Vital Stats and Materials List for a Bee Hive Frame Jig - dummies

Vital Stats and Materials List for a Bee Hive Frame Jig

By Howland Blackiston

The frame jig you build here holds all the parts to assemble and nail ten bee hive frames at a time (either deep, medium, or shallow). Assembling frames is so much easier when you don’t have to juggle and nail frame parts one bit at a time. It’s like having your own assembly line! You’re going to love having this frame jig.

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

Frame jigs make terrific gifts for other beekeepers. Consider making a presentation-grade model for your favorite beekeeper using fancy wood — now you’re talking!

Vital stats for the frame jig

  • Size: 19-3/8 inches x 16-7/8 inches x 4 inches.

  • Capacity: The frame jig holds up to ten shallow, medium, or deep Langstroth-style frames.

  • Universality: This jig best accommodates a Langstroth-style frame, although it also works with some other frame types that use top, side, and bottom rails. Keep in mind that it’s practical to assemble only one size and style of frame at a time in this jig.

  • Degree of difficulty: This build is as easy as they come — just some simple butt joints and a few minor details to attend to. You can put this together during your lunch hour.

  • Cost: Using scrap wood would put the cost at next to nothing, but even if you purchase the recommended wood, latch hardware, and fasteners, you can likely build this frame jig for less than $20.

Materials list for the frame jig

The following table lists what you’ll use to build your frame jig. In most cases, you can make substitutions as needed or desired.

Lumber Hardware Fasteners
1, 10′ length of 1″ x 5″ knotty pine lumber 4, Small compression draw (toggle) latches, catch strikes, and
screws. This set of hardware typically comes in a blister pack with
fasteners and is available at most hardware stores. The ones I use
are about 2-1/2″ long when assembled.
10, #6 x 1-3/8″ deck screws, galvanized, #2 Phillips drive,
flat-head with coarse thread and sharp point
Optional: weatherproof wood glue 10, 5/32″ x 1-1/8″ flat-head, diamond-point wire nails

You have a few more screws and nails than you’ll actually use because you’ll probably lose a few along the way. It’s better to have a few extras on hand and save another trip to the hardware store.