Hand Holds in Supers
I am in the process of building some deep and medium boxes. I am leaning towards using cleats instead of the hand holds but was curious how the "big guys" make the inset hand holds. I would assume that it is routed ??? If so, they must use a special jig to get the cuts just right..
Curious minds would like to know :)
Save yourself the trouble and use cleats!
A 3/4 cut works pretty good, so does cleats. But if you're referring to the pretty scalloped cuts, they are made with a custom blade on a custom saw table set up to do nothing else. I'm sure they could be made another way but way to much trouble.
Trouble for sure
I agree too much trouble! I won’t go to the trouble even with the following:
Originally Posted by Bizzybee
I built a fixture to do the fancy cuts on a standard table saw, The fixture was simple to make and it gets clamped down to the saw table. The fixture prevents the board from kicking out. It has a hinged lid that holds the board securely. Then I put a variable speed drill on the blade rotate wheel so I would not have to crank. This made it fast and safe to make the cuts. BUT it was way to much trouble. I will never do it again. From now on I'm making cleats from scrap, Just need an angle cut on top to keep rain from resting on top of the cleat.
I've built my own boxes and tried to use a router. What a pain, and very time consuming.
I switched to cleats, and I like to do two special touches. First, my cleat runs the full width of the front and back of the hive, 16-1/4". Second, I cut my cleats with a slight angle on the lower edge. Basically, I cut a 1x4 into two equal strips. Instead of the conventional 90 degree angle, I make it 75 degrees.
What I end up with is a strip that has a longer front and a shorter back, the back is toward the hive body and the front faces away from the hive. This configuration makes for a better grip. This way, your fingers are much, much less likely to slip with a conventional, straight 90 degree cut.
If I had the power to draw a picture, I would. If this is not clear, I'll take pictures and post else where.
Jackson, MO http://www.25hives.homestead.com
I use a dado blade set to 3/4" width and cut slots 3/8" deep about 4" long. Works great!
what mr williamson said...
did you ever consider how odd the tradional hand holds really are?
I mean picking stuff up with your thumb pointed straight away from the load being carried is extremely unnatural.
Grant... I have a few cleats a guy put on some boxes he was assembling for me... He thought it would be a nice touch to cut the cleat at an angle to have more grip underneath.. While it theory its nice.... It actually puts more pressure on my fingers over a smaller spot when lifting heavy supers. I do not like it. Maybe your's aren't cut at as much of an angle as mine.
It was a nice thought but not what I was wanting! :rolleyes:
This is the method I used. It will give you perfect scalloped handhold that wont collect water and snow. It not hard to set up. I only clamp one end and hold the other down by hand. You want the cut to be 5/8 inch deep. On my saw that is 1/4" per turn of blade height so I do the cut in 3 cuts. Two full cuts and one half. It does make alot on saw dust.
I didn't like the cleats sticking out so I went with slots cut by a dado. Looks and works fine.
I don't have an exact angle. Boxes from Rossman have this kind of an angle cut into their conventional hand holds. Yeah, not perfect.
Originally Posted by Dan Williamson
On your table saw use a molding head with cove profile blades. Cut 5/8" deep AFTER box is assembled (you really have something to hold on to then).
Make a plunge cut with a stop strip clamped to table top to control kick back. Moving box away from you using rip fence set to hight of handle wanted.
Makes nice hand holds. If bought, Saw table insert, Molding head and Cutters cost aprox. $ 80.00.
After reading this tread I decided to try to make D hand hold, for fun. Here is how I done it and it worked out well for me. I have a set of Fosner type drill bits for clock making. I built me a little jig so that the hive side stands at a slight angle and then on my drill press I used a 4 1/2 dia clock bit. With the press on as slow of a speed as I can get itI just drill them.
No Machined Hand Holds
The hand hold can be the weakest part of a super shell.
There is a trend away from the hand hold.
If you want to place a migratory cleat flush with the top to prevent braking out the side next to the frame rest it does not match up with the factory cut hand hold. It's cut low for the additional expense of a telescoping cover.
I had Dadant ship me 750 shells without the hand holds.
One less place for black widow spiders to nest.
Yeah, that's what's been holding me back. The handholds are too high to cleat with a telescoping cover, and I really want cleats but then there'll be a pocket up under the cleat. Black windows are exactly my concern.
I am in the process of switching mainly to migratory lids so I can have my cleats and lift them too, but there's still the old telescoping lid colonies that wouldn't be able to cover those boxes.
I just cut my hand holds with a circular saw, I set the blade depth, mark the top of the hand hold, mark the lower part of the hand hold, put a center line down the middle....and lower the blade maybe 3/16 and do a pass, then drop the blade down a bit more and keep repeating until the rest is flush with the box.
Works for me.
Dan, I checked out your deboxer. I am going to have to make one!
I can't take credit for the design... I got it from another beekeeper....the actual unit so I didn't have to build it... I ain't smart enough to think that stuff up on my own! LOL
But it is darn handy for the small player!