Energy Dome bee hive build
I like to watch the occasional woodworking video on youtube and one day I happened to see one on cutting circles; sounds interesting. So, what would I do with a circle?
Well, being a tragic Devo fan, I instantly thought of an energy dome bee hive. I did some more research and found the BlockLayer web site which has all sorts of calculators for woodworking, including a Segmented Turning Calculator. So, I jumped onto the Carbatec web site and ordered an upcut spiral bit for my router and the Rockler circle cutter jig, which I didn’t end up using.
I found the measurements of the energy dome on the internet and scaled them up so that the internal volume of the energy dome is about 9 litres; suitable for hockingsi. There will be no honey extraction from this hive, but there will be an observation panel under the top level, which will provide access to install a colony as well as a means to monitor progress.
Using the calculations from the BlockLayer web site, I started cutting and assembling octagons. I used pipe clamps to hold them together while the glue set. I wanted to use the same timber I use for all my hives, so the octagons were built out of the standard issue 33mm hoop pine.
Then I was able to start cutting circles. This takes time, but the resulting outer octagons with a circular hole gives me an idea for another project someday (an octagonal or hexagonal observation hive perhaps?).
Assembly was pretty a straight forward glue and screw.
While energy domes come in a few of colours these days, I thought I’d stick with the classic red.
I'm pretty happy with the final result. Even though I'm not sure I got the dimensions quite right, it was a really interesting and challenging build. This is what I love about woodworking in general; the problem solving as you deal with the challenges that each phase of the build throws at you, and the sense of accomplishment at the end of the project.
- 4 Ways to Cut Circles in Wood / DIY Circle Cutting Jigs
- How to Cut Circles with a Router and Jig
- Woodturning - Segmented Turning Calculator
... and if you watch enough woodworking videos, this guy will eventually turn up: "Weird Al" Yankovic - Handy