Did you know that you already own a frame jig? This week I decided to assemble some of the frames that had been laying around awhile just to try and figure out where I am as far as equipment. I like to do this at some point to figure out what I need to order for winter projects. Since I was in the shop I figured I would share this little frame assembly “Hive Hack”. Here I’m assembling deep frames. All you need is a sheet of plywood or a telescoping outer cover and a medium box (or the next size down respectively for shorter frames). If you are using shallow frames you may have to build a hive body out of something shorter or trim an old one down.
Below is a photo of the first step. Lay your sheet of plywood ( in my case OSB) on your work surface. Then lay out all of your top bars. If your using ten frame hive bodies lay out 10 bars. If you’re using eight frame hive bodies… you get the idea.
Now gather up as many end bars as you can hold in your hands and apply your glue to the top and bottom surfaces. I like to squirt it out of the glue bottle then brush it on smooth with a brush or your finger for good coverage. Again both where the top bars and the bottom bars mate with the end bars get glue at this point.
Now install your end bars on the top bars like the photo below. I like to install the bars then slide the frame as close to the edge of the hive body or the next frame as possible making more room to install the end bar on the next frame.
Then install your bottom bars and staple or nail them in. I have a cheap air stapler that works great. You could hand nail these at this point and it would still speed things up for you.
This gives you access to the top bars. Now you can nail them into place.
You’re ready to install foundation if you choose to use it and you’re pretty much done. I have timed myself and with a bit of hustle using this method I can assemble about ten frames every ten min. I don’t think buying a frame jig is going to make this any faster. I have thought about building one that uses this method but is much bigger maybe holding 20 frames or something. For now I’m not worried about it though this is plenty fast enough.
If you enjoyed reading this please click the like button. Also if you have any ideas to improve upon it please share them