Fig. 113. Pattern for Top and Bottom of Extractor.
The cage is of Ij-in. by J-in. oak or beech of the
dimensions given in Figs. 108 to 112. The joints
at the top may be dovetailed, and at the bottom,
mortise-and-tenon joints may be used. A gauge
line is run round the inside of the frame J in.
from the bottom edge, and holes about | in apart
are bored with a fine bradawl. The holes in the
sides should commence about If in. from the ends,
and a space of | in. should be left at each side
to allow the metal ends of the frames to pass
through and bring the combs close to the wire of
the cage. The holes should be bored at an angle
as shown at A (Fig. 114) so as to strengthen the
cage. No. 20 B.W.G. tinned wire should be
threaded through the holes as shown in Figs. 112
and 114, the long wires being put in first and the
cross wires interlaced with them. Galvanised net-
ting is sometimes used for the cage, but this is
objectionable, as zinc should never be allowed to
come in contact with honey. Suitable wire can be
obtained from makers of bee keeping appliances.
Wooden cleats are glued and nailed at each of
Fig. 114. Corner of Cage of Little Wonder Extractor
the corners to keep the ends of the frames in posi-
tion when extracting ; the forms and positions of
these are shown in Figs. 112 and 114.
An iron plate 3 in. square by | in., with a J-in.
sinking in the centre, should be screwed at the
corners to the floor of the room where the ex-
tractor is being used. The spike at the bottom
of the extractor will work freely in the plate, and
will prevent the spike slipping.
The same principle governs the action of the
Little Wonder and cylinder extractors, the honey
leaving the cells of the comb by centrifugal force,
but, while in the Little Wonder the entire machine
revolves, carrying comb, receptacle for honey, and
122 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES
any honey which has already been extracted, in
the cylinder extractor as few parts as possible are
made to revolve, and this is a decided advantage.
The labour necessary to overcome the inertia of
a large mass of material in starting and stopping
is saved, and the decreasing weight of the comb,
which is perceptible when it and its connections
only are revolved, is an indication to the operator
that the honey has been extracted.
For a given velocity, the nearer the comb is to
the centre of revolution the greater will be the
Fi<r. 116. Cylinder Extractor
with. Frame Inside.
Fig 1 . 115. Cylinder Honey
centrifugal force, but the honey in most of the
cells will tend to press against their sides as well
as leave them. To overcome this tendency the
combs should be placed at an infinite distance
from the centre of revolution. It is evident that
practice more than theory is what will decide the
best position for the combs, and from exhaustive
experiments, Mr. Cowan has concluded that the
outer surface of the comb should, during extrac-
tion, be placed 6 in. from the centre of the spindle
round which it revolves. He has also decided that
extractors which hold two combs at the time are
preferable to those which hold four or more.
HONEY EXTRACTORS. 123
The cylinder extractor, then, consists of four
distinct features : (1) the frame which holds and
carries the comb baskets, (2) the comb baskets,
(3) the cylinder, or barrel in which they revolve,
and (4) the driving gear, or crank. Fig. 115 is
a general view of the extractor ; Fig. 116 shows
the extractor complete with the frame inside, the
baskets being in place ; and Fig. 117 shows the
frames, baskets, and crank handle.
For the frame forming the first item in the list,
three sheets of tinplate, 17 in. by 12j in., are re-
quired. One of the sheets is cut into six strips
2 in. wide. The edges of tinplates are not always
true when they come from the shop, and should
Fig. 118. Wired Tinplate.
Fig. 117. Frames, Baskets, etc.
therefore be pared until straight. Three strips
should be joined together end to end, by turning
\ in. at the ends over, hooking together, hammer-
ing down flat, and touching with solder, as before
described. These strips may now be cut to 45 in.
in length each, and wired at both edges with wire
about \ in. in diameter, about No. 10 gauge.
The wires are to be 44 in. long each.
The wiring is effected by turning the edges of
the tinplate over for a distance of nearly \ in.
by means of a mallet and the stake ; the wire is
then laid along the trough thus formed, and the
edge of the metal hammered down so as entirely
to envelop it. A good deal of tapping and some
practice are required to make a neat bead.
