New equipment is guaranteed disease free and will give you years of use. Second hand equipment is cheaper but you are advised to obtain a certificate verifying it disease free before purchasing.
The equipment you buy depends on your skills, the tools you have and your budget. If you are capable of putting together your own hives and frames from standard bought wooden parts, then of course its cheaper. It is not advisable to make the actual parts yourself as the measurements are refined and exact, based on a lot of research and its advisable to buy standard sized parts.
1. Timber Boxes come in 8 or 10 frame size. The 8 frame is popular due to less weight. Both sizes can take standard wooden or Plastic Frames. The boxes can be purchased pre built or parts only. Victoria tends to use 8 frame boxes and the rest of the world uses 10 frame boxes.
The video below is 1 min 13 sec long and demonstrates a quick way of assembling hive boxes. Hive body assembly fixtureBelow some of the timber parts to put boxes together. Plus bottom boards and lids.
Wooden hives need a lot of maintenance and wear out after a few years if not maintained.
2. Wooden Frames can be purchased in parts with separate foundation to be made up by the beekeeper or they can be purchased already made up.
How to make a Wooden Frame video with foundation already embedded with wire. About 7 minutes long, Making Wooden Frame
There are many methods, and these can be shown to you at a Field Day or similar demonstration.
3. Plastic Frames come with plastic foundation that does not need to be replaced, and no wires are required.
The red plastic frame below opens to insert wax foundation and then clicks back together again. As shown on the video that gives details of purchase. Video is about 7 minutes long.
All frames fit in all hives. However, there are different depths of boxes and there are frames to match the different depths. Choose the depth depending on the weight you can lift.