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Thread: Bee Hive Plans

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Myrtle Beach SC
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    106

    Default Bee Hive Plans

    I have found some plans for Bee Hives. They seem rather simple to build if the correct tools are owned.

    What tools do you think will be needed in order to build the frames myself. I don't really have any wood working tools at the moment and I am a novice when it comes to working with wood.

    But I think it would add another dimension to the hobby if I learned how.

    I can rebuild any motor out there but when it comes to carpentry I am lost.


    If I get as involved in the hobby as I expect I am sure it will pay for itself very quickly. For the prices that are being asked for new hives and boxes it seems like a no brainer to me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
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    246

    Default Re: Bee Hive Plans

    hjsmith

    Here is a link to a thread on this same question from several weeks ago.
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...for-Beekeepers

    What ever you deside take your time and learn what the tool will do before you try anything fancy.
    Zone 6b 1400'

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    594

    Default Re: Bee Hive Plans

    I make all of my boxes and frames using nothing but a table saw. I have made "fancy" handholds with the addition of a circular saw, but I'm not entirely convinced that its the best way to go. they do look prettier, but i like the feel of a cleat secured to the box when lifting heavy 10-frame deeps, so the last dozen or so boxes i have made have had cleats.

    Some of the cuts are faster & easier with a stack of dado blades, but neither of my saws will accept more than a 1/2" stack of blades, so i usually don't bother to change blades at all.

    Since you're a fellow gear-head, i assume you've got an air compressor. Buy an air nailer! I have one for narrow crown staples (for assembling boxes) and one for brads. a lot of times the staples crack the frames when I'm making them, so i switched to brads.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Myrtle Beach SC
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    106

    Default Re: Bee Hive Plans

    I think to get by in the beginning I will need to purchase a table saw and a air nailer. I have a very nice compressor so that is one less thing I need.

    Would tools from harbor freight be too of a low quality to get me started and upgrade as I go?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Midland, MI
    Posts
    594

    Default Re: Bee Hive Plans

    With HF, you get what you pay for. That being said, some of their tools have worked very well for me. Others have failed, but for the cost, it wasn't too big of a deal. One of my staplers is from HF and I have used it for a few years with no trouble aside from the fact that it has a small air leak internally. It still works jsut fine, so for the $20 or so i spent on it, I think it was a decent purchase. you'll want at least 1-1/2inch staples from making the boxes. I shoot brads in my frames and i use eitehr 1" or 1-1/8" depending on what i happen to have sitting in front of me.

    I'd check on craigslist for a used table saw. It doesn't need to be fancy for making bee gear. last year I made all of my part with an old table saw from around 1960 or so. the darn thing only takes a 7-1/4" blade, but the thickest material you'll have to go through is a 2x4 if you're going to make your own frames. I just used a steel ruler to measure distances from the blade to the rip fence and it worked out jsut fine. I'm no woodworker either, so msot folks could do jsut as good if not better.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,594

    Default Re: Bee Hive Plans

    At a mininum you need table circular saw and circular jaw. You don't need a pneumatic nailer. Just use glue and screws.

    I don't like cleats, use a circular saw, they may not look as pretty as a store bought but I can do recessed handholds in about 15 seconds

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Williamsburg, va
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Bee Hive Plans

    I started building my own equipment this winter. I have basic woodworking skills and found I could do this quite easily. I saved a ton of money and simply enjoyed building everything myself. You can see what I built here: https://plus.google.com/+DonaldCole_Hampton_Roads/

    I bought a table saw at Harbor Freight and it worked great. I used screws for assembly. For plans I used the inner cover plan found on beesource (great plan); I cloned a dadant outer cover I had bought; for boxes I did butt joints (strong as can be) after trying a few others (rabbett joint; finger joint); bottom board I did two types - a solid using 1x4 wood and another solid board using 2x4 with plywood (my own plan modified from others) - I plan to continue this one as scap 2x4 is easy to find. Handles I did myself using a jig built for the table saw and the dado blades stacked to 5/8" (two passes - see photos). I'm very happy with them and I can cut all four sides in about 45 seconds. I did buy the dado blade set from Harbor Freight and could get 3/4" on the saw with some slight modification. I built a jig for squaring the boxes up for assembly. Primed and put two coats of exterior paint on.

    Tools I bought:
    http://www.harborfreight.com/10-13-a...saw-68827.html (got it on sale and used a 50% off coupon) - does not include stand
    http://www.harborfreight.com/8-inch-...ers-40745.html - worked great for me. Serious woodworker probably would scoff at them.
    http://www.harborfreight.com/18-gaug...ler-68019.html -Nailer bought for $16 on sale and used a coupon too. (switched to screws - liked better, will use for frames)

    NOTE: It sounds like you are familiar with HF, but if not, don't ever "just buy" anything unless you really need it. They have coupons galore (do a search) and once you buy they will fill up your in-box to no end.

