Home made, repurposed and modified equipment

Im sure many of us have beekeeping items that are home made repurposed or modified to fill our needs. Thought a topic to share a few pictures or ideas might be helpful.

I’ll kick it off with the solar wax melter I built over winter.
Had a old corner cabinet that was destined for the tip, glass doors planted the idea I might be able to use it for a solar wax. Cut it down strengthened it in a few areas and made a catch tray and came up with this.

A little to big and bulky to easily move so the old frame from a weights set that was sitting in the back corner of the yard waiting for a free tip weekend got repurposed into a frame with the addition of 2 old lawn mower wheels to make moving it easier.


Great idea for a topic… and excellent wax melter, looks like it would hold a few frames!

It holds 3 full depth frames.

Was in bunnings yesterday a found a table saw marked down to $148, had a $100 gift voucher from christmas so it accompanied me home.
My mini ideal frame experiment has left me with a surplus of top and bottom bars but no end bars. 30min with the saw and I had these
Not quite as tidy as purchased end bars but Im sure the bees wont complain.
Timber was some 90x45 from a pallet.
First step was to rip it down to 80mm the max height of my saw blade and then to 35mm giving me a 80x35. I then cut it to lenght for deep end bars. Setting the blade at 45 to produce 5mm deep cut. This is in place of the nice radiused transition on purchased end bars.
Once that was done I then ripped from what will be the bottom of the end bar to the 45 cut. I was left with a small area in the middle uncut that i used a handsaw on. I then set the blade height to match the cutout dept needed for the top and bottom bars. A dado blade would make short work of this but moving the fence a couple of times produced a reasonable quality notch.
What I had at this stage was a end bar that was 80mm thick, I just ripped them to the thickness required and got 6 end bars out of each piece.

Made a few more deep end bars, I dug out the router for these. I dont have the correct sized cutter to do the top and bottom bar cut outs so it takes a couple of passes but a much better result than the saw

End bars look great. Are you using 3/8? or going with different thickness?

If 3/8, have you buying the timber in this thickness?

Using them with spare commercial top and bottom bars so working in metric and they are close enough to 10mm so have been making them 10mm.
Havent been buying any timber, I have been using pallets and old fruit bins. The end bars were from some 100x50 pine from a pallet.
The table saw I purchased has a working height of 80mm so I am limited by that
My procedure for these was

  • Rip the 100x50 to 80X50
  • Rip the 80x50 to 80x35
  • Cut the 80x35 to end bar lenght
  • Router the top and bottom bar slots
  • Run the cut to lenght 80x35 with end bar slots cut through the table saw cutting to 10mm
  • Router the step into each end bar
  • Drill eyelet holes if needed.

If I was going to purchase timber I would probably look at 150 or 200 x 35, with it I could eliminate the first to steps.

Have been busy building from the scrap timber I have picked up. Have made 6 inner covers, a similar number of 50mm shims, 9 mini matting nucs and frame feeders to suit, some full sized frame feeders and one 8 frame ideal box.
The timber I have been getting is 180mm at the widest so have been sticking with making shallower gear. It only struck me yesterday after making the 8 frame ideal box that a ideal box and a 100mm shim equals a deep.
Once I have finished everything and painted I take some pics and post them.

I think I posted somewhere here earlier in the year about making some mini frames and modifying a ideal box so a bit of a update.
I threw the box on mid Autumn in the hope we may get a late flow. With the drought conditions we didn’t but the bees were still bringing in a little and did some work on the mini frames.
They seem to have no trouble with them, there was virtually no brace comb and they hadn’t tried to fill the area in the middle of the box between frames at all so I will be giving them a run next season.
The idea is to sell them as comb honey as complete frames.
Tried vacuum sealing them, went a bit heavy on the first attempt and crushed some of the comb, but after that no issues.