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  1. #81
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    Feb 2010
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    Park City Ky
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    Default Re: dado fingers question

    Quote Originally Posted by psfred View Post
    Home jigs that let you cut one dado at a time will require two setups and remembering to cut that first one properly.
    psfred..I don't understand the two setups you reference. Could you elaborate.

    When I get to the end cut I simply lower my dado blade 4 turns,( that is how many turns it takes to cut off 3/8 inch from the top finger of the long boards on my Craftsman saw) shove sled forward, flip board, slide sled forward, raise dado 4 turns and cut remainder of the box joints. Only additional setup is the time it takes to turn blade down 4 turns and then back up 4 turns.

    It is a pain trying to discuss something when all we can do is describe., To bad we don't have interactive video so we could hold up a piece, or run a piece across the saw to show what we are talking about.

    Anyway, thanks guys. I learn something new every day. Please don't ever take anything I say as being confrontational, I am just trying to understand. And, if there is a better way of doing it, count me in. I appreciate learning how others do it, and I like sharing what I have learned over the years with others.

    How is it that I can reread something I have just typed 10 times for grammar, spelling, and typing, then hit reply, only to read my post and find 5 more errors. Good thing we have edit available. Even then I miss some.

    cchoganjr

  2. #82
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    4,955

    Default Re: dado fingers question

    KC- I fixed the CODE NOCODE issues and put it into a fixed-pitch font, but I'm not sure exactly how the pic should look.
    Code:
    \...............\
    .\...............\
    ..\...............\
    ...\...............\<--Long Side (19 7/8" finished)
    ....\...............\
    .....\...............\
    ......\________\__________________________________ ___________________________________________
    .......l\....3/8" wide x 5/8" deep narrow lip on top of short end (16 1/4") of hive body due to rabbet for hanging frames
    .......l..\_______________________________________ _______________________________________________
    ....l\.l...l
    ....l.\l...l<--NOTICE STAGGERED NOTCH in long side!
    ....l......l......O<--nail
    ....l......l..Double-wide finger (3/4" x 1.5" with 3/8" x 5/8" rabbet on inside)
    ....\.....l
    .....\....l
    ......\...l......O <--nail
    ....l\..\.l
    ....l.\..\l_________
    ....l..\..l................l
    ....l...\.l................l
    ....\...\l_________l..First finger from long side
    ......\..l
    .......\.l
    .........l__________
    .........l.................l
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  3. #83
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ojai, California
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    738

    Default Re: dado fingers question

    Graham - Big thanks! I should have tried the right justify trick. The only problem with my ASCII pic is that some of the lines (namely the 3/8" narrow lip due to the frame hanger rabbet underlines) are too long and wrapped around. It came up right on my screen, but the host isn't quite WYSIWYG.

    Your's is closer - the only miss is there are too many periods in the first finger on the long side (down below the 2nd "O <--nail"). The lower case "l" should line up with the inside edge of the long side, where it diagonals down above. All in all, a fantastic effort. Cheers!

    Cleo - My digital camera is dead right now, so if you have a Brushy Mountain Bee Farm 2012 catalog, look carefully at page 8 in the bottom left corner under the title "Select Woodenware" all 3 boxes are made with this joint, and the medium super shows the top finger the best because the end grain appears a little bit darker, so you can see the staggered notch. From your response, I think you get it now.

    Dadant and Sons' 2012 catalog shows on page 12 a stagger but NOT the double-wide finger on the top 16.25" end that gives the huge advantage (more gluing area and 2 fasteners). Mann Lake shows the same mistake on page 13 of it's 2013 catalog, so check out the Brushy Mountain pic. Photocopy it and blow it up to full size. Right now, the one in the Brushy Mountain picture is the best way to make standard Langstroth hives and really is worth the small extra effort. BTW, I admire your mental tenacity! You really want to get this...no one can stop a guy like that. Bravo!

    One more easy modification to the method you seem to be using now is to put a plate the right thickness (3/8") below the stack of parts in the sled while dado cutting the "short notch" (just for that one funny cut), then remove the plate, index the stack of parts to your next full-depth cut (immediately adjacent to the shallow cut in this case), and continue dado cutting the other fingers as normal. This should be a little bit easier, and it eliminates the need to crank the dado down 4 turns (not easy to repeat accurately). Good luck, and safe journey. - Casey
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 01-17-2013 at 01:31 PM.

  4. #84
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Ojai, California
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    738

    Default Re: dado fingers question

    Has anyone built a gang dado on a shaft? I'm wondering how much deflection due to side loading (cutting force - worst case scenario) and how much safety factor to design into my bearing / shaft combination (figure 10" long shaft supported at both ends)?

