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Author Topic: Hive Construction ?'s  (Read 2804 times)

Offline ME0505

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Hive Construction ?'s
« on: February 13, 2016, 09:52:46 AM »
For the guys that make their own hive boxes:

- do you finger/box joint the ends?  If not, has anyone had "separation" issues?  I have a Kreg jig and could use that for added support.
- Any particular wood species?  I know the standard is pine, but just looking for insight here.
- Any advice?
- I can just use runners for handles so I don't have to route out slots.

Thanks for any help/advice!


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Offline beehappy1950

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Re: Hive Construction ?'s
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2016, 12:05:14 PM »
I use a 3/4 in box joint. Its somewhere around 3/4 in, what ever it takes to make the fingers a full thickness so they wont break off and I can get a nail in the bottom one. I have some hives that I used a full 3 inch finger and they seem to hold up well. You can make them any size you want. I always try to nail a cleat across the front and back for the handles. Harold

Offline cao

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Re: Hive Construction ?'s
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2016, 12:58:15 PM »
I just use a butt joint.  Titebond III and a few deck screws.  I use screws because some of the cheap pine boards I used are warped.  The screws pull the boards together better than just using nails.  A cleat across the front also helps hold boxes together.  Although the 5 frame nucs I built, I just used nails.  I think just about any wood will do but, pine is cheap and relatively lightweight. 

Offline gww

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Re: Hive Construction ?'s
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2016, 01:36:08 PM »
I only make mediums and use whatever wood I have handy.  Mostly oak (heavy and drill to nail or screw).  I have used rabbit joint, butt joint and have just got my first cheap dado blade and did some finger joints.  If I am in a hurry I use butt joints.  I like the finger joint cause if my wood is thicker then 3/4 inch but I make the fingers 3/4 inch deep, the inside dimensions always still come out correct with out haveing to use math and make measurement adjustments.  I use nails some times and screws sometimes and a mix sometimes.  For handles I sometimes use cleats across the front (expesially on the butt joint boxes) to help hold them together.  I got a plan for a jig off of the bee scource webb site to use my circular saw to cutt handles.  I make the boxes the full board depth and cut down to size after built using the table saw.  I don't use glue anymore.  I don't paint.

I have not done this long enough to tell you what works and what doesn't for long term.  I have enough stuff to start bees with lots of excess equiptment which is my goal.  I can't say how long each way I have built will last or what type of shape they will bee in after how much use.

If your goal is to have stuff that will last forever and looks really artsy and super nice, I would not be the one to imulate.  If you just want to be ready for bees had have enough stuff to hive a swarm or two and not have lots of money invested, I figure if the bee spaceing is correct that the bees won't care.  I do believe really well built and maintained stuff is probly less work in the long run but at a cost of money rather then time.
Good luck
gww

Offline little john

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Re: Hive Construction ?'s
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2016, 03:56:51 PM »
I use butt joints, 100% waterproof glue and screws. Using screws saves tying-up cramps. I prefer to paint 'em both inside and out - with whatever colour happens to be on the brush. Edges waxed to stop sticking.

I used to make boxes using pallet wood - which is mostly pine - but I've just finished a batch of nuc boxes which started-off as Mann-Lake glued cedar brood boxes, which were then cut in half:



New sides were then added using Oregon Pine Studding recovered from pallets, with glued and screwed butt joints, and grooves cut into the inner sides for feeder-dividers so that they can be used either as 5-frame nucs or as dual half-size-frame mating nucs.



Polyester filler was applied, sanded down and the boxes finally painted with industrial floor paint.



I'm pleased with the results and will be making a lot more in the same way. Starting-off with commercially-made flat-pack boxes ensures that the boxes are totally square and without any twist. When taking construction time into account, including that for the recovery of timber from pallets, this method is a far more economical route to adopt (for me) than making boxes completely from scratch using reclaimed wood.

But I'll continue to make bases, roofs, feeder shells etc from pallet wood.

LJ
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Hive Construction ?'s
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2016, 10:09:09 AM »
So far I've always done either butt joints (screwed) or rabbet joints.  But recently I bought this and plan to use it next time:
http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KZM25QA?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm
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Offline Dabbler

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Re: Hive Construction ?'s
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2016, 08:16:18 AM »
Mine are waterproof glue and butt joints with a spline.
Some long staples hold it together while the glue dries.
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the tests first, the lessons afterwards .
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Offline Sundog

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Re: Hive Construction ?'s
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2016, 07:06:56 PM »
I do butt joints, blind dowels and clamp them.  IMO, finger joints create more places for water and microscopic bugs the enter as all the joints swell and shrink.

Offline Colobee

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Re: Hive Construction ?'s
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2016, 12:40:07 AM »
I've built both. Butt joints may last a few years. 5-10 at best. One good drop when they are full of honey and they are done. Finger or box joints hold up for decades. Paint the fingers with Titebond & screw or nail. The butt joint boxes can be cut up into shims, handles, tops & bottom boards when they give out. :smile:
« Last Edit: March 07, 2016, 11:30:30 AM by Colobee »
The bees usually fix my mistakes

Offline OldMech

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Re: Hive Construction ?'s
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2016, 08:58:00 PM »
So far I've always done either butt joints (screwed) or rabbet joints.  But recently I bought this and plan to use it next time:
http://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KZM25QA?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_search_detailpage

  Interesting!!  Let us know how well that works!!!   How expensive was that bit?

