Monday, May 3, 2010

Adventures in Woodworking

    I don't have many regrets in life, but I have always regreted my relative ignorance as to the proper use of woodworking tools.  There have been a lot of times when I have wished  that I had taken a few shop classes in junior high or high school.   Today I made some significant progress in addressing that difficiency in my education. My friend Quinten taught me how to set up a jig on the table saw to do box joints. There is something magical about fitting the pieces together and having them fit snugly. The whole point of making box joints has to do with a particular bee hive project I'm trying to do.

    I'd like to try a Warre hive this year.  It's a type of unconventional hive which has smaller dimensions and is supposed to make it easier for the bees to make it through the winter using less honey stores. They look really nice as well, considerably more decorative than a conventional beehive.  Most people do them as top bar hives where the bees build comb suspended from top bars with no enclosing frame.  That works well for people who really don't want to manage their bees, but simply want to let the bees do their own thing.  I wanted to do one with frames.  That way it would be easier to look in on the bees once in a while and I would have the option of doing extracted honey.  The only options for top bar hives is "cut comb" or "crush and squeeze".

     I finished cutting out my first box this afternoon. The box joints look so much better than simple butt joints and are much stronger joints.  I feel much more like a real woodworker.  Next I want to learn how to do dovetail joints using my router table.  I got a nice router for Christmas a year ago and a friend gave me a nice router table.  So far, all I've managed to do with it is to install the router onto the table.    

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