Sunday, July 19, 2009

I Am Not A Woodworker...

OK, I am usually not a proud person, but it is difficult for me to admit something: I am not a woodworker.

I went to college to be an engineer (electrical), so I a very detail-oriented person. I know how to use a tape measure, I can diagram things, but something gets in the way when I try to bring a woodworking project to completion. It's very frustrating. Things which take a woodworker seconds to do just escape me...

Being a beekeeper, you can spend a lot of money on wood items. These aren't high end finished, polished, varnished, etc. items - basically you slap a coat of paint on them and go (the bees don't care). You can save some money by building the things yourself - right up the alley for an amateur woodworker. But they have some difficult parts in them - most notably the dreaded box joint (also called finger joint). This is how all the supers are constructed, as it produces a very sturdy joint.

But it is not easy making one. The best was is with a box joint jig, a tool that helps you cut the box joint. But you have to get the measurements just right on the jig, or all of your joints will be off. I've tried twice, and haven't succeeded yet.

But I did succeed in making a couple of items for the hive.

This is a robber screen. It is used when you have a new hive in your yard (like I will), and you don't want a larger hive to rob the new hive of it's honey or sugar syrup. The screen fits over the entrance of the hive, and the bees which live in the hive exit the hive through the entrance at the lower right corner, come up inside the screen, and out the top left. Any robber bees try to go directly for the entrance from the outside (lower right corner) and are thwarted by the screen. I saw the idea on the web, and found a diagram and made one myself.

I also made another hive stand for my new hive. I love the view of a hive with a sloped board at the entrance, even though the bees could care less. This one I made with a groove for a white board to be slipped in, which is used to count the number of mites which fall from the hive. I actually cut enough wood for 2 stands (to replace the stand for the hive I already have), but I messed up and instead of cutting 2 left sides and 2 right sides of the stand, I cut 4 left sides. More proof I am not a woodworker...

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