I make end pieces out of 2x6
I make top and bottom bars out of 1x material
End pieces can be "construction" grade material, on west coast this is usually green douglas fir -- I season dry the material.
Top and end bars (the 1 x stock) should be kiln dry -- this is usually pine (and easier to machine). Green wood will warp and twist, wasting time and effort.
Safety is paramount-- you are working with thin rips-- table saws, radial arm saws eat fingers. ALWAYS USE PUSH BLOCKS. ALWAYS USE FEATHER BOARDS TO PREVENT KICK-BACK. ALWAYS BE SAFE. This is not like ripping hive material.
1. Surface plane material to 1 3/8 (tool required: shop planer, or careful hand work with power hand plane)
2. Rip to 3/8 strips (tool required: table saw)
3. Chop strips to 9 1/8 length (or whatever finish dimension intended) Tool required: Chop Saw with stop block -- or tedious hand work marking and sawing hundreds of pieces).
4. Gang up all the little strips so the are like pages in a book, Clamp the gang of pieces with a bar clamp in the middle. --- you now have a block of wood 9 1/8 wide and as long as your bar clamp. Make sure all tops are even and all pieces are level side to side. This is the critical step-- getting the gang tight together.
5. Dado the top and bottom rabbets using a dado blade on a table saw. Top dado is 3/4. Bottom dado is 5/8-- Depth of cut is 1/2" I have cut both at 5/8, and this works. To cut the rabbet, careful set up table saw so fence is 11/16 from centerline of dado-- this is crucial and niggling setup. Have a master block that you save with your set-up. If you dont have a dado- you can run saw cuts and chisel out the relief, or run a router table (with fence) like a dado (router is not recommended). Make sure the Tablesaw has a custom fit dado inset on the table, so the depth of cut doesn't go bad.
5.a To dado, run the ganged pieces through, tight against the fence.
6. I cut the relief on the side of the frames with a belt sander with a coarse grit. Turn the ganged piece assembly on its side and waste wood with the belt sander to a marked line.
End pieces are finished. I don't cut wire holes on these, but these could be cut while still ganged.
It is an option to just cut the end pieces, and use factory made top and bottom. I have done this to make custom depths for boxes.
Top and bottom bars
1. Top are 1" (exact) rips from 3/4" (nominal 1x) stock. Look for tight grain
2. Chop strips to 18 15/16" -- Chop saw/ Radial arm saw with stop block on fence makes this quick and accurate.
((I rip before chopping, because I hate ripping thin stock-- still have all 10 fingers)
3. Gang up the chopped to length rips with a bar clamp Rips are on the 1" side (ie 1" material of lots of 3/4 width leaves)
4. Cut the dado for the end bars (3/8 dado, depth 1/8", outer edge of dado 1" from fence.) Cut both sides, and both ends.
5. Regang the pieces so they are on the 3/4" side.
6. Cut the dado 3/8" with 1/4 depth of cut to make the ears that hang on the end of hive body
7. Waste the ends with a belt sander to taper the ears. You can scribe/mark a line or eye ball this taper. A shaper could cut the relief, or a bevel pass on the table saw, but the belt sander works fine and fast.
I cut the groove last. Don't have much experience with the foundationless bevels, but a table saw pass is likely easiest.
The bottom bars are similar construction, with very shallow dados on the end. My dado are square. Dadant (not ML) bottom bars have a dovetailed dado- that locks the frame. Glue and careful machining are fine in home construction.
In my construction you need:
Thickness planer (since you are only wasting 1/8- you might do this with the belt sander)
Table saw with cabinet blade (and safety equipment)
Table saw with 3/4, 5/8 and 3/8 dado blades (highest quality) with custom insets to match
Chop saw with fence and stop block
Belt sander with coarse grit.
Bar Clamps to accomodate ganged sets of pieces.
Try Blocks (masters) to speed step up of table saw depth of cut and fence location.
( I machine my try blocks from walnut or Corian/Kitchen laminate). You don't want to be doing set up with a worn out carpenter's rule).
I think making frames to accommodate custom designs is worthwhile, likely a poor use of time for standards. Making swarm traps could payoff better on a time/value basis.