Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,382

    Default Cutting Hand Holds

    There always seem to be unique methods used by beekeepers, to cut hand holds in bee boxes. This is what I use.

    Clamp a block onto the fence. Note the four black lines on to of the fence. Line on left in C/L of arbor. The next three art block positions when cutting hand holds. Second from left is frons and back of nuc boxes. Next is front and back of standard hive bodies and supers. Third is sides of bodies and supers. If I want to cut hand holds in the front and back of a bee box, I clamp the block at appropriate line...where it is in the photo.



    Place the bee box corner against stop and on table. Push box firmly against fence, and lower slowly onto dado blade.



    Push box forward a couple inches to make the hand hold a bit longer. Tip box up and off of blade. Makes a nice clean cut. Not too fancy but does the job. I like 1/2" depth...a bit easier on the fingers.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Rockford, Il
    Posts
    501

    Default Re: Cutting Hand Holds

    Do you ever notice any issues with the wood rotting out on the bottom ledge?

    I've always tried to make my hand holds so there was a top lip and it fades out of the bottom leaving no ledge for water, snow etc to collect.

    I've tried doing this a couple ways and I'm not liking any of them. Far more time consuming than I want and more often than not not as clean of a cut as I's like. Just don't like the idea of that ledge.

    ~Matt

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,382

    Default Re: Cutting Hand Holds

    Quote Originally Posted by MJuric View Post
    Do you ever notice any issues with the wood rotting out on the bottom ledge?

    ~Matt
    Paint it! I've got boxet that must be 50 years old. Same style hand hold and no rot yet.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Rockford, Il
    Posts
    501

    Default Re: Cutting Hand Holds

    I may have to go that way. I've tried two fixtures and cutting them on the router and step cutting them with the side of the saw. I just like the way it looks with the bottom not as a ledge as well. But if it doesn't rot I'll probably go that way next time around.

    ~Matt

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,382

    Default Re: Cutting Hand Holds

    If you feel good about making it pretty, then you should. Look at my post of the entrance guards in thread workbench square. Believe it...I like pretty, too. I just cut too many hand holds to fuss with it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    527

    Default Re: Cutting Hand Holds

    I use a plunge router w/a jig I made to get the same handles. your way maybe quicker b/c I have to put the jig on every box & take it off.
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Rockford, Il
    Posts
    501

    Default Re: Cutting Hand Holds

    I probably spend to much time on pretty and not enough time on bees :-)

    Here's the hand holds I did first time around.
    Matt%u00252527s%2520Hive_10_Check%25205-28-11.jpg

    Did that side cutting with a table saw and a fixture. didn't like that at all.

    Don't have any pictures but this time around I did it on a router and same taper. It's square but still takes a to much time and not as "Clean" as I would like.

    ~Matt

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Brandon, Florida
    Posts
    79

    Default Re: Cutting Hand Holds

    This is a good place to ask so why the cut out? Why not the one by two on the front and back. OK I have not worked with them that is why I ask. I do find just a dado cut is not good. Hard to get the gloved fingers in. I am wondering what would be the problem with a four way pallet with the boards.

    I have not found a good solution for the cut out with out a sharper and a custom blade. So just asking.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    OKC, OK USA
    Posts
    2,869

    Default Re: Cutting Hand Holds

    I am sure the hand holes came out of the desire to stack boxes close together as in a migratory setting or just storing your empty supers in the garage.
    Mike Forbes
    Red Dirt Apiaries

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Rockford, Il
    Posts
    501

    Default Re: Cutting Hand Holds

    More wood, can't stack them close together. More holes in the box which can mean more places to rot...and I personally don't like the way it looks :-)


    ~Matt

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,492

    Default Re: Cutting Hand Holds

    Those look like my Grandpa's boxes, at least the one that didn't have cleats. You can cut them fairly quickly and they will all be at the same level. Might not be as pretty as the scooped cut, but they work.

    So far I'm making mine with cleats on the narrow ends, cut with a 45 degree slope on both top and bottom to shed water and give a more solid grip (my brother and I have big hands, those cutouts are fingertip holds for us, and a pain when a super is full).

    Might re-think that if I needed to pallet hives, but I don't see that happening any time soon.

    Peter

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    737

    Default Re: Cutting Hand Holds

    Way too easy. Do you have anything more complicated? I feel really stupid when I see something as simple as drawing a line on the fence. I was doing frames this weekend and did just that. Now I have a way to reproduce the same fence location for different size frames. I was doing your hand hold method without the markings and put a dato in the side in the position it should have been in the front. Now I know how to fix stupid.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,071

    Default Re: Cutting Hand Holds

    Cleats are simple and easier to pick up - IMHO, but boxes with cut outs will stand nicely on end during inspections, and don't require the 2 extra pieces of wood.

    In my wood working experience it is usually faster, and more economical to make more cuts on fewer pieces of wood - more pieces mean more assembly steps, and of course more wood. Cleats may look like scraps, but they aren't free.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chippew County, WI, USA
    Posts
    650

    Default Re: Cutting Hand Holds

    I have used cleats before and they make painting such a pain in the rear end I canst stand it. Also, wrapping hives come winter with cleats is a huge rear end pain. I have started using the table router to plung cut hand holds just the same way as with the dado on a table saw. If some one has a huge set of fingers than use a wider cut. I use a 3/4 bit but you could use an inch if need be. Cant imagine a finger tip much wider than that. Hand holds are nice to though for lifting heavy honey supers but not worth all the other hassle in my opinion.

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads