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Make a honey extractor.

Years ago, we extracted our first honey harvest by squeezing the combs into a colander. This is a wasteful, messy, albeit delicious process. By the time our second harvest rolled around, we had built a very economical and simple extractor. We've used it every year since 1980.

The extractor is a wooden framework covered with hardware cloth. This is mounted in a galvanized garbage can. The basket spins on a shaft made from a 3/8" threaded rod. The rod need not extend through the complete length of the basket--just bolt a short section to the top and another to the bottom.

The lower shaft rides in a cup bearing made from a galvanized pipe cap mounted in a piece of wood and bolted to the bottom of the can. The upper shaft passes through a piece of wood that is attached across the top of the can.

We power the extractor with a hand-cranked drill. You could use a variable speed electric drill (do not use a single speed drill, it's too fast) or rig up a crank and pulley system.

Although these plans are for a basket that accepts four shallow frames, you could build one to accept two, maybe even four, deeps.

One improvement on the design would be a honey outlet at the bottom. We've always poured the honey out the top, which necessitates removing the basket periodically.

When extracting, you should only partially extract the first side of the frames, stop the machine and flip the frames and completely extract the second side. Now you can turn the frames back over and finish extracting the first side. If you don't follow this procedure the weight of an unextracted side could collapse the extracted side.

When stopping the basket, do not use the drill or crank or whatever to stop the shaft. The inertia of the basket will keep it going and loosen the threaded rod. Instead, allow the power source to spin freely with the shaft while you apply friction to the top of the basket.
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Kafer, Peter; Kafer, Claudia
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Jul 1, 1993
Words:341
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