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Cut List for the Ten-Frame Langstroth Hive

By Howland Blackiston

The following tables break down the ten-frame Langstroth bee hive into its individual components and provide instructions on how to cut and put together those components.

Lumber in a store is identified by its nominal size, which is its rough dimension before it’s trimmed and sanded to its finished size at the lumber mill. The actual finished dimensions are always slightly different from the nominal dimensions.

For example, what a lumberyard calls 1 inch x 6 inch lumber is in fact 3/4 inch x 5-1/2 inch, and 1 inch x 12 inch lumber is in fact 3/4 inch x 11-1/4 inch. In the following tables, each Material column lists nominal dimensions, and each Dimensions column lists the actual, final measurements.

This hive design makes use of rabbet cuts, dado cuts, and finger joints.

If finger joints are just a little too tricky for you, you can use rabbet joints for the deep hive bodies and the medium super. A rabbet joint may not be as strong as a finger joint, but with some weatherproof wood glue plus the nails, it should do the trick.

If you choose the simpler rabbet option, you need to cut a 3/4 inch wide by 3/8 inch deep rabbet along each corner of the short sides of the hive bodies and the short sides of the medium super. Also, you need to cut the long sides of the hive bodies and mediums to 19-1/8 inch when using the rabbet option (rather than the 19-7/8 inch length when using the finger joint option).

Bottom Board (Ten-Frame Version)
Quantity Material Dimensions Notes
2 1″ x 12″ clear pine 22″ x 1-7/8″ x 3/4″ These are the side rails.
Dado 3/4″ wide by 3/8″ deep along the entire length of each side
rail, and rabbet one of the rear corners of each side rail 3/4″
wide by 3/8″ deep.
1 1″ x 12″ clear pine 15-1/2″ x 1-7/8″ x 3/4″ This is the rear rail.
Dado 3/4″ wide by 3/8″ deep along the entire length.
1 1″ x 12″ clear pine 14-5/8″ x 3/4″ x 3/4″ This is the entrance reducer.
Cut two notches on two different sides of the entrance reducer (one
side 3/8″ high by ¾” wide, and the other side 3/8″ high by
4″ wide).
1 3/4″ exterior plywood 21-5/8″ x 15-1/2″ x 3/4″ This is the floor.
[Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design]

Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design
[Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design]

Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design
Deep Hive Bodies (Ten-Frame Version)
Quantity Material Dimensions Notes
4 1″ x 12″ clear pine 19-7/8″ x 9-5/8″ x 3/4″ These are the long sides.
For the 3/4″ finger joints, start your first cut 3/4″ from the
bottom. Note that the top finger is 5/8″ (not 3/4″) and is trimmed
to 3/8″ long.
4 1″ x 12″ clear pine 16-1/4″ x 9-5/8″ x 3/4″ These are the short sides.
For the 3/4″ finger joints, start your first cut at the bottom.
Note that the top finger is 1-3/8″ (not 3/4″).
Rabbet a cut 5/8″ wide by 3/8″ deep along the entire inside top
length.
4 1″ x 12″ clear pine 16-1/4″ x 1-7/8″ x 3/4″ These are the hand rails.
[Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design]

Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design
Medium Super (Ten-Frame Version)
Quantity Material Dimensions Notes
2 1″ x 12″ clear pine 19-7/8″ x 6-5/8″ x 3/4″ These are the long sides.
For the 3/4″ finger joints, start your first cut 3/4″ from the
bottom. Note that the top finger is 5/8″ (not 3/4″) and is trimmed
to 3/8″ long.
2 1″ x 12″ clear pine 16-1/4″ x 6-5/8″ x 3/4″ These are the short sides.
For the 3/4″ finger joints, start your first cut at the bottom.
Note that the top finger is 1-3/8″ (not 3/4″).
Rabbet a groove 5/8″ wide by 3/8″ deep along the entire inside top
length.
2 1″ x 12″ clear pine 16-1/4″ x 1-7/8″ x 3/4″ These are the hand rails.
[Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design]

Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design
Inner Hive Cover (Ten-Frame Version)
Quantity Material Dimensions Notes
2 1″ x 12″ clear pine 19-7/8″ x 3/4″ x 3/4″ These are the long rails.
Dado 1/4″ wide by 3/8″ deep along entire length, 1/8″ from
edge.
2 1″ x 12″ clear pine 15-1/2″ x 3/4″ x 3/4″ These are the short rails.
Dado 1/4″ wide by 3/8″ deep along entire length, 1/8″ from
edge.
Option: Cut a 3/4″ wide by 1/4″ deep ventilation notch on the
center point of one short rail (on the thick side of the
rail).
1 ¼” lauan plywood 19-1/8″ x 15-7/16″ x 1/4″ This is the top.
Drill a 1″ round ventilation hole in the center of the
plywood.
[Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design]

Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design
[Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design]

Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design
[Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design]

Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design
Outer Hive Cover (Ten-Frame Version)
Quantity Material Dimensions Notes
2 1″ x 12″ clear pine 21-1/4″ x 2-1/4″ x 3/4″ These are the long rails.
Rabbet 3/4″ wide by 3/8″ deep along entire length of top edge.
2 1″ x 12″ clear pine 18-1/4″ x 2-1/4″ x 3/4″ These are the short rails.
Rabbet 3/4″ wide by 3/8″ deep along entire length of top
edge.
Also rabbet 3/4″ wide by 3/8″ deep along both ends of the
boards.
1 3/4″ exterior plywood 21-1/4″ x 17-1/2″ x 3/4″ This is the top.
1 20″ aluminum flashing 23-3/4″ x 20″ This is the protective metal roof.
Wrap the flashing over the top of the assembled outer cover. There
will be a 7/8″ lip folded over the edges of the top. Fold the
corners to avoid sharp edges.
[Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design]

Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design
[Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design]

Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design