Types of Joints for Building Beehives
The good news is that many beehive build plans keep it simple. You use only four different joinery techniques for many beehive builds.
You can join wood together using all kinds of techniques. Collectively, these techniques are referred to as joinery. The list of different joinery methods used in woodworking is long and diverse. Some techniques are very complex and require special skills and equipment.
It just doesn’t come easier than butt joinery. In this technique, you join two pieces of lumber at a 90-degree angle by simply butting them together. Done!
Although the butt joint is the simplest to make, it’s also the weakest. And over time, the rain, humidity, heat, and cold cause the joinery to split open. Though these openings may provide some nice ventilation and an extra entrance for the bees, you’ll find them quite impractical in every other way.
Make this simple but weak joint as strong as possible by cutting the wood true and clean and by using a weatherproof wood glue and screws (not nails).
Rabbet cuts and dado joints
It takes some a while to sort out the difference between rabbets and dadoes. Here’s a definition of each of these similar joinery techniques:
Rabbet: A rabbet (called a rebate in the UK) is a recess cut into the edge of a piece of wood. When viewed in cross-section, a rabbet is two-sided and open along the edge of the wood. Think of a rabbet as the letter L. Rabbet cuts are sometimes used to join two pieces of wood together, but they’re also used to create shelves or ledges (such as the shelf upon which the frames rest).
Dado: A dado (called a housing or trench joint in Europe) is a grooved slot cut into the surface of a piece of wood. When viewed in cross-section, a dado has three sides. Think of a dado as the letter U.
The measurement of the dado cut is identical to the thickness of the piece of wood that fits into the dado. For example, you use this form of joinery when building a bottom board. A 3/4-inch dado cut into the side rails accommodates the 3/4-inch-thick plywood floor. Dado joinery results in a solid, strong connection between two pieces of wood.