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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Campbell, Wyoming USA
    Posts
    418

    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
    1,603

    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
    2,220

    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
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon City, Oregon
    Posts
    985

    Default Re: Wood working equipment

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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Dexter, Maine
    Posts
    1,053

    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.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,603

    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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,603

    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
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,606

    Default Re: Wood working equipment

    Honestly I woudl ask woodworkers about woodworking equipment.
    My top suggestion woudl be sawmillcreek.org One of the larges internet groups for woodworking in general.

    One group I am a member of and have been since it started is penturners.org. many of them also do flat work and are very friendly and helpful when it comes to selecting equipment. They also seem to know where the best prices are at any given moment.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    florence sc usa
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Wood working equipment

    psisk, i haven't measured either but seeing it in my head i would say finger joints expose 50%, rabbet joint 25%.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,220

    Default Re: Wood working equipment

    Depends on the rabbet -- a 3/4" rabbet on the ends only 3/8" deep will expose less end grain, but is not a strong as a box joint. A 3/8" rabbet on both peices (which is the way I make mine) exposes 50%, same as a box joint.

    The difference in strength is that a box joint has "fingers" that overlap, so not only do you have better glue strength from gluing grain the long way, the "fingers" are quite rigid and transfer force to the other board in the joint if you do something like pry a stuck box off the one underneath. In a rabbet or butt joint, all the force is transferred by the glue and nails, and both can fail more easily than breaking the "fingers" off.

    Once you get a box joint jig set up, they aren't hard to cut.

    Peter
    Last edited by psfred; 05-28-2012 at 01:54 PM.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Campbell, Wyoming USA
    Posts
    418

    Default Re: Wood working equipment

    That's kind of what I was thinking

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Bristol, Florida, USA
    Posts
    91

    Default Re: Wood working equipment

    If you have the room and the budget, 2 table saws are quite handy. One can be set up with your dado and the other with a saw blade.
    Gary

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,311

    Default Re: Wood working equipment

    I personally prefer tongue-and-groove joints for most of my joinery. They're quite surprisingly easy to cut for corners, give good clue surface & alignment, and if you have a router table + tablesaw, or 2 routers/tablesaws, you can cut a lot of them quickly, and simply

    Also, depending on the glue you use, sometimes glue can be stronger than wood, and bonded equally as well, so with the right glue, gluing surface area becomes more important than having a chunk of wood in place to "take the load" at a certain angle...vis a vis, finger joints.

    All of that said, I'll redily admit that the one shortfall of a T&G joint is that it slides easily until the glue sets, so if you don't nail/staple it to hold straight, you can easily mess up your box by moving it & offsetting the joint.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Perry, Florida, USA
    Posts
    226

    Default Re: Wood working equipment

    Also make sure your table saw has an arbor long enough to take a full dado stack. Mine doesnt so I cant use it to cut the box joints anyway. The rabbet joints are very strong once you nail and glue it. In fact once you cross the nails you cant hardly seperate them without tearing something up.

    Robherc, can you post a pic of t&g joint you use. I like to piddle with different joints. I build them for pleasure. If I need a lot fast I use rabbets. When I am piddling I make other types.

    psisk

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    629

    Default Re: Wood working equipment

    I couldn’t open your Grizzly link but I have been through their catalog and website enough to know which one you are looking at. I just got a 220 volt grizzly 3 hp motor, (no riving knife) from CL. Memory was $470. I wanted to keep the original Craftsman but after walking around it for about a month I stripped the nice fence I had added and sold it (craigslist) for $140. I upgraded my dato set to a Oshlun SDS set that I got off of Amazon for $80. It is sweet. I have built frames. Repetitious work, Planed the 2x6, run them through a joiner for the edges, the rest was table saw work (so those 3 tools).
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Syracuse, NY
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: Wood working equipment

    My 2 cents-I've made all of my equipment for abour 25 colonies over the last few years and here's what I found.

    In order for it all to be economical, you need access to inexpensive stock. Here in the East, I use rough 1X12 white pine at .91 cents a foot. It comes rough milled to 7/8" and I surface plane to 3/4", flipping to soften any bows, cups or twists. I pick through the lumber yard stacks to get the better boards.

    3/8"X3/4" rabbet joints, titebond 3, 6d nails on deeps and supers have yielded no failures.

    I use a 110V 1 3/4 HP tablesaw, stacked dado, old Delta 12 1/2" planer, and an inexpensive pneumatic nailer with a narrow crown stapler, a finish nailer and a brad nailer (mostly for frames.) I tack the supers together with the stapler, then use the 6d nails.

    With this set up you can make excellent tops, inner covers, supers, deeps, bottom boards, screened bottom boards, and anything else with the exception of frame end bars. You can make top bars and bottom bars though.

    For frames, I use a Grizzly 8" jointer, a Jet 14" band saw and a tenoning jig and stacked dado set for the table saw, but that is a entirely different story. Suffice to say I hit the point where it wasn't worth my time to make them anymore. UPS brings me those now! 8-)

    If you have the time, space and access to economical lumber, go for it.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,311

    Default Re: Wood working equipment

    psisk, the T&G I use is just a simple, standard 1/4" tongue-in-groove...same as in hardwood flooring. For corner joints, simply cut the groove into the face of the overlapped board, rather than in the end. I don't have any pieces with the corner thing handy, but it's really an identical joint to the "flat" T&G stuff, just that you're cutting the groove in a different face of the board.
    PM me if this wasn't very clear (likely, I'm feeling kinda "fuzzy" atm), and I'll try to remember to go out & throw together a sample joint for you

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