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Thread: box assembly

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    32

    Post

    Hi guys,

    I need to make 160 FD supers for the up coming season. I have two opptions: buy the supers as KD packs and assemble them as normal or buy the rough saw lumber, run it though a thicknesser, cut the rabbet joints and hand holds and then assemble.

    Some of you blokes have suggested (in another post) to use a dado blade to cut the rabbets.
    I was thinking about using a router table to do this but am unsure as to the best way of cutting out the hand holds.

    I use 7x50mm galvanized flat head nails per corner,(28 of them per box) during the assembly of each super. That means 4,500 nails for assembling the 160 supers.
    Next year I want to make 400 supers and that means 12,000 nails !! As you can see I need a nail gun any thoughts on what type of nail/ length/ gun combo that would do the job?
    I don't have any experience with these things and would appreciate your ideas and input.

    Thanks in advance.....jim

    [This message has been edited by kimberjim (edited May 05, 2003).]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Post

    Of course you always want to compare prices including your labor, unless you have a lot of time.

    The hand holds I have done with the scrap piece I end up cutting off of the width of the boards and I just put it on as a strip for the hand hold. I have seen the hand holds done with a dado. Just cut a half inch wide 3/8" deep plunge cut in the middle (both up and down and right and left) of each side with a dado blade. If you want them just like factory then you'd have to get a bit fancier.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Richmond, VA, USA
    Posts
    24

    Post

    Jim, you might want to post your question about nail guns at www.woodcentral.com. Lotsa helpful woodworkers there, and I know some of them are beekeepers. I know you'll hear from people with knowledge of nail guns and opinions on how to do your job. And I'm sure they'll welcome kiwis. Good luck.

    Chip Wright

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Danbury,Ct. USA
    Posts
    1,966

    Post

    I just built 50 supers and it's a lot of work. I could never see the logic in cutting the boxes out yourself, if you have to buy the wood. The actual precut wood itself isn't too expensive. I saw a "Bammer" nail gun that I'd surely buy if I were any bigger. While it has a battery for ignition it relies on a "fuel cell" for power. (It is actually a small cylinder of propane.) It gets 3,000 nails on a charge. Pricy, but a good investment.

    As for cutting the hand holds: use a dado blade in your table saw, set to 3/8 of an inch high. I used a 3/4 in. wide setting. Then you set the fence and carefully set the box down vertically with the blade centered on the box. You'll figure out how to make a jig with clamps, etc. I came to this when I built some hive top feeders and found that the cleats I added got in the way of the covers.

    If you must build from scratch, a dado and a jig to cut box joints would do it better than what you mentioned, I think.

    Hope this helps,

    Dickm

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Richmond, VA USA
    Posts
    34

    Post

    To create hand holds, I personally find dropping wood over a spinning table saw blade dangerous (and I wouldn't dream of doing an assembled hive body that way). I would use the router with either a straight bit and a collar or a flush trim bit with a top bearing and a simple jig. You'll need to plunge the bit and perhaps make two passes but I find that far safer than the dado route. You could even create a pseudo-scooped effect by making one side of the jig thicker than the other. Just my two cents...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,300

    Post

    When you begin to think about assembling hundreds of boxes and thousands of frames,then you should forget hammers and nails ,and invest in a good compressor and air nailers or staplers.They will hold better than nails and let you get your equipment built in time.If you pick anything up by hand then forget handholds and nail cleats on instead.
    You can saw out rabbets with a sharp saw blade(2 cuts) or a dado.A rabbetted super is probably better than the box joints,but box jointed supers are prettier(ha)
    You will have to assess the economics of whether to saw your own or buy,but there may come a point where you might only have time to assemble equipment.
    I use 2 inch long staples for the boxes and they hold just fine.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Catonsville, MD. USA
    Posts
    251

    Cool

    I recommend glueing all your joints before nailing or whatever. (I use a screw gun and 2 & 1/2" galvanized deck scews.) I've used both liquid nails (that can be dispensed in a caulk gun)and ProBond polyurethane glue. The nice thing about the ProBond is that it expands to fill in joint crevices making them water tight. Both adhesives are waterproof designated for outside use.

    If you are a purest and want the typical handholds you get from the commercial suppliers, buy a "Raised Panel Cutter" from Sears and get the "Cove" bits to use with the cutter.

    The cutter is 8" diameter. Use it on your table saw. Use a fence and a stop board (jig) to position the cuts start and end points. And yes they will be captive cuts requiring 2 passes per side to get the "typical" handhold. I haven't had problems with captive cuts with soft woods like pine or poplar. You run into potential kickback with the harder woods such as oak.

    I've used both router and dado for the rabbet joints. Dadoing using table saw fence is faster/easier.

    Hope this helps.

    Thanx.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,300

    Lightbulb

    I agree with John.Dont put anything together without waterproof glue.I got a few hundred frames from a guy that was selling out a few years ago.They had been nailed with regular frame nails but not glued.I found them so wobbly and easy to pull apart that I did just that,knocked out the nails, then re-assembled them with glue and brads from an air nailer.Even now the frames will break before they can be pulled apart.
    ---Mike

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana USA
    Posts
    25

    Post

    Amen to the brad nailer. Inexpensive and saves lots of thumb banging. BUT, buy short enough brads... I have bradded my hand before and its amazing it doesnt hurt till you try to move it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    valley city,ohio
    Posts
    31

    Post

    I use a plunge router to make my hand holes. I just made a simple jig the width of the super boards with cleats on the sides and one end to hold it in the right position. After the supers are assembled I just slip the jig over a side of the super and make a couple quick passes with the router.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    32
    Thanks for all your ideas fellas!
    At this stage I plan on running with the KD packs and will get the supers from my supplier, assembling them in the normal way.
    The time involved in making them from scratch has deterred me from taking that opption....perhaps next year
    I will however, be using an air stapler as suggested and as always, a good glue.No More Nails works well here and I've had fine results with it in the past.
    I think 2" galv staples for the supers and 1 1/4" bright's for the frames should do the job.


    Thanks again ....jim

    btw...I hope your honey season is off to a flying start and things are looking promising.

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