LumberJocks

Apiary #1: How would you cut this handle?

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Blog entry by CueballRosendaul posted 06-13-2014 04:22 PM 2723 reads 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Apiary series Part 2: Deciding to build my hives »

I should probably make this my second entry under this series about building my beehives, but I’d like to ask the community for input on how you would cut these handles. When I made my hive bodies, I just sat the bodies on the saw and raised my dado blade two full turns of the handle to cut a slot and they’re okay for my use. However, since my dimensions were off a tiny bit from the “off the rack” hives at the store, I bought one hive body to copy the dimensions more accurately (they only charged $16.95 a piece).

Anyway, to my question: The box I purchased had these nicer looking handle cutouts in the sides and I can’t figure out how they cut them. They don’t appear to have been cut on a table saw or with a router. I’ve seen similar cuts with a radial arm saw, but they have a tapered top edge and a round bottom and these are flat. There are no cutter marks in the hole to give me a clue. The pictures are a little big and blown up in photobucket, but I’ll leave them large to show the detail. Any suggestions?

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.



9 comments so far

View OhioMike's profile

OhioMike

73 posts in 1627 days


#1 posted 06-13-2014 05:06 PM

I no longer keep bees but when I did, I made my own supers as well. I got around the issue you’re facing by gluing and nailing a 1×2 piece of pine along two sides. It was a better hand hold than the recess.

The only down side is if you keep bees commercially and need to transport the hives by truck. The 1×2 handles take up extra space.

I did it as a hobby so space wasn’t a consideration.

Mike

View CueballRosendaul's profile

CueballRosendaul

484 posts in 1605 days


#2 posted 06-13-2014 05:21 PM

I thought about doing a cleat too, but I like the clean look of not having extra lumber tacked on the sides. Over time, I’d like to creatively paint the hives as they are part of my landscaping. Doing the notches the way I did was easy since I had the dado in the saw anyway.

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.

View TechTeacher04's profile

TechTeacher04

326 posts in 996 days


#3 posted 06-13-2014 06:01 PM

Use a raised panel bit on a shaper or router table and do stopped cuts. Careful positioning of the fence and stop and start marks on the fence should yield that profile. You could also try a cove bit on a router depending on the profile it has.

If you did not need a rounded bottom you could use a straight cutting but with a template guide. A ball mill or round nose straight cutting bit could be used to profile the bottom and the straight for the top section. Hopefully one of those 3 ideas will work for you.

View TechTeacher04's profile

TechTeacher04

326 posts in 996 days


#4 posted 06-13-2014 06:04 PM

You could also rip the top section off on the table saw, rout or use a shaper for the cove and then glue the top back on. Just another idea. Good luck

View OhioMike's profile

OhioMike

73 posts in 1627 days


#5 posted 06-13-2014 09:31 PM

I read a description, years ago, of a jig that holds the hive body face-down on a table saw with a gap between the cast iron and the workpiece to allow sawdust to escape. The guy began with the blade fully retracted and then:

1 Start the saw
2.Raise the blade about a 1/16” into the work.
3 With the blade still spinning, operate the tilt crank until the blade exits the wood.
4 Repeat until hand-hold is deep enough.

It seems kind of similar to cove cutting in that the blade is cutting with the sides of the teeth and not the front.

It produced a semi-circular hand hold, not the elongated one in your photo.

As I say, I have only read the description and not tried this technique myself.

Go to the 5 minute mark of this video to see a similar technique done on the radial arm saw.

Mike

View SASmith               's profile

SASmith

1850 posts in 2452 days


#6 posted 06-14-2014 04:34 PM

Here is how I make my hive bodies, including the handholds.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View OhioMike's profile

OhioMike

73 posts in 1627 days


#7 posted 06-14-2014 04:53 PM

Scott, that’s it! That’s the jig I read about years ago.

Very nice work.

Mike

View CueballRosendaul's profile

CueballRosendaul

484 posts in 1605 days


#8 posted 06-15-2014 11:33 AM

Thanks Scott, that’s a great help. When I build hive # 2 this winter in anticipation of a spring split, I’ll do them that way. I didn’t want to cheat by screwing a cleat on the outside, I think that’d look tacky. I’m planning to build them over the winter and either find someone to creatively paint them, or build little features that I can tack on to make it look like a little Russian building since my queen is about 4th generation Russian.

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.

View BTKS's profile

BTKS

1984 posts in 2929 days


#9 posted 06-18-2014 08:32 PM

Cueball,
Search Carl Korschgen, beehive handles. If you are only making a few hives, his jig and grinder head on the drill press will make a beautiful handle. I have pics of a fixed jig I made to use the same grinder head. I have since used that jig to be a guard on a dedicated shaper for cutting these handles.
I had custom knives made for a shaper application.
Carl has the part number and supply chain to find the grinder head. The head is designed for the tire retread business.
I’ll try to find my pics, but no promises.
I’ve checked with several bit manufactures and found a custom router bit for handles is over $300.00.
I only invested in the shaper because I manufacture (very small time) hive boxes.
Message if you have more questions.
BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

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