Your plans have been a great help. I bought one of those cheap dado blades ($35 7" Delta Dado) that can be adjusted to different widths and immediately realized the benefits of the stacked dado in regards to getting a cut exactly 3/4" wide. It takes time to keep adjusting the dado until you get the width you want. And then every time you take the blade off and put it back on again you never have exactly the same width. Hence every box is different and you have to keep the wood together that was cut at the same time. You should stress that in your plans. It will be helpful to other novices contemplating building their own hives. Your clear explanations gave me the confidence to start building my own hives even with no prior woodworking experience.
Hello Lance -
Good point and thanks for sharing it. I've never used the adjustable "wobble" type dado blade so I can't speak from experience but your remarks are one of the reasons why I chose to spend the $75 -$100 for a top quality Freud stacked dado blade set.
Anyone who has done much woodworking knows the value in setting up a tool once for a particular operation and making as many of those cuts as you can before changing the tool setting so they will all be exactly the same. The same applies to the dado blade if it is adjustable. I can imagine it would be pretty frustrating trying to re-adjust the blade to get it exact after it had been changed. With a box joint, it only takes the blade being off a VERY LITTLE to equal pins and notches not lining up 3 or 4 down the row.
Making a box joint is very demanding on a blade as it is not only cutting with the grain, but also at a right angle or against the end grain. A good set of blades is pretty much a must. The nice thing is though, once the jig is made and you have a good carbide dado set, it's a snap turning out the hive bodies.
One thing you can do to help yourself with the misaligned pin problem is to get you some chisels and a hacksaw. If your alignment is off 1/4" or less you can use a hacksaw and chisel to remove the waste and assemble the box. Then glue some spacers in where the gaps are too wide. Saves having to throw away the wood. THEN go out and buy a stacked dado! http://beesource.com/ubb/smile.gif
I received my Freud SD606 yesterday from Amazon.com (Couldn't find any in stock here in Fairbanks, Alaska). I immediately put it to work and the quality and precision are impressive.
I was able to build very good box joints with a cheap dado. It is a carbide-tipped, wobble-type dado head for $36.00. I set up a jig for my table saw which rides down the "gutters" used by the miter gauge. The width of the dado cut for the box joint is the widest (about 13/16") cut allowable with the dado. In this manner it is easy to remove the blade and set it up again. With each removal of the blade you need only adjust the height to reproduce the same box joint cut each time.