View Full Version : bee hive construction
How do you cut the recessed handles in your supers? I would like to make the curved recessed handles not a straight dado cut.
02-03-2002, 06:02 PM
Whix: I use my radial arm saw. center the blade over the portion of the unassembled hive and lower the blade - make a shallow cut as wide as desired and then lower again until you have the hand hold shaped to suit. Could set the table saw up with stop blocks. raise the blade to make a shallow cut slide the board as wide as you want the hand hold and keep repeating until suitable.
02-04-2002, 08:06 AM
I see tworedroseman gave you the answer you explicitly said you DIDN'T want so I'll chime in. Let me first off say that I use cleats (secured to the hive body with galvanized screws) and taper the back edge of them to give a better handhold. To get that factory looking handhold you could create your dado in the middle of the side (raise the dado blade into the wood while the saw is running) and then swing the blade from 90 degrees slowly while the table saw is running. You'll probably need to secure the wood to the table (and the fence). You also may need to raise your hive body end board above the level of the table saw by placing it on some scraps. This will allow the dado blade to exit the wood as the blade swings to an angle of 45 degrees. I have not tried this but it should work. I suppose you could use a similiar technique using the radial arm saw (and it might even be safer).
02-04-2002, 01:26 PM
Glen: apparently you did not read the reply I gave to hand holds on the hives. I said use a saw blade - If I remember correctly, a saw blade will cut into the side exactly like a factory produced hand hold.
Thanks for the advice. I chickened out and routed the handles, its not what I wanted but it works.
01-14-2003, 08:14 AM
A router with a pattern jig could do this job. Make the pattern from a piece of 3/4" or 1" plywood or MDF with a half-moon cut into it the shape of the desired handhold. Bevel the pattern with your tablesaw so that the flat part of the half-moon is 3/8" to 1/2" thinner than the top of the arc of the half-moon. If you made the handhold three inches high, you could bevel the arc of the half-moon with the tablesaw and then attach a straight piece to the arc to complete the half-moon. Clamp the pattern to your frame side. Install a pattern bit in your router and set the depth so that it just touches the frame side at the top of the arc of the half-moon. Rout around the half-moon pattern, then rout out the interior.
One possible problem here is that the part of the handhold you grip--the flat part of the half-moon--will be angled down, which might make slippage more likely. You could fix that by clamping a straight flat board in line with the flat part of the half-moon. Rout the flat part again, and it will be perpendicular to the frame board. You can adjust the angle further by raising the back of the straight board with some shims before you rout.
Hope that's clear. Sorry about responding so late, but I just found this board recently.
01-14-2003, 09:07 AM
I much prefer the cleats. The wood doesn't cost be because I cut it off to get 9 5/8" or whatever depth and you can get a really good grip on it. I glue it and screw it on. 2" screws on the ends and 1 1/4" screws in the middle.
01-14-2003, 09:15 AM
Here is the method I have used with our 10" radial arm saw. It produces a recessed handhold 1/2" deep, 4-3/8" long, 3/4 high with a tapered bottom that allows for good water drainage.
With blade OFF, Lock blade into 'Rip' position. Lower blade to 1/4" above work table. Release bevel lock, rotate blade to clear 3/4" stock, lock securely.
Position umassembled super sides next to fence, centered under blade travel.
Turn blade ON, release bevel lock and gradually allow blade to return to vertical position. (You are now cutting the bottom taper of handle). Now, move blade approx 3/4" away from this taper cut.
STOP blade, release bevel lock, rotate blade to clear 3/4" stock, lock securely.
Please give this a try! It produces a very high quality, professional looking handle.
01-14-2003, 11:53 AM
as you know a old beekeeper has done it all when it comes to makeing your own boxes.
I perfer to just use a strait daddo blade but if you want to get that hand hold like the factory just use a molding cutter frome sears. and put the 1/4 round over cutter in it.
becarefull don't try it on a radial saw=table saw only works ===sweet
01-14-2003, 05:58 PM
I use a moulding blade with 1" radius curbed blades on my table saw. I have a rectangular jig that bolts to the fence and is sized exactly that when I drop the wood down on the blade, and move it around the edges of the jig, I get a straight line at the top and a 1" radius bowl at the bottom. Looks factory enough for me. But use handle cleats on the ends of the supers in addition and above the bowl cuts.
12-22-2003, 06:20 AM
IF YOU PUT THE SUPER OR HIVE BODY ON THE TABLE SAW ON A 2X4 OR 2X6 IT WILL PUT THE SUPER 1 1/2 INCHES OFF THE TABLE. PUT THE 2BYS ON EACH SIDE OF THE BLADE. CLAMP THE SUPER TO THE FENCE. RAISE THE BLADE OF THE SAW UP TILL IT HITS THE WOOD ON THE SUPER AND THEN ROTATE THE SAWBLADE TO 45 DEGREES. WHEN THE BLADE CLEARS THE WOOD RAISE THE BLADE 1 FULL TURN AND ROTATE THE SAWBLADE BACK TO 0 DEGREES. YOU DO THIS 3 TIMES AND YOU SHOULD BE DEEP ENOUGH. MAKES THE HANLHOLD EXACTLY LIKE FACTORY. YOU MIGHT HAVE TO PLAY WITH THE HIGHT AND ADJUST ACCORDIANALLY. THANKS REDTRACTOR
04-09-2004, 05:32 PM
Redtractor is right as that is how I just did it on 3 deeps I just made. Only difference was I had to do 6 turns on my blade to get it deep enough and will probably do 7 next time for a little bit deepr cut. They look like you bought them from a bee supplier only difference is that they are cleaner and smoother with no tearouts like the factory. "Thanks Tractor"
04-09-2004, 08:16 PM
Thanks. I had been trying to do this with my little tinkertoy saw, but I had not been raising the workpiece off the table. I'll test this out tomorrow!
04-10-2004, 11:56 AM
I haven't tried it but April 2000 Bee Culture magazine says, "THE HANDHOLD SLOTS: If you are woodworkingly competent, use a molding head cutter with the Sears Molding Head Cutter number 9-23214 to get a nice commercial-looking hand slot. Make the handhold 3/8" deep and as long as you want it (about 4" long)."