How to make a honey extractor

Written by aryeh raphael
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How to make a honey extractor
You can harvest your own pure honey using your homemade honeycomb extractor. (honeycomb image by Andrzej Solnica from

Removing honey by hand from honeycombs can be an arduous, tedious task. On the other hand, buying a commercial honey extractor can be costly. A great solution is to build your own mechanical honey extractor from spare parts you can get from the scrap yard. To spin the extractor without expending all of your energy, you just insert a power drill fitted with a screwdriver bit into the central rod of the extractor cage and turn it on.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Oil drum
  • Jigsaw
  • Wood
  • Coach screws
  • Pillow block bearing
  • Threaded rod
  • Nuts
  • Bicycle wheel rim
  • Power drill
  • Self-centring bearing
  • Welding torch

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  1. 1

    Saw off the bottom of an oil drum with a jigsaw. The bottom is the end with no holes drilled into it. Make sure the holes in the top of the oil drum are plugged up.

  2. 2

    Turn the oil drum over so the top becomes the bottom and the open end of the drum is facing upward.

  3. 3

    Secure a strip of wood into the bottom of the drum. The wood should not cover either of the plugged holes.

  4. 4

    Insert coach screws through the wood and into the metal of the oil drum.

  5. 5

    Attach a pillow block bearing onto the wooden strip in the centre. Use coach screws to hold the bearing in place.

  6. 6

    Send the threaded rod through the centre of a bicycle wheel rim so that 10cm of rod is sticking out of the rim. Stand the rim so it is horizontal, with the 10cm of rod sticking out the bottom.

  7. 7

    Lock the rod in place by screwing a nut onto it from the 10cm length side. Thread two more nuts onto the rod below the first nut. These nuts should be threaded so they end up 15mm from the end of the rod.

  8. 8

    Screw another nut onto the long end of the rod. This is the end sticking out of the other side of the wheel rim, opposite the 10cm length. Stop the nut on the long end of the rod so it is 395mm from the inside of the wheel rim. Place the second wheel rim over this nut and secure it in place with yet another nut.

  9. 9

    Drill holes with a power drill through both rims at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock positions.

  10. 10

    Connect the rims by inserting 8mm threaded rods through the holes in the rims. Secure each end of each rod with nuts. Thread a nut 15cm above the last nut over the wheel rim, and rest the self-centring bearing on it. Lock it in place with another nut on top of it.

  11. 11

    Make a vertical cut into the top of the rod with a saw. The cut should be 3mm wide and 10mm deep.

  12. 12

    Thread two nuts onto the cut end of the rod and lock them in place.

  13. 13

    Weld all of the nuts in place with a welding torch. This will be the extractor cage.

  14. 14

    Bolt a piece of wood the length of the diameter of the drum to the bracket of the self-centring bearing with coach screws. The wood should run horizontally to the rim cage.

  15. 15

    Set honeycombs in between the wheel rims.

  16. 16

    Place the rim cage into the drum. The piece of wood should rest on the ridges of the barrel drum's walls.

Tips and warnings

  • Set the extractor so it rests between two chairs when extracting honey. This way you'll be able to release the plugs and allow the honey to run out.
  • Stop the drill if the honeycombs start to fall apart.

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