    I'm expecting a 1" shaft will do for deeps, with a cast iron flanged, semi-sealed ball bearing with a 4-bolt pattern (about 4.5" square on centers) will do the job, but I'm making the prototype out of 1 1/8" plywood - quick and dirty first, aluminum plate welded later!

    My design has 100 workpieces stacked sideways in the big sled, and a gang of cutters on two vertical shafts to cut the whole shebang in one pass. I'm thinking a top frame truss to tie it all together will reduce deflection and hence force-variation will be minimized. Anyone using V-belts? Multi-groove belts? Cog belts? I'd love to hear from anyone who has run some numbers, drawn, or actually built one.
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 01-17-2013 at 01:44 PM.

  5. #85
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    Feb 2010
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    Park City Ky
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    Default Re: dado fingers question

    kilo.. I haven't built one, but, I have seen them, and there is a good example on uTube. I am trying to find it. I think his shaft is about 1 inch, shaft supported by pillow block bearings, and belt driven. He cuts one at a time, but, it is fast, it is a device where you simply drop the wood into a holder, then using a long handle you push the wood forward and it cuts all cuts at one pass. Perhaps 5 seconds each piece.

    I can't remember the uTube video, hopefully, someone will, it is something like cheezer or something like that.

    I found it... "Behive finger joints" by Justin Cheesman I hope this will link you to it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9Sti5hf0Uc His video shows the 3/8 indention on the long side of the bee box.

    cchoganjr
    Last edited by Cleo C. Hogan Jr; 01-17-2013 at 02:40 PM. Reason: give link

  6. #86
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    Park City Ky
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    Default Re: dado fingers question

    Thanks, kilocharlie.... I don't have a Brushy Mountain, but, I will see if I can download it. I buy very few bee supplies, mostly frames and foundation. Everything else I make, and if I do need something, Kelly Bee Co. is only 35 minutes from me. For me, the woodworking is almost as much fun as the bees, and it gives me something to do in the Winter.

    Yes, I used the 3/8 piece under the stock, but for me it was just as fast to lower 4 turns, cut the two, and crank back up 4 turns, as it was to pick up the spacer, place it on the sled, cut the two pieces and remove the spacer and hang back on the wall with other patterns.

    cchoganjr

  7. #87
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    Jul 2011
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    Evansville, IN
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    2,224

    Default Re: dado fingers question

    The gang cutter you describe is probably exactly what's use for production, the only difference would be a mechanism for continuous feeding maybe.

    Plan on a 5 horse motor at a minimum, you're gonna need some power to cut that many at once. My saw bogs on a 13/16 cut, let alone eight, with a two horse motor.

    Obviously the profile cuts are easy on the gang saw, you just set up whatever you want and have at it.

    Peter

  8. #88
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    Default Re: dado fingers question

    kilocharlie...I found another set of video of a gang type machine. Use the search above and search bee box machining center or topkick.

    He posted his machine and explained how it works, requires a 5 hp motor. Cuts both ends at one time.. Initial machine used stacked dados, but said his newer machines would use cutter heads. His costs $50,000 - $80,000.

    Thought you might find it interesting.

    cchoganjr

  9. #89
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    Dec 2010
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    Ojai, California
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    Default Re: dado fingers question

    Cleo - THANK YOU for the you tube link! His Sled mechanism is clever, but not all that efficient, his router jig is comical, but it works. Do check out the strength test video in that group. I see a relation between the finger size and the wood grain - worth investigating. Some folk are not afraid to spend money if they know they will be using the equipment. I'm reducing design work into brutal over-building, and I'm about to do materials list and cost analysis, though I doubt I'll go $50k! The video of the one-at a time (green machine) is surprisingly quick. I do appreciate the comment about stacked dados vs. a custom cutter head. It makes a lot of sense to build a replaceable carbide bit cutting head and run it hot and fast.

    Peter - Yes, I am a former employee of an engineering lab famous for power use consulting. These guys made an aeroplane that you fly by pedaling like a bicycle. So I'm aware of power requirement calcualtions in machine designs.

    Deflection of the shaft could cause a huge spike in the power requirement, and so ridgidity of design is a serious concern. I will run some cutting force tests on small scale and multiply it up. Usually about 1.5 horses per saw blade goes through, but 2 1/4 hp per blade makes quick work of it and 3 hp per blade obliterates anything that would cause a bog down in pine wood. I have learned to like sharp cutters, appropriate cutter rake, clearance and sett angles, and enough power over the years. Being that I am building a water wheel, my power calculations may be all for naught. I'll have to use what ever power the water will allow and back off on my material-removed-per-unit-time expectations.

