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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sarnia, Ontario, CA
    Posts
    15

    Default Anyone use a Box Miter Joint for building supers...

    I'm just getting started in bee keeping and was about to start building supers. I have a shop and was looking to use a box miter joint which would limit or eliminate the amount of end grain exposed to the weather. I figure if I use a good clue and minimum number of staples, I should have a box that would easily last 10+ years..

    Would like to hear from anyone who's used this corner joint in the past and what success you have had.

    Denis Allan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Laramie, Wyoming
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Anyone use a Box Miter Joint for building supers...

    I use box joints all the time. There is a plan for making one on this website. I actually have one made for both 3/4 and 7/8 joints. Use a good stack dado set for the cuts. It is important that the cuts be flat. For that reason a wobble cut won't work.

    Bruce

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Union County, Ky, USA
    Posts
    215

    Default Re: Anyone use a Box Miter Joint for building supers...

    I built one of those box joint sleds for my table saw. It works great. I have an old table saw that I just leave setup for cutting the box joints. The sled isnt that complicated to build, but it is well worth the time. I think the box joint is the superior joint for the beehives. If you have a jig setup to make them, they go real quick. You wont be sorry you took the time to build it. If i could figure out how to upload images, I would post a few pics....

    Rob

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Union County, Ky, USA
    Posts
    215

    Default Re: Anyone use a Box Miter Joint for building supers...

    I may have figured it out....

    box1.jpg
    sled.jpg
    joints.jpg

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    595

    Default Re: Anyone use a Box Miter Joint for building supers...

    box joint is best. no doubt about it, but it required the use of a stack of dado blades, and a little bit of set-up time. Totally worth doing if you have the gear to do it. many table saws have short arbors that will not accomodate a stack of dados.

    I have made some with rabbet joints and i like them well enough. Quick to make and pretty solid when glued and nailed/stapled. It's no box joint, but it seems to be plenty for a hive body

    I think with the miter joint, you have significantly less wood between the brad/staple and the very edge of the joint. this could result in the hardware tearing out if you appied a "squishing force" diagonally on the box. If you were careful though, this force isn't something the hive body would see in use, so probably NBD. Then again, you only have to drop it once for there to be a problem.

    Since it only takes seconds longer to make the rabbet versus the miter joint, i'd go with the rabbet.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sarnia, Ontario, CA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Anyone use a Box Miter Joint for building supers...

    Have any of you used a lock miter joint.. I was just checking my router box and found the bit I was looking for.. has a 45 degree angle with a protruding finger and rabbit all in the same side..

    Denis Allan

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Anyone use a Box Miter Joint for building supers...

    Quote Originally Posted by Denis Allan View Post
    Have any of you used a lock miter joint.. I was just checking my router box and found the bit I was looking for.. has a 45 degree angle with a protruding finger and rabbit all in the same side..

    Denis Allan
    Search "locking miter joint". We have/had a member named Alex Cantacuzene who was a big proponent of the locking miter for boxes. I think it is a good solid joint and it does eliminate end grain. Alex had 5 hives that he built all with locking miter joints. I met him and took a look at his boxes and I was impressed. I personally haven't used that joint though, but plan to one day.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Grand Junction, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    230

    Default Re: Anyone use a Box Miter Joint for building supers...

    Quote Originally Posted by Denis Allan View Post
    Have any of you used a lock miter joint.. I was just checking my router box and found the bit I was looking for.. has a 45 degree angle with a protruding finger and rabbit all in the same side..

    Denis Allan
    This is why I frequent this site, I never stop learning.
    Jack Moore ~ Sticky Bear Apiary
    Zone 7a ~ Elev: 4840ft. ~ https://www.facebook.com/StickyBearApiary

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Grand Junction, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    230

    Default Re: Anyone use a Box Miter Joint for building supers...

    Still can't find the delete button for double post.
    Jack Moore ~ Sticky Bear Apiary
    Zone 7a ~ Elev: 4840ft. ~ https://www.facebook.com/StickyBearApiary

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,583

    Default Re: Anyone use a Box Miter Joint for building supers...

    Lock miter joint should be fine IF you have very flat lumber. Otherwise it's hard to get the joint together.

    Plain miter joints will fail very quickly -- the wood will expand and contract with temperature and humidity changes, especially humidity changes, and the shape of the contact area changes. The wood will fail, no matter what glue you use or what other fasteners you have in there, and they will open in quickly.

