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Beehive Handhold Cutting Jig #1: Cutting Handholds on the table saw

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Blog entry by RoadHogg posted 02-07-2015 11:07 PM 6640 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Beehive Handhold Cutting Jig series Part 2: Dado Blade vs. Shaper Cutter »

We are planning to get some honey bees this summer and we will need about 25 hive boxes. Since the boxes look pretty straight forward to build, I thought I’d leverage my wood shop and build them myself. A retail box is $15.00 plus taxes and that’s not assembled.

The hive box uses a 7/8” box joint, I built a box joint jig for that but I found it more difficult to devise a way to make those nice scalloped handles you see on hives.

The requirements for the handles are that it needs to be long enough to get your fingers in there, obviously, the top of the handle needs to be 90 deg from the side of the box and the bottom needs to slope outward to allow moisture to run off, instead of sitting in the handle and rotting out the box.

After some research online, I saw a jig that looked good to me. This jig idea came from Jim Hensel. It uses a sled that runs perpendicular to the table saw’s dado blade. The sled has a sloped surface on which to place the box side.

Here’s a rough Sketchup on the jig.

The sled sits at a 15 deg slope and the dado blade is also tilted to 15 deg to match the plane of the sled surface.

The hive side is placed in the sled (two sleds are needed to accommodate two sizes of hive side).

The sled is placed in the jig base…which in turn is clamped securely to the table saw.

The sled is then moved across the blade, making a nice scallop in the hive side.

I’m thinking of adding some clamps to hold the work piece securely into the sled.

Now to build the thing…I hope it works out.

-- "The difference between school and real life is that in real life the tests come first, and then the lessons" -- Robert Lang, ReadWatchDo.com



3 comments so far

View KenNashua's profile

KenNashua

1 post in 576 days


#1 posted 06-18-2015 11:56 PM

How’d it work out? Have the sketchup to share?

View RoadHogg's profile

RoadHogg

124 posts in 1393 days


#2 posted 06-19-2015 12:05 AM

Hi Ken. It worked out well but it wasn’t perfect. The challenges were:
1. It’s pretty hard on a dado blade and those aren’t cheap.
2. I had to cut the hand holds twice, once with the blade a little lower, then raise it up and cut again. That’s because the hand hold is deeper than the blade and there aren’t teeth on the side of a dado blade.
3. Dust/chip control was terrible…with enough work you could probably make this work better. I’ll see if I can get my sketchup plan uploaded.

-- "The difference between school and real life is that in real life the tests come first, and then the lessons" -- Robert Lang, ReadWatchDo.com

View RoadHogg's profile

RoadHogg

124 posts in 1393 days


#3 posted 06-19-2015 12:24 AM

Search for “Ten Frame Deep Langstroth Beehive Handhold Cutout Jig” and you should find the model online.

-- "The difference between school and real life is that in real life the tests come first, and then the lessons" -- Robert Lang, ReadWatchDo.com

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