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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    west point, ms
    Posts
    373

    Default making hive bodies and supers

    I thought about making box joints for hive bodies and supers but this seems to be alot of trouble. I have never had any problems with mortiseing the ends,
    so i will just stay with what works. Never had one to come apart.
    Do you guys use box joints or mortise. Ted n Ms:confused:
    Last edited by Ted n Ms; 05-28-2008 at 07:28 PM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Hancock County, TN
    Posts
    82

    Default

    I use dovetail joints on all of mine and have never had any problems with them. The catalogs say they use dovetail joints but they are really box joints.
    Mind if I ask you to post a picture of your hive bodies with a mortised joint in them, very interesting way of doing it. Can picture it in my mind but would like to see it please.
    Sideline beekeeper /State Certified Inspector
    Bee Friends CO-OP

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    west point, ms
    Posts
    373

    Default deantn

    I dont have a ditital cam for pic. but just make a 3/4" x 3/8" rabbet on the
    sides of your end board and a 5/8'' x3/8 rabbet for a frame rest. I then make
    the side boards 19 1/8 long. I hope i didn't confuse you. Sorry no pic.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Jenison, MI
    Posts
    1,514

    Default

    I just do rabbet joints too (or whatever they are called...).

    I have a few warping a little bit, but the bees haven't complained about it yet.

    I'm sure that the box or dovetail joints are a little better, and if I had the equipment and know-how that is what I'd probably elect to do, but I don't so am satisfied with what I have now.

    Rick

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lake county, Indiana 46408-4109
    Posts
    3,536

    Default

    I use rabbet joints - less work - less end grain exposier but I rabbet the end boards - rabbet and frame rest on the same board.

    What ever works best for U !
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Hancock County, TN
    Posts
    82

    Default

    No confusion here got what you are saying.
    Everyone to their own devices when building equipment. As long as the bees are happy with it. Doesn't matter how they are built.
    Sideline beekeeper /State Certified Inspector
    Bee Friends CO-OP

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clay Count, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    819

    Default Re: making hive bodies and supers

    I'm wondering if using a biscuit joint would work for boxes? So far I'm using store bought equipment as a model to build from. I am assuming the people that make and sell these, given the fact they all look alike, have already done the research and there is no since in reinventing the wheel. Of course I try and use the material I have on hand so a few of my covers are 3/4" rather than the thinner stuff one can buy already built. As long as I don't violate the bee space I'm good to go.

    I'm going to build a few boxes and see if I can use the waste materials for covers and such thereby avoiding the need to buy seperate 1x material. That should offset the cost of building the boxes a little.

    I never thought beekeeping would lead to the joy of woodworking! Never knew I had friends already that love woodworking as a hobby. Now they are telling me to come over and use their equipment, showing me how to build things and places to get lumber. Just like in beekeeping, my friends who are woodworkers have already done the homework for me. Now they are listening to stories about beekeeping from me.

    I'm in the process of triming the 10 and 12' boards down to the proper width so I can use the waste for tops and such. Then I'm going to cut the boards to length and when I have a stack ready, I will be heading over to a friends woodworking shop where he is going to set me up with making the box joints. He also wants to try a test using biscuit joints. The other day he showed me two 2x6s he joined with biscuit joints and glue. He jumped on the board, breaking it at the joint. The biscuit did not give and neither did the glue. The actual 2x6 split at the joint. Man, that was an assume test of the way glue works. I'm concerned anytime I move away from building things 100% like you buy them because all the engineering is done. My friend the woodworker thinks the boxes will remain square without a finger joint by using biscuit joints.

    Lucky break for me having friends that do woodworking. Now I have a one stop location for help. I just take a part over to them that I bought and they get all excited about how to make it with the least material and best method. It's like having two brains for me!
    Last edited by MDS; 01-11-2011 at 06:57 AM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    nelsonville, ohio
    Posts
    383

    Default Re: making hive bodies and supers

    i rabbet joint mine but i rabbet both boards 3/8 if an inch. it makes for a much better glue joint. i make the sides 19 7/8" and the ends 15 1/2" i think. then make a 3/8" rabbet on each end of each board. jut rember to put the longer boards to the outside or your demensions will be off. i glue and staple them and have no problem with them not being square or staying togather. works real well for me.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Warsaw NY USA
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: making hive bodies and supers

    My husband started making all my deeps and supers with a biscuit joiner out of cheap scrap pine from industrial pallets. We had tried the rabbit joints, but they did warp badly when made from this scrap pine, and he didn't have the tools to make box joints. The biscuits have kept even the scrap wood from having even the least warping, and it has worked out so far in out extremes of weather here. We only have seven hives, but it was such a good year that he had to make lots of supers and deeps to replace the really old brood boxes.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Fairfax, Vermont
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: making hive bodies and supers

    I use rabbet joints on my deeps and supers. I also apply a bead of Liquid Nails before nailing together.

    The box joints my be a little stronger, but IMO they rot out faster due to having more exposed edges to the weather. When moisture does get into the joint, it sits there.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,336

    Default Re: making hive bodies and supers

    Rabbit Joints on all mine also. When I make plywood boxes for special items like Nuc's they are just butt joints.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Louisville Kentucky USA
    Posts
    458

    Default Re: making hive bodies and supers

    I use rabbits also and use good wood glue and air nail it in both directions.I've not had any problems with warpage yet.I build everything except the frames,their too tedious(and cheap)for me to mess with.I had to buy some boxes last year because the bees got ahead of me and I couldnt build them fast enough to keep up.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,744

    Default Re: making hive bodies and supers

    http://i841.photobucket.com/albums/z...r/100_2975.jpg

    I use box joints, but, I believe any joint will outlast most bee keepers. Especially if they get a coat of paint every 4 or 5 years.

