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Author Topic: Using red oak flooring to make a top bar hive  (Read 3257 times)

Offline taipantoo

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Using red oak flooring to make a top bar hive
« on: December 17, 2007, 05:33:26 AM »
I was talking with some friends of mine and mentioned that I was going to use some left over red oak flooring to make a top bar hive.
One of them said that I should not use the red oak for the hive because it would crack, split, and twist out of doors.
This took me by surprise.
I figured that it would hold up better than pine because it was a hard wood.
I also planned on oiling it with linseed oil.
Are there any opinions on this?
Construction starts the first of the year.

I am also going to post this on the other forums that I read.

Offline randydrivesabus

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Re: Using red oak flooring to make a top bar hive
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2007, 07:06:28 AM »
i think the wood itself would be fine as long as it has an exterior finish on it....the problem may be the T&G configuration of the lumber and water seepage into the spaces. from both the evaporation on the inside and rain on the outside.

Offline Carriage House Farm

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Re: Using red oak flooring to make a top bar hive
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2007, 06:31:17 PM »
Are there any opinions on this?
Construction starts the first of the year.

I'd say go for it.  I was commenting earlier how oak would be bad in terms of weight for a Lang style hive, but I would think oak would be just fine for a TBH where you aren't really lifting anything.

Are your going to tongue and grove the hive body and make it out of oak as well as the top bars? It would be more stable that way. If you are using them for the top bars then simply make sure they never get hit with any moisture and it'll be fine.  I was looking at oak flooring the other day for our family room and I have to say it was pretty crappy.  Not much 1/4 sawn stuff mostly slab cut crap that IF hit with a lot of water, moisture, and rapid expanding and contracting you would in fact have the problems your friend suggested.

I dry lumber outside, with metal sheeting on top of it.  No different than a top bar really.  I've done this 10s of thousands of board feet.
Richard Stewart
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Offline taipantoo

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Re: Using red oak flooring to make a top bar hive
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2007, 07:59:07 PM »
I'm going to glue and clamp the wood to make wider boards.
I was thinking of painting it on the outside with boiled linseed oil.
I will be using the single pieces for the top bars.
I plant to cut 2 parallel slots and fill them and cover the piece in between with wax for a stater strip.

Offline randydrivesabus

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Re: Using red oak flooring to make a top bar hive
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2007, 08:12:52 PM »
let us know how it turns out Tai...i have some left overs in my basement that are yelling out to be used somewhere. you know how when you buy flooring they tell you to get an extra 10%? thats what i have left.
if you are gluing i would use a waterproof glue (titebond 3 comes to mind).

Offline KONASDAD

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Re: Using red oak flooring to make a top bar hive
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2007, 05:04:27 PM »
What next, granite top frames!
"The more complex the Mind, the Greater the need for the simplicity of Play".

Offline Carriage House Farm

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Re: Using red oak flooring to make a top bar hive
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2007, 08:43:54 PM »
I'm going to glue and clamp the wood to make wider boards.
I was thinking of painting it on the outside with boiled linseed oil.
I will be using the single pieces for the top bars.
I plant to cut 2 parallel slots and fill them and cover the piece in between with wax for a stater strip.

I'd do some kind of joint for those wider boards.  There are a variety that would work for what you want to do.
Richard Stewart
Carriage House Farm
North Bend, Ohio

An Ohio Century Farm

Offline taipantoo

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Re: Using red oak flooring to make a top bar hive
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2007, 09:51:03 PM »
The flooring is tongue and grove so that is the joint I will be using.

Offline Old Timer

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Re: Using red oak flooring to make a top bar hive
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2007, 04:21:32 PM »
Your friend is right.

Offline Zoot

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Re: Using red oak flooring to make a top bar hive
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2007, 01:08:09 AM »
Tai,

I'd wish you luck but, for what it's worth (been a woodworker most of my life) I think you're in for some heartbreak. A couple of factors might effect the outcome to some degree (like whether the oak is quarter sawn or select, etc) but, in all honesty, red oak fares poorly outside. A linseed oil finish is going to last 1 season max due to the fairly extreme movement of oak grain in an outside environment, finsih or no finish. Also, being finished on 1 side will increase the likelihood of cupping/splitting, etc due to moisture exposure on the inside face. You might try sealing both faces. But whatever you do, water's going to get into it eventually and water is not kind to red oak.

Offline Jarhead

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Re: Using red oak flooring to make a top bar hive
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2007, 02:11:53 AM »
TBH I made from 3/4" oak.

Offline Jarhead

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Re: Using red oak flooring to make a top bar hive
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2007, 02:29:23 AM »
ImageShack takes to long to upload. My Oak TBH. Im waiting for a new Queen (Black) from Micaael Bush to start the hive off right in 2008. http://s228.photobucket.com/albums/ee85/PaulsBees/

Offline taipantoo

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Re: Using red oak flooring to make a top bar hive
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2008, 11:29:39 PM »
Well, the consensus is that the red oak flooring will not hold up well outside.
Therefore I need to use something else.
The next type of wood I have an abundance of is tongue & groove fir.
I will use this because I know it will hold up well.
Now comes the hard part.
Who's plans do I use?
I'd like to build one of everything, but I just don't have the time.
I do have some white oak trimmings from stair treads that I will use for the top bars.

This is the top bar profile I would like to use:


                     |                                    |
                     |            _       _             |
                     |           |  |     |  |           |
                     |           |  |     |  |           |
                     |_____ |  |     |  | _____|
                                     |__|

I guess my ascii art isn't that good, but I think two parellel cuts with a piece left in the middle will give the wax a large surface area to adhere to.



Offline randydrivesabus

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Re: Using red oak flooring to make a top bar hive
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2008, 07:22:13 AM »
the red oak would be fine as long as you finish the exposed surfaces properly. the same for fir.
the damage to vertical wood (wood that doesn't allow water to set on it for long periods of time)is mostly from exposure to the sun.

Offline Bee-Bop

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Re: Using red oak flooring to make a top bar hive
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2008, 12:29:56 PM »
If I may add;
On the vertical side/ends be sure and place the male edge [tongue] of the board up, this will prevent any seepage water from laying in the grove.

Also if you are useing a peaked roof tbh, without other covering, again place the male edge [tongue] pointed up.

Bee-Bop
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Offline taipantoo

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Re: Using red oak flooring to make a top bar hive
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2008, 06:41:14 AM »
Thanks for the input.