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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,612

    Default Re: Joints on hive bodies

    Using all the same size box does have a lot of advantages. If you can handle the weight of the deep boxes there is no reason not to do it. I have some ply wood deep boxes I used 3/4in and just used a dado joint. Painted them well and so far have not had any delamination. You will not have that much waste using a 1x12in board. You will end up using most of the drops for bottom boards, cleats, and stuff like that.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Slidell, LA, USA
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Joints on hive bodies

    I went to the beekeeping class last night and talked to the guy teaching the class. He's been a certified beekeeper for a lot of years and builds all his own hives, expands his apiary with splits and raising his own queens.

    I told him how many different opinions I received about my post and he just kind of laughed. He said "just build the **** hives", if you don't want to but the extra woodworking equipment just go ahead and do a butt joint, glue it real well with carpenters glue, staple and it would be better if you did the dowels but it's not necessary. He has had better success using dimensional lumber then plywood over the years. He also suggested against painting the bodies with fiberglass resin says the hives need to breath. He uses a "dip" to protect his woodwork but you need to let the hives sit. If not dipping the hives paint with latex paint but plan on repainting in a couple of years.

    One little trick he pointed out was putting a slope on the top part of the cleats to allow the water to drain and not puddle between the cleat and hive body.

    Hopefully I'll buy wood Saturday and start assembly. Just need to finish some furniture I am refinishing out of my way in the garage before I start something new.

    Al

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    orange, virginia usa
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: Joints on hive bodies

    I used to make all of my wooden ware I have a sawmill so from woods to box no real money in lumber, but if you think about it time wise it is much cheaper to by bulk commercial or budget than make them if your time is worth anything to you. As far as plywood I don't think it will hold up as well as lumber, so if it's half as much money but you need to replace them twice as often as lumber have you saved any money or time??

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Slidell, LA, USA
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Joints on hive bodies

    I built the hive to learn about the bees as much as anything else. I agree I didn't save any money doing it. With the dado blade I had to buy ($ 50) the new blades for the table and hand saw, the wood and carpenters glue I paid for really good hives. BUT, I think I learned about bees and bee behavior by researching the construction of the hives.

    Now that I have the experience and the jigs built I can put hive bodies together in minutes. I also built hive bottoms that will hold both a screen bottom board and a solid bottom board at the same time.

    One advantage to knowing how to build hives is that I don't have to keep a lot of unused inventory. When I need something it isn't a big deal to build it.

    I 'll also keep my eyes out for scrap lumber that can be used, considerably reducing hive cost.

    Oh Well, made two telescop covers, 2 inner covers, 8 deeps, two hive bottoms, 4 bottom boards and 2 complete swarm traps.

    I didn't order bees yet because I have a problem with being out of town the next couple of weeks so I guess I'll just try and capture a couple of swarms.

    Need to order plastic frames and a bee suit today.

    Al

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,292

    Default Re: Joints on hive bodies

    All my hive components and plans with dimensions are available at SketchUp Warehouse. The plans can be downloaded from there, they can be viewed, modified, and printed by using the free version of Google's SketchUp software, available from Google SketchUp.

    Some of the plans were inspired by others. Finger joints are okay, but I also like rabbet joints, and my favorite is the lockmiter. I was thinking how, with a lockmiter router bit and a nice router table it seems making lock miter joints is one of the easiest joints to make. With a generous amount of Titebond III wood glue, sufficient clamping and possibly a few coated deck screws it may be the most durable joint, allowing that it self-aligns the box corners and exposes absolutely no end grain.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 03-16-2011 at 05:48 PM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Draper, UT
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Joints on hive bodies

    A great way to join plywood into a hive box is the Eco Bee Box bracket.

    http://ecobeebox.com/ecobeebox/Home.html

    or

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Eco-Be...66536623369158

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Union County, Ky, USA
    Posts
    215

    Default Re: Joints on hive bodies

    I would build them how ever I wanted to if I was you. Use what ever skills you have with what ever materials you can get. I have built hives with box joints, butt joints and rabbit joints. Butt joint is the fastest & easiest. The rabbit joint is probably the next fastest and next easiest. The box joint is probably the most costly and requires a bit of setup. A good dado blade is expensive and getting the setup is a pain. I have a saw with a dado blade and a box joint jig that is dedicated for my box joints. Hands down, the box joint is the strongest. It has more gluing surface area than the others too. Stays square. Drop one of those butt joined or rabbit joined boxes on its corner, or pry up on that corner after is been glued down with propolis and you will appreciate the strength of the box joint. Regardless of the glue and fasteners used.

