"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Farm to Table > Culinary Gardener
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-20-2020, 11:55 PM   #1
Head Chef
 
pepperhead212's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Woodbury, NJ
Posts: 1,307
For those interested in mason bees for pollinating, I'm building a house for them

I was planning on doing this, even before the recent corona virus scare, telling us to stay at home as much as possible. I always spend a lot of time in my workshop, except in heavy gardening seasons!

I got the idea for this when I saw some of the mason bee houses for sale, and I said "Hey, that would be easy to make!" Maybe not really easy, but it was easy to draw up the plans, and once I did that, it was easy! I haven't finished it, but the most time consuming work is done, cutting all those grooves.

First, I got some cheap cedar (a wood suggested for the bees, since finishing is not necessary), being sold at clearance because it was bowed, and nobody would buy it for deck-making! I cut them to 4' pieces, then put them on a workbench, with spacers, to let them stabilize. Then I jointed one side, until totally flat, then planed them all, to 3/4 thick. It is only 5.5" wide, and wider would have been better, but I didn't want to rout it lengthwise, as it seemed it would be weaker that way, in the thin sections.

I first cut 9 pieces, 6 5/16" wide, to make the 11 cross grain router cuts, on both sides of the piece, with a 5/16" cove box bit, set to 5/32" deep, so the 2 cuts on opposing pieces meet to make a 5/16" diameter hole.

First cut:
First set of cuts on router table, using a 5/16 inch cove box bit. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Last cut:
Last cut, at least with the router. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Unfortunately, cedar is a wood that splinters a lot, and after each set of cuts, I had to take a piece of sandpaper, wrapped around a ¼" dowel, to clean out the grooves, and the splinters sticking up. Here is a photo, showing those splinters, and cleaning them out. It didn't take long, for each set of 16.

Cleaning out the grooves, using a 1/4 inch dowel, wrapped around 120 grit sandpaper. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Here are the finished inserts, showing how it looks like 88 holes were drilled, all the way through.
The wood, loosely stacked, showing the future home for 88 mason bees. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

All I have to do now, is make a "cage", to hold them in, and protect them - the easy part of the job. I'll post that later. I would have started it tonight, but I try not to do anything noisy after 9 pm, since my neighbors would definitely hear it!

__________________

__________________
Dave
pepperhead212 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2020, 12:23 AM   #2
Ogress Supreme
 
PrincessFiona60's Avatar
Site Administrator
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 38,230
Love it, I also encourage Mason Bees, even though I only grow flowers in my yard.
__________________

__________________
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” - Albert Einstein
PrincessFiona60 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2020, 03:56 AM   #3
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: oregon
Posts: 325
That's really cool. I'm going to do the simple style for our garden and orchard.

Just doug fir 2x drilled. They love doug fir around here.
Vinylhanger is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2020, 06:32 AM   #4
Executive Chef
 
larry_stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 3,478
Looks great!
I haven't taken on a project like that in year, since I used to build bird houses with my kids.
Maybe ill give something like this a go in the near future. Thanks for sharing.
larry_stewart is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2020, 11:31 PM   #5
Head Chef
 
pepperhead212's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Woodbury, NJ
Posts: 1,307
I've almost finished the bee house today, all except for attaching the back, as I have to get a couple of SS straight braces, for mounting it outside.

Gluing up boards, to make the sides and shelves. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Cutting one board at a 10 degree angle, to form the sides. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Assembled house, shown from the front. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Bee house, from the side. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Bee house from the back, with a piece of plexiglass that will be screwed on. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

I spent much of today in the workshop, doing just general maintenance things, while the glue dried in the various steps. I always say, cleaning up takes longer than most projects, even though the dust collector helps greatly with that.
__________________
Dave
pepperhead212 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2020, 10:36 AM   #6
Senior Cook
 
bbqcoder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 383
Looks good! I would like to see more pictures of your tools & shop. I want to be able to drool.

This project is a great idea and I hope to do one. But first, my plan is to make a new garden gate, 2 more raised beds, and a small covered hoop house.
bbqcoder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2020, 07:47 PM   #7
Head Chef
 
pepperhead212's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Woodbury, NJ
Posts: 1,307
I take it you are a woodworker, bbqcoder, besides the raised beds, of course! I was also going to make another bed, but I was going to "borrow" a friend's son, to do the heavy work, and with this lockdown, I had to put that off until another time. I'm sure I'll find other things to do, like start my seeds!

I got some more cleaned up today. I removed the large saw blades and cleaned them - they had a lot of pitch from the cedar, and previous pine I worked with. Now they look brand new!

Here are photos of many of the things in my workshop. There's another workbench not included - the one with all the paint and finishing supplies, electrical supplies, wrenches, sockets, and many other hand tools.

The best plan I ever found for my workshop was in WOOD Magazine, sometime in the 90s, when they posted a plan for a cyclone dust collection system, which were fairly new at the time, and expensive. It was inexpensive, and easy to make, and it has saved me countless hours of cleanup time, through the years.
Homemade cyclone dust collection system. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

The table and miter saw, and a few other things. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Most of my drills, with a couple that I don't use much elsewhere. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Bandsaw, planer, and lathe, on the far wall. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

Jointer and drum sander. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

My main bench, with many of my most used tools and hardware nearby. by pepperhead212, on Flickr

I store a LOT of things overhead - otherwise, I don't know where I'd be able to put them! by pepperhead212, on Flickr

This is a way I can keep myself busy, among other hobbies. I just have to make sure that I don't eat so much - another favorite hobby!
__________________
Dave
pepperhead212 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2020, 08:10 PM   #8
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Dawgluver's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 25,002
Nice! I'm a bee fan. And a shop fan, thanks for the tour!
__________________
She who dies with the most toys, wins.
Dawgluver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2020, 11:29 PM   #9
Senior Cook
 
bbqcoder's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 383
Quote:
Originally Posted by pepperhead212 View Post
I take it you are a woodworker, bbqcoder, besides the raised beds, of course!
Nice shop! I wouldn’t say that I’m a woodworker but I do appreciate fine tools. I did woodworking in high school but I don’t have the room or time right now. I do hope to build a new shed this year that I will take pictures of. It will be a large salt box shed. The last one I built was seven years ago and documented in this thread: https://www.diychatroom.com/f49/diyc...roject-178512/
bbqcoder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2020, 12:12 AM   #10
Head Chef
 
pepperhead212's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Woodbury, NJ
Posts: 1,307
Nice shed! I never took woodworking in high school - I've been self-taught, since I moved into this house, in 'late '83, and slowly accumulated the tools I needed.
__________________
Dave
pepperhead212 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2020, 02:20 AM   #11
Senior Cook
 
RCJoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Huntington
Posts: 123
My Mason Bees like to make music.



I can't keep them out there. I have several sets of these around my home as I have a front and rear deck. I love the tone of these tubular chimes in the breeze. But it seems the bees prefer atonality, which their nesting in the chimes creates.
__________________

RCJoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:34 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
×