans for an extractor or want to comment on the one in the link above?

As always, THANKS!!
 

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I bought my current extractor. I bought my first extractor when I was 12 with money earned from honey. I extracted the first year's honey with my mentor's extractor.
We have an extraction set to share in a donated building at the USF Botanical Gardens.
I like to make everything myself also. The extractor is the only thing not worth the time.
I guess if I had metalworking equipment and I needed a 20 frame or larger extractor I might make my own. If I had all that I could earn the money to buy the same extractor in a few hours.
 

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I have an old hand crank extractor that I gutter and retrofitted with a radial reel and a motor (very old drill motor). Really the problem with extractors is that some volume of honey is required before their cost and storage become worthwhile. I have encouraged our bee club to purchase a small extracting unit (like in Perry's first picture) that we rent out to club members. This I think encourage club participation and gets all the small producers beyond the volume hurdle.

some designs of hand made extractors might profit from a bit more thought. a simple reel in a food grade trash can is about as simple as you can get and clean up is extremely simple also.
 

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I was looking for an extractor and working on a design for a home-built when I found a sweet deal (via the club I belong to) of a 20 frame extractor and a Cowen uncapper. Both needed a bit of tinkering. The extractor had a disfunctional speed control that I replaced with a control from an old tread mill.

Then last year I got an old 4 frame stainless for removing a colony of bees. The home owner had kept bees some 20 or so years ago. I'm planning on a basket for that to spin capings.
 

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I have an extractor that I don't use yet. Since my fire, 14 years ago, when I had a Kelley 33 framer and a Dadant 60 framer, I have depended on custom extraction.

A cpl of outfits allowed delivery of full supers and then, once extracted, the pickup of supers and honey. One outfit filled my buckets for me. The other didn't. He wanted me to do it so we would both know it was done to my satisfaction. Which I didn't mind.

The third outfit has picked up my pallets of honey the last cpl yrs. I take my empty buckets, help w/ the extraction, fill the buckets from the tank, and take everything home. A number of trips are required.

The first guy who extracted my honey for me did so for 10 cents/lb and he kept the wax. Steam was used for heating honey and hotwater jacketed wax melters were used to render the wax. The honey which came out of those two melters was hardly any darker than the extracted honey.

Over the years his price went up to 15 cents and he eventually sold his operation, but the new owner didn't keep things up and quit after two years.

The next guy charges 20 cents and kept the wax, though he let me have a cpl 30lb chunks too. Unfortunately he had a fire after two years, loosing his wax works, extracting operation and more. No lives were lost.

Most recently I have paid 20cents/lb and 25cents/lb w/ the extracter keeping the wax again.

If you live in the right area, have a Honey House and the desire to, you can do custom extracting. Make a little money and get more use out of your equipment.

Buster, the first guy I mentioned, extracted two or three times as much honey as he produced w/ his own bees. He kept two or three guys working 6 days a week from the time of the season when the first honey came off until Oct 1. He always set Oct. 1st as the day to be done so he could avoid the cold weather costing him more problems than it was worth. Besides, he had 2,000 cols to get wrapped and 400 to get South before snowfall.
 

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I own a small two frame extractor and electric uncapping knife, both of which were given to me by a very good neighbor. Our club has an extractor that they loan out for free, just bring it back all cleaned up!
 

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Hey Mark, this year was the first time I tried custom extracting (having it done). I was too busy in a move/reno nightmare to do it myself. The price was good and the guy doing it was real nice but................................. the mess that was made of a third of my frames was shocking. Never again!
Everything else was fine but I dropped off beautiful boxes of nice honey filled comb and got back 30% mostly ruined comb :( The girls will have a lot of repair work. It's so bad I may just scrape most of it and have them start from scratch.
 

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I have a stainless steel two framer with reversible baskets and a motor. Bought it from a bee club that disbanded. We had a club member who done custom extracting,she said she was doing it anymore because her honey house was full of SHB's from doing it. :shock: Hey Perry,maybe the wax was trying to get away from those cold plastic foundation frames. :lol: :lol: :lol: Jack
 

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As sad as it is to look at, I'll take a few pics and post'em tomorrow :cry:

Had to have been spun too fast, these were not fresh combs (new), so the wax wasn't soft. Maybe when he uncapped (plane), I'm not sure.
These frames were extracted before (by me) with no problem.

Jack, maybe I should spray the plastic with some glue before I put'em in the hives to make sure there are no blowouts? :confused: :lol:
 

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perry writes:
Everything else was fine but I dropped off beautiful boxes of nice honey filled comb and got back 30% mostly ruined comb

tecumseh:
most comb are never really ruined in an absolute sense. there are of course any number of things that can be done wrong and if someone is using low skilled or poorly motivated help any number of things can/will happen to create a lot of damage. 1) power uncapper (typically where a lot of frame damage occurs) can be set improperly, 2) those small places that the uncapper does not uncap are not scratched and 3) the extractors can be operated at a speed that is way to fast at the front side of the extraction. given all these possibilities for mishaps most 'damaged' frames can be reinserted at the front side of a honey flow and still be properly utilized by honeybees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Can anyone see anything wrong with the plans for the extractor I posted the link to? I don't plan on having any more than 10-12 hives anyway, so maybe I'd be better off just buying a small 2-4 frame extractor if those building plans/extractor aren't worth a hoot.
 

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Dave, couldn't open the link you posted :-(
Sometimes you can find a good deal on used ones, check ads
 

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Dave:
I couldn't open the link either.
I got my extractor through persistance. I checked craigslist everyday for about 3 months, and found a Walter T. Kelley 3/6 frame, stainless steel extractor for $60.00. The same extractor, new, on the Kelleybees website went for $450.00 plus shipping.
I just typed in honey extractor on the craigslist search engine. I found quite a few, but the people mostly wanted new prices for used equipment. I just kept checking, and my persistance paid off.
Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
:doh: HA! Wondered why nobody said anything about those plans. Thanks for the heads up....its fixed now.
Thanks for all the input so far. If any of you have a chance to look at the link now, I'd love to hear if you think its worth the time and effort.
 

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Hi Dave:

I am not mechanically inclined so my opinion is somewhat biased. If you are good at tinkering and have the time (more so than the $$) I see nothing wrong with giving this a try. Make sure you use food grade materials in your construction, especially if you ever intend to sell any of your product. Food grade barrel, stainless rods and nuts/bolts, (don't know how in regards to the the bike wheels). They make a product called Camcote that can be painted on things that make them safe.
I am going to officially join the Iddee,G3farms,rast club here and say that I am too LAZY for all of that.
I would peruse the craiglist/kijiji/ebay option and prowl around for a used one like gunny suggested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks, friends. I did find a 2-frame basket from a Kelley's extractor that should fit the (new) food grade plastic drum a local business carries that I have been eyeballing. Gonna have to go look at the basket. Kinda squishes my littles hopes and dreams of a bigtime 9-frame extractor that I thought I would make with bike rims, but its a start!!! :thumbsup:
....kinda like when you were a kid running your first trapline and you had these HUGE dreams of all the critters you were gonna catch the first morning checking your traps and all the cool things you were gonna buy with that great-big fur check, only to end up with 1 lousy opossum at the end of the day! :lol: :oops: :lol:
 

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as far as my experience here would suggest...

up to say 15 hives a four frame tangential extractor and scraper is minimum equipment requirements. you do get tired of flipping frames. electric drives really means you can spin and uncap at the same time. the real beauty of this size operation is that you also don't need a honey house to stow large items.

after 15 hives then a powered up radial and a good uncapping knife will get you to say 100 hives.
 
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