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Offline Lesgold

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Today I Made
« on: February 10, 2023, 07:59:19 pm »
Hi Folks,

Just thought I?d open a new thread called Today I Made. As the title says, it is a chance to show and tell something that was made recently relating to beekeeping. It could be anything that aids us in a small way and may be of some interest to others. Explanations and photos would be appreciated. The ideas don?t have to be original or well built. They just have to perform a task. Some of the roughest, poorly made jigs that I have constructed in the past display very poor craftsmanship as they were built quickly from second hand materials. They do however, work extremely well and save me a considerable amount of time. Ideas generate discussion and comment and this then promotes new ideas and thinking. So come on, show is what you are up to in the shed??

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Today I Made
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2023, 08:17:31 pm »
Thought I?d kick off the thread with something that I made about an hour ago. Over the past few days, I?ve been cleaning up some of my beeswax that has been sitting in the corner of the shed. I started scraping some of the propolis and dirt off wax blocks before placing them into the melter for a final cleanup. Normally I use a hive tool, paint scraper, knife or a spoon for this task but I didn?t have one of those items handy so I grabbed a piece of hive strapping that was sitting on the bench and folded in half. I was actually surprised as to the effectiveness of this new found method.

Apart from being uncomfortable to hold, it worked very well. This morning, I decided to build a tool for the job using a bit of broom handle and an off-cut of stainless steel sheeting.

It only took about half an hour to make and it worked extremely well. It will also now be used to shave beeswax for wraps or lip balm. It?s funny how an idea can develop from nothing.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Today I Made
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2023, 09:27:35 pm »
It's good you found a better way to scrap you wax Les.

Excessive propolis is a deal in my area. I stumbled upon a way to clean propolis off the 'frame rest' edges of boxes 'pronto' a few years ago.
By using the stainless 'scraper' blade on a multi function, electric oscillating tool, the frame rest can be cleaned promptly.  The best time I found to do so is when its cold and the propolis is brittle.

Phillip
« Last Edit: February 10, 2023, 10:19:40 pm by Ben Framed »
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14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Today I Made
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2023, 10:47:43 pm »
Good idea Phillip. Propolis is a pain when it is warm. The vibrations would help it to release quickly when it is cold.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Today I Made
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2023, 02:10:13 am »
Hi Folks,

Just started extracting some honey this morning so it won?t be long until I?ll need to start cleaning up cappings and melting a bit of wax. I cast my wax into large ice cream containers that a local coffee shop gives me. They are ideal for the purpose and get thrown away after a few uses.

As you can see, this one has already been used once. I like to use new, clean ones for the final pour which gives me a good block of wax. I have always made my own custom strainers for this purpose. To build it, a frame is constructed from offcuts of timber to sit on the container.

A single screw on each corner is used to assemble the frame. For the strainer, stainless or aluminium fly screen wire is normally used. This particular strainer is made from an extremely fine stainless mesh that I?ve had sitting in the shed for years. It?s very good for filtering out most particles present within the wax. A square of mesh is cut with bend lines marked.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Today I Made
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2023, 02:14:26 am »
The mesh is then bent as shown.

The mesh is then stapled in place and some tape is used to cover sharp edges.

As the strainer is custom made to suit the container, it doesn?t move at all and you have both hands free to control the molten wax.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Today I Made
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2023, 01:06:40 pm »
It's so awesome that you can just make whatever you want.  I just don't have the knack for stuff like this. 
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Today I Made
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2023, 01:15:43 pm »
> I just don't have the knack for stuff like this.

You have to develop the knack.  No one is born knowing how to do things...
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Today I Made
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2023, 01:20:56 pm »
> I just don't have the knack for stuff like this.