    For my personal 5 frame nucs for splits, I use 1 X 4 pine, glue them, then cut to 9 5/8. I make a bottom board just like a standard 10 frame hive, so my 5 frame nucs are bottomless. Photos show the nucs and deep I make.

    Hand holds are cut with a skill saw. Fast, safe, easy. cchoganjr

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Keene, NH, USA
    Posts
    224

    Default Re: making hive bodies and supers

    Quote Originally Posted by MDS View Post
    I never thought beekeeping would lead to the joy of woodworking! Never knew I had friends already that love woodworking as a hobby.
    If I had only known that beekeeping would quickly mean building out a full wood shop I would have done it sooner! After a year of bees I decided I wanted to make my own boxes. That meant I was able to talk myself into building out a full wood shop–making my hive bodies the most expensive boxes ever made! The beauty is I now have year-round hobbies. I can't wait for winter so I can get into the shop, where I still make new supers, nucs etc but also turn pens, bowls and make small boxes from exotic wood. Then by February, I'm looking forward to spring so I can get back to the bees. It's been a nice match.

    John
    7 yrs, 6 hives, TF, small cell
    www.honeymeadowfarm.com, www.nhbees.wordpress.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Clifford Township, PA
    Posts
    1,863

    Default Re: making hive bodies and supers

    Quote Originally Posted by Eyeshooter View Post
    If I had only known that beekeeping would quickly mean building out a full wood shop I would have done it sooner!
    Amen. I finally had a reason to justify an actual dedicated shop with radial arm, table and band saws and a planer all connected to a dust collector.

    I use box joints on all boxes. It is not hard, not time consuming and is certainly not the rocket science that some fear it to be. With a home-made jig attached to a miter gauge, it takes about 3 minutes per box to cut all the joints for a box.

    Wayne

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,744

    Default Re: making hive bodies and supers

    For those wanting to make box joints, I recommend making a sled, that rides in the miter groves in your saw table. It doesn't take that long to make the sled, and then box joints are quick and easy to make.

    Using a sled, gives your box joint jig, two points of contact rather than one when attached to a miter gauge. Scrap wood is all that is required to make the sled jig. Wayne is right, making box joints is not rocket science. Really it is very easy.

    If anyone is interested, I can make some photos, and post them, of the sleds we have for various jobs. They are easy to make. You can check my photos of the boxes I make on the photobucket link a couple of posts above.

    Happy to share any info I have. cchoganjr

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Palm Bay, FL, USA
    Posts
    2,297

    Default Re: making hive bodies and supers

    Yeah, but with a rabbet joint it takes 15 seconds to make all three rabbets for both ends of a box! And after setting up for handles you use the same dado blade and it takes another 15 seconds to cut 4 handles for a box. My son and I cut 150 deeps/supers at a session; takes about 5-6 hours total time for ready to assemble boxes. All this doesn't matter if you only need 2 or 3 at a time but if you make 50 splits a week, time is a big problem.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia, MS, USA
    Posts
    624

    Default Re: making hive bodies and supers

    Ted, all our home made boxes use rabbeted joints. Have made 5 or 6 hundred and they work great. Lot faster to build than finger joints.

    We cut all three rabbets on end board. Sides are straight. Glue and staple.
    They are holding up great.

    Johnny
    "Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." - Mark Twain

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Denton, TX
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: making hive bodies and supers

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5yWQCARkUw

    great jig for undercutting hand holds for your bee boxes using a table saw
    9/11/01 NEVER Forget! 343

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Union County, Ky, USA
    Posts
    215

    Default Re: making hive bodies and supers

    I used some rabbit joints on some boxes that I made last year. They are still together, but I was less than impressed with them. I gorilla glued and screwed the joints. Predrilled and counter sunk every screw. I notice if I wedge up on one side of the corner, without cutting all the propolis loose, I would see a small amount of movement in the joint. I was careful the whole year to be easy on the boxes. They are still in service and look good, but I just dont think they are as strong as the box joints.

    The prefabbed ones are great and not overly priced. Add shipping charges to the bill and it makes it worth making your own.

    I just built three whole hives from rough cut poplar. 3 deeps, 12 mediums, one shallow, 3 inner covers, 3 hive top jar feeders, 3 screened bottom boards. I picked up 100 or so board feet from an Amish guy that has a small sawmill for 50 bucks. I have two 14" wide by 12 feet or so left over.

    I saved a bunch of money doing that. I built a sled to cut box joints on the table saw. I was reluctant to build it, because it just looked like it would be a pain to get it just so-so. It was not, it was actually pretty forgiving. I used a cheap Skil brand dado, 6" by about 13/16". Got it at Lowes for about 30 or 40 bucks.

    The box joints hammer together great, and square up easily. It was well worth the 20 minutes it took me to make the sled, I assure you. Box joints make a wood on wood joint all the way up the box. Other joints may work well, but my opinion the box joint is superior for this purpose. It made very nice joints & they all looked like they were bought.

    Sorry I went on forever....Rob

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