    That being said. I have some butt and rabbit joined boxes that I have used for a few years & they work well. So I am not knocking them at all. I just have to be gentle with em. I built them before I had the skill or tools to cut the box joints. But a hundred dollar dado blade later and an extra table saw, box joints are the way for me. If you want similar strength of a box joint, there is an easy way. Instead of 6 interlocking fingers or so on the end of the board, just cut two, or one or three. They can be cut with a jig saw, and dont have to have too much precision.

    Any way you go, it'll be fine. If it doesnt work for ya, you will do something different .

    Rob

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,589

    Default Re: Joints on hive bodies

    Quote Originally Posted by beehivestate View Post
    A great way to join plywood into a hive box is the Eco Bee Box bracket.

    http://ecobeebox.com/ecobeebox/Home.html

    or

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Eco-Be...66536623369158

    Beehivestate,

    I suspect that you are the owner of the website...

    I don't see the advantage of adding a device that opens the joint to the elements.

    I can almost purchase a box for the price of a set of corners.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Draper, UT
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Joints on hive bodies

    After reading this thread, really I was besides myself. The traditional box corner is a dado corner and has been around since 1853. Why did they choose this corner, because it was the strongest corner they could make. Problem is there are twice the amount of cut edges that could damage and their fasteners go into end grain. Side problems are when manufacturing them, one mistake and the entire box is trash, painting is required to keep moisture out of the cut edges. Over the years all sorts of paints have been used, but fail year after year. Just look in any bee magazine to prove the point. Purchasing the brackets serve many current problems; never have to dado again; less cut edges on corners; no end grain fasteners; wood can't warp; wood also won't crack due to the constrictive dado cuts; the humidity inside the hive causes probably most of the paint failure; leaving the panels natural allows everything to breathe; if a panel breaks it is simple to remove and replace it saving many hours repairing; the box can be thrown and won't break; the problems due to frame rests breaking is solved; also have added locking clips that lines up and holds everything together. You can paint the panels used with the Eco Bee Box, or left natural it is an option. How many problems do you need to encounter with a traditional box and how many hours fixing it when a solution is there that solves all of them and is stronger in the end.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,456

    Default Re: Joints on hive bodies

    Properly painted (alkyd primer followed by high quality paint) and box joints will last indefinitely. Note that you must PROPERLY paint the joints -- they must be tight or filled completely, you MUST use a good primer, and you must use high quality paint that sticks well.

    Repainting is only required every decade or so -- my brother's boxes look new and they have been in use for seven years now. May repaint any that are not in use this winter just for the hell of it, but done right it's not a big deal.

    I still think that properly made boxes with box joints in good lumber properly painted are permanent. I certainly make all of mine as if that were the case, wrong place to save money.

    "naturally weathered" pine will rot in a few years.

    Peter

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,611

    Default Re: Joints on hive bodies

    I support Psfreds claims ALMOST, they will last a long time, but not forever. The supers(deeps) that my father and Grandfather built in the 40's are still functional, but the repair pieces on the top and bottom are numerous. They have reached the end of their economic life.

    Crazy Roland

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Draper, UT
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Joints on hive bodies

    Quite the boxes you have. I personally have hundreds of traditional dado boxes that are warped, cracked, chipped, peeling, bowed and so forth. I have boxes that I had purchased two years ago that by the time I got the boxes home they changed enough they couldn't fit into each other without damaging the panel. It sounds as though you don't ever do repairs to your boxes either, must have been good wood back then in the 40's. Each large outfit I come across, I take pictures of their equipment, and they ALL are peeling, cracked, warping, hive tool damage, frame rests broken, and so forth. In a phone call to a my bee supplier in California last year, I asked what they do with their old boxes. Response, "we spend countless hours refurbishing our boxes each year". I am a General Contractor and have worked with wood since I was first able to walk. The dado corner is the worst part of the bee box. The second worst part of the box is the 3/8" x 5/8" frame rest. Sealants, paints, or whatever a person chooses to protect the wood is always a good option as long as it does it's job and doesn't fail, doesn't harm the bees, and in repairing doesn't hurt the beekeeper. So many additives are and have been in paints throughout the last 100 years that are harmful. Putting nails into end grain like a pin cushion is also a very weak way to fasten a box. The screw or nail absorbs the moisture in the wood, either from the outside of the box or from the humidity the bees create on the inside of the box, then rusts and rots the wood around the fastener. The natural way for the board to go once the fastener is weak is out.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,611

    Default Re: Joints on hive bodies

    Apparently I was less than precise in my wording:

    The deeps from the 40's have most of the upper and lower edges already replaced. They have been repainted probably once a decade. Most likely, only a fraction (quarter) of them survive, so we are seeing the best of the best from that time period. It is my opinion that although they are still serviceable, they do not function as well as a new super, and that they are at the end of their service life. Their time is up.