    Stick with rabbet or box joints, either will work nicely and are less trouble to make. If you are concerned about end grain, coat it with boiled linseed oil and then prime with a good alkyd primer. Should stay watertight for decades.

    Peter

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    606

    Default Re: Anyone use a Box Miter Joint for building supers...

    (if you use all 45 Degree angles there is zero end grain exposed)

    the next round of boxes i do im going to use all 45 cuts and possibly biscuits.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sarnia, Ontario, CA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Anyone use a Box Miter Joint for building supers...

    lock miter joint.jpg]

    Hope this works.. try clicking on the picture to see it clearer.. have to learn how to do this upload picture thing...

    This is the joint I was hoping to use.. with the interlock, and a few staples to hold it in place, I can't see the glue joint failing..
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Denis Allan; 03-29-2013 at 11:04 PM. Reason: bigger picture

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sarnia, Ontario, CA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Anyone use a Box Miter Joint for building supers...

    If your going to use biscuits. I'd use a spline which is what the lock miter joint is with two short built in splins

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,583

    Default Re: Anyone use a Box Miter Joint for building supers...

    The problem with 45 degree miter joints is that the wood always expands and contracts across the joint on face sawn lumber (which is what you have in bee boxes by and large). The result is that the angle is NOT 45 degrees if the moisture content is higher or lower than what it was when you cut the joint. Less, and the inner part shrinks away from the other side, more and the outer part is forced apart as the inner part gets "larger". Quite a bit of leverage in there, and why you never see substantial things made with 45 degree joints. Wide picture frames subjected to these conditions fall apart, no matter what glue you use.

    Stick with rabbet or box joints, save yourself some grief. Lock miters will work so long as the changes in the wood don't fracture the wood.

    Peter

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sarnia, Ontario, CA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Anyone use a Box Miter Joint for building supers...

    I'd agree that the wood will expand and contract along the face of the board, but through the thickness, I'd be surprised to see anything above 1/64 of an inch in soft wood even with a relatively high moisture content..

    But.. having not build any supers with this joint, I'll take it at face value.. I'll make 1/2 of the boxes with the lock miter and 1/2 with a box joint.
    I'll build them all from the same stack of lumber I have owned or the last 13 years and will date them for comparison. Thanks you for the information..

    Denis Allan

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Raeford, NC
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: Anyone use a Box Miter Joint for building supers...

    Dennis, I've used a box joint similar to the box miter but ceased using it after about 50 medium boxes. I droped a box off the truck and it split at the corners making a mess. The glue held for the most part but the fiber in the joint failed miserably.

    I made a jig for doing the standard box joint with a 3/4 cutter and a 1/2inch router. and can do 10 box sets quite quickly. I have also done half blide dovetails with great success but it's a little slower to do.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sarnia, Ontario, CA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Anyone use a Box Miter Joint for building supers...

    ThanksFeltze.

    I'm fairly able at the word working, just have to get my head wrapped around the forces that will be acting on the box with seasonal changes and the future stresses on the box for handling and moving them around.. I do appreciate the input.. Being new to this, all the help I can get is appreciated.. having had a few failures in the past,, I sure don't want one with a pile of bees inside with me holding the stick.. might not be fun..

    Denis Allan

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Battle Ground, Wa
    Posts
    199

    Default Re: Anyone use a Box Miter Joint for building supers...

    Maybe I'm just lazy, but I've found a butt joint works fine. I use a good glue & 3 or 4 2" screws on each joint. They seem very solid & I've not had one fail yet. Of course, it doesn't do a thing for keeping end grain from the weather.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: Anyone use a Box Miter Joint for building supers...

    Quote Originally Posted by reneal View Post
    Maybe I'm just lazy, but I've found a butt joint works fine. I use a good glue & 3 or 4 2" screws on each joint. They seem very solid & I've not had one fail yet. Of course, it doesn't do a thing for keeping end grain from the weather.
    My problem with butt joints is needing a clamping jig to hold the thing square while gluing and screwing.
    Julysun elevation 23 feet. 4 Hives, 2 years.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sarnia, Ontario, CA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Anyone use a Box Miter Joint for building supers...

    I think that's why air nailers became so popular so quickly.. hold nail and go..
    The issue with screws is the end grain, and the reaction of the screw in the wood over time..
    This was why I wanted to look at the lock miter joint.. no end grain and minimal fasteners to hold till the glue set up. The glue, if done properly is stronger then the fasteners until the wood breaks..

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