As the cage is likely to be often smeared with
124 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
honey, which gets in between the wire and tin,
and there sets up fermentation, or becomes a con-
stant source of dirt, the following plan for pre-
venting this may be adopted if desired: Solder
the tin along outside the wire, so that a nicely
formed hollow is made, which can easily be kept
clean, and has no corners for dirt (see Fig. 118).
In this, as in every other part, use fine solder
containing a large proportion of tin.
It is best to do all wiring while the tin is in
the flat, not after it has been bent into shape.
Fig. 119. Rectangular Band and Bridge.
The wire can be soldered in either before or after
the bending, but it is easier to do it before. The
tin is longer by 1 in. than the wire, but this should
not be turned over until a later stage of the work
These wired strips of tin are now to be bent
so as to form two rectangular bands, 12 in. by
10 in. ; the overlapping inch at the ends forms a
good strong joint when thoroughly soldered. The
bending can be done with a wooden vice, such as
is usually found on a carpenter's bench, and should
be as nearly as possible to a right angle, and the
frame or band should not be in winding, but lie
flat on the bench ; the wired edge should be turned
outwards, leaving the inside surfaces flat.
Another sheet of tinplate must now be taken
in hand, and two pieces, 12 in. by 3^ in., cut off
across it. These must be wired at both edges,
with wires only 10 in. long placed in the middle,
leaving 1 in. at each end free of wire ; but the
turned over edges of tin may be hammered down
flat at the ends. The unwired ends may now be
Fig. 120. Pattern of Slide.
turned up sharp where the wire terminates, thus
forming a sort of tin stool 10 in. long, and with
legs 1 in. high. These are to be fastened with
solder and small rivets to the bands already made.
They will, of course, bridge the band the narrow
way, which is the only direction in which they will
fit, and be equidistant from each short side. Fig.
119 is a diagram of one of the bands and bridges
at its present stage. The bridges are for the
purpose of attaching the spindle.
126 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
For the slides, cut four other pieces of tinplate,
16^ in. by 3j in., and turn over and hammer down
J in. slack at each long edge of the entire lot ; turn
up also \ in. at one short edge, or end, and
hammer down flat ; but before any of this turning
down is done it would be advisable to cut out
rectangular pieces at the corners, so as to pre-
vent the tin from being doubled too much. Fig
120 gives a pattern of a slide. The long edges
are doubled down along the lines A B, the short
one at c D. The long edges are to be then turned
up along the line E G, and left standing at right
angles to the broad part, and the short end along
the line G G, the whole thus forming a kind of
trough, open at one end, and having the other
end double the height of the sides. A touch of
solder in the corners will bind the edges firmly
together, and make the work stronger. The sharp
corners of the projecting end should also be nipped
off, and rounded nicely with a file.
The bands may now be connected together with
these slides, into which the comb baskets slip.
Place one of the bands on the bench with the
bridge up, and stand a slide, with the stopped end
down, at one of the corners, its back surface being
in contact with one of the long sides of the band,
and pushed up as tightly as possible towards the
corner. A small cramp and two pieces of wood
can be used to hold the two firmly together, while
the square is applied to see that the slide is at
right angles to the band. A little solder is then
run between the two, and a similar operation per-
formed with the three other slides. The upper
band can now be put over the ends of the four
vertical slides, and if the work has been done
carefully, it will be found to fit well, each slide
going right into its corner. If, however, things
are not true, the square can be applied, and the
erring slide or slides found, unsoldered from the
lower band, and set right. See that both bridges
HONEY EXTRACTORS. 127
are turned upwards so as not to form troughs
to hold the honey, which they might do if turned
the other way. Fig. 121 is a diagram of the work
at this stage.
Fig. 121. Bands, Slides and Bridges of Extractor.
Small rivets could be used as well as solder
to hold slides and bands together, but they are
scarcely necessary ; but if used, their heads must
not project into the slides, and hinder the baskets
from moving freely up and down.
128 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
Instead of this framework, a box 10 in. square
and 15 in. high could be employed, having the
slides soldered on to two of the sides, while the
other two act as backs for the comb baskets.
This would be found by many an easier piece of
work, and possesses the additional advantage of
being easily cleaned, and affording few corners for
dirt to lodge in.
