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If you build your own boxes (not assemble boxes bought from other sources) what is the depth of the rabbet for the frame rest? What is the measurement from the top of a frame to the top of the box? I've looked in the build it yourself part of BS for the measurements. However, here it says to install the metal frame rest in the notch that was cut.

I've also looked at the Fat Bee Man plans and he uses a 3/8" wide by 3/4" deep rabbet for a frame rest. The boxes I've bought seem to have a 3/8" (I haven't measured) deep frame rest. Would it be a safe assumption that you would want to keep this a uniform measurement in all of you equipment? It would seem you would be able to smash bees (queen in particular) if you mixed a boxes with different depths of frame rest cut into them as the frames would set at different heights.

Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill?
 

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Am I making a mountain out of a mole hill?
No, this is a great question.

Since you are building your own boxes just make sure you cut them all the same. You will want to end up with 3/8" total space between the top bar and the bottom bar on the box stacked above.

I cut mine so there is 1/4" between the top bar and the top edge of the box. Then the bottom bar should be 1/8" up from the bottom edge of the box. Total space is 3/8".

Some of the older boxes I have were factory cut with a 3/8" gap between the top bar and the top edge of the box, and the bottom bar was flush with the bottom edge of the box. I think they were built that way so you could add a metal frame rest and end up with the same measurements as above.

What ever you do make sure they are all the same or you could end up with a lot of burr comb between boxes, or not enough space for the bees to cross over.

Also, try to use the same frames in all your boxes. Some brands are cut differently and you end up with different lengths creating the same problem.
 

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I use a rabbet on the tops of my boxes that are 3/8" wide by 3/4" deep. Once you put your frames in this allows 1/4" clearance. This IS particularly Important. At the bottom of the box with these measurements you will end up with box a clearance of 1/8" which will allow for propper bee space.

No matter what the box size you need to keep correct bee space.
 

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Bee Culture published an article comparing the key dimensions of boxes among different hive manufacturers. I originally provided a link to that article, but the link turned out to be dead, so I have removed the link. Bee Culture seems to have reorganized their website and the article is not to be found there now.

Here is a similar previous thread: http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?292059-Standard-Super-Dimensions
Note that the link in post #7 of that thread no longer works.


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If you are only mating up with your own boxes the distance is not as critical as long as they are all the same. Where you run into problems is intermixing boxes that vary from little more than 1/2" to as much as 3/4" frame rabbet depth. You will wind up with some excess and some tight bee space between frames in upper and lower boxes and get burr comb there. I dont use frame rests so use 5/8" rest ledge depth which seems to be near standard in boxes I have come across. If you will use frame rests go a little deeper so the top of whatever rest you use is 5/8 from top edge of hive body. This is assuming that you are building boxes the standard overall height of 9 5/8 or 6 5/8". If you are building out of wood that is not totally seasoned start out a little taller than the previous measurements as they can shrink considerably.

I have thrown away some of my original constructions or use them for other purposes now!
 

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I cut a 3/4 tall by 3/8 deep rabbet on both sides of the box as well as the frame rest. Then I cut the side pieces to be 19 1/8 long.
This means there are 2 ends that are each 3/8 thick (3/8 was removed for each rabbet) + 1 side 19 1/8
= 3/8+3/8+19 1/8= 19 7/8 overall length.
The nice thing about this is that there are fewer adjustments for the saw.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you for all the replies and information. Great site! I've purchased boxes for the two hives I will get in the spring but now I'm going to start building them. I will have to keep those sets together and not mix them up with the stuff I build.

I think I'm going to go with the 3/8 x 3/4 tall frame rest. As Adrian pointed out this will make for fewer changes to the saw!

Thanks again for all the help!
 

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I can't drive a nail straight to save my life so I won't offer advice there, but, if you are making some of your own stuff and you have purchased stuff, try and make yours exactly like what you buy and not have to keep two different sets of equipment. I can predict with absolute confidence that some day you'll need to marry those two sets and if they are incompatible in any way, you'll be up a creek. It may seem now like you would be able to easily keep the sets separate, forever, but it won't work out that way.

If you like your own design better (depth of rabbet, etc.) perhaps you can mill out the purchased stuff to match what you make?

Enj.
 

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If I'm making standard boxes that will be stacked I make the frame rest rabbet 5/8" deep. This leaves the standard 1/4" at the top. If I'm making a long hive or a mating nuc, I often make the frame rest rabbet 3/4" deep and make the box a little deeper to leave a bit more room at the top. This leaves 3/8" at the top.
 

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Kelley Bee Supply used to make their rabbets 7/8" deep, with a folded metal rest that left bee space under the frame ends. Now they cut them all 5/8" and use a flat metal frame rest. With a 3/8" deep top bar at the rest, that leaves 1/4" on top and the frames leave 1/8" between frame and box lower edge, for 3/8" between frames when the boxes are stacked.

Some makes put all the distance above the frames, and leave the frames flush with the bottom of the box, so check all you boxes if they are not from the same source to make sure all is good -- the arrangement doesn't matter so longs as ALL the boxes can be interchanged, or you can segregate them so that you always have 3/8" between the frames.

Oddly, deep frames leave 1/2" between boxes in nearly all the cases I've measured (not all that many). The frames are 9 3/8" and the boxes are 9 5/8" deep, so with the 1/4" above the frames and the 1/4" below, you get tons of drone brood between the boxes. I've never been able to determine if this is deliberate to accomodate box shrinkage or just an oversight.

Be careful in making your own boxes not to cut down that space between frames -- if it gets less than 1/4", the bees will often propolyze the boxes together at the frames, and it's nearly impossible to get them apart.

Peter
 

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I build all my own boxes except for the first few I got. I actually have no clue what the rabbet depth is, I just used one of the pieces from the store bought one as a template to set up my router table and go from there.
 

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We recut all new boxes to accommodate the metal "P" frame rest, the top of which ends up being 5/8" from the top surface of the box.

Crazy Roland
 

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Bee Culture published an article comparing the key dimensions of boxes among different hive manufacturers. I originally provided a link to that article, but the link turned out to be dead, so I have removed the link. Bee Culture seems to have reorganized their website and the article is not to be found there now.

Here is a similar previous thread: http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?292059-Standard-Super-Dimensions
Note that the link in post #7 of that thread no longer works.


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Here's another link to the article: www.three-peaks.net/PDF/BeeSpace.pdf
 
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