This page is credited in full to Dave Cushman who created it. His voice is expressed in black colour text and any additions or comments in blue belong to myself. Credit: Dave Cushman’s website.
Frame Side Drilling Jig
I prefer to wire my frames, rather than use pre wired foundation, particularly as I often use starter strips instead of full sheets and I also use some foundation that is cut on the diagonal. And I have recently been conducting experiments with foundation starters of different cell sizings in order to understand the sizings that I am including in the special testing foundation that I am developing.
The dimensions for drilling the holes in B.S. frames are given in the ‘drawings’ link above left.
Frame side drilling jig for B.S. bee hive frames
I use 1.5 mm holes in the side bars and I use two in a British Standard shallow frame and four in a B.S. deep one. The jig described here is suitable for both lengths of frame side and will take any form (Hoffman, Manley or parallel).
The basis for this jig is a heavy gauge steel plate 3 mm thick (10 SWG) that originated from some scrap electrical equipment. The piece was chosen because it had a portion bent at right angles at one end.
Shaped wooden parts are fixed to the plate to locate the ends of the bars and the drilling is done using a hand held battery electric drill (pistol drill). The parts that locate the bottom ends of the bars were cut from a standard ‘one piece’ 28 mm wide frame bottom bar.
The inset shows a shallow side bar on position and having been drilled from the other side. The drilling needs to be done with the drill held perpendicular to the metal backing plate as it is easy to skew the drill, especially as the holes wear with use. I have drilled thousands of holes with my jig and it is now showing wear around the holes, if this gets much worse I will add a thick steel block to the backing plate that has a set of freshly marked out and tightly dimensioned holes.
Anything that batches up frame building is good. (If it works…)