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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Campbell, Wyoming USA
    Posts
    424

    Default Wood working equipment

    Either some time this summer or early next fall I'm going to put together a wood working shop so I can build my own hive bodies and supers from the ground up. I doubt that I'll build my own frames because that seems like it would be extremely tedious work and you're probably money ahead just to buy pre-cut pieces and assemble yourself, however, I think I would save a boat load of cash if I were to buy lumber direct from a saw mill and build the hive bodies myself. I'm interested in what type of equipment I would need to build hive bodies the same as what is typically sold as the industry standard. Finger joints (not sure if that's what they are) hand holds cut into the boxes themselves etc... I think all if not the majority of it can be done with a table saw but I'm not 100%. Speed and efficiency is my number one concern. Just because a job CAN be done a certain way doesn't necessarily mean that is the most time efficient way of doing it. I've been looking at various table saws but I'm not sure which brand to go with.

    http://www.grizzly.com/products/10-3...ng-Knife/G0690

    This saw is around the price range I'm looking at but I'm not sure of the quality. Would hate to pay that kind of cash for a piece of equipment that wasn't worth it.
    We the willing have done so much with so little for so long we can now do anything with nothing

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Farmington Hills, Michigan
    Posts
    16

    Default Re: Wood working equipment

    Moon,

    I'm a woodworker as well as a novice beek. You can use a table saw to build boxes and Grizzly is a decent brand. I'm sure all of their stuff is from China but it is usually pretty good. I have a drill press and sander from them and I'm satisfied with both. Another alternative is the portable table saw from either Home Depot or Bosch. Much smaller and if you don't have a lot of space, they can fold up and stored against the wall.

    You'll also want a dado blade for your table saw to make the box joints. Remember, measure twice and cut once.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Raeford, NC
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: Wood working equipment

    I've got a small sawmill and have several grizzley single phase 220v machines in the shop. None have let me down for performance or quality. As a matter of fact my 20" grizzley planer beats my 20" RBI in all aspects hands down and for less money.

    A table saw, and good stacked dado will get you started making finger joints and the dado cuts for the frames. I'd recommend making a "cleat" type of handle rather than machining in a rescessed handle. One it's easier to do, Two, it's easier on the hands handling heavy boxes.

    I am doing my finger joints with a 1/2 inch router and guide/plate which althoug a pain to get set up right, is much faster than doing it on the table saw. But like beekeeping there are several ways to do the same thing, router, table saw, etc... Dovetails and a dovetail jig is an option as well,nice and easy, faster than the table saw, slower than my router finger joints.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,788

    Default Re: Wood working equipment

    A good Craftsman Table saw, (you can pick one up off Craigslist for less than $150.00), and a good dado set, will do virtually everything you need.

    If you want to make a fast, easy, safe, professional looking hand hold, (all you need is a Skil Saw), view my UTube video, I will send you the plans to build the jig.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaWRjpJ5f0w

    cchoganjr

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,487

    Default Re: Wood working equipment

    Get a GOOD square, no table saw ever has an adequate scale for setting the blade and cross-slide accurately. Minor angle errors mean unsquare or "racked" boxes, which will drive you nuts.

    A box joint jig is not hard to make, and I prefer box joints, but you do have to test it properly to make sure you get flat, square boxes, and a good dado set is absolutely necessary. Plan to get it sharpened by a local reputable outfit if you pay less than $150 for it, anything cheaper is likely not properly ground and the chippers will always cut at a variety of depths.

    You will need to buy surfaced lumber unless you have a decent planer, and you'd have to make a cazillion boxes to pay for one of those! I spent $1500 for one twenty years ago.

    If you do make frames, a bandsaw is pretty much a requirement, else you waste a lot of wood and don't get really straight cuts on small parts.

    Peter

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,788

    Default Re: Wood working equipment

    If you are going to make boxes more than one time, this year or next year, take the few minutes to make your fence one that fits in the miter groove. That way, next time all you do is pick up the pattern, lay it in the miter groove, clamp to table, and your box, (or other pieces) will be the same as the last one. You don't have to measure once or twice, just cut.

    A planer is a necessity to make good boxes, unless you are going to pay for surfaced lumber. Unless you are going to make thousands of boxes, you can find, on Craigslist, a very good planer for $150.00 or less. A Delta 22-560 will do everything a small manufacturer needs to do. I make a couple hundred boxes, bottom boards, inner covers, tops, each year, and I use Delta 22-560 and have no problems. I have four of these, and have no problems. I use saw mill cypress, pine, and poplar. Cut to length and width before you surface, don't just run the entire board. Blades are not expensive and very easy to change.

    Check around, you can find a lot of free lumber. If you have lumber yards, (not the big box stores) check for contractor "bring backs", they will sell these at a huge discount. Of course there will be waste, and it will take more time to cut out the waste, but if your idea is to save money and enjoy woodworking, don't overlook this source. Local sawmills always have random width material, overruns, that you can sort through and get at reduced price.

    A good dado set will run about $125.00 new. However, check E-Bay and you can find a good dado set for a lot less. You can make hundreds of boxes before they need sharpening.

    I don't make frames, so I can't comment on that. I buy them.

    Woodworking is the perfect complement to the small, to medium, beekeeping operation. Build in winter, use in summer.

