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Black Comb 

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I would appreciate guidance on the following :-

1. The nails that come with the cedar hives are quite "thick" - about 2 - 2.5mm diameter. I have a nail gun which I could use instead but the galvanised brads are 1mm dia or less - would using these make any difference long term?

2. Any ideas for an assembly jig would be much appreciated.

thanks
 

oliver90owner 

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Hi Peter,

I always use countersunk screws. For nearly everything. They can be removed if you want to change bee space (as long as not all parts are glued tightly together. No chance (or very difficult), with nails driven in below the wood surface, to take it apart.

Jig? The lounge floor or a wide bench (or a robust sheet secured in the old workmate would do).

I fix, fairly square, with one screw, check for square on the diagonals and then drive the top and bottom screws slightly on the tosh. The classical way is a sash cramp slightly skewed to pull every thing square. But all the factory made boxes (and most of my own made ekes, feeders, hives, etc) fit together pretty well square without any problem. The most important thing is to make it on a flat surface so one box sitting on the next will have no gaps between them. It takes a little longer (drilling pilot holes) but I reckon I have a better job. I have a quite a few nail packs around the place. Slowly using them elsewhere.

The Dartingtons, even with the huge body, were so easy when cut correctly and whacked together with the top rails flat on the floor.

Regards, RAB
 

Black Comb 

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Thanks Rab
I'm changing to Langstroths so won't be changing bee space.
Stainless screws I assume?
Good idea about the clamp to square it up.

I have a decent size bench but it's getting them exactly square which I find tricky.
 

oliver90owner 

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What do call 'exactly'? A couple mm, even, on the diagonals is nothing to worry about. It is the 'flatness' of the edges on the tops and bottoms of the boxes which is far more important. Flat-pack hives should be very accurately machined.

I always used to use Reisser screws. A tad more expensive but more reliable. Just coated, not stainless steel. I hate cheap screws with soft heads, as they so easily burr over - and the cheap screwdriver tips as well. I do buy some others these days, but I try to be careful quality-wise.

Regards, RAB
 

Baggyone 

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I picked up a pair of sash cramps at my the east of england agricultural show last year for about 6 quid. looked a right tool carrying around two cramps for the rest of the day but they are excellent for building hives.
 

SixFooter 

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With the Thorne hives, I drill a plot hole and then hammer in the galvanised nails. Why do Thornes supply the thinner (japaned?) black nails with the hive kits?

Found out recently that the pva glue doesnt work very well if you leave it to dry in sub zero temperatures.
 

oliver90owner 

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the thinner (japaned?) black nails

To secure the top and bottom rails to those sides which fit in the rebates after assembling the outer moticed and tenoned joints? I use C/S screws from the inside. I find that the pull from the screws is adequate to pull the rails very tight against the sides such that they do not need glue. Any joints are sealed from ingress of water with ease.

I had a couple of seconds where the rails were very slightly bowed. With nails they would have needed filling, but with screws they were pulled up tight to the sides. Just the way I do it. Ymmv.

PVA is a thin film glue (will not effectively glue unless the parts are closely fitting). It ideally requires the parts to be cramped together quite firmly until the glue has sufficient strength. Not only the sliding parts of the joint but also the 'squeezed' side too.

One reason why I don't use nails.

Regards, RAB
 

rae 

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I use stainless screws and titebond adhesive. In terms of getting it square, I just use a, er, square to get it all lined up - whack on a load of sash cramps while it is drying and it's all done.
 

Black Comb 

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Yes I use a square but seem to spend a lot of time messing about to get it right. Just asking if there was an easier way.
Tried the cramps and they seem to pull them more or less square so I'll stick with this.
 

oliver90owner 

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The standard joinery method for say a door, or window frame, would be a couple of sash cramps to pull the joints together and one slightly (as necessary) off-square (slightly diagonal) to pull the item into square. If both pairs of sides are the same length, getting the diagonals the same is the simple requirement - much closer and easier than a square.

