Nature has always provided us humans with the exceptional material wood. With our project today we want to give nature something back. We’re building a bee cradle! A new home for our very hard working inhabitants. The bees! The bee cradle is most natural form of bee hive. It provides the ideal space for our bees to develop naturally and allows for unobtrusive honey extraction. Our Hammer workshop is optimally equipped for the project with the circular saw K3, the planer A3-26 and the band saw N3700 from the affordable Hammer range. Because of its special weather resistance we use our native Tyrolese larch wood. The preparation is done quickly, connect the extraction and plug it into a socket (or, depending on the model, into a high voltage outlet) and get started! As always, you can download the complete assembly plan on our website. The assembly plan comes in handy during the build and can also help with brainstorming. We take measures and start cutting the boards to length. The board protrusion is removed with the parallel cutting fence! The cutting of the end happens exactly at the pencil stroke. The supporting table makes handling the long boards much easier. With just a few simple steps we modify the machine for trim and parallel cuts. The saw blade we chose is the Silent-Power Rip Saw Blade with a diameter of 315 mm. Trimming on the smooth sliding table is comfortable and fast we receive absolutely straight cutting edges for optimal parallel cuts. Our Hammer expert’s tip: The parallel cutting fence in the middle of the saw blade prevents a clamping of the boards and allows you to work safely and comfortably. Already the combination of sliding table and parallel cutting fence is almost a guarantee for a successful woodwork project. And another Hammer expert’s tip: Workpieces up to 3 m long can be processed with a trimming sleigh. The bar runs on a T-slot at the sliding table. So the compact Hammer circular saw is optimally equipped even for big projects. Every part is cut to its raw measurements, now we start with the planing. We use the A 326 with a planing width of 260 mm, dual-hinged, solid planing tables, a precise planer fence and practical rolling carriage. Quickly adapted, we begin with the planing and jointing of the tailored boards. With the practical table extensions we increase the size of the supporting surface for long and heavy workpieces. We control the depth of cut variably and quickly. These details – standard for Hammer planers – are essential for smooth work progress. Thanks to the spring support we convert to thickness planing with just a few grips. Here we see the patented Silent-Power spiral blade cutterblock exceptional and silent, it guarantees a perfectly planed surface. Of course, we can modify the thicknesser table with the table extensions. Therefore, we can also do safe and stress-free thickness planing as a one-man operation. We use the handwheel to set the thicknessing height accurate to a tenth of a millimetre. And we’re all set. Even the simultaneous planing of two slim boards is no problem for our A3-26. We progress quickly with a feed speed of 6 metres per minute and obtain a perfect surface. With the next step we glue the sidewalls and the rear wall together. We put the boards together according to their growth rings to minimise later “warping”. We join the boards with a waterproof adhesive (PU adhesive). While glueing together the boards, the quality of results from the planer becomes clear. Our sidewall is absolutely perfect. We start by cutting the workpieces to length. We take the accurate dimensions from our assembly plan and set the crosscut fence accordingly. For cutting small pices we mount the rifing knive deflector with magnets to the cast iron table. We adjust the crosscut fence to exactly 19 degrees for the bevel cut of the legs. We need to apply the dimensions from the plan to the workpiece when preparing the side parts. Our Hammer expert’s tip: A rectangular shaped plate makes an ideal auxiliary fence. This ensures, especially with the second cut, an accurate stop and a stable lead of the workpiece while cutting. Next are the glued boards, which have dried in the meantime. Dried PU adhesive is best removed with a flat, sharp knife. We use a rendering plane iron. The initial points for the following cuts are the sides. These are the fix points for all other components. This way, we can counterbalance deviations from the assembly plan. We cut a rabbet into one of the sides to make the assembly easier. As a result we obtain a larger surface and a stronger bond of the glue. We change the splitter for safer working because the rabbets bevelled strips turn out to be concealed. Important: The top edge of the splitter needs to be lower than the circle of cut. The first fold cut is made with an upright workpiece. A section helps us to lead the workpiece. We adjust the saw blade to an incline of 23 degrees for the cutting of the back wall. The large scaled miter-scale helps us to accurately adjust the angle setting. Our Hammer expert’s tip for double mitering on the the rip fence is to “start cutting bearing tracks” The workpiece won’t slide with the tip of the fermentation into the rip fence and can be lead optimally. We cut the fore and back parts of the roof at the line of measurement. We us the rip fence in a “horizontal” position for the gable and supporting parts. In doing so we can also cut small parts with the same level of safety. So let’s move to the materials list. Fastening elements for the roof. …. Sections of glass for the body
Done! All parts are cut – time to start assembling! We start with the marking of the roof construction to tag the positions for the chisels. In order to control the climate for our bee population, we try to make the rooftop as airtight as possible. The resulting air cushion provides perfect thermal isolation in summer and winter. We use PU adhesive again to glue the parts together. Our Hammer expert’s tip: Use screws with a drill bit – this prevents the wood from splitting It is also recommended to use screw clamps to secure the workpieces! By installing a glass pane we will then be able to observe the growth of our bee colony. The glass pane does not need to be glued because the construction method clamps the glass The three entrance holes are drilled with a 20 mm Forster drill. We can later reduce the size using corks or even close them again. This will be important at the time of settling, winter and spring. The insole rails seem to be quite the challenge. But the effort will pay off, as we will see later … For the first fold cut, the adjustments to the circular saw stay the same for the horizontal and vertical workpiece. This way we save time and the cutting of the rails is soon complete. The rest of the tasks for the rails will be done using the bandsaw … This is the safest and fastest way to make the next cuts! We start with the profile. With these v-shaped cut rails we increase the chances of honeycomb construction. The safest way to make a cut at the rear side is by using the bandsaw. For the next cuts we use the mitre fence and the parallel cutting fence as a reference. We use a wood clamp as the end stop. Thanks to this cut, used as a spacing to the side wall, we can prevent our bees building up to the side wall. We use a solid surface like the mobile Felder work table FAT 300 and screw clamps to glue the sidebars together. The rails on which the roof lies are screwed to the roof construction. We attach a safety guard under the flap, because we will need to check the bee hive regularly for varroa mites. his allows us to open the flap unhindered, without the bees escaping through the floor. We use plywood stripes as a mounting aid while fixing the stainless steel hinges for the opening. Just before we finish we need to concentrate hard once again: We have already marked the drill holes for attaching the legs. For additional comfort while taking care of the bees, we installed a folding system on our roof. For the roof panels we use triple-laminated boards made from larch wood, which are waterproof, glued and free of warping. These panels can either be used as a roof without further treatment or be covered with aluminium, copper or something similar, as you wish. The self-sealing screws guarantee a sealed roof and help keep our bees dry. A touch of PU adhesive seals the gable. As a small extra, we attach a landing plank. It is not absolutely required, but the busy bees deserve this small luxury. As a final step, we break off all sharp edges. Of course anyone can treat the outer surfaces, but we decided on an untreated bee cradle. To help motivate our bees to build honeycombs, we coated the rails with melted beeswax. That’s it! Our bee cradle is finished!! We already found the perfect place for our bee colony! A clearing in an alpine pasture above Hall in Tyrol. A professional beekeeper helps us with the exciting settling and maintenance of our bees. Now all we need is a little patience. We are excited to watch the development of our bees!