    Enjoy.

    cchoganjr
    Last edited by Cleo C. Hogan Jr; 05-20-2012 at 05:30 AM. Reason: sp

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon City, Oregon
    Posts
    988

    Default Re: Wood working equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by zohsix View Post
    Remember, measure twice and cut once.
    I knew I was dyslexic
    Honeydew

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Dexter, Maine
    Posts
    1,037

    Default Re: Wood working equipment

    If your building them yourself you don't need to make finger joints, the main reason boxes are done that way is so they can be assembled by anyone without knowledge or tools. You are faster and better off with rabbit joints. Much less exposed end grain, much quicker to build.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,788

    Default Re: Wood working equipment

    brac is right. A rabbet joint is a great joint and can be made with a table saw without dado. Using Titebond III adequate nails, and a coat of paint every three or four years and a simple butt joint will outlive the beekeeper. Just depends how commercial looking you want to go.

    cchoganjr

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Perry, Florida, USA
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: Wood working equipment

    I like the rabbet joint as well. The finger joints expose a lot of end grain though I would have to measure square inches of exposed grain to swear rabbets have less. The rabbet is definitely faster even with a sled. I can probably make twice as many rabbets as opposed to finger joints. I like the look of finger joints though. The good thing about rabbets is all you need is a fence that comes with the saw. I took the better part of a day to build a sled for finger joints. Also for finger joints you will need a 1" dado stack. For rabbets you can get by with 3/4" set. What ever you decide buy a quality saw and a quality dado stack.

    psisk

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chesterfield, NH
    Posts
    490

    Default Re: Wood working equipment

    Quote Originally Posted by Moon View Post
    Either some time this summer or early next fall I'm going to put together a wood working shop so I can build my own hive bodies and supers from the ground up. I doubt that I'll build my own frames because that seems like it would be extremely tedious work and you're probably money ahead just to buy pre-cut pieces and assemble yourself, however, I think I would save a boat load of cash if I were to buy lumber direct from a saw mill and build the hive bodies myself. I'm interested in what type of equipment I would need to build hive bodies the same as what is typically sold as the industry standard. Finger joints (not sure if that's what they are) hand holds cut into the boxes themselves etc... I think all if not the majority of it can be done with a table saw but I'm not 100%. Speed and efficiency is my number one concern. Just because a job CAN be done a certain way doesn't necessarily mean that is the most time efficient way of doing it. I've been looking at various table saws but I'm not sure which brand to go with.

    http://www.grizzly.com/products/10-3...ng-Knife/G0690

    This saw is around the price range I'm looking at but I'm not sure of the quality. Would hate to pay that kind of cash for a piece of equipment that wasn't worth it.
    The bast table saw I'v have use IMHO

    http://www.sawstop.com/
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FquL0...eature=related
    http://www.toolking.com/search/?q=sawstop+table+saw

    BEE HAPPY Jim 134

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,487

    Default Re: Wood working equipment

    Well, you don't have much choice about prices in some places. Here I can get 1x4s 4' long for $1.17 on sale, and if I pick through the pile a bit, I get nearly knot free straight ones. Takes two to make a screen bottom board for a standard 10 frame, one for a nuc. Hard to pay $17 plus shipping from Kelley (I do need a piece of 1x6 too, though, but that's only $2.60).

    At any rate, the only thing I could suggest is that you look for a higher end lumber yard (not the box stores like Lowes or HD) that carries hardwood and furniture grade lumber and go see them. They are used to people with specific requests, and often supply the better grade builders, so they tend to end up with all sort of cutoffs and less than perfect returns they can't sell as high grade lumber. Ask them for "cut-offs" -- you can use anything longer than 18 inches and more than 5 11/16" wide so longs as it's fairly straight and flat and has tight knots, so they may have a pile of stuff for you periodically at very reasonable prices. Some cup and warp or twist is managable for bee boxes, after all. Someone else has already paid for it, it's just stuff in the way for them, so you can get it cheap if you ask.

    As I said, I really don't save money on the wood most of the time (although I did find some cutoffs earlier so I got a medium box for $3.50), but shipping kills me -- 5 mediums would have cost me $35 in shipping alone, and I can buy enough lumber to make six for that price.

    Peter

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    goldsboro nc USA
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Wood working equipment

    That $1.80/bd ft is for #1 furniture grade kiln dried cypress. More expensive than pine but it'll last 10 times as long

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM, USA
    Posts
    119

    Default Re: Wood working equipment

    I know I'm late to this thread, but if you're going to shell out money for a professional cabinet saw, I'm with Jim134 on the SawStop. I've had a SawStop PCS for a few years now, and it is awesome. Plus, no chance of losing fingers and more. Had a buddy back in SC get his hand caught up in a dado blade and he will never be the same. His right hand is fairly useless anymore. Sad. I bought the Sawstop for the safety, but was super impressed with the quality!

    Also, you don't need a 1" dado blade to make box joints. You can make a box joint any size you want...1" is just what you see from the manufacturers because they have the big equipment to make them. Most arbors won't hold a 1" dado stack. You'll just end up with more fingers. I have used both the table saw with 3/4 inch dado and a router with a 3/4 inch bit. I prefer the table saw, but that may be more because my cabinet saw is super solid, whereas I have a somewhat cheepy tabletop router table. I use the same jig on either one, just have to adjust it a little between the two.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Wood working equipment

    I'd like to add that you can make your finger joints any width you want, so long as it's at least as wide as your dado stack...all it takes is making 2 or more passes on your stack & you could make even 4" wide cuts with a 3/4" stack (although I think 1.5-2.5" would prob. be about the biggest that'd be useful for beekeeping purposes.

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