   I have about 250 boxes in service, with about 30 of them being butt joints, the rest are rabbited corners. I have inherited boxes with finger/box joints, and have tossed most of them into the trash by now. Even being well painted they seem to like to split from each and every corner in this climate, and with finger/box joints, thats a LOT of corners.   I will be adding another 450 boxes as the summer progresses, all rabbit joint corners.  They are easier to make and suitably strong. Stronger than butt joints, but not as strong as finger joints.
    I would ask, how strong do you need the corner of the box to be?
   If you intend to toss them around a lot, then maybe the finger joint is the way to go. If you NEVER intend to even drop a box, then the butt joints will work well for you. Mine get roughly treated on occasion when I am careless, at which time I usually pay the price heavily by volunteering myself for bee venom sting therapy on a grand scale......

   Seriously..  If you only have equipment to make butt joints then thats what you make!  If you have the equipment to make anything you want, then you decide to make the style corners YOU want to make.  I believe that wooden ware is disposable. You paint it and fix it up the best you can for a decent service life, when it is no longer viable to fix/repair you throw it away and make another box, frame, lid, bottom board etc...
39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.

Offline Sundog

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Re: Hive Construction ?'s
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2016, 12:36:36 AM »
+1

Consider how many linear inches of seam, horizontal as well as vertical, using a box joint versus a butt joint.

 :cool:

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Hive Construction ?'s
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2016, 09:50:25 AM »
> How expensive was that bit?

The price is on the page.  Looks like $25 and free shipping.
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm
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Offline OldMech

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Re: Hive Construction ?'s
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2016, 10:56:28 PM »
Not bad then...   I would think that would make a sturdy corner, but making sure the cuts were square would be more important yes?
39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Hive Construction ?'s
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2016, 12:56:15 PM »
>making sure the cuts were square would be more important yes?

I haven't tried it yet, but the length would be the critical thing I think.  Straight, of course, but I'm not sure how the router affects the length.
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm
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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Hive Construction ?'s
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2016, 01:27:48 PM »
It is important to make sure that your boards are cut square with any type of joint. If they are not you will find that your boxes do not sit properly on one another.
As for the length, the biggest problem is if the board is cupped or warped. If it is cupped put the cupped (concave sides) together and clamp real well with ratchet straps and straight boards under the straps to pull them together while the glue dries. Your best bet is to avoid warped boards.
Jim
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Offline OldMech

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Re: Hive Construction ?'s
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2016, 11:23:33 PM »
It is important to make sure that your boards are cut square with any type of joint. If they are not you will find that your boxes do not sit properly on one another.
As for the length, the biggest problem is if the board is cupped or warped. If it is cupped put the cupped (concave sides) together and clamp real well with ratchet straps and straight boards under the straps to pull them together while the glue dries. Your best bet is to avoid warped boards.
Jim

   Is that even possible now that all the local lumber yards are closed and I only have the BIG BOX store to buy lumber from?   :shocked:
39 Hives and growing.  Havent found the end of the comfort zone yet.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Hive Construction ?'s
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2016, 01:03:49 AM »
I get my wood rough cut by local sawyers and plane it to 3/4". A lot cheaper that way.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline little john

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Re: Hive Construction ?'s
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2016, 04:36:39 AM »
Just want to comment that warping is a real bltch when making either home-made or commercial (flat-pack) boxes.  The use of a glass-top table or similar dead-flat surface to rest the box on certainly helps when gluing-up - but won't prevent the subsequent box twist which comes from having used warped boards.

If a small amount of twist (say a box rock of 1-2mm) remains, then ignore it - the weight of box contents and/or the boxes above it will flatten that out.  With more substantial twist resulting in serious rock (I have one such to be 'cured' at the moment - thanks, Mann-Lake), the only method I've found reliable is to build an adjustable height tower above a dead-flat surface, place the box on that (suitably held in position with micro-wedges and hot-glue) and then router the edges flat (using a sledge-mounted router) - then turn the box upside-down, and router the other edges.  To maintain the correct box height, glue thin battens to the edges, preferably before routering.

Now that's a lot of work - so warped boards are best avoided like the plague in the first place ...

LJ
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Offline capt44

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Re: Hive Construction ?'s
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2016, 09:53:50 AM »
I use to buy my 1x12 boards in the 12 ft length but found when I cut the boards to length (19 7/8 and 16 1/4 inches the boards would cup as much as a 3/8 inch.
I finally went to 8 ft boards and they would stay straight and flat when cut to length.
I had some boards that I had a hard time ripping even with a riving blade adapter.
The grain when cut would draw the board in a C shape length ways with ripped.
I kept a couple of the C shaped boards to show folks what Knots can do to the grain of lumber.
I mean the board would look straight but when ripped it would curl up immediately.
Richard Vardaman (capt44)

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Hive Construction ?'s
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2016, 06:28:56 PM »
Capt
I had a stack of 2"x12"x16' yellow pine that I ripped to 2"x6" boards. On some on them, by the time I was half way through the boards, the cut ends were as much as 8 to 12" apart. Usually one would end up very straight and the other one would be crooked as can be.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

 

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