You have to develop the knack.  No one is born knowing how to do things...
I hear you, and I'm sure if I tried more, I'd be better at it, but I'm not naturally good at stuff like this, and my sister, for example, is.  She's always been able to build things, even when she was very little, with Lincoln Logs and Legos and stuff, and I just never had the eye or the mechanical skills for it.  I just don't think like that.  I'm very good at thinking abstractly and logically, but not practically or spatially.   
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Today I Made
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2023, 01:36:27 pm »
I used to think I could teach anyone anything, but I have had to adjust that to I can teach almost anyone almost anything.  I can see your intelligence in what you write, so I'm quite certain there is nothing you couldn't learn.  It may or may not be more or less instinctual but most things are not instinctual.  They take trial and error and practice.  Being able to visualize something and make it, is a skill worth the effort to gain.  There are too many things that are simply unavailable at any price that you will want in life.  And most of those are relatively simple, not complex.
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Today I Made
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2023, 02:11:43 pm »
I used to think I could teach anyone anything, but I have had to adjust that to I can teach almost anyone almost anything.  I can see your intelligence in what you write, so I'm quite certain there is nothing you couldn't learn.  It may or may not be more or less instinctual but most things are not instinctual.  They take trial and error and practice.  Being able to visualize something and make it, is a skill worth the effort to gain.  There are too many things that are simply unavailable at any price that you will want in life.  And most of those are relatively simple, not complex.
Thank you very much, Michael; that's quite a compliment.  And you are right, the skills to be able to make something, especially something simple, are extremely valuable and are being lost in a lot of aspects of society today.  I always think about the 2015 movie Passengers, where Christ Pratt's character has chosen to move to a distant earth colony because he knows how to build and repair things, but on earth everything has become so disposable that his skills are no longer valuable to anyone.   
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Today I Made
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2023, 02:19:05 pm »
I have noticed that for the past 200 years most beekeepers are tinkerers.  They imagine things and build things.  Some of them even turn out to be useful.  And sometimes they become indispensable. I build so many things, it's hard to imagine beekeeping if I didn't.
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
-------------------
"Everything works if you let it."--James "Big Boy" Medlin

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Today I Made
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2023, 04:41:30 pm »
Hi Reagan,

I understand what you are saying. For my entire working life as a teacher of woodwork and metalwork, I often taught students who had no or little experience in working with their hands using tools and equipment. My job was to encourage them to try as quite often there was a fear of touching or using equipment or there was a confidence issue. Skills develop through repetition but the most difficult part is taking that first step. I?ll use the assembly of a bee hive frame as an example. The first one that you build takes a considerable amount of time.  Mistakes will be made and from that we learn. The second one takes only two thirds of the time to assemble and looks much better than the first. By the time 20 frames are made, the skill level has improved considerably but more importantly there has been a growth in confidence. My students often said to me ?I can?t make that.? My reply was always the same. Looking at a project as a whole is often daunting. Breaking it down into very small steps removes the overwhelming feeling that stops you from taking the plunge. As Michael said, beekeepers are tinkerers. We are and always will be.  I have noticed that you love cooking, making candles, beeswax wraps etc. This makes you a tinkerer as well.  A saw, hammer and cordless drill are just a couple of extra accessories to add to the sewing box.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Today I Made
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2023, 07:12:13 pm »
Hi Reagan,

I understand what you are saying. For my entire working life as a teacher of woodwork and metalwork, I often taught students who had no or little experience in working with their hands using tools and equipment. My job was to encourage them to try as quite often there was a fear of touching or using equipment or there was a confidence issue. Skills develop through repetition but the most difficult part is taking that first step. I?ll use the assembly of a bee hive frame as an example. The first one that you build takes a considerable amount of time.  Mistakes will be made and from that we learn. The second one takes only two thirds of the time to assemble and looks much better than the first. By the time 20 frames are made, the skill level has improved considerably but more importantly there has been a growth in confidence. My students often said to me ?I can?t make that.? My reply was always the same. Looking at a project as a whole is often daunting. Breaking it down into very small steps removes the overwhelming feeling that stops you from taking the plunge. As Michael said, beekeepers are tinkerers. We are and always will be.  I have noticed that you love cooking, making candles, beeswax wraps etc. This makes you a tinkerer as well.  A saw, hammer and cordless drill are just a couple of extra accessories to add to the sewing box.
Thanks, Les.  I guess that's true; I never really thought about it like that.  I can definitely say, now that I am thinking about it, that the thing that is difficult for me with carpentry is a lack of knowledge regarding materials and tools, and what they do or how to use them effectively and safely (in the case of power tools).  Before we moved to the mountains, we never had scrap lumber or other building materials around the house to just mess around with, since we used to live in suburbia.  Now that we are country folks, we are slowly accumulating several piles of usable junk :wink: :cheesy: and my sister has been able to use that to her advantage.  I lean on her a lot whenever I need something built or fixed. 