  10. #90
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    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: dado fingers question

    Quote Originally Posted by kilocharlie View Post
    Being that I am building a water wheel, my power calculations may be all for naught. I'll have to use what ever power the water will allow and back off on my material-removed-per-unit-time expectations.
    OK, I couldn't let this pass without comment. Does this really mean you are planning to build a gang saw capable of cutting box-style joints and powering the saw with a water wheel?

    I understand you are in California, but what is behind the water wheel idea (besides water)?
    Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 01-20-2013 at 07:16 PM. Reason: spelling
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  11. #91
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    Default Re: dado fingers question

    kilocharlie...Yes I had seen that strength test. A little crude using the bathroom scale, but, I guess it will do.

    As far as joints for making bee boxes go, I firmly believe any joint, with glue, and nails/staples will outlive the beekeeper, if good wood and good preservative is used. It is easy to get people going on box joints, dovetails, rabbet, butt, etc, I say make whatever people want to make, and it will work for beekeeping.

    cchoganjr

  12. #92
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    Jul 2006
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    Worcester County, Massachusetts
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    3,425

    Default Re: dado fingers question

    I have an old 1880's AI Root catalog...it shows gang saws for making boxes....specifies that they are treadle powered, and can be adapted to steam at an extra cost.

    deknow
    The irony is free. It's the sarcasm you are paying for....ironically.
    -Felicity Jones in "Chalet Girl"

  13. #93
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    Dec 2010
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    Ojai, California
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    Default Re: dado fingers question

    Graham and Deknow - Yes. Most of the People's Republik of Kalifornia is either on steam power or hydro power (Edison Grid), a few out near Tehachapi and Mojave are now on wind / solar augmented grid. My mini-catamaran water wheel can be tethered or anchored in any current and produce a small amount of power. I can make a lot of them for fairly cheap, and perhaps the power controller / battery bank can save enough to run it. We are looking forward to moving away from this area and up into the Mother Lode country where water is more plentiful.

    I did meet a guy who has a pickup truck with big coils in the bed. He parks it under the high tension wire towers and runs a Skilsaw off it. I'm sure the Edison boys won't like him very much.

    A sterling steam engine-powered generator is quite simple, gives decent efficiency, and wood fire is the heat source. It is on the list for a few years in the future, so we will have some solar, some hydro, and some steam power. Wind is difficult to deal with as the frequency keeps changing, and I don't really have a way of regulating it, a 150' tower is not cheap, and wind is not reliable, nor is at the correct speed very often, so we are not really considering it, even though I have designed propellers before.

    If I had a decent heat difference source, an ORC would be preferable, but an appropriate turbine is difficult and expensive to build. I helped designed an 8-stroke cycle engine to scavenge heat downstream from the turbine on an ORC a couple years ago, but the California Dept. of Energy is no longer funding ICE designs, so we never built the proof-of-concept. We were expecting a combined heat efficiency of the system to break into the mid-90% area, but California wants ZERO exhaust. Either way, ORC's are too expensive for me.

    A promising thing is Bruce Crower's 6-stroke cycle engine patent. I've been encouraging them to build kits for a Chevy and a Ford smallblock conversion to 6-stroke, so you are using half the gasoline and half purified water. It involves a custom head and camshaft, among other things, and is probably a few years away. I may ask permission to get the drop on them for my own use, but for now, whatever is quick, cheap, and makes some power - a tub wheel and a Sterling. I already have an Onan 4-stroke gasoline generator.

    Now treadle-powered, that's REAL MAN stuff!
    Last edited by kilocharlie; 01-20-2013 at 07:47 PM.

  14. #94
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    Default Re: dado fingers question

    I've been contemplating getting one of these: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9Sti5hf0Uc but I haven't been able to get in touch with Cheesman to confirm a price. So I've been thinking about building my own. I figured I could get my own shaft and thread it with 7 dado blades (@$100 a piece), and power it with a 10 h.p. motor (pricing I've seen is around $700). But I don't know ANYTHING about metal working, so I'd have to find someone to build the housing unit for me. I don't even know where to go for that . . .

    I would like to find a way to have the motor power the dado blades (or custom cutter head . . . don't even know where to look for that) AND 7 individual drill bits, so it would cut the fingers and drill the holes for the nails all at the same time. I'd also like to find a way to design it so you could slide the board to the left and cut the longer side (with the half finger) and if you slide it to the right you cut the shorter side (with the thicker top finger). Did any of that make sense?

    I think I have an idea, but don't know where to take it . . . and don't want to spend $30k to get it to an end product.

  15. #95
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    Default Re: dado fingers question

    How about several of us plan to meet at an apimondia conference or other big bee conference and build ONE of these high-production suckers? Fifteen of us re-inventing the wheel all over the country may flood the market. I have a copy of Palo Alto software's Business Plan Pro, we could lock in a design, cost it out, get it financed, and actually start cracking out hive bodies in lots of 50 to 100 per pass. Assembly would be the slow part.

