I have been asked by a few how my frame comb de-capper has worked out. I have used it for more than 3 months. A commercially available plastic box used as honey and wax catcher that I bought from a hardware store for $15. The floating rollers were made at my local Men’s Shed of Aluminum. The tension rubbers were bought from EBay. The white plastic roller mount is food grade plastic but the honey can’t come in contact with it.The timber frame and legs are made of hardwood, but any wood that is clean can do the job.
To de-cap a full size Langstroth frame is just a matter of pushing the frame fully into the de-capper to the top bar and removing it, that takes about 10 seconds per frame including an inspection that is done right, and so fat a second time through has not been needed. Then it is a matter of transferring the frame to the extractor.
No heat is involved at any time so the honey I sell is “Unheated, Pure and Raw”.
Anyone wanting to make their own I am happy to supply details by email, the all up cost for me to make it was under $270.
Yes please Peter, my email is
How long did the lathe work take as I will have to,pay to get that done
Excellent work. I would love to see a video of it in operation.
I am flat out extracting frames at the moment and probably for a week. Unfortunately I have only used my DSLR camera for stills so I will spend the time to figure out how the video side works and I will set it up on a tripod.
Old age doesn’t come on its own, it brings friends like the shakes, forgetfulness and the slow shoe shuffle and I was in the line up for all three. Not to worry I will put a reminder in my computer but it may be later next week when I post.
I began doing splits in July and still at it, Been extracting since August 1st and seem to be in a 2 week cycle of 8 frames capped and sealed for each hive. The Flow Hives are on 5 week cycles but for a bigger yield.
I guess you in about the same situation down there?
No pressure just liked the engineering, the flow is starting to come now but interestingly not as much activity as the same time last year. Temperatures a little lower the last few weeks and very dry. A lot of those storms keep missing us in Cooparoo but hit us where I work at Yatala. No splits just yet but we are about to split a few native bee hives as they are really strong.
One thing about bee keeping it keeps you fit.
I am getting rain about every 3 days between 10 to 20mm and days 25 to 30c at my apiary.
So very true Gary, I am lifting supers that I couldn’t have done before, it is very pleasing exercise, sure beats going to a gym.
might it be possible to make it without a lathe using washers with spacers (smaller washers?) inbetween- all held onto a threaded rod with bolts at each end? Thinking about that: it Might end up being more work…
Hey Jack, I am sure it would be a bigger problem to make it up with washers on a threaded bolt, it would have to be made of 316 grade stainless steel to that after the rollers were used they would not rust after washing down. The cost of stainless steel is so much higher than aluminum it would be more expensive; but a good thought anyway.
Just wondering how aluminum reacts with honey, or more, honey with aluminum.
It’s probably only short contact though. Yet… I wonder if anybody has any info on this?
The contact time between the aluminum could be measured in fractions of a second and the rollers are made of a food grade aluminum at any rate.
If it wasn’t safe as I am probably the biggest user of my honey I wouldn’t have made it, hope that makes sound sense. The plastic frame is food grade safe as well, and that is the only contact with the honey.
I wish I could take the credit for thinking of making it, in fact it very similar to a video on YouTube that is made and sold in the U.S. at twice what I made it for plus freight which is am obscene cost from the U.S. to Australia.
And yes, it is Awesome, it does it so fast too. As Quick as Maureen can hand me a frame it is d-capped and on its way to the extractor. An 8 frame full depth box in under a minute is my best time, and timing myself makes me nervous
I see and understand well what you are saying. Yet, any contact, however brief, with aluminum will rub off, if only minute.
Really ridiculous though worrying about that in view of the international honey mixing going on.
Think for a moment, the honey is not about to erode a hard grade aluminum. It simply cuts the capping open It is like thinking the honey in a glass jar might be tainted by the glass.
Are you worried about the skin on an aircraft wearing away because of the wind blowing over it because that is made of Aluminum? Your mother used aluminum saucepans and fry pans of a very low grade aluminum,has that effected you life?
If you want to worry about something then you will regardless of the science saying it is safe.
honey is acidic and aluminum does corrode easily- however- once exposed the surface of aluminum oxidizes quickly and a hard layer is formed that prevents further oxidation. Think how freshly polished aluminum is bright but soon looks dull. One would also imagine this device would soon be covered in a thin layer of bees wax that would further prevent oxidization.
In other words: using your device would not bother me one iota.
alluminum makes up 8.3% of the Earths crust and gets into everything and it’s everywhere- it’s in many many foods naturally.
“Aluminium in the food supply comes from natural sources including water, food additives, and contamination by aluminium utensils and containers. Most unprocessed foods, except for certain herbs and tea leaves, contain low (< 5 micrograms Al/g) levels of aluminium. Thus most adults consume 1-10 mg aluminium daily from natural sources. Cooking in aluminium containers often results in statistically significant, but not practically important, increases in the aluminium content of foods. Intake of aluminium from food additives varies greatly (0 to 95 mg Al daily) among residents in North America, with the median intake for adults being about 24 mg daily.”
Thanks for doing the research Jack, the point is that there are a great many grades of aluminum and I went for a food safe grade. We can’t eliminate contact with it, Pepsi and all the other soft drinks, beer and spirits are in cans, it is a part of everyday life if we think about it.