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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Navarro county, Texas, USA
    Posts
    109

    Default dado fingers question

    Hello guys, fairly new to wood working here and I can't seem to find this question (at least explained in a style I understand) but I have a tablesaw set up with a 3/4" dado, and a incra I-box jig. After setting up the jig, I adjusted it till the fingers were snug (they started out loose) and now what seems to be the problem, how exactly do other users out there cut their fingers spacing where you can get a full finger on the top AND bottom? Is one of the full fingers part of the other board or what? I already have my wood cut out to exact measurements for the 9-5/8" deep hive bodies. I will be making medium supers later. My joints are fitting together great now, it's just the spacing on the first cut, and getting the other plank of wood to mirror the exact opposite. I know that this sounds like a pretty obvious question to most experienced hands but stumping me. Thanks for all the comments, and Merry Christmas to all

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Stillwell, KS
    Posts
    648

    Default Re: dado fingers question

    Your not going to get a full finger on the top and the bottom because 3/4" does not divide into 9 5/8" evenly. Don't worry that the bottom finger is a little smaller.

    If you are going to cut your frame rest with your dado blades, start with a full finger on top of the long (19 7/8")side pieces.

    If you are going to use a router to inset your frame rest cuts, start with a full finger at the top of the narrower rear and front pieces.

    Don

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Navarro county, Texas, USA
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: dado fingers question

    Thanks for the info Don. I do not have a router, I figured I would cut the frame rest after the dado fingers were cut. And I guess I will just have to live with the smaller finger down below. When you have the smaller finger down at the bottom, how do you get that on the mirror image piece that fits it? Butt it up next to it and with the new piece of wood Before removing theold piece? and when you talk about a smaller finger,how much smaller?i noticed Mr Cleo said to try not to pry on your corners if possible anyways. I'm sure i will try not too. Thanks again Don for your help. When I finally learn all this, ill gladly pass what I've learned down to the next newby

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaston, SC
    Posts
    271

    Default Re: dado fingers question

    Why even use the "fingers"??? every horizontal surface you create,, is one more place for water to reside and begin to rot,,

    Take a look at how Rossman apiaries cuts their boards,, MUCH simpler,, no horizontal rotting places,,

    glue and screw,, its just as strong as finger joints,,

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,435

    Default Re: dado fingers question

    Butt joints with Titebond III, screws and good paint is all you need.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Navarro county, Texas, USA
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: dado fingers question

    Well, looks like I got this one figured out. Now I just need to find a good place to start buying my pine. My 1 x 12's I bought the other day were a little warped, and this was laying it all flat and covering in the barn. I never really like the orange "box stores" method of standing wood on its end.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gaston, SC
    Posts
    271

    Default Re: dado fingers question

    agree with Charlie B,, even is you use titebond II

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Navarro county, Texas, USA
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: dado fingers question

    Will the buttjoints really hold up? If they do, that would be just TOO easy. I did use the titebond 3 as well on my box joints.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Pacifica California, San Mateo County
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: dado fingers question

    Hi,

    I don't use finger or box joins for my self-made boxes. I just use a rabbet joints because they are easier to make
    and hold up pretty good too. Of course a box or finger joint is better but I save a lot of time using the rabbet joint.
    Use a good glue (Tidebond III)and good screws (pre-drill).

    Cheers
    Stefan

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    3,148

    Default Re: dado fingers question

    I have never used the Incra Jig. So I don not know exactly how the adjustment stuff works. I simply make a finger joint jig out of a couple of scraps of wood when I need them.
    p_boxjoinjig.jpg

    In the photo. notice he has the edge of the piece set against the index pin of the jig. when the second notch is cut he will move the piece so that the first notch fits on the index pen. etc. The last notch will be the partial one.

    If you wanted the first notch to be at the edge of the board you would put a spacer the width of a finger next to the index pin and then put the edge of the piece against that.
    Last edited by Daniel Y; 12-21-2012 at 07:50 PM.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: dado fingers question

    It sounds like the O/P is confusing dado cuts with finger joints, dado cuts aren't essential to creating finger joints, the fingers can be cut in many other ways besides dado's.

    I too prefer rabbet/rebate joints or even locking miter joints for super construction, especially when I'm making my own.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  12. #12

    Default Re: dado fingers question

    Quote Originally Posted by stoffel64 View Post
    Hi,

    I don't use finger or box joins for my self-made boxes. I just use a rabbet joints because they are easier to make
    and hold up pretty good too. Of course a box or finger joint is better but I save a lot of time using the rabbet joint.
    Use a good glue (Tidebond III)and good screws (pre-drill).