Regards, RAB
 

mannky 

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Thank you I have learned a lot from this thread !
 

gwenynwr 

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Assembling on top of a zinc queen excluder on the bench is a useful way to check everything is square
G
 

rae 

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Yes, or some other known square hive component! The ones to watch for are 14x12 boxes - you can get out of square, and you can also get bowing in the panels. I need 6 sash clamps to ensure that a 14x12 is square.

I've given up on the screws - Titebond waterproof is more than strong enough.
 

woodyapex 

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hi

peter s
i'm no expert on bees yet .
But i am following you .
And i'd like to think all my years as a joiner can help you !

so

1 re your pin gun ! i know the pins you mean and in this situation are not reliable enough ! if the timber moves it will pull them out !
Don't use them !

2 Screws , some good advice already iv'e seen , what you need are metric screws , rieser mentioned earlier are perfect or spax , you'll find these screws are all gold in colour ! not gold don't buy em .
size wise 4.0x50 mm you may manage with 40 mm spax you'll not need to counter sink or pilot i'd have thought through softwood !
You could also look at 3.5 mm x 40 but these may prove hard to get old off !

3 now squaring !! this is easy !! make the frame up ignoring square to start with (to a certain extent )

all you need is a thin lathe say 10 mm x 10mm , knock a panel pin through the end , all you then do is with the frame flat put the panel pin in one of the internal corners and where the ajacent / diagnol internal corner meets the lathe put a pencil mark !
then do it on the other two corners ! if the marks are the same youve cracked it ! if not halfway between both is the point it needs to bee .
all you have to do to get it square then is either lift it up and tap the longest corner on your bench ! or pull it in with a sash clamp !

sorry for the long explination ! i could have squared 10 in the time its took to write as its very simple !

woody
 

psafloyd 

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The standard joinery method for say a door, or window frame, would be a couple of sash cramps to pull the joints together and one slightly (as necessary) off-square (slightly diagonal) to pull the item into square. If both pairs of sides are the same length, getting the diagonals the same is the simple requirement - much closer and easier than a square.

Regards, RAB
Don't understand the bit about the off square cramp pulling them all square. Never did any woodwork at school, never learned any from the old man and I didnt have a grandad with a shed, so an explanation would be helpful and gratefully received.
 

woodyapex 

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no prob psa f

if the box is out of square a little ( or a lot ) two ajacent corners with for arguments sake be 20 inch and the other two 21 inch if you put the sash cramp on the longer 21 inch diagnol all that you need to do is tighten it up until it measures 20 and a 1/2 inch (maybe a little bit more to allow for spring back !

rabs way is slightly different as he is talking about the same princerpal but only putting the cramp on slightly on the diagnal to pull it square ! usually then leaving it there till the glue sets , like he says for doors windows where compression on the joints is neccercery .
in this case it's not really or you'd be there all day or need lots of cramps !
hope this helps explain it .
 

psafloyd 

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no prob psa f

if the box is out of square a little ( or a lot ) two ajacent corners with for arguments sake be 20 inch and the other two 21 inch if you put the sash cramp on the longer 21 inch diagnol all that you need to do is tighten it up until it measures 20 and a 1/2 inch (maybe a little bit more to allow for spring back !

rabs way is slightly different as he is talking about the same princerpal but only putting the cramp on slightly on the diagnal to pull it square ! usually then leaving it there till the glue sets , like he says for doors windows where compression on the joints is neccercery .
in this case it's not really or you'd be there all day or need lots of cramps !
hope this helps explain it .
Very helpful. Thanks very much.
 

wojciech 

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Workmate

All the advice on using sach cramps etc is getting a bit too technical for me !!

I've been making some ply Nats and nucs as per the instructions in Joe Jordans book that I've mentioned in another thread. I've been using a Workmate to clamp the end board flush with the surface and then presenting the side Board to it and nailing them together with 1" nails. When I've nailed all four sides together I check them with a try square. They're usually right but if needs be I can correct with a few taps with a mallet and then I bang some 2" nails to firm them up.

This has worked OK for me so far !!
 

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