With regard to the comb baskets, half of one
of the baskets is shown by Fig. 122, which figure
Fig. 122. Half of Comb Basket.
is drawn from a point near the basket and be-
tween the sides. Each basket consists of a bottom
of wire netting, two sides of tinplate lj in. high,
and one end ; the other end is wanting, as it will
form the top of the basket when in position. The
other half basket is exactly similar to this, but a
little narrower, so as to fit inside it, as can be
seen in the lower part of Fig. 123. The width of
the outer half of the basket is such as to fit easily
between the slides ; it may be 9f in. The distance
between the two nettings can be varied from 1^ in.
HONEY EXTRACTORS. 129
to more than 2 in., as will be understood from
To make these baskets, the four pieces of
netting should first be procured, cut accurately,
two to 15 in. by 9 in., and the remaining two i in.
narrower. They should then be bound round with
tinplate which overlaps f in. at each side. To do
this, lay the straight strips of metal, which will
be | in. wide, on the bench, and the edges of the
netting over them and halfway across. Then
solder each 'wire to the tin, turn the tin over,
and solder each wire to the turned-over part also,
using plenty of solder and heat, so as to have
every wire very firmly held in. By this means
the netting has a metal frame, which will greatly
strengthen it, and prevent it from sagging. Strips
Fig. 123. Section through Comb Basket.
of tinplate must now be soldered together to form
four long pieces 41 in. long by 2j in. wide. The
edges of these are to be turned over and
hammered down to the extent of the usual i in.,
and one edge turned up at right angles, so that
a section of the strips will form an L, one leg of
which is l\ in., and the other J in. Each strip
is then to be bent into such a shape as to form
the three sides of the half-basket shown in Fig.
122. In two of them the short side is 9| in. long,
and in the other two J in. less. To bend the strips
it will be necessary to cut the narrow rib with a
The framed netting can now be laid in position,
and soldered firmly against the narrow rib, so that
there are four thicknesses of tin round the netting.
130 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
About f in. of the sides will project beyond the
limits of the netting this, in the wider pair,
should be turned over, and a short bit of wire put
in it to afford a hold when drawing out the
baskets. In the narrower pair some may be
clipped off, and about \ in. turned down, so as to
have a nice round edge at the top.
To use these baskets, the comb is uncapped at
both sides and laid on one half of the basket ; the
other half is then placed over the first, which it
fits, like the lid of a pasteboard box, and the
entire basket and comb is slipped down the slides
of the extractor, another comb being put into the
other basket and slides. The whole is then
whirled rapidly until the honey from one side of
the comb is extracted ; the baskets are then with-
drawn, and the other sides of the combs turned
outwards arid extracted in like manner.
It is unfortunate that a hole must be cut out
of the end of each half of the comb basket,
so as to let the long top bar of the frames pass
through. This could be avoided, however, by
making slides and baskets an inch or so longer.
The spindle is not made until its exact
length is known (not until the case is made) yet
it is convenient here to describe its construction.
Any one of three kinds of spindle may be used ;
the most workmanlike would probably be J-in.
round iron or steel, tinned all over, or covered
with tinplate soldered on, or it might be a tinplate
tube, though this is nob recommended. In any
case, it passes through the bridges at their middle
points, or nearly so, in such a position as to make
the cages revolve truly and evenly. The lower
end is brought to a long cone, and works in metal
bearings soldered to the centre of the bottom of
the can. The top of the spindle takes either a
cranked handle or a toothed pinion, with which
it is driven. The tops of the cages should be 2 in.
lower than the top of the can.
HONEY EXTRACTORS. 131
It will be necessary to put tin washers in the
bridges to strengthen the hold of the spindle.
They could be li in. in diameter, beaten saucer-
shaped, with a hole in the middle, through which
the spindle passes. After it has been soldered to
the bridges these washers could be placed over the
point, and attached both to the spindle and
bridges. It would be well to have the holes a
little small, and to turn out the edges until the
spindle can pass through. This will give a firmer
hold to the solder than the mere thickness of the
tinplate could afford.
