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Just finished building and painting my two hive bodies, now looking at making my bars. I was thinking of getting some 2"x2" lumber and ripping it down to 1-1/4" and and 1-1/2". Then take them and run them through a table saw with the gate at 3/4' and an angle of 45 degrees.

Something like this, but at 45, and well not made of ascii art.
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I am doing this for several reasons; no easy access to nail gun/stapler and I can run 70 of those bars through a table saw pretty quick without much reset. I don't have to make any jig to keep guides centered before attaching.

Those who have experience with bars, does this seem ok? It's a bit wider comb guide then what most people use, but will it really make that much of a difference?

I have been tossing around several ideas about a quick easy way to crank out some bars with as few tools as possible, and preferably pretty cheap. Problem is 2x2's are far more expensive then 1x2's around here. Oh well, maybe someone has a quick and easy bar sans nailer.
 

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I used 1" wide bars X 19" (I can use Lang. frames if I want) and 3/8" shims.
I took 2 X stock any width, rip to 1" turn and rip again. You now have a 1 X 1
and a 3/8 drop for shims. 45, notch ends, done. The advantage I see with shims, is one has bars that are all the same, the 3/8 bee space and to super just remove shims. If you want diffeerent spacing, make 1/4 & 1/2" shims. For material, use up shorts, find a remodel job, better yet new construction, you'll find a dumpster full of good stuff or a pile to be burnt. Just ask the contractor, they don't want the drops anyway.
 

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It really doesn't matter how thick the bars are, and you can cut a comb guide in one piece if you like. I found it to be too much work. But the width of the bars does matter and 1 1/2" won't work well. 1 3/8" is ok, but 1 1/4" in the brood and 1 1/2" in the honey seems to work the best for the bees. Otherwise they cheat the brood smaller and the honey wider. If you go with 1 1/2" they will cheat the brood so much that they will not land on the guide. As far as the angle, my first ones were 12 degrees. They worked ok, but I found that they followed 45 degrees more reliably.
 

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The 2x2s I see available are the most twisted pieces of wood one could imagine. I'd get some straight 2X4s to work with (or cut-offs as suggested) and rip them on the tables saw.

Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Great replies so far, please keep more coming if you have any other ideas for basic simple bars, with minimal tool: no nailers/stablers, have access to most saws (table, chop, hand, skil, no radial arm).

Heh, I got those measurements from your sight Mr. Bush. Kind of funny how you say not to use 1 1/2 twice and to use it once in the above post. Perhaps what you mean is to not use 1 1/2 exclusively? I am gonna rip down two different widths, 1 1/4, and 1 1/2.

For whatever reason, the 2x2s here are about as straight as they get. I do know what you mean by seeing some pretty knarly pieces of wood in the past, but I guess got some good stock recently at the stores here.

Making a giant pile of shims sounds like more work than I would want. I am looking for simplicity. Access to tools: table saw, hand saw, and chop saw, pretty much anything that cuts and not binds.

So I think chopping at 15", table saw once for width (1 1/4 or 1 1/2), tilt to 45 degrees, flip on side run once, flip over run again (gate back to 3/8). I can run all of my bars through that last cutting steps without resseting, just leave it running and keep pushing them through. 4 cuts in all, then just notching. I am trying to make this as lazy as possible, I feel my hibernation fat in jeopardy if I put too much effort into it...
 

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He uses a sodering iron to melt beeswax onto a string (cotton or other natrual fiber) on the top bar. The wax attaches the string to the top bar. I would think you could find o ther methods to get waxy string attached to a top bar if you do not have a sodering iron.
 

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From what I have heard, not a very reliable method. It also requires upkeep, reattaching the string wax when you harvest. As well as if hives are warm, the wax can become to soft, making it a poor anchor point for the bees. It's best to leave any wax placement up to them, they make it best and stronger.
 

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Just be sure to use your push sticks on the table saw. Lately, I have been running into more and more people with shortened or missing fingers...
 

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No, you don't re-attach string from 'harvest' one should be leaving about a one inch strip of comb attached to the top bar when you cut it off.

In terms of applying wax, the only wax is a thin line in the center of the top bar to hold the string on. the whole rest of the underside of the top bar is accessible for bees to attach their own wax to., plenty strong.

enjoy the bees,

Big Bear
 

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Here is a link to how I solved the topbar and starter strip problem.

http://picasaweb.google.com/curtis.hensley/TopbarWaxStarterSolution#

I think the point of the starter strip is just to coax the bees to build their comb the way you want them to, right down the middle of your removable topbar.

Once they get the idea they keep the comb perfectly spaced, not always straight but spaced right, usually.
 

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I don't have a table saw, but wanted to make angled top bars. Here's the easy way.

get one 8' 2x10. Set your circular saw to 45 degrees. Cut down one edge. flip the board over and cut down the other side. You should have a 2x10 with a pointed end. Set the saw back to 0 degrees, mark 3/4" back from edge and cut off. repeat. The larger board lets you clamp easier and 2 x 10's are much better lumber than 2x4 and 2x2 (come from the center of the tree) and should stay straight for you.

One 8'x2"x10" makes rough 30 bars roughly what you need for a hive

aloha
 

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I use an 8' 2x10, which is much nicer lumber than the 2x2's or 2x4's. (comes from the middle of the tree). Set my circular saw at 45 and cut one edge. Flipped the board and cut the other side. Re-set the saw to 90 and cut off the edge of the board. Gives you plenty of room to clamp the board, and doesn't require a table saw or any fingers. Makes 30 bar at 5 bar per pass.

You have to do plane off 1/8 to make the bars 1 3/8" but a hand plane is cheap compared to a table saw.
 

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I make ripped blanks that a 1 1/4 X 1 1/2 inches. Then I can route it for either dimension to make the comb guide.

Scot
 

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We used 1x12 oak that was laying about. Then we wedged it at a 30 degree incline. I considered using 2x12 fir and ripping it down to 1x12, but that would be more of a bother given our equipment, and we had/have lots of the oak as free wood laying about.

Here is a quick pic.

 
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