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Author Topic: Materials for Bottom Boards and TeleTops  (Read 2748 times)
Two Bees
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« on: February 13, 2010, 07:17:03 PM »

I have been building some solid bottom boards and telescoping tops for some new hive bodies this winter.  I've noticed that purchased solid bottom boards and teletops use 3 to 4 pieces of 3/4" common boards to make the bottom of a solid bottom board (and top of a teletop before the metal cover).

I first thought that cost was a determining factor but based upon the pricing that I have seen at HD and Lowes lately, I think I could get just as many solid bottom boards and teletops from a 4x8 sheet of exterior plywood.  Thoughts?

Is there a FUNCTIONAL advantage to using several 3/4" boards instead of a single piece of 3/4 inch exterior grade plywood?
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« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2010, 08:39:28 PM »

I make and sell a lot of equipment. I make bottom boards and tele. tops with either multiple boards like you mention or from sheathing grade 3/4 plywood. There is really no reason not to use plywood for a top as opposed to boards. It is more cost affective and works fine. As far as bottom boards go, the multiple boards they use are actually tongue and groove which helps greatly with warping. You can use plywood if you want (I do for my hives), but you must seal it well and right away otherwise warping starts and the sheets start separating when they get wet. Another reason some prefer solid boards to plywood is some people believe offgassing from the glues will somehow effect the bees. I've never noticed this...
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Two Bees
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« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2010, 02:52:32 PM »

Thanks, Contact!  I went to Lowes and HD this afternoon and only HD had T&G made from southern yellow pine.  Not exactly happy with it since it's beveled and leaves a 1/2 inch V-shaped groove at the seam.  Maybe I'll try to make my own or use plywood.

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« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2010, 04:46:19 PM »

Do you have a router? If so you can buy bits to do tongue and groove joints.
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Jim 134
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« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2010, 05:39:19 PM »

I make and sell a lot of equipment. I make bottom boards and tele. tops with either multiple boards like you mention or from sheathing grade 3/4 plywood. There is really no reason not to use plywood for a top as opposed to boards. It is more cost affective and works fine. As far as bottom boards go, the multiple boards they use are actually tongue and groove which helps greatly with warping. You can use plywood if you want (I do for my hives), but you must seal it well and right away otherwise warping starts and the sheets start separating when they get wet. Another reason some prefer solid boards to plywood is some people believe offgassing from the glues will somehow effect the bees. I've never noticed this...

 
    I use marine grade plywood 3/8" for inner and 3/4"for outer covers and ONLY PAINT NO TIN on the out side of the telescoping covers.Got telescoping covers  over 30 years like this. I use all medium all 10 frames

  BEE HAPPY Jim 134  Smiley




 
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« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2010, 09:59:35 PM »

I use all medium all 10 frames

  BEE HAPPY Jim 134  Smiley
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2010, 11:18:16 PM »

I suppose my favorite bottom boards were made of 1/4" luan plywood with a one by frame with a groove for the plywood.  It was very lightweight.  A bottom doesn't need weight.  I love 3/4" plywood for lids as it doesn't warp easily and has enough weight (if there is no overhang) to not blow off even without a brick.
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Two Bees
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« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2010, 07:41:27 AM »

Don't have a router at the present.  But it sounds like a good excuse to get one!

I'll will use the T&G boards that I bought from HD for the top boards since the seam groove will not matter once it's covered with metal.

Plan to use 3/4 exterior grade plywood for the bottom board floors.
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« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2010, 09:03:49 AM »

Try some Advantec for your lids. It is cheaper than plywood, does not warp or delaminate, weathers better than plywood and is heavier.


Steve   
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« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2010, 10:28:30 AM »

I suppose my favorite bottom boards were made of 1/4" luan plywood with a one by frame with a groove for the plywood.  It was very lightweight.  a bottom doesn't need weight. 


I think that is what the DE hive uses (at least the Langstroth conversion kit did) and you are right,  what a remarkable difference in weight.


I use 3/4 plywood for my bottom boards without issue.  Really quick to build, I just cut some 2" wide strips for the sides and back and a few screws and they are done.

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David LaFerney
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« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2010, 10:57:19 AM »



I use 3/4 plywood for my bottom boards without issue.  Really quick to build, I just cut some 2" wide strips for the sides and back and a few screws and they are done.


Hard to beat that for simplicity.  How small is your entrance on a strong hive during a flow?   
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« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2010, 11:35:27 AM »

entrance is 2" x 16"
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« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2010, 06:07:58 PM »

entrance is 2" x 16"
Do you mean 2" x 14 3/4"?  grin
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« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2010, 06:41:57 PM »

entrance is 2" x 16"
Do you mean 2" x 14 3/4"?  grin

Nope, I mean 2" x 16".  I use polystyrene brood boxes.
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« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2010, 09:49:07 PM »

entrance is 2" x 16"
Do you mean 2" x 14 3/4"?  grin

Nope, I mean 2" x 16".  I use polystyrene brood boxes.
Sorry, didn't catch that at first glance.
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David LaFerney
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« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2010, 11:25:20 PM »

entrance is 2" x 16"

No reducer? 
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ApisM
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« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2013, 04:46:29 PM »

plywood doesn't work for me, it gets waterlogged in the winter and kills my bees.  Sucks up water and contributes to moisture in the hive.
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JWChesnut
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« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2013, 05:32:51 PM »

This is an old thread, but I'll jump in since it has been bumped.

i make up boards with #20 cabinet biscuits functioning as a spline between boards.  3 biscuits per length is good, spaced on the quarter points so pieces are completely symmetrical.  I use Tightbond III.  (Waterproof carpenter glue)  I tend to use one nominal 8 inch fence board and 2 nominal 6 inch fence board.  I usually make migratory covers, so rip the 6 inch boards so I don't over-run the width.  On a telescoping cover width works without ripping.    Use scrap plywood as well, indiscriminately.

My length is 23, and I use 2x material on ends cut to a strong 16 1/4  .  On a telescoping cover, the side boards run past the 2x material-- plenty of fastening wood.

This is my 8th year using biscuits for boxes, boards, etc.  No failures.  Since you can get a fence board for under $2 (on loss leader) this competes well with ply which yields 8 tops, