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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to start working on building some hives, bought my 1st two to get an idea on how the are put together. I see that most are constructed by using dado's and a lot of dyi use lap joints. To me dove tail joints would be better but then, again I have never built anything that would have to withstand the elements. So what is the best way and why to build your own hive bodies dado, lap joints, dowel, mortise and tenon, rabbet ? Or I guess the question is what has worked best for those that are doing the dyi. For me the cost would be some whwere around $3-4 ish per super. Have no desire to machine the frames just because of there cost low to buy compared to amount of set up work that it would take to machine them.:ugeek:
 

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I found a rabbet joint so much easier to make , just setup the radial arm saw with dado blade and table saw for cutting. Made about 10 units of same dimensions before changing to next size

Having cheap or free lumber is a great help too. I used titebond III plus screws for all the joints to help keep em together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I found a rabbet joint so much easier to make , just setup the radial arm saw with dado blade and table saw for cutting. Made about 10 units of same dimensions before changing to next size

Having cheap or free lumber is a great help too. I used titebond III plus screws for all the joints to help keep em together.
OK i guess I forgot to mention that I have a full wood working shop to work with, day job I'm a programmer of cnc (computer numeric controlled ) machines 3 cnc routers,2 cnc panel saws, 1 cnc dowel machine, and 5 case clamps. I can cut and machine anything to to an accuracy of + or - .05mm. So I'm not looking at the easiest way but the most durable way.
 

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I see the biggest debate over how much of the end grain is left showing with each individual joint. It just comes down to a personal preference, the bees don't really care :wink:


Let us know what you come up with, always open to new ideas and better ways.
 

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I started building boxes with finger joints, then lap joints and then after about 50 of them, I just do glue (Titebond III) and screw butt joints. They'll last just as long if I keep paint on them.
 

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Hypothetically the most durable joint for supers would be the locking miter, they leave no end grain exposed to the elements. I've made a few with this joint, used Titebond III and clamped them, never painted them and they are still tight and solid after weathering now for a few years. If I had your gear I'd probably do all of mine with locking miter joints. They can be cut with a procedure on the table saw or special router or shaper bit can create them all at once.
 

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The rabbet joint is what I like,they have half the end-grain(do the math)showing compared to finger joint.But if you decide to use rabbet joint ,you'll need to cut the side boards at 19 3/16" instead of 19 7/8",or it will be too long and your frames will fall through.Rabbet joints are a snap to cut especially for the novice(that would be me)and are plenty strong to last a long time.
 

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Now I would never have thought a mitered corner would be all that strong but after seeing that I stand somewhat corrected.:smile:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Joseph have been building cabinets for 25 years and have never came across locking miter (most of what we do is dowel and some mortise and tenon for contract work). It looks incredibly strong, down side is that I don't have a 5 axis router ( not that I don't want one but the owners are not willing to buy me a machine for my hobbies....not sure whats up with that:roll:) so if I went with this I would have to do it on a shaper. As I have never made anything that was going to be outside I had to look into what everybody was saying about exposed end grain and if I've read correctly it is abilty to absorb moisture at a quicker rate right ? So I'm now thinking about doing a dado cut combined with a miter which would let me throw it on the machine and hit the green flashy button and have it done. I'm not lazy but if I can figure out a way to have a machine do the work for me I will in a heartbeat.
 

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Both really cool, love simplicity of it. Strong joint:thumbsup:
 

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I know they do have locking miter bits in a shaper mount. Here's one at Grizzly, I'm sure other suppliers also carry them.

I have this profile bit for a router, and use it with my router table. I've made a few boxes this way, with Titebond III and clamping, I haven't used any fasteners - they have been holding up extremely well. I like the appearance of these joints, they certainly are strong and have an excellent appearance, but I'm lazy and it takes a few minutes to set up the router table to cut them accurately. I appreciate, too, that the joints are self-aligning, when cut accurately.
 

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And here I just went a bought a Porter Cable dovetailing fixture (4212) to build boxes with.

I then designed a 3/4" finger joint template for this at work.

(If anyone want a PDF of this, let me know)
 

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a snip.
So what is the best way and why to build your own hive bodies dado, lap joints, dowel, mortise and tenon, rabbet ?

tecumseh:
actually in a traditional factory made box the joint style is called a box joint. the joint here is quite robust compared to a lapped joint. the first likely is a better choice if you move bees in a migratory bee keeping sense of he phase. for most set down beekeeper or hobbist any kind of joint will work with the life of the box being more about maintenance than anything else.

and....

as my old vo ag instructor would have informed you... there is no such thing as best, but if there was everyone would drive a Dodge (which is what he drove).
 

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Ok this may be dumb question... What type of glue to use on the joints... anything special? liquid nails? Any wood glue? Also as for the paint, any exterior paint? oil? latex? I am buying my hives unassembled..
Thanks Mike
 
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