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I was wondering if anyone does make their own hive tools, or has in the past? I have access to a plasma cutter at my high school shop and was thinking of making my self some..
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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My old favorite was a cleaver that I put an edge on the end of. It was 1 1/2" wide with a blade about 6" long plus a handle that was four or so inches long. It was an "Old Hickory" cleaver. It worked so well in the kitchen though, as a knife/spatular/scraper that I left it there instead. My favorite "bought" hive tool is the Italian one. It's long (good leverage) thin but strong (so it's light) and the hooked tip is small so fits easily between frames.
 

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I am a bladesmith when I'm not workinas an engineer and have been for a number of eyars before starting in with bees. I have made a number of hive tools out of various steels, but my favorite steels are 5160 and 1045. I forged mine to shape then draw filed to smooth them well enough for use. I too havea plasma cutter, but dont like to use it on knives becasue it burn a lot of carbon out of the metal right at the edges. Anways, I made all of mine too thick. i made them to pry, torque, push...etc and have the right temper to not permanently deform, but i made them too thick. All of them were too thick. I didn;t realize that in order to get between the boxes, the edge had to br pretty thin or the wood gets all sorts of damaged. Thats what i get for making a "better tool" without having done the job the tool was intended for.

My advice is to maybe buy one to see how it works for you and then use it in practice a little bit and THEN make one. If I ever get any free time, I'm going to make a nice damascus steel hive tool. There is just something about handmade patterned steel that I like to see.

My favorite design is very close to this one

http://nectarbeesupply.wordpress.com/2013/01/23/win-a-maxant-hive-tool/

I just made the "square end" too thick to be very effective and have yet to correct the error.
 

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If somebody comes up with a folding one, like a jack knife, you will have a gold mine. I would love to get a good quality folding hive tool, I would even pay well for one.
 

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I've used a pocket knife many times as a hive tool... but it does tend to loosen the pin over time from prying. I'll bet you could get a Buck lockblade (or cheap knock off) and cut it square on the end and sharpen the end.. and I'll bet it would be very handy...
 

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pioneer boy. Seems like a plasma cutter would work. My only thought is what type of steel you would use. If you make one with a hooked end, hot or cold rolled probably won't hold up. When I made mine from the lawnmower blade I was careful not to overheat it as I was cutting and grinding it and lose the temper.
 

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Well I made one... I made the one with the j hook on the end, I cut it out of 1/4 inch sheet metal, I made it 8 1/2 inches long and 1 1/4 inches wide at the handle and the square at the front is 2 inches. I grinded down the square to where it tapers down and it's actually kinda sharp.. Hopefully it works good. If it doesn't then I'll try again.
 

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if you left the square end at 1/4" thick and jsut beveled the edge, you'll fine it too thick to effectivley pry apart boxes. You'll want to either grind an afwul lot off of it, or put it on a mill and start removing metal. I've never held one of that style in person, but all of the other hive tools I've used/held were much thinner than 1/4"...maybe 3/32" or so. You'll see what i mean when you're trying to break apart the propolis seal. I thought it'd work fine as well, but it didn't. You'll see what i mean when you use it. 'Doing' is a great educator. Good on you for making something isntead of just buying. Not too many folks are into 'making' anymore.
 

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I know a guy w/ a home made hive tool. I think he made it from a leaf spring. It must weigh 3 lbs or more.
 

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Yes it is pretty heavy :/ I ground down the square quite a lot. It does work, but I'm going to try to make a nicer one
 

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If somebody comes up with a folding one, like a jack knife, you will have a gold mine. I would love to get a good quality folding hive tool, I would even pay well for one.
There is a company named Fast Cap that makes some pretty ingenious tools and construction items for the woodworking industry. They have a set of folding chisels and putty knives that might have some uses or possibly be altered to work.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaZCJbCWokw

http://www.fastcap.com/estore/pc/Pocket-Chisel-3p2470.htm


A funny. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZASi0ClU8AI
Don
 

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I know a guy w/ a home made hive tool. I think he made it from a leaf spring. It must weigh 3 lbs or more.
Yep, we have a member of our organisation who makes his own hive tools out of car leaf springs. He is known to have the biggest tool in the business.
 

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There is a company named Fast Cap that makes some pretty ingenious tools and construction items for the woodworking industry. They have a set of folding chisels and putty knives that might have some uses or possibly be altered to work.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaZCJbCWokw

http://www.fastcap.com/estore/pc/Po...rl]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZASi0ClU8AI
Don
Actually their paint scraper may be perfect just as it is. Thanks for the lead.
 

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I started out in a machine shop when designing the Shizel hive tool( www.shizel.biz) I applied a handle which makes it really easy to use and is more ergonomic than the regular flat types. It also has an anvil support piece and grip. I can tell you that once you start using this tool that you will never want to use anything else. The patented design requires cutting and stamping, bending, welding, heat treating, and plating. Good luck on your endeavors.
 

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I started out in a machine shop when designing the Shizel hive tool( www.shizel.biz) I applied a handle which makes it really easy to use and is more ergonomic than the regular flat types. It also has an anvil support piece and grip. I can tell you that once you start using this tool that you will never want to use anything else. The patented design requires cutting and stamping, bending, welding, heat treating, and plating. Good luck on your endeavors.
I don't really "get" this hive tool. Mind you, I don't get the standard hive tool either, I really like the hook on the maxant-style tool.
 

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Dominic,

The tool is easier to use when seperating supers and acts as a lever, loosens frames from the bottom of the super with less effort, also it will support the frame even better than the hook while removing the frame from the top of the box. Our tools are professionally made. I sold over a thousand of a slightly different similar design. We just came out with the stainless steel version. I did some contract honey business with Labonte Honey several years ago. Do you know Jean Marc? Regards Don Richards
 
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