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> 4-frame extractor with legs
4-frame extractor with legs
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A nice compact unit with excellent capacity and easy to balance.
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This unit is a 4-Frame Manual Honey Extractor, Stainless Steel, Non Reversible, Tangential Extractor; suitable for Langstroth Full Depth, 3/4 depth, and 1/2 depth frames. The extractor drum has a sloping/self-draining bottom. The gear box comes with metal helical cut gears and is lubricated with food grade grease. Clear acrylic covers are bolted to and hinged off a cross bar. The outlet has a 40mm / 1-1/2 inch nylon honey gate. The outlet bottom is a generous 445mm from the floor. The frame baskets are a composite of stainless steel and robust injection molded nylon.
Make sure you thoroughly clean the unit at the end of the season and then re-grease the gears and central bottom bearing with food grade grease.
The sizes of extractors most often chosen by hobbyist beekeepers are either the three frame or four frame extractor. These come as either manually driven, or driven by an electric motor. The choice really comes down to personal preference, but some consideration should be given to the space available to store the unit. Also, whether one prefers a reversible unit, or is happy with the slightly more work of extracting one side of the frame at a time, or possibly considering a radial extractor over a tangential extractor.
The most common configuration of an extractor is a tangential unit. In this style, the frames are loaded in a basket with one side facing the outside of the extractor. If the unit is a non-reversible one, after the outside face of the frame is extracted, the frames then have to be lifted out, turned around then the other side extracted. With a reversible unit, the baskets that the frames sit in will swing in one direction extracting one side, then when the direction of rotation is reversed, the baskets swing the other way and the other side is extracted. These units generally have a larger diameter extraction drum, so as mentioned, the storage space available for the extractor may affect your choice.
A radial style extractor has the frames mounted with the top of the frame facing the outside of the extraction drum and the bottoms facing the centre. The advantage of this style is that both sides of the frame are extracted at the same time, so you don’t have to remove the frames until the job is done. It doesn’t matter what direction the spin is. The disadvantages are that the centrifugal forces are greatest at the outside of the cage, and less as you get closer to the centre. Unless the honey is quite low in viscosity, you will likely leave some honey in the frame, or have to leave the frames in the spinning extractor for a long time. Also, with ¾ frames, the top of the frame is that much further from the outside, and sometimes the radial baskets don’t cope well with the shorter frames. I have seen ¾ frames thrown out of the baskets causing mayhem in the unit, which all takes time to sort out. If you are using ½ depth honey supers, I would stick to a tangential style extractor.
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