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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve recently been building my own equipment. SBB, supers, 10 frame deep boxes…etc. Now, I’m no carpenter and have only been playing around word working as a hobby for s a short while ( I love it.) For the most part everything has come out nice, through quite a bit a trial an error, which I expected.
However, I did come across a couple deep boxes that seem a little off and I'm wondering if it really matters. The bee space appears to be correct (height, Dado cuts for the frames..etc,) but for some reason the width or length are never exact. I’m only talking about 1/8” maybe 1/4” difference. The seams are tight when stacked. I do get the wood from a large box store, so some of my issues may be due to some warping and I’m switching to a metal ruler too. That may help.
Is the width/length being off that much and issue, or am I just being paranoid. It appears as I get older everything has to be perfect. Is it just me?

Thanks,
Rob
 

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The span of the frame ledges is important; too tight makes frames harder to remove and if too slack you can have frames fall down into the hive if you happen to shunt them across and get them a bit diagonal. Using really thick rough lumber can make the box outside dimension greater than standard (inside dimension is still correct) and some tight fitting telescope covers wont fit.

One of the best ways to get tighter accuracy is to get rid of your pencil and use a scribe to mark. Mark your mark, lol, to show where the saw kerf will steal some length. If you aren't careful you could in the extreme, have one piece two kerfs long and another two kerfs short. If those two happen to get matched it will get your attention. I am getting lazier as I get older and dont like to fight with things that dont fit right.
 

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One key dimension that MUST be maintained is the [nominal] 19 1/8" (inside measurement) between the 'frame rest' edges. If that distance is too large, frames will fall off the frame support. If that dimension is too small, you won't be able to get frames in the box aligned parallel to the box side. Yes, you can have some variance - the exact amount of variance allowable depends on how consistent your frames are.


You can get correct dimensions for 10 frame boxes from these plans: http://www.beesource.com/build-it-yourself/10-frame-langstroth-barry-birkey/

The measurements in the 16 1/4" direction (10 frame boxes) are not as critical as the long dimension mentioned above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
When I compare how the frames fit in the boxes I built to store bought equipment, the spacing of the top bar to the inside edge of the box appear to be the same. They have just enough room, perhaps 1/32 -1/64 of space on each side.
So I never measured the inside (K, I’m still learning), I’ll check that out tonight.Should be good. I really appreciate the help folks.
Wait till I start asking about raising queens LOL.
RS, thanks for the link. Thats what I’ve been using, howerver for the landing board and SBB I used this:
http://www.michiganbees.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Screened-Bottom-Board_20110324.pdf
 

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I also build all my own equip from boxes, lids, landing boards, screened bottom boards, frames. Theres a book on amazon I bought that has helped me termendouslly. "How to Build Bee Equipment" by Tony Pisano. I highly reccomend it for someone who wants to DIY.
 

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now that i own a miter saw i find having a number of stop blocks makes my stuff consistent and tremendously fast to make time after time.

G.
 

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Build a box assembly jig (a.k.a. "squaring jig"). That sets your inside dimensions while clamping the glued joints, and keeps the dang things SQUARE. Build it good and sturdy, as it will be taking lots of abuse (kicking it out after waiting too long on the glue, errant staples, etc.). Make it 1/64th inch smaller than the inside dimension, and cover it with brown packaging tape so glue removal is easy with a damp sponge. For a standard Langstroth, that's 19 7/64ths inch long X 14 47/64ths inch wide x 9 11/16" (deeps), 6 5/8" (mediums), 5 11/16" (shallows).

Dry-assemble, numbering the top corners 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, and 4-4. Then disassemble and dip the finger box joints into the glue tray, assemble them tops up & smile sides out, clamp them, and get those first 16 staples in as straight as you can. Usually you can now remove the bar clamps, sponge the glue off the squaring jig and the inside and the outside of the box and finish the stapling job without the box getting out of whack, but re-check it either with a framing square or by slipping it back onto the jig.

VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED is making the frame assembly jig in the "Build it Yourself" section here on Beesource. Helps make them all the same size, much quicker, but best of all - IT KEEPS YOUR FINGERS AWAY FROM THE BUSINESS END OF THE STAPLE GUN.;)

The whole point to these jigs is that they reduce the futzin' around that tends to cause the errors when building one at a time, and they especially help eliminate variations on the inside dimensions.
 

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The depth of the frame rest dado is the most important dimension. If you get it wrong and the tops/bottoms of the frames are too close together, the bees will glue it into a giant tower. In fact, woodenware from different manufacturers have this problem....
 

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Make and use a jig when cutting your boards to length, and when cutting rabbets on the ends if you use them. Once you get it set up properly, they can all be cut the same.

Measure the inside long dimension of the boxes before you glue and nail them, and adjust if necessary. I just made some shallows, and one of them came out bad enough I'm going to have to cut the end out and pull the nails so I can re-cut the finger joints and make a new end. Frames are almost falling through, and that will cause trouble. I usually set things up so that the box joints are flush or a tiny bit deep, but missed badly on this box.

Most of the rest are pretty good.

As far as numerical accuracy, I'd aim for no more than 1/16" variation from standard dimension. This can be a hassle with cheap wood. It really does make a difference, and you must remember that the high volume manufacturers do not make single parts, they have machinery set up to cut identical parts from blanks all day long. They all come out the same, unlike doing one board at a time.

Peter
 

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I made nucs last night. i use a scrap piece of the 3/4" lumber to get the 3/8" rabbets depths exact. cut from scrap piece from either side until the cuts almost touch each other.

Gary
 
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