My brother and I tore into the beehives today and pretty much got them completed. That is all except for the legs and lids, which he is planning on taking care of himself. We ended up spending most of the morning and afternoon working on them and made a lot of sawdust in the process. Maybe it is time for one of those nice dust collection systems? Anyway, we started by cleaning up the glue squeeze out from the glue-ups we had put together last week.
After cleaning up the glue, we sent the boards through the thickness planer a few times. It definitely gave my planer a run for the money. I could hear it slowing down as the oak is older and very dry. We were planing pretty much the full width (>12″) that the planer is made for. Most of the boards needed to be 12″ in width so we ripped them down to the correct size.
After we got them all ripped to size, we needed to cut them to length. I remembered my old cross-cut sled I had made quite a while back for another project. It would speed up the cuts and save us the trouble of using the chop saw and having to flip the board around, repeat the cut from the other side and hope the kerfs line up.
After finishing cutting all the main boards to length, we set to cutting the trapezoidal boards from plywood that make up the follower boards. These follower boards apparently have some sort of purpose in helping control circulation, delineating parts of the hive and preventing the bees from swarming – something beekeepers try to avoid where a portion of the bees decided to leave the hive.
We put a little larger than a 3/8″ dado in the top bars that will receive the follower boards.
Here’s a board inserted.
We are making two hives. One for my brother and one for my sister, so two sets of everything!
Now with the follower boards cut, we set to making the top bars.
We made quick work of cutting the top bars to length. A wood clamp is what we used as a stop block to make sure all the top bars were the same length.
Once we were done cutting the top bars (I think there were 50 total for both hives), we began building the main body of the hive.
I like when assembly begins… that’s when I feel like we are really starting to make progress.
The hive will be nice and solid and the oak should make a long lasting hive. We used corrosion resistant deck screws to attach the end pieces.
Here’s two pictures, one without and one with nearly all the top bars in place.
With the top bars:
Almost done with the main part of the hive.
I just love using the forstner bit. It makes such a nice clean hole when compared to a regular spade bit.
Here, the main part of the hive is completed.
It was getting late already. That’s always how these projects seem to go.
My brother will finish the legs and top cover at his place. I’ll try to post a picture of the fully completed hive once he has that all done.