Hive Joinery Part 4

“Dovetails”

For part 4 I’ve decided to go to the extreme end of the spectrum. Most will not be dovetailing hives. About the only thing I use this joint for is my candy boards as long as I’m not in a major rush to get them built.

Photo Jan 20, 5 45 47 AM
I’m sure you won’t be surprised that I hand cut mine. I cut mine tails first. If you follow dovetail lore you will find two main methods, tail first or pin first. I’m not going to go into much detail about all of that. There is plenty of information out there on the subject. You can cut dovetails by machine but to my knowledge without a jig or fixture of some sort I don’t know how possible it is. You will most likely wind up finishing them by hand anyway. The picture above is actually an unrelated project. This is however, how I would build a candy board if I were to dovetail them. I found it odd that (rather unintentionally) I built the base for this lantern stand the same dimension as a 10 frame hive. I guess beekeeping is getting a bit intertwined into my subconscious. I believe this will conclude my Hive Joinery series. I hope everyone has enjoyed it.  We have covered the major methods to get the job done hopefully some you will put this information to good use someday.

Thanks for reading, if you like what you read please feel free to subscribe. Also please leave any comments or questions, and I will reply as soon as I can find the answer.

Thanks Brian

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Posted in beekeeping, Winter work
8 comments on “Hive Joinery Part 4
  1. Great work Brian,

    I have to confess I have never yet stepped up to the dove tail joint. I have ducked and dived and worked my way around it as often as I can. A few month ago brought in some magnets to make a Magnetic Dovetail Guide, (http://www.woodworkersinstitute.com/page.asp?p=1458) but the winter shutdown of my shed stopped things there.

    I have normally resorted to dowel joints and things like pocket screws where I can hide them.

    I loved this series. Have you covered the anatomy/construction of a hive, types of hive and why you use the ones you use?

    Andrew

    • Brian says:

      Dovetails can be intimidating at first but don’t let that stop you. They aren’t really that difficult. Layout is everything. Not to sound to cliche, but practice makes perfect.

      Nothing wrong with dowels and screws. I tend to make things as simple as possible when time is short. If I’m playing around I go with complicated joinery just mainly to learn.

      I haven’t written anything on hive anatomy or construction. I’ve considered drawing up plans on sketch up (just haven’t gotten around to it). I think it would be a good idea after doing the joinery series to do a series on hives and the different styles, with anatomy worked in.

      Great idea.

      • Dovetails and sketch up! woww.

        I have spent some time on Sketch Up, but I find it so fiddly and unintuitive that of normally end up with pencil and paper.

        I would love to read about your experience with hives and how to… well do beekeeping, but do not feel the need to put that much effort in.

      • Brian says:

        I’m just learning sketch up. It is cumbersome at times. I’m getting to the point that I think I can do it now. We’ll see what time allows for. Spring is coming fast so I’ll be shifting my attention into the hives very soon. I’m hoping for an eventful season.

  2. Looks like a perfect dovetail to me – you even left it a little long, so it can be sanded flush. It’s been a while since I hand cut them, but I’m pretty sure I did the tails first too.

    • Brian says:

      Yes they are a little proud of flush ( most of the time anyway). I did show the best one. Dovetail perfection isn’t easy to achieve.

      • I always heard you want them proud, so you can sand them flush. Like you said, dovetails do take some practice. I took an “intro to furniture class” where we learned dovetails. The final project was simple three board bench, basically “U” shape. I was so proud of my dovetails – they were perfect. Then I assembled the bench… during the layout process I accidentally flipped the boards. Instead of a bench I ended up with a “Z” shape. The instructor said he never had anyone do that before and actually took pictures of my mistake!

  3. Brian says:

    Scott,
    I accidentally cut one of the dovetails on this on the wrong board and had to cut one pins first on the correct board to save it. It ended up working out ok, but I go lucky. Some of the best discoveries/inventions were mistakes made wile looking for something completely different. Creativity is what makes the difference in my opinion.

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