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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Collin County, TX
    Posts
    134

    Default best tools for building hive bodies?

    I am interested in building about a dozen 8 frame medium depth bodies. I have some salvaged 1 x 12 pine shelving that I can rip to width. I have trouble getting a good straight cross cut when I cut the ripped pieces to length with my circular saw. What is the best way to get a good straight cross cut? I thought about a motorized miter saw. Years ago I used to make cross cuts with my Dad's radial arm saw, but I am 200 miles from my Dad's work shop these days.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hillsboro, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    1,672

    Default

    So, you can get a good, even cut ripping them, but not a good crosscut? What machinery are you using to rip the pieces to proper width? You shouldn't have a problem with a table saw - I use a sled to cut mine.

    If all you have is a circular saw, I'd just clamp a straight edge to them - or you can get clamping-type straight edges at any big box home improvement store. They have up to 50" here:

    http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?p...p&cookietest=1

    For construction jobs, I just run the skilsaw along a speed square.

    MM

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,379

    Default

    A sled for the table saw is the cheapest given what you have. Use to hardwood runners that fit the slots snuggly. A base of 3/8" or so Baltic Birch plywood works well. Put the runners in the slots on the saw, some glue on the runners, and set the base on top. Tack it to keep it in place (square it to the back edge of the saw, not critical but looks better), flip it over and put some screw to make it fast. Set it back on the saw and raise the spinning blade up to cut through it at the center. Get a very straight piece of 2x4 or so for a fence. Put some glue (slow setting glue) and screw it to the back edge of the sled with a single screw in one end. This will allow you to move the other end until it is square. I use a good square to set it initially, tack the other end, and make a test cut. If it's off, use a hammer to tweak it to perfection. You need to work fairly quickly. When it cuts a perfect 90, put a screw in the other end and re-check, then clamp and let dry. You can add a front fence later as it is non-critical and just holds the base together. Google "cut-off sled" for pictures.
    http://www.inthewoodshop.org/projects/xcutsled/1.jpg

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    thorndike,me
    Posts
    13

    Default

    use a framing square against the baseplate of the circular saw.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Reno, NV USA
    Posts
    2,310

    Default

    There are probably an infinite number of options depending upon how much you want to spend and what else you want the tool to do. Most people would probably agree that a table saw is the heart of almost any wood shop. If you are only going to make a small number of boxes and don't want to work wood otherwise, then you could build a jig for your Skill saw to make accurate cross cuts. A good jig and a really good blade would get the job done. Box joints (and dovetails for that matter) and rabbit joints can be done with a router if you don't want to spend the money on a table saw. Personally, though, I would have a hard time getting anything done without a good table saw. If you break down and purchase a table saw it's a good idea to read about safety. There is a new saw on the market that is able to stop immediately if you decide to trim your fingers. http://www.sawstop.com/
    As a note, it is not safe to cross cut on a table saw using the rip fence if the distance between the fence and the blade is greater than the width of the stock being cut. It can be done, but it is asking for a kick-back. Most people use a miter gauge (or sled) to cross cut. A block can be clamped to the rip fence and used as a stop block for repetative cuts, but the stock needs to clear the block before entering into the blade.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Collin County, TX
    Posts
    134

    Default

    Thanks for the advice. I'll try building a sled for my table saw this weekend. If I am cutting an eight foot long board into 16 inch lengths what kind of support should I use for the length of board that extends past the table saw?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,379

    Default

    Anything you can find. Try making the first cut near the center to get it down to manageable lengths.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Collin County, TX
    Posts
    134

    Default

    Thanks for your help. I appreciate the advice.

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