For the cylinder itself, get a tinplate 55 in. by
26 in. ; the top and bottom should be wired with
i in. wire, and the edges turned over to form a
joint. The sheet is then to be bent into a cylinder,
and the joint made and soldered. A piece is next
to be cut for the bottom, and the edge turned up
i in. all round. The bottom, however, should
be slightly, say i in., larger than the diameter of
the cylinder, as it is to be placed in it in a sloping
position, so as to allow all the honey to drain out
of the cylinder through a treacle valve, which is
placed in the lowest position (see Fig. 115). This
valve can be obtained from dealers in hive furni-
ture. The flange of the bottom will be turned
down, and firmly soldered to the sides of the
barrel. The centre of the bottom being ascer-
tained, a bearing for the lower end of the spindle
can be soldered in place either before or after the
bottom has been fixed ; the under surface of the
bearing is to be filed to an angle to suit the
bottom, so that its top surface is horizontal.
A couple of bands of hoop iron, J in. thick and
Ij in. wide, riveted to the edges under the bead,
greatly strengthen the cylinder. To the top one,
attach the bolts (Fig. 124), which hold the bar
forming the top bearing for the spindle, one of
the bolts breaking the joint of the hoop. The bar
is fastened with fly nuts or hexagonal nuts. This
132 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
bar is \\ in. by f in. long enough to reach across
with holes drilled for bolts, and one for spindle
to pass through. A plain short crank handle does
for driving, it being the simplest and cheapest.
The two wires shown crossing each other in
Fig. 1,7 (p. 123) should receive attention. They
are to prevent the network from bulging, and are
\ in. thick, fastened with solder to the framework
at their ends, and to each other in the middle.
The outer wire should be bent at the point of
juncture, so as to be flat against the network ;
otherwise, it would be of very little use.
If it is decided to use gearing wheels as shown
in Fig. 115, they can be bought cheaply. The pinion
Fig. 124. Bolt for Cross-bar.
tits the spindle, and is keyed to it, and the toothed
wheel works on a stud riveted to the cross-bar.
The cross-bar would, in this case, require to be
somewhat stronger say, \ in. thick.
The extractor is finished by the addition of a
couple of handles riveted to the sides, and covers,
of which there are two, one at each side of the
cross-bar. It is far easier to have the covers flat,
in which case the edges can be turned down, and
made to embrace the rim which fits into the
barrel. Inspection of an ordinary saucepan cover
will show how this can be done.
WAX extractors, which follow honey extractors in
natural sequence, are not so indispensable as those
Much wax extracting can be done with a simple
milk strainer and a saucepan. The strainer should
be about 8 in. in diameter and have a wire netting
bottom and sloping sides. The lower part of the
strainer should fit into the saucepan, the upper
part being supported clear of it. Put water in
the saucepan, affix the strainer, put the combs in
the latter, and put a cover (that of the saucepan
if it fits) over the top of the strainer. The whole
is then put on the range, where the water is
brought to the boil ; the steam will rise through
the strainer, and melt the wax, which passes
through to the water underneath, leaving any dirt
or refuse in the strainer. When all the wax is
extracted, the water is poured into a basin, and
the wax, when cool, will be found in a cake on
This is very simple and inexpensive, and is on
the same principle as the Gerster extractor, except
that the wax does not there come into contact with
The solar extractor produces the best quality
of wax. It can be used only in the summer when
the sun is hot, but then it works of itself, and
costs nothing. It is a well-known physical fact
that glass is a trap for heat that is, apparently
it lets it in, but will not let it out again. To be
more exact, it permits of the passage of luminous
rays of heat, but not of opaque. The direct rays
134 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
of the sun are luminous, but those which are
radiated from a comparatively dull substance are
opaque. For instance, in a greenhouse the heat
is found to be very much more oppressive than
in the hottest place outside. This principle is
utilised in the solar extractor (Fig. 125). The
appliance consists of a box formed with a sloping
top like a desk, the top being glazed with a
double thickness of glass as shown by Fig. 126.
The dimensions may vary considerably, but those
given in Fig. 125 will make a very useful and
practicable size, namely, length, 20 in. ; breadth,
12 in. ; height at back, 12 in. ; at front, 6 in.
Fig. 125. Solar Wax Extractor.
It should be made of very sound and dry stuff,
preferably yellow pine, and it would be well to
dovetail it together at the corners. The bottom
should be grooved and tongued at the joint, or
else made of one piece of wood. It would be a
great improvement to line the whole structure with
tinplate, which would ensure its being wax-tight.
