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Forum topic by DLMKA posted 11-27-2012 02:48 PM 1628 views 0 times favorited 34 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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DLMKA

11 posts in 663 days


11-27-2012 02:48 PM

I’m making some beehive boxes and looking for a way to create a hand-hold like in the top box in the image below. It’s pretty important that the top edge is flat because these boxes can get heavy, up to 100 lbs for a 10-frame deep full of honey. Combined with gloves covered in propolis and lots of possibly grumpy stinging insects flying around you don’t want to fight to hang on to the box. The bottom also needs to be tapered so that water doesn’t pool up on the flat spot and diminish the service life of the box. I’m hoping to do this with common woodshop tools but don’t have any problem making jigs and fixtures to get the job done. It also needs to be pretty fast. Each box has hand-holds on all for sides and I’m planning on making 50 boxes this winter. What do the woodworking experts have to say?


34 replies so far

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1811 days


#1 posted 11-27-2012 02:59 PM

I would clamp the box or side firmly to the table saw fence, position it over the blade in the right spot, turn on the saw, and then raise the blade to a point at a certain depth in the wood, but not through…then tilt the blade to make the scoop part.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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a1Jim

112083 posts in 2230 days


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

Jays approach sound like a good approach plus using a dado blade.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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William

9021 posts in 1495 days


#3 posted 11-27-2012 03:08 PM

My grandfather was a beekeeper and made his similar to the way Cosmicsniper suggests, except he had a jig.
I am sorry I don’t remember the exact details of the jig. That is one of those childhood memories buried somewhere deep in my twisted mind.
He had something that lay into both miter slots. It had a wooden fence and a stop that he held the side of the box against and lower it down onto a blade that was already set at the height that he used. Then the whole contraption was on a piano hinge. Once the box was flush down on the table, he slowed swung it sideways, cutting the hollowed out area you see with the saw blade.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

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William

9021 posts in 1495 days


#4 posted 11-27-2012 03:09 PM

I hope that explains it.
I’m sorry if it isn’t as clear as I remember it in my head.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

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William

9021 posts in 1495 days


#5 posted 11-27-2012 03:12 PM

By the way, I noticed you used box joints on your bee boxes.
My grandfather used nothing but dovetails. He always said dovetails would hold up longer than any other joint for bee boxes. He’s say that with him having over five hundred hives scattered all over north Georgia, he wanted to rebuild bee boxes as little as possible.

I have fond memories of those bee boxes. As a child, we turned one on end, one on side, and used the one on the side as a seat and the one on end as a table. That’s what the kids eat on at dinner because in my grandmother’s house, kids didn’t sit at the dinner table.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

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DLMKA

11 posts in 663 days


#6 posted 11-27-2012 03:24 PM

I just picked up my first real piece of woodworking equipment, a JET contractor saw and so I’m resigned to using box joints until I can convince the Mrs. I need a router and router table too. I mentioned it the other day and her eyes rolled so far back in her head all I could see was white, LOL. My one car garage that also has to house bikes and other outdoor gear just isn’t big enough for a full blown woodshop. I think I can picture the jig with the piano hinge.

Here is one way but doesn’t cut a flat top. I’ve seen this done before and it works but takes lots of finger strength to hold a 90-100 lb box.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaWRjpJ5f0w

View casual1carpenter's profile

casual1carpenter

353 posts in 1128 days


#7 posted 11-27-2012 04:14 PM

I found this on youtube, could the blade angle be changed to 90 degree to sled surface perhaps a few hold downs and an additional stop? The process might need to be slowly fed into the blade. I would also consider using a dado pair set to help combat blade flexing.

Just a thought, never tried it, likely never will have the need to try it. Trying to visualize this I hope it works out like I think it will. Wonder if it is actually safe, perhaps someone else can comment on that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5yWQCARkUw#ws

At any rate, good luck with the bee boxes, and you know the bees won’t notice if the hand hold is not perfect. lol

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DLMKA

11 posts in 663 days


#8 posted 11-27-2012 04:24 PM

The bees won’t care what the hand holds look like until you drop a box because of poorly designed/manufactured handles.

I’m thinking I’ll just add a 1X2 cleat glued and screwed with a 5deg taper cut on the top to keep water from pooling.

I do have a through brewing in my head that uses a jig comprised of a parallel link 4-bar mechanism. I’ll do some figuring tonight at home and make some pro/e models tomorrow at work.

View William's profile

William

9021 posts in 1495 days


#9 posted 11-27-2012 05:08 PM

The video you linked to, the one with the guy making the handles with a circular saw.
I think that would work. However, why couldn’t the balde be tilted on the saw so that it’s at a right angle to the box side? This would make a flat top hole like you want.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

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DLMKA

11 posts in 663 days


#10 posted 11-27-2012 05:18 PM

William, you’re absolutely right!

View William's profile

William

9021 posts in 1495 days


#11 posted 11-27-2012 05:23 PM

DLMKA,
Grandfather tried the piece of wood screwed to the side idea.
That would get you by for a while. In the long run though, when the boxes get some age and wear and tear on them, the handles come off, either from the screw pulling out or rusting and the glue failing, usually at the worst possible time.
It seems like a good idea, but once you get a real good hive, one that’s really producing, those boxes get full of bloating, yummy full comb and weigh quite a bit.
I think Grandfather told me once that it was nothing for a good hive to have boxes weighing over a hundred pounds.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

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DS

2131 posts in 1073 days


#12 posted 11-27-2012 05:26 PM

The cut in the pic was not cut on a table saw – though you could approximate it with one.

The cut in the photo was done with a router bit in a specialized jig. (You can even see the tear out at the end of the cut.)

I’ve seen specialty router tables with an angled router spindle (mounted horizontally) and a long end-mill style bit to cut such things. There is a spring-loaded and hinged table insert that lifts the work out of the router bit and a stop block on the fence at each end for the start and stop positions.

With the router running, the workpiece is laid on the table insert against the fence. Downward pressure compresses the table insert spring and lowers the piece into the router bit. The operator slides the piece through the cut to the other stop block and allows the table insert to lift the workpiece out of the cutter, then removes the finished piece.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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pintodeluxe

3359 posts in 1466 days


#13 posted 11-27-2012 05:27 PM

I would be inclined to make these handles with a router and full sized template. Clamp or tape the template in place and rout in several light passes. They won’t taper unless your jig is tapered. A bowl and tray bit will give you an adequate grip. It woud be very repeatable.
Cutting handles with a circular saw or table saw sounds a little scary to me.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7550 posts in 2300 days


#14 posted 11-27-2012 05:45 PM

A router base makes the cut tricky to work out. You
can build a custom cradle to hold a router without
the base flange getting in the way, but you’ll still
need a real long bit and probably a collet extension –
you’re looking at over $100 for those two tools
and the there’s the fuss with making the custom
router table to do the cut.

A simpler solution is to work out a way to drill it
with forstner bits on a drill press and knock out
the waste with a chisel. Not quite so neat, but
quick to set up and the chisel work is easy.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View casual1carpenter's profile

casual1carpenter

353 posts in 1128 days


#15 posted 11-27-2012 05:51 PM

DLMKA, do as you will but if you have a table saw the video I linked would likely be safer and quicker. I would just change the jig a bit.

BTW, if you took offense with “the bees won’t notice if the hand hold is not perfect” I apologize but I do think the joint would come out reasonably close to what you are looking for. Perhaps we have a different ideas of perfect and acceptable.

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