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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well if this has been dicussed at nausium , I apoligize. With my bad connection and tiny phone the search function is not so easy to search for me anyways. Any past post links are great.

My question for the woodshop beekeepers is how well just as a guesstimate do you think a "Butt Joint" hive body will stand up over time?

I have a table saw and will use wood screws pre-drilled and quality glue for the exposed end grain and paint the boxes.

Thanks guys/gals but don't have the tools for finger joints..
 

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butt joints will hold up fine, if you can cut a rabbet with your table saw that would be even better.
the bees don't care.
make your boxes to standard sizes with the correct bees space, that's more important than the type of joint.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
My bee space should be correct, I'm using Dadants templates. I'm working with 10 frame mediums. I was thinking of using Gorilla glue ,,although a pain but its like a tree sap resin when cured.

A rabbit I might be able to do with limated skills.

Thanks for the response.......
 

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i like titebond III for the glue.
personal preference, no proof to back it up.

then just stick with butt joints and make them right.
 

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My father made many rabbeted supers in the '40's. They are not as sturdy as the box joint supers from the same period. It is your choice.

Crazy Roland
 

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I use the rabbeted boxes and they seem to do fine for me. Give them a healthy coat of paint or if you have the means to do so you can try to hot wax dip them.. Always have wanted to try it myself but haven't yet.
 

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Butt joints will work fine, but the boxes are not nearly as strong as glued and nailed box joint boxes. My grandpa used them for decades since he didn't have a dado blade until shortly before he quit keeping bees. Be careful with them and you will be fine.

Keep them well painted.

Peter
 

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Rabbets are SO easy to cut, I don't see why one wouldn't go the extra step. I dado the short ends, 3/4" wide by 3/8" deep. But one can do it with a single saw blade too, just hafta make two cuts instead of one.

Rabbeted boxes will square up better, IMHO. And I personally prefer Titebond III over Gorilla Glue. GG is just too messy, and not as strong. When I make mine, I brush glue over all mating surfaces, clamp up the box with a strap clamp, set square, then staple all around using 1-1/2" staples.
 

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I use one or two #20 cabinet biscuits and butt joints. The biscuits are glued with Tightbond II or III. These boxes are now 10 years old with no failure, and nice tight joint.
They are slower to fabricate than box joints or rabbets, as you must locate and cut the biscuit slots individually. If you can rack and gang the box fingers, you can cut box joints quickly, on the other hand the cabinet biscuits lend themselves to 20-30 boxes per day production with no need to install a dado blade and do the machining set-up to get the precise dado cuts needed for fingers. Jigging up a table saw (or a router table) for fingerjoints is a time sink unless you are ganging up and cutting 100 pieces.

I build mediums out of redwood and cedar fenceboards (sold as loss leader items, and frequently scavenged used). These are brittle woods unsuitable for fingerjoints, and are sawn at non-standard thickness (11/16 and 5/8). They are also cut to length at 6 feet (with dog ears to boot). They are light and resistant to warping and rot. The length over-run to a six foot module in fingerjoints consume short boards wastefully (and the friggin 9 5/8 depth used for boxes is an historic leftover before nominal, off the shelf 1 by widths for 1x10 shrank to the current 9 7/16th)

If I was building out of easily machined, non-brittle new western pine, fingerjoints or rabbets would be preferable.
 

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My rabbeted boxes have held up just fine. I will say when I super with deeps I can feel the box flex when I remove one full of honey. Full length cleats help to stabilize the boxes as I can get a real secure grip on them. I personally wouldn't use butt joints even if I fastened with screws (or a pocket hole jig) and glue. Box joints are strongest but I'm not going to put that much machine time into boxes. Rabbets are quick, easy, and hold up fine.
 

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I use the aluminum flashing and TB-3 on the outside to make the box more sturdy.
They are cheap at your local hardware store. But you have to cut them into
section to fit your hive height. An angle grinder will easily do this trick.
 

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Been doing butt joints for years, titebond 111, deck screws and a good paint. Last for years.
I agree, deck screws are best, if the board is warped at all I use 2.5-3" coated deck screws, otherwise straight boards recieve 1.5" staples bc its cheap and easy.

I make deeps for about $4 bucks in material cost, several coats of good quality paint is most important imo. I prime with kilz, then 2 coats of valspar duramax.
 

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Yep...This one has been pounded ad nauseam on this and every other bee forum.

My 2 cents...Finger Joints are a major pain if you don't have the appropriate skill set and equipment...Many claim butt joints are adequate...For my money the Rabbet joint is the perfect happy medium. much superior to a butt joint, and tons easier to create than a finger joint. Loss the Gorilla Glue idea, :)...Go with a single Rabbet, Titebond III and staple, nail, or screw and I think the box will long rout out before the joint fails.

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for all this info. This morning I was thinking just get a dado and make a jig and "BAM" EASY PEASY. But from what I'm hearing its not that easy.

This is hobby level say 25 hives max so butt joint or rabbet sounds good. I have Tight Bond 3 which is way easier to deal with it just seemed by looking at it cured the Gorilla glue looked like some hard tough stuff.

I really wanted to do flat covers but it seems like a telescoping cover alone will help these boxes last longer because of the overhang.

Any thought on that?

Thanks
 

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There is a learning curve, but after about nine or ten boxes mine generally come out just fine. Have to remember to verify that the fingers are deep enough but not too deep - boxes come out too long if shallow and to short if too deep - and watch making the side with the dado at the top, but it doesn't take much practice.

I expect mine to last forever. I do need to fix a few of my first ones where I got the offset wrong (mostly the jig twisting in use, will add a runner this year to help keep it straight, and fixed the knob on the cross-slide on the table saw).

Once you drop a full box on a corner you will never make butt joint boxes again.

Peter
 

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I have both. And am slowly burning all of the the rabbit ones. Due to racking and looseness. I will give you this these all have been nailed.
David
 

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Glue on the endgrain (as in a butt joint) of pine has virtually no holding power. I works to seal the wood for moisture and putty the cracks, but it is weak as "glue". Endgrain gluing is simply not an approved wood attachment.

The strength in the finger-joint comes from the side-grain-to-side-grain contact. This contact can be stronger than solid wood. The fingerjoint weakness is exposed end grain on both boards. This will wick moisture if not sealed. The moisture cycle will split and loosen the board.

The rabbet joint has minimal side-grain contact and exposed endgrain.

The reason I use cabinet biscuits is it generates "synthetic" sidegrain contact and registers the board (resisting cupping). The cost of the biscuits is minimal.

The "nailed-to-fasten" deep boxes with butt joints in western pine have typically failed for me when the top and bottom cup away from the side pieces. Even a slight cup on the frame rabbet makes the box lose the ability to hold frames securely.

A common design out west is to use butt joints (with the sides running past), but reinforce the end board with a full length 1x2 running past on both top and bottom. This makes the overall length of the box ~21 1/2 inches with a solid grab bar. Provides lapped fastening from both directions. Reinforces the frame rabbet so it doesn't split out. Works very well on pallets. The 21 1/2" length means lots of prebuilt things don't work, but migratory design can be adapted (and cut out of 24" sheet goods).

T. Semmes' boxes (fingerjoints and end-bars).
 

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a whole bunch of years ago, in the 1960 I made some hives with 45 degrees bevel corners. no exposed end grain at all, they held up for years. they were difficult to get the dimensions just right, getting them to be exactly square and flat during assembly was a bit trickey, the then hide cabinet glue was not real waterproof but it worked ok with a good paint job. I have not seen this brought up as an alternative but it works.... I currently use rabbit joints, tite-bond III and exterior deck screws.
 
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