    Cheers
    Stefan
    I second rabbet joints. Although I believe they are superior to dado joints. There is less end grain to absorb moisture with rabbets. End grain is what absorbs the most moisture. Plus it is super easy and fast to do with a dado blade.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Navarro county, Texas, USA
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: dado fingers question

    When you make these rabbet joints, what kind and how many clamps do you have to use to square them up and let them set? Or did you build a box to assemble them in. I do know that the box end joint was easy to square up. Thanks guys for all the feed back

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: dado fingers question

    As an assembly jig, I made a heavy box of two-by lumber whose outside dimensions are just slightly smaller, about 1/8" than the inside dimensions of my finished supers. I apply glue (Titebond III), clamp the sides and ends to the jig, then nail/screw/staple them together. After they are assembled I remove the clamps, then knock the jig out of the finished super. The jig holds the supers square as they are being assembled.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Pacifica California, San Mateo County
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: dado fingers question

    Here is a link to the box making jig that I use. It really works great.

    Thanks Michael Bush Bee Box assembling jig

    I extended the jig a little so that I also able to assemble 5 frame nuc boxes. I just add guides for the
    boards that hold the sides at the correct measurement.

    Cheers
    Stefan

  16. #16

    Default Re: dado fingers question

    Quote Originally Posted by whiskeytripping View Post
    When you make these rabbet joints, what kind and how many clamps do you have to use to square them up and let them set? Or did you build a box to assemble them in. I do know that the box end joint was easy to square up. Thanks guys for all the feed back
    I glue and screw them together. No need for any clamps or box assembly jig. The rabbit joint keeps everything square for you.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Madison, WI, USA
    Posts
    175

    Default Re: dado fingers question

    I agree that box joints just expose the maximum amount of end grain and create horizontal joining surfaces where none are needed. All of this invites water penetration and premature rot. Butt or rabbet joints are much better in my opinion (and experience), modern glue (titebond III) and power driven screws are better, faster, and more secure than box joints and nails. If you are not making 100's of boxes and don't want to take the time to make a jig, you can use a 2" square piece of wood clamped to the "short" piece to keep things square while you screw the "sides" on. No need for special blades or table saw jigs, everything can be done well with a rip fence and a cross-cut guide. I make all mediums, a 1x8 board 6' long makes one box. 6' boards are usually cheaper and of better quality than the longer boards, I prefer lumber yards that are self-service, I can sort through the pile of utility grade boards to find the ones that will work for beehive boxes.
    life is finite while knowledge is infinite. - Zhuang Zi

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,936

    Default Re: dado fingers question

    D Semple...whiskeytripping.... I cut my rabbets with the same dado, but, I like to cut the top of the long side of a box 3/8 inch less than a full finger, so it can butt against the 3/8 rabbet in the front and rear. I think this makes a stronger joint since you can nail and glue, from the front into a full finger. Just another way to do it.

    Slightly smaller finger on the bottom is not a problem. Attached photo shows there is only a slight difference in the top and bottom finger.

    5th cut after turning.jpg

    cchoganjr
    Last edited by Cleo C. Hogan Jr; 12-21-2012 at 09:09 PM. Reason: Edited to show bottom joint.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    771

    Default Re: dado fingers question

    Take the thickness of the dato stack and cut out a piece of wood. Put it against the fence and cut the dato. Move the fence two widths, screw the plywood to the fence and cut it again. Glue and nail the strip to the first dato cut.
    http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/...xjointback.jpg
    http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/...oxjigfront.jpg

    Place a piece of scrap wood against the peg and do a dato. (or just use the second scrap to increment one part of the box (the fronts and backs with the shelf) that way the fronts and backs will be the female end and the rest will not show through.
    I do the entire width of the board and place in a bottom. When I cut it off I get a free inter cover or candy board.
    http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/...1_01190022.jpg
    Craigs list or a lumber mill are the best places to get cheap wood.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Navarro county, Texas, USA
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: dado fingers question

    Thanks for all y'all's help and suggestions. I finally pieced together a 5 frame nuc box, it's glued and nailed. I did have a couple little bitty gaps in a couple of places I will fill in with a 20year calk, then paint them really good. I won't worry about the insides, cause the bees will fix that problem for me.

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