Hive Joinery part 3

“The Rabbet Joint”

Maintaining a theme of simplicity this week we’re going to dive into a joint that all Langstroth hives use for a frame rest. You can also use this joint to assemble your hive bodies. It gives you more glue surface than a butt joint and some slight mechanical advantage.

Photo Jan 20, 5 46 16 AM

I have a tool specifically for cutting these joints, however a table saw, router, router table, or hammer and chisel will all get the job done. What I have is a beautiful wooden moving fillister plane. Its 2″ wide with a skewed iron making a cross grain rabbet doable.

I found this one on eBay, I think I paid less than $30.00 after shipping. I consider this plane to be one of my most prized tools. I’m guessing the fences were installed by a user down the line and they weren’t original to the plane. I think you can buy a new Stanley (I can’t remember what number) rabbet plane for around $60.00. This would be well worth it if you intend to build a bunch of hives this way.

The way you would join the hive together is resting a full side board into the rabbet. You would also glue with  nails in both directions. I don’t have any finished examples of this but I will use one of my frame rests to demonstrate how the two boards would join together.

Photo Feb 03, 5 58 59 AM

If you picture the rabbet going all the way to the top of the board then glue and nail or screw in both directions. You will have a good solid joint.

Posted in beekeeping, Winter work
8 comments on “Hive Joinery part 3
  1. Over here in the UK we know this as the Rebate Joint.

    Another advantage of this joint, provided that you have made the Rebate/Rabbet accurately is that when you get to glue up, it is much easier to glue the joint up squarely. The Butt joint only holds your joint square in one direction, but this joint holds it square in two. If you are looking for a good and accurate joint, starting your rebate with a square and sharp marking knife, can help you to get a straight edge to work to.

    I love your plane. Old wooden planes are so nice to look at and pretty good to use. I have a Cast iron body Record No 778. Does the job, but does not have the looks of your plane.

    • Brian says:

      This Joint is far superior to a butt joint if you have the tools and patients. These specialty planes make fairly quick work of it. It does require very well prepared stock if you want a clean crisp look. Thankfully when it comes to beehives even the most novice woodworker like myself can make a box that any honeybee will be proud to reside. I am working on a few nonbee projects that I’m thinking of branching out and writing a posts on. We’ll see what time allows.

      The UK seems like such an interesting place. You have a very rich history with beekeeping and woodworking alike. I love watching Paul Sellers on YouTube when I get the chance. Phil Chandlers take on beekeeping is also very interesting.

  2. billlattpa says:

    My moving fillister is my favorite woodworking tool, though I don’t use it as often as I would like to do. Mine is a vintage model as well. I’ve never used the Stanley, but if you ever get a chance try the Veritas. It is expensive, but it is a beautiful tool and works brilliantly.

    • Brian says:

      There is something about these old planes that I can’t get enough of. I really would like to find a set of tongue and groove wooden planes. I have a Stanley 45 combination plane although very few cutters for it. I’m in the process of restoring a #5,#3, my dads #4. There are a few others in the mix as well. Just for nostalgia’s sake I’d like to put together a set of the Stanley planes. There are so many though. I’ll keep the Veritas moving fillister in mind. I recently bought one of their replacement irons for my #5. I haven’t used it yet but it looks very promising.

  3. Oh… a set of tongue and groove wooden planes…. lust… This is about the closet I am prepared to admit I get to breaking a good few of the Ten Commandments.

    I would love a set of tongue and groove wooden planes, and a few molding planes too. I to, have a Combination plane, and mine has a full set of blades, but it is very much an unclassy machine, not a sweet and classy tool to run across the wood.

    I need a cold shower and to get back into the Bible. LOL

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