    Crazy Roland

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,735

    Default Re: Joints on hive bodies

    Roland...Unless you are moving your boxes, the more dilapidated your boxes are, the better. I used to tell everyone, first thing you need to do to a new box is, grab a ball ping hammer and give it a good working over. Bees will survive better in boxes that don't fit well, are not air tight, and leak.

    cchoganjr

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Auburntown, TN USA
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Joints on hive bodies

    I like my “cheapo” plywood boxes I made. I got 21 8-frame mediums from 2 sheets of 3/8'' sheathing and 2 8' 2x4s. I mitered the corners and doubled the ends, then ripped 3/8'' strips from the 2x4s and glued and stapled these to the top and bottom of the long sides. The corners are well glued and stapled and the boxes are quite rigid. Cutout took about 2 hours and assembly between 3 and 4.

    I consider these to be temporary boxes as I hope to begin selling a few nucs next year and these will be part of the deal. I did give all the boxes a coat of exterior stain that I applied with a cheap sprayer.

    I really like the cleats at the top and bottom. It gives a good handhold and stiffens the sides. They also make the exterior dimensions a standard size for mix and match.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,611

    Default Re: Joints on hive bodies

    Cleo - I understand your theory, and it might be a good one where you are, but a Wisconsin January is rather brutal, and drafts can be deadly.

    Crazy Roland

  17. #37
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Santa Monica, CA, USA
    Posts
    1,461

    Default Re: Joints on hive bodies

    I have tendency to do everything in my own way. Since bees are only hobby, I feel I do not need to stick to beekeepers dogmas. When I inherited bees in old semi-decomposed boxes, deteriorated finger-joints amused my bee-inexperienced soul. Finger-joints (in my understanding) has a large contact area, which is beneficial for gluing. It is used in furniture. But in the hive? Weird - glue is not used (at lest in my old boxes). Instead glue, nails has been placed in every segment! Nails made a path to water inside the wood and there is not much solid wood for stability (between nail and end/side of the finger) left. I apologize for criticizing the dogma, but, it seems to me that this type of joint with nails is not really suitable for boxes exposed to weather and humidity from inside. Also, hive-tool easily destroys the top/bottom joints. Large non-sealed surface between "fingers" works to disadvantage - it is perfect place to accumulate the water from outside and from inside the hive. It is called "capillary forces" - they will keep water between finger joints. From this prospective, butt joint is better - smaller surface for water. I made a few boxes using butt joints glued with liquid nails and screwed by quite strong screws (compensation for weak joint). Exposed side of the plank was sealed using high-quality primer/sealer. Screws were placed 1/4'deep in the wood, patched with epoxy and sealed. I have also a few new "classical" boxes. So, in 10 years, I shall report if any difference between two designs. Sergey

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,814

    Default Re: Joints on hive bodies

    I don't see where you are going to have enough material to put dowels in after the edges are mitered. My first thought was the lock miter joint.
    http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shops...lockmiter.html

    Keep in mind you will have moisture issue from inside the hive as well as out.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,456

    Default Re: Joints on hive bodies

    Note that you must use hot dip galvanized, not polymer coated, nails if you expect them not to rust. Those fancy new polymer "fake zinc" coatings do not survive the passage of the nail through wood, so you are using a bare steel nail, and it will rust in a few years. Honest-to-pete zinc galvanized nails, covered with alkyd primer, will NOT rust.

    Modern glue (Titebond III or polyurethane) will prevent all the problems of bare wood surfaces in the joints, and I would expect new boxes, properly cared for, to outlast ones made in the 40's for that reason -- in those days, glue choices were limited, and I would expect most time none was used at all.

    Boxes were much cheaper only a few years ago, so replacing them was just part of keeping bees, not really so much of a big deal. These days, not taking care of boxes to make them last as long as possible is a way to lose big money. Look at it this way -- if you buy premium paint at $30 a gallon, it costs about $0.60 to paint a box. If that box then needs painting every say 5 years, but lasts 25 years, is it cheaper to buy a new $10 box every ten years instead? I think not. If you buy off-color paint, the cost becomes negligable other than the time to paint them, and even that isn't a huge expense if you paint them BEFORE the old paint fails.

    I also suspect that deteriorating boxes waste more time in the field than rotating them and painting them would if planned for. Waiting until they are rotting and falling apart and then trying to fix them won't work very well, I think.

    Peter

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    693

    Default Re: Joints on hive bodies

    Good thread. I built a couple more bottom boards this weekend from 2x4 stock here is the link that was provided to me:
    http://www.myoldtools.com/Bees/botto...ottomboard.htm
    the 1/8”cloth and paint is the most expensive part. Seems like I have nothing original to say but to just build it. I would say if you are going to do plywood I use T1-11 exterior siding for all my nucs. I find it is less expensive at the lumber store I go to than the big box plywood and I have not had it come apart (yet).
    Bush Bees is on the same size everything kick and he uses mediums. I wish I had heard it before I started.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

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