    A big club of beehive builders could make use of a school woodshop, build perhaps 3 machines (East Coast, Midwest, West Coast) and trailers for them. We could take turns using them as we acquire the wood, all the while splitting the cost of building them.

    Pipe dream, perhaps, but it might actually work.

  16. #96
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    Sep 2011
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    Strafford, NH, USA
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    337

    Default Re: dado fingers question

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    I've been contemplating getting one of these: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9Sti5hf0Uc but I haven't been able to get in touch with Cheesman to confirm a price.
    Any luck yet contacting Cheesman?

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    I figured I could get my own shaft and thread it with 7 dado blades (@$100 a piece)...
    Why not go with the Corob type cutter heads mentioned early in this thread? At $60 a piece, and replacement blade sets only $18 you are ahead $22 per cutter on the first buy ($154 @ seven heads) and significantly more when you need to just replace the $18 blade sets later down the road.

    http://corobcutters.com/mhkhd50moldi...headdelta.aspx

  17. #97
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    Default Re: dado fingers question

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishman43 View Post
    Any luck yet contacting Cheesman?
    Afraid not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishman43 View Post
    Why not go with the Corob type cutter heads mentioned early in this thread?
    When I was looking for cutter heads, most that I was seeing was in the $150-300 range. http://www.cggschmidt.com/store/cutter_heads.php

    I don't know much about cutter heads, so maybe I was looking at the wrong thing. Your link provided much more economical cutter heads, but none of them appeared to provide what I needed them to. The one you linked to is 7/8" thick, meaning you wouldn't be able to cut 3/4" finger joints with it unless the cutter blade was the only thing extending upward and it was 3/4". If the one you linked was 3 5/8" in diameter w/o the cutters, and 4 7/8" in diameter w/ the cutters, that would give it a cut depth of 5/8" above the head.

    http://corobcutters.com/mhk75moldinghead.aspx

    This one might work better, but at $90 a piece (not counting the cutter heads) we are getting close to the price of a dado blade.

    http://corobcutters.com/moldingknivesbycorob.aspx

    I also don't see the 3/4" flat molding knife option anywhere. I guess I could take the 1" one and shave 1/8" off either side, but that's just a pain in the ***.

    But, I'm not overly concerned about the blades. I think I could take a 5/8" shaft, slap 7 or so dado blades (or the right cutter heads) on the shaft, properly spaced out, belt drive it to a 10 h.p. motor, set it up like a standard table saw and have a dedicated sled attached to the table and I'd be in working order. None too safe, but working. My larger concern is with getting a multi spindle drill going, to drill all the holes in the finger joints at the same time as I cut the fingers. I haven't been able to solve that problem yet, other than buying 7 drill presses and mounting them sideways (or go super cheap, and 7 hand drills mounted to brackets, but you get the point). Any ideas on that front?

  18. #98
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    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: dado fingers question

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    My larger concern is with getting a multi spindle drill going, to drill all the holes in the finger joints at the same time as I cut the fingers.
    Here's one option:
    http://www.autodrill.com/primer.htm
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  19. #99
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    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: dado fingers question

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    Very neat Rader. I like it. I didn't see any price ranges, and my guess is they are costly, but probably would pay for themselves in spades over time.

    Only issue I saw was with the width of each unit. If I need to drill a hole in each 3/4" finger, and each finger has 3/4" of dead space on either side, that means I only have 1 1/2" clearance for a drill to fit. Larger than that and it would take the space of the next drill. The thinnest unit that I could find on that link was 2 7/16" in width, almost close to twice the width I would need. I could stagger them, and have them positioned almost like stadium seating with the back row of drills having bits that are long enough to drill at the same depth, but that would require a drill bit that was 11 1/4" longer than the previous drill bit. That long of a bit could result in some breaking, would require more torque and more HP to function, and I'm not sure if it would be economical. I could also have two rows facing each other, requiring two passes (a forward and a backward), but double the work and cutting time decreases its efficiency.

    I would imagine I could contact them and request a custom built operation, but the cost involved would likely be too great, and if I went that high I'd probably be better off purchasing one of the $50k automated machines.

    I was actually thinking something more like having 7 drill bits attached to a belt and driven by one motor. I don't have a clue if that would work or not though.

  20. #100
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: dado fingers question

    Quote Originally Posted by Specialkayme View Post
    I could also have two rows facing each other, requiring two passes (a forward and a backward), but double the work and cutting time decreases its efficiency.
    The units linked above use air for rotation, but also use air to move the bit laterally. So you could have a row of four inline, spaced to drill every other hole, and on the backside, three more lined up with the other four to cover the missing holes. Slide (or lower) the board into position, and start the air. All holes get drilled in one motion.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

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