It's kind of funny how, as a natural book-learner, I could more easily follow a set of detailed instructions (which is really probably where I should start, where carpentry goes, with plans), but I have difficulty envisioning something I haven't previously encountered.  My sister can look at something, say her goats have destroyed something and it needs to be rebuilt better or stronger, and she can invent a new solution.  Now I could read a book on the subject, and I could understand and remember all the solutions I read about, and, with the right tools, apply them in the appropriate situation, but it would be very difficult for me to stand there and come up with something the world, or at least I, had never seen before to solve the problem.  I can't generate something new, I can only search the mental filing cabinet for relevant information.  And that's not to say I couldn't learn to think more outside the box with practice, but it's a muscle I have flexed very little in my life so far, so it seems daunting.  But like my piano teacher used to say, "slow it down and break it down", and it's much easier to learn.             
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Today I Made
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2023, 07:09:45 pm »
Well I?m finally down to the last mornings extracting for the season. The final cleanup will start tomorrow and everything can be stored away for the winter. One of my favourite honey strainers developed some cracks so last night I thought I?d better get in and build a replacement. I use a couple of commercially made strainers but they never really suited my situation so I started making my own about 8 or 9 years ago. This is how I make them.

I start with a couple of food grade buckets. I used to get heaps of them from a local supermarket.

Once cleaned, they work well for storing honey or making strainers. This one was previously used for a cappings strainer and it had large holes drilled into the base. It was now time to repurpose it. Using a utility knife, most of the base was cut out with a lip of about 15mm left to support the mesh.

The height of the strainer is then marked around the side of the bucket.

The knife is then used to cut the strainer to size. For this new strainer, the height was increased slightly over the old design to about 90mm.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Today I Made
« Reply #15 on: February 17, 2023, 07:23:32 pm »

This process is repeated to make both strainer bodies. Two grades of mesh are then cut to suit each strainer body. The mesh is held in place by a bead of silicone and supported by weights until the silicone cures.

Three lugs are then constructed from sheet metal to support the bottom strainer over a pail. With this new strainer, small stainless brackets will also be constructed to fit inside the bottom strainer. This will increase the gap between the two and allow for better honey flow.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Today I Made
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2023, 05:48:28 pm »
Just finished making a new box for comb honey production in the spring.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Today I Made
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2023, 03:51:13 am »
When bottling up honey, my wife sits the bottling tank on a small stand that I made. As the tank gets close to empty, she props up the back of the tank with a plastic mug or anything that is sitting around the kitchen.

I never really liked what she was doing as the tank was never stable and it moved around too much as she tried to remove the last of the honey. I thought a tilting table would offer the stability required and leave both hands free to allow her to concentrate on bottling. Here is what I came up with:

A piece of particle board was attached to the stand with two hinges. A couple of rotating stops were screwed to the top so that different sized tanks could sit in place without sliding forward as the table was tilted.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Today I Made
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2023, 04:02:13 am »
At the back of the stand, a rotating tilt support was added.

It sits in the horizontal position for most of the time. As the tank empties, the tilt support is rotated to the first position to increase honey flow.

When the tank is almost empty, the second setting is used to get most of the honey out.

I may have to adjust the length of this support if the table angles are not quite right. A bit of testing will determine the best sizes to use.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Today I Made
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2023, 11:37:04 pm »
Decided it was time to upgrade and improve my old foundation embedder. The old one worked quite well but I decided to make a few improvements and build a new one. Scrounged around the shed and yard to come up with some material that could be used for the project.

The old battery charger would still be the power supply for the unit and some copper tubing would be utilised to make pressure contacts and a switch. A piece of pine would be used to make the body of the embedder.

The first step was to cut the timber to a length a little longer than a frame. Holes were then drilled in appropriate spots. The outer holes would just fit inside the frame and were drilled through the material with stopped holes being located in the centre.

All  pins were made from 1/2 inch copper tube. The ends were squeezed in a vice, cut to length and then filed to shape.

 

anything