View Full Version : Making Box Joints

07-29-2002, 04:36 PM
I want to learn how to make box joints but that link on the plans page is under construction still.Does anyone have another link to get an idea how to do them?


07-29-2002, 05:30 PM
I went to the library and checked out some books on carpentry that showed me how to make the jig that is used to make the joint.

Clinton Bemrose

07-29-2002, 06:21 PM
Twenty-five years ago I bought a device named a Johnson (I think)Dovetailing machine, made expressly for making supers. Actually mine is only a jig that sits on my table saw, slides in the grooves, and turns out a dandy super. Do they still advertise and sell those ?

07-29-2002, 06:53 PM
I have heard of the attachment that was put out before routers brcame popular but I have never seen one. You might check out the Shop Smith company as I beleve that they bought out Johnson & Company.

Clinton Bemrose

07-29-2002, 07:06 PM
About 6 months I had the same problem, the link didn't work. I contacted beesource under the contact us part of this page and they sent me the link that worked. They show how yo make box joints with a jig and a dado head on the table saw. My box joints came out perfect and with verly little work. Good luck

07-29-2002, 07:28 PM
Here are a couple links that show how to build a box joint jig:

I have made the first one and just finished cutting enough wood for 6 boxes. I think the second set of plans might be more flexible though, I'm building that one next.


07-29-2002, 09:31 PM
Thanks Ariex.
That's just the type of link I was looking for.Those look real helpful.I will contact Beesource and get the old link if a mod doesn't post it here.That would be better so anyone dealing with this later can find it.

Michael Bush
08-02-2002, 10:44 AM
You're not building cabinets, just bee houses and the bees don't care as long it stays together.

I used to be a carpenter, but I don't have any fancy equipment. I actually do all of my hives with a skill saw and a 1/4 drill with a countersink (for deck screws) and a screw driver bit. I usually just do a butt joint with glue and deck screws and it holds fine. If you want a stronger joint you can do a rabbet (you're going to do one for the frame rest anyway) for the corners. It takes eight more cuts for every hive though. I've also done the rabbets with a router, but I haven't been able to find mine for several years. I'm a real believer in glue and screws. They never pull out like the nails.

09-03-2002, 08:34 PM
Hello Michael,

When you are building your frames without the box joints, do you put the screws through the front or through the sides? I plan to try your "screw and glue" method. Thanks.


09-04-2002, 03:35 AM
Box joints vs. rabbet joints. I've used both. Obviously, the box joint is stronger, but like Michael said, it is not custom cabinetry! I personally use rabbets. I have a table saw, with a dado set, so it is easy. I also have a box joint jig, that I made, and it makes perfect joints every time. The rabbett joint, is strong enough, and I feel it seals better. Now for glue, I use a polyurethane based glue, called "Gorilla Glue". It is the strongest glue that I have ever used, its waterproof, and it seals things very well. In fact, I built a mini "miller feeder" for a nuc box, and that glie sealed the syrup trays, no silicone, no beeswax. Personal preference I guess.

Dale Richards
Dal-Col Apiaries
Drums, PA

Michael Bush
09-04-2002, 06:16 AM
If I had a table saw, I'd probably do the rabbet joints because it wouldn't be very hard to do with that equipment.

>When you are building your frames without the box joints, do you put the screws through the front or through the sides? I plan to try your "screw and glue" method. Thanks.

I make the ends (where the frames rest) with the rabbet cut. I usually use my skill saw (use a table saw if you have one). I am exceptionally good with the skill saw (decades of practice) but if you set the depth right they aren't too hard. I usually cut this rabbet the whole length of my material before cutting the ends to length. Then I put the longer sides past the outside of these. Meaning, for a standard Lanstroth hive I cut the ends 14 3/4" and the sides 19 7/8". I set the ends up and lay a side on. Then I counter sink the holes for the screws with a countersink bit. I lay a good bead of exterior wood glue (Tite Bond or Elmers) on the end and screw them together using 2 1/4" deck screws and a drill with a #2 Phillips bit. I take the strip you have to rip to get the right width (for deeps you need 9 5/8" and a 1 x10 is only 9 1/4" so you end up ripping a strip off of a 1 x 12) and I cut it to 16 1/4" and put it in the middle of the ends for a handle (see the plans on this site for an example of these kinds of handles). I glue it and screw it with 1 1/4" deck screws in the middle (so they won't go trhough) and 2 1/4" on the ends. The handle helps hold it together. Be sure to countersink the holes and don't screw the ones on the ends in too tight or they will split. If they do, oh well, but the wood will last longer if they don't. When you paint it, make sure you get paint down in all the splits and it will help. I think these last about as well as any other method, and I've got all kinds of joints on hive boxes here.

09-04-2002, 08:35 PM
Thank You Both!!

09-13-2002, 06:54 AM
hope you have lot of time on your hands or are going to make just a few hive boxes.
I have been in the bees for very long time and if you get over five yrs from a box count your self lucky.
I use rabbit joints there faster and hold very well if glued I have some boxes that are 20yrs old and some get damaged by bears and skunks.
I can make about 40hive boxesin a hr. and the box joint don't make the box any better but does look better the bees never check.
good luck

Jack Grimshaw
09-15-2002, 10:23 AM
Don, Was that a typo? 40/hr? Please tell me all your secrets.Seriously,I agree about rabbet joints.Faster to cut,Last longer(50%less end grain showing) and easier to assemble.I built a jig similar to frame nailing jig to assemble two at time with air stapler.I use pallet wood(#3 pine,12 in.)so I have to rip and cut around knots.About 25-30% waste.On a good day,I can do two/hr,ready to paint.
A few lessons learned:
Check your grain and place cupping towards inside.Makes for a more stable joint and it's better to have a little more room on the side of the frames than less.Also keeps frame rests a constant distance.
Square your boxes after gluing and hold with a wood strip.
Keep your frame rest depth constant.Most burr comb and or propilizing is from bee box incompatability.
And finally,cut your handles after you assemble your boxes because they always work better when they are on the outside of the box. Jack

09-15-2002, 04:29 PM
no type o just work fastbeen doing it long time. first set your table saw to with you like and saw away. I use air stapler as it holds longer. by the way a helper usely glues the boards for so there are ready to staple.
I also saw my own wood on my woodmizer saw mill so cost is low my helper gets a few boxes for his help.
wish you lived close could show you