    Helpful URLs:
    http://www.michiganbees.org/beekeepi...pers-workshop/ -great plans and videos in general
    http://weekendhomestead.net/posts/hi...-construction/ - assembly jig
    http://www.honeyrunapiaries.com/wp-c...012/11/bb3.pdf - Bottom Board - 2x4
    http://books.google.com/books?id=QWf...ano%22&f=false - Part of book with plans & instructions for preview if you want to buy it. Good plan for solid bottom boards. Has basic plans for hive bodies too.
    2 years / 11 hives / Zone 7A

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,539

    Default Re: Bee Hive Plans

    You best bet for a table saw is to keep looking on Craig's List for a good cabinet saw locally. These turn up fairly often around larger towns, and the age is immaterial so long as the saw is in decent shape. About the only thing that ever actually wears out is the bearings on the arbor. Avoid the sheet metal table "contractors" saws, they will be very hard to keep accurate. Should be able to get a decent one for about $100.

    For blades, I've been using a DeWalt thin kerf 10" blade from Lowe's, bought in a package with a crosscut blade I have yet to put on the saw. The thinner kerf saves wood and is easier on a low power (less than 2 hp) 110v saw, which is very likely what you will end up with.

    Don't know anything about a HF table saw, but their other "heavy" woodworking equipment is decent if rather unfinished, and you will have to do some dinkering around to get the table slot and fence exactly square to the blade and the blade exactly square to the table top. Probably true of any saw you buy, and it's critical to get them exactly right. Minor deviations from perfectly square will result in crooked boxes and frames, and no one needs that!

    Be aware that tables saws are quite dangerous, and can easily rip off fingers and major parts of your hand. NEVER let your hands near a rotating saw, and never stand directly behind the blade. Small bits fly out of the saw if they catch the blade and you don't want one embedded in your face. Always use a secure pusher stick to cut small parts.

    You can indeed make frames on a table saw, although a band saw and a jointer or router table make a couple operations much easier. An inexpensive router and a cheap router table will do.

    Peter

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Williamsburg, va
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    61

    Default Re: Bee Hive Plans

    Quote Originally Posted by psfred View Post
    You best bet for a table saw is to keep looking on Craig's List for a good cabinet saw locally.
    Peter
    Peter is correct about Craig's List. I searched, looked at pictures, and went to see four that were in my price range. However, they were pretty beat and I was not comfortable with buying them. I could have kept going, but it was time vs effort trade off for me. If you have the time you can get a very nice saw that is practically brand new. I do buy a lot of stuff on Craig's List otherwise.
    2 years / 11 hives / Zone 7A

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Lafayette, LA - USA
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    Default Re: Bee Hive Plans

    Possibly old news to most but I had no clue it was this simple to do box/finger joints!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTd81dlRQiE

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Taylor County, Georgia, USA
    Posts
    713

    Default Re: Bee Hive Plans

    I build all of my own equipment except frames. I would rather buy frames. I don't like the idea of cutting little meticulous things with a saw that can eat fingers.

    All you need to build good strong boxes is a table saw, a screw gun, and screws. If you want convenience, a sliding miter saw and a nail gun are huge benefits. Add a bottle of glue and you're off.

    I use a dado now. But I used to just make simple boxes with butt joints and make the frame rests with a router table. I strongly recommend using a dado, though.

    As for Harbor Freight, there is no value in cheap tools.

    Search craigslist and hit up your pawn shops. You can find good equipment for a reasonable price.
    Try it. What could happen?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Lafayette, LA - USA
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    301

    Default Re: Bee Hive Plans

    Hmm... I posted a link to da u-tubes... Is that not allowed?

    It was a great vid on how to do finger/box joints, I thought it added to the discussion... I sure didn't know it was that easy!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Whitla Ab. Canada
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    473

    Default Re: Bee Hive Plans

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilligan View Post
    Possibly old news to most but I had no clue it was this simple to do box/finger joints!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTd81dlRQiE
    Gilligan: That has got to be the best tip I've received this year, I have a Skil table saw and it has a weird set of "T" shaped grooves that make it impossible to get a decent fit with a normal joint sled. I'm headed to my workshop to try this one out. I wonder if it works as well with 3/4" dados, I can't see why not.
    Thanks again
    Colino
    But every sunday afternoon he is a dirt track demon
    In a '57 chevrolet- Jim Croce

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Lafayette, LA - USA
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    301

    Default Re: Bee Hive Plans

    Quote Originally Posted by Colino View Post
    Gilligan: That has got to be the best tip I've received this year, I have a Skil table saw and it has a weird set of "T" shaped grooves that make it impossible to get a decent fit with a normal joint sled. I'm headed to my workshop to try this one out. I wonder if it works as well with 3/4" dados, I can't see why not.
    Thanks again
    Colino
    I'm FAR from any sort of wood worker, I'd venture to say I'm down right terrible... But either way this blew my mind and I knew their had to be other "wood working idiots" like me out there that would be equally impressed.

    "Best tip this year"? Though we are only 20 days into the year, I'll take it!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Bledsoe County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    54

    Default Re: Bee Hive Plans

    Here's the link to a "photo tutorial" on making your own frames. I did it with just a table saw (a batch of around 700 frames), but a router table would make it a lot easier (and safer).

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...Photo-Tutorial

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,719

    Default Re: Bee Hive Plans

    When I started making my first hives I bought the hives unassembled and just copied them. I make rabbit joints on the boxes and they work very well for my limited wood working skills. I never even use a tape measure while making boxes, I use a scrap piece of wood to get the saw set up just perfect by using the unassembled hive as a pattern. Once the saw is set up to make the cut just cut as many pieces as you need and then set up the saw to cut the next piece.

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