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Bee hive how to with Kehoe dovetail jig (Picture Heavy)

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Blog entry by SASmith posted 04-03-2012 10:50 PM 8669 reads 6 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the finished hive body.
Constructed from catalpa with kehoe dovetail splines “dipped” in 300 degree(max) paraffin and gum rosin.
I wanted a long lasting hive body without metal fasteners to corrode. I think this fits the bill,
Outside dimensions are 19 7/8” long x 16 1/4” wide(3/4” thick stock). These are the typical dimensions of a 10 frame langstroth hive.


Rip to 9 5/8” wide

Crosscut front/back to 16 1/4” and sides to 19 1/8”

Front and back boards have a 3/4” wide x 3/8” deep rabbet on the short sides

Front and back boards have a 3/4” wide x 3/8” deep rabbet on one long side to serve as the frame rest
All three rabbets completed

Jig used to mark screw hole placement with awl.

Pre-drilling on my 10ER

Glue, clamp and screw

Water-shedding hand hold jig.

Hive body held in place by shims

Trying to show blade clearance. (blade is actually below the box)
With the blade below the box I start the saw and raise the blade into the wood. Then tilt the blade to 45 degrees and raise the blade again. Then back to 90 and raise and over to 45 and raise then back to 90 degrees. I use 2 revolutions(total) of the blade elevation crank to complete the handhold (Grizzly 1023)

The finished hand hold.

The glue-up used to make the splines

Cutting strips to make the splines

My setup for cutting the splines.
Shop-made magnetic feather boards used as stop blocks.
Grey wood attached to mitergauge to make 1 degree wedges.
Blade tilted to 83 degrees (or 7).

The mountain of splines needed for this batch of boxes.

Jig attached to route out the screw holes.

Router with 5/8” bushing. I prefer the bushing over the bearing that came with the jig.

Glue the spline and socket and tap the wedged spline in for a perfect fit.

My options for cutting the splines close to flush.

Sanding the splines flush.

Top view of the dipping tank with an extra box on top of the one being dipped to prevent floating. The moisture left in the wood is boiled out and when removed from the tank replaced with paraffin as it cools.

A few of the completed hive bodies.

.
If you have any questions feel free to ask.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois



26 comments so far

View MichaelAgate's profile

MichaelAgate

398 posts in 975 days


#1 posted 04-03-2012 10:54 PM

:) Nice work! Nice walk through.

-- Michael and Matthew

View patron's profile

patron

13034 posts in 1993 days


#2 posted 04-03-2012 11:11 PM

if i’m getting this right
the screws are like clamps as the glue kicks

then removed and the splines inserted

great blog
and build process

nice boxes

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View SASmith               's profile

SASmith

1590 posts in 1639 days


#3 posted 04-03-2012 11:14 PM

That’s right David.
I don’t have nearly enough clamps to make a batch of boxes.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4806 posts in 2534 days


#4 posted 04-03-2012 11:18 PM

Sweet.
I have the pleasure of some wax from these very bees – and it is great stuff.

Good job on the build. If I were a bee, that is where I would want to live.
Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View patron's profile

patron

13034 posts in 1993 days


#5 posted 04-03-2012 11:27 PM

that’s what i thought
i do that allot too

then back them out
and trow them back in the can

ready for the next job

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View SASmith               's profile

SASmith

1590 posts in 1639 days


#6 posted 04-03-2012 11:35 PM

Same here David. I used many screws on the batch of boxes. Pic 18 shows my screw bowl in the background.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View blackcherry's profile

blackcherry

3161 posts in 2475 days


#7 posted 04-03-2012 11:57 PM

Nice detail on these boxes as well as your blog on how to, thanks for posting…BC

View eddie's profile

eddie

7316 posts in 1266 days


#8 posted 04-04-2012 06:35 AM

Thanks sasmith,i don’t think i’ll be making any bee hive boxes but you never know.what i do know is that this was a very good blog of a good build .being new to this craft i tend to read a lot of ualls post and learn a lot. like the cuts with the table saw for the handle and the dove tail corners .when i get the money i got to get one of those jig and try it that looked great and strong .i did get lost there once tho not really on the blog but when you and David were talking about saving the screws splam commented about the beeswax than david said he too and throws them back in a can i thought what are they doing with that wax ,then i got back to speed figured out what was said very smart idea and though i,m glad i didnt ask about the wax .thanks sasmith i learned a lot from your post well done for a newbie like me to get it.

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View mafe's profile

mafe

9509 posts in 1741 days


#9 posted 04-04-2012 08:52 AM

Hi SASmith,
What a fine blog.
I like the idea of the screws as clamps, clever, fast free!
My favorite part is the handles, i love these simple looking handles that are really only a cut.
Thank you for showing us the way of these beautiful hives, I would live there also if I was a bee.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Bluepine38's profile

Bluepine38

2876 posts in 1737 days


#10 posted 04-04-2012 02:16 PM

Great blog, and wonderful result. Are you a new beekeeper, or have you been at it for a while? Thank
you for sharing.

-- As ever, Gus-the 75 yr young apprentice carpenter

View SASmith               's profile

SASmith

1590 posts in 1639 days


#11 posted 04-04-2012 06:37 PM

Thanks for all the comments.
Gus, I am fairly new to beekeeping. This is the start of my 5th season. I have around 25 hives now and plan to expand more this season. All of my bees are from wild swarms or unwanted colonies I removed (cutout) from walls of houses and trees. I will have to build more boxes soon. Some of my hives have 5 boxes per hive (unlimited brood nest) so it takes quite a few boxes to put together an apiary.

.
Here is a link to more pictures of the finished hive bodies.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View mafe's profile

mafe

9509 posts in 1741 days


#12 posted 04-09-2012 08:52 AM


Here some beautiful hives from Paris.
(picture 14012012).
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View MoshupTrail's profile

MoshupTrail

292 posts in 1133 days


#13 posted 04-09-2012 09:32 AM

Question on the choice of wood.. Catalpa. Just curious. Any reason for using that?
The stuff you’re using looks almost too good for bee hives.
I’ve got a little bit of catalpa and wondering what would be a good use.

-- Some problems are best solved with an optimistic approach. Optimism shines a light on alternatives that are otherwise not visible.

View rance's profile

rance

4132 posts in 1813 days


#14 posted 04-09-2012 01:46 PM

Great blog. Clever idea with cutting the cove for the handles. Thanks for sharing.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View SASmith               's profile

SASmith

1590 posts in 1639 days


#15 posted 04-09-2012 09:53 PM

Thanks for posting that pic mads.
I love their hive stands and lids.
Are the lids copper?

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

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