The top consists of a frame of 2 in. by 1 in. stuff
mortised together at the corners, and rebated to
take the glass, the rebate being f in. by J in. The
glass is to be placed in a slight bedding of soft
putty, and then a strip f in. by \ in. is to be tacked
to the frame close up to the glass ; the other glass
is then to be put in a similar bedding of putty,
and another strip tacked on over all. The object
is to have the glass air-tight in the frame, and
this can easily be secured by a judicious use of
putty or white lead. The frame may now be
attached to the box by means of a couple of hinges
at the back, and two hooks in front will keep it
A tinplate shelf or tray is now to be made, the
length of the inside, and approaching within an
inch or so of the front. Three sides of this shelf
Fi. 126. Glazing Top
of Solar Wax Extractor.
Fig. 127. Foot of Solar
are to be turned up for 1 in., as also the corners,
to get a touch of solder. Tray supports are now
to be affixed to the inside. If the box is lined
with tinplate, these supports would take the form
of pieces of tinplate soldered to the ends, and
turned up at right angles, like L iron. If, how-
ever, the extractor is not lined, strips of wood
tacked against the ends would do. The tray is
to slope slightly forward so that the wax will run
into the receptacle placed in front for it. The
strips which support it will be placed about half-
way up the ends.
136 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPER^ APPLIANCES.
Over the tray there is a sieve of tinned wire
netting, bound with tin, on which the combs to
be converted into wax are placed. This sieve is
\ in. from the tray, supported with tinplate strips
standing edgeways across it. The tinned edges
should be turned up for \ in. to catch the comb
and prevent it from slipping off.
The box to catch the wax underneath is as long
as will fit between the tray supports, and may be
as wide as the extractor, or any less width. It is
made of tinplate with a wired top, and is, of
course, water- and wax-tight. Care should be
taken that the fluid wax will all flow into the
receptacle placed for it, and not flow over its ends
where it is not wanted.
A convenient stand for the solar extractor is
Fig. 128. Revolving Top Fig. 129. Washer and
of Wax Extractor. Screw.
shown by Fig. 127. To make it, get two pieces of
wood 2 ft. long by 2 in. square, and halve them
together in the middle. Now get another piece
15 in. long by 3 in. square, and round the upper
end for a distance of about 3 in. to \\ in. in dia-
meter ; then cut the lower part to fit over the
junction of the cross pieces, and fix it to them
with one long spike driven from underneath, and
some smaller nails at the sides, having it at right
angles to the cross pieces.
The revolving top to the stand (see Fig. 128)
may next be taken in hand ; it may be any con-
venient size, and about 3 in. thick. The most
important item in its construction is the boring of
the hole, which is \\ in. in diameter, and should be
exactly at right angles to the upper surface. It
is countersunk on top, so that the washer and
screw (Fig. 129) will be flush, or, if anything,
somewhat lower than the surface of the wood.
When the entire stand is put together, the ex-
tractor can be attached to it by means of four
- -2 - >
Fig. 130. Section of Gerster Wax Extractor.
screws passing upwards into the bottom. The
object of the revolving part is, of course, to enable
the glass top to be turned, so as to catch the
direct rays of the sun.
The Gerster wax extractor, of which a section
138 BEEHIVES AND BEE KEEPERS' APPLIANCES.
is given in Fig. 130, consists of four parts : (1) the
boiler; (2) the steamer; (3) the comb basket; (4)
the cover, or lid. It is hard to dish the covers
to a nice curve without special tools and blocks ;
and, consequently, it is better to buy a saucepan
cover for a few pence and make the other parts
of any piece of apparatus to suit the cover. Sup-
posing that the cover is 10 in. in diameter, the
boiler and steamer can be made the same size.
The boiler can be taken in hand first. It is
advisable to make it of copper, as it is then far
more lasting. If, however, tinplate is used, on no
account should acid be employed as a flux for the
solder, as it would soon eat its way through the
plates. The boiler may vary much in height, but
5 in., as shown in Fig. 130, is suitable.
The pipe A allows the height of the water in
the boiler to be seen without taking off the
steamer, which would be an awkward thing to do
often. This pipe is about 1 in. in diameter, and
has a cork or metal cap to cover the top. Instead