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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    693

    Default Re: Rabbet Joint Hive box quality?

    Cleo, I was being funny (or attempting), that was why I went from discussing anal super critical to right back to the conclusion you stated of “it does not matter”. I need to use more of the little dancing things since you cannot see the crap eating grin that I generally wear. I also think that the forces applied to the joints in all of the tests that I sited are not in the correct direction. Who would try to pull the front off a box? How could you rack a box full of frames to a pressure of 2000 lbs?
    Would I buy a box with rabbet joints? If it was cheap enough. I squeeze two nickels hard enough to make a quarter.
    Peter, I am making all my new gear out of hemlock and would not think of not priming it before putting two coats of paint on it. (still making my bottom boards out of cedar and I need to get on that job pretty quick.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,456

    Default Re: Rabbet Joint Hive box quality?

    Another point on joint strength: the typical stresses on bee boxes are prying at the corners to get them apart and the occasional dropped box (hopefully NOT full of comb and bees!). This means the main stress is racking, where on corner is lifted while the other three are stuck down or one corner hits the ground with a significant impact.

    A box joint is inherently stronger under those conditions, since the pressure is transferred directly to the other boards through the "fingers" and not by the glue or nails/screws holding the boxes together. Not as much of an issue today, since we aren't using hide glue which loses strength when it absorbs water. 50 years ago, the nails were really all that held the boxes together since hide glue or urea/formaldehyde were the only options. Nailed only box joints are much better than nailed only butt or rabbet joints, but we all use glue these days.

    Peter

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,734

    Default Re: Rabbet Joint Hive box quality?

    Solomon, I agree with everything you said. I just use box joints because all the other commercial companies use them. Ease of assembly is probably the biggest thing.

    If you do mess up a box joint, it can normally be used to make a 5 frame nuc, (front and rear part) so you don't lose everything. If that won't work, you can use the piece for the bottom board. Won't lose all of it.

    If you can see light through a box joint you need to adjust the index and tighten the fit. I like mine tight enough that you need a rubber hammer for a gentle tap, but, not tight enough to have to hammer it together.

    I hope we have helped someone with this discussion. I think they will see that there are lots of opinions on box construction, and I suspect, most any of them will work.

    Wood quality, and preservative, has to rank right up there with the joint, in determining how long a box will last.

    Whatever works for you, is what I would do.

    cchoganjr

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,456

    Default Re: Rabbet Joint Hive box quality?

    The persevative will probably have the greatest effect on the life of the box unless you are making them from teak or white oak o some similar extremely rot resistant wood. Keep the water out and even balsa wood last a good long time if you don't pry on it. Next would be wood quality and rot resistance, a distant third would be joint type.

    Barring accidents, bee boxes have a fairly easy life other than being outside in the weather. Any joint, properly sealed to keep water out (an hence prevent rot) should be strong enough to last for years -- after all, how often does the typical beekeeper take all the frames out and pry all the boxes apart?

    Migratory boxes probably get more actual wear and tear than stationary hives.

    Peter

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,734

    Default Re: Rabbet Joint Hive box quality?

    psfred.. same order I would order them. No joint is any good if the wood is no good. Good wood won't last forever without paint/wax dip. Good wood, Good preservative, almost any joint, will last a long time.

    cchoganjr

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,589

    Default Re: Rabbet Joint Hive box quality?

    As a hobbyist, I seal all exposed endgrain with Titebond III before painting. I also take the time to run a bead of glue onto all inside corners of assemblies. The glue makes the corners practically impervious.

    I use a grey primer and then usually two coats of white. Using the grey primer helps to assure that there is a decent thickness of finish paint for protection.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,608

    Default Re: Rabbet Joint Hive box quality?

    PSfred said:

    Nailed only box joints are much better than nailed only butt or rabbet joints, but we all use glue these days.

    I agree with the first half, but when a nailed box joint from the 40's is still serviceable, the time and effort(read mess) of glue is not necessary. Sorry, it is a profit/expense/value thing, especially if you are building 100's or 1,000's.

    Crazy Roland

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,456

    Default Re: Rabbet Joint Hive box quality?

    The glue makes the difference -- without glue (or using hide glue, for instance) and rabbet joints or butt joints are a problem, nowhere near a strong as a dry nailed box joint.

    Modern glues like Tite-bond III make things easier. Another step, and messy for sure, but allows one to use an inherently weaker joint that is faster to make.

    Peter

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,608

    Default Re: Rabbet Joint Hive box quality?

    Psfred wrote:

    The glue makes the difference -- without glue (or using hide glue, for instance) and rabbet joints or butt joints are a problem, nowhere near a strong as a dry nailed box joint.

    I will concede that point. Most of our old supers are from before the new glues, so I have no data.

    Crazy Roland

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chippew County, WI, USA
    Posts
    650

    Default Re: Rabbet Joint Hive box quality?

    Im real happy with how solid my rabbet joints are with titebond two. Been building boxes for 2-3 bucks, saving me some serious cash I can use for more frames and foundation which means more boxes on my hives. Hopefully I can put my boxes and frames together this winter so I can invest my time in the yard instead of in the shop next summer.

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    florence sc usa
    Posts
    137

    Default Re: Rabbet Joint Hive box quality?

    Daniel, thanks, and to all of you. This has been very informative.
    There's three ways to do everything...the wrong way, the right way, a better way.

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: Rabbet Joint Hive box quality?

    Appreciate this discussion!
    I'm a metal worker, never done much with wood. I decided a few months ago I wanted to start making my bee wood.

    A long time friend is a cabinet maker, one man shop, been making his living at it for several years. I showed him various items etc.
    Since the scope of what I want to do is very narrow and production oriented, he recommended some good quality but Very basic equipment and extensive use of custom built "sleds" for accurate high production of the parts, and assembly jigs.

    Regarding joints: His point was, presuming good adhesives and accurate parts, All of them were more than good, so it comes down to labor; the trade off of number of cuts, and ease of assembly.
    For hive boxes, it came down to the assembly.
    His recommendation was to use splined miter joints, a very simple assembly jig and some small spring clamps. As soon as the splines are tapped in, the boxes can be removed from the jig and stacked to dry.

    He recommended against using any metal fasteners at all: they take time to install, don't improve splined miter joint strength, and sometimes cause other problems.
    The last few years, he's been using splined miter joints wherever he can; he finds it to be faster and stronger than others.

    So, far be it from me (ignorant and inexperienced) to be telling anybody "how it aught to be done"!!

    I relay it here because it certainly flys in the face of common practice, and those of you here who ARE knowledgeble and experienced might find it interesting to experiment with.....
    rB

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