HOMEBUILT HONEY EXTRACTOR (aka The Honey Machine!)
Commercial Honey Extractors are devices used to extract honey from honeybee 'frames'. This is achieved by 'uncapping' each frame/comb, and loading that frame/comb into the extractor, and 'spinning out' the honey. The extractor 'spins' (like a centrifuge) the honey out of the combs, slopping it on the inside liner of the extractor, where the honey runs down, collects in the bottom, and is bottled from a valve in the bottom of the extractor.
This INSTRUCTABLE will show you the fundamentals of constructing your own radial honey extractor. In this particular Instructable, I have created my honey extractor within the hull of an 'antique' washing machine. This Instructable will, however, give you enough information, to build your own honey extractor, using traditional materials, and you will be able to eliminate the 'washing machine hull' from your design (if you choose) and built a simple square 'box frame', and still follow this Instructable.
I included the 'antique washing machine' hull as the exterior of my extractor, in an effort to give an otherwise boring homemade extractor a little character. All of the fundamentals included in this Instructable should give you enough information to build your own extractor, simply replacing the antique washing machine hull with a simple box frame/superstructure made of the same 1" square tubing used throughout my extractor.
Step 1: SAFETY NOTES and DISCLAIMERS (Please read...really)
I'll be brief, so you'll actually read all of this:
1) READ THE PHOTO NOTES: I put a lot of information in the photo notes. If you don't understand something, double check the photo notes, and see if what you want to know is there. I tried to answer as many questions as I could using the photo notes...in my instructable, the photo notes are just as important as the text body in the steps.
2) FOOD SAFETY: Honey is a food product. As such, it should only come in contact with food grade materials. If you are a honey producer, you should ensure your extractor meets food grade requirements. In my build photos, I used non-food grade materials for all fit-ups/etc . After build, I refitted all parts that contact honey with food grade stainless bolts, or coated other parts in food grade paint, and dealt with other such food related issues (including food grade bearing grease). TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY. Contaminants exist in everything, so be conscious of such matters when building your extractor.
3) SAFETY: Really...just wear safety glasses. Loss of an eye can happen quickly in a shop. Wear all safety gear...but SAFETY GLASSES ARE A MUST! Use common sense...don't weld indoors, or near combustibles (even dry leaves). Keep your work area clear and clean. Don't wear baggy/loose fitting clothes that are apt to get caught in spinning drills/etc...and for god's sake...weld with your face shield down, even for tack welding.
4) BUILD DECISIONS: You say "Tow-may-toe", I say "To-mah-toe" (yes, I know it's spelled Tomato): I made lots of liberal decisions in this build. You may elect to make design changes, or you probably know a better way of doing something than I do. I had a time deadline for this build, and tried to use materials I had on hand. Hence, in some cases (such as the center axle build) I did things the 'hard way'. Additionally, my election to use an old appliance frame for 'character' obviously is a unique decision to my build, and that decision substantially complicated my build. This Instructable is intended only as a guide for you to build your own extractor. You may elect to complete certain parts of the build differently. I encourage you to explore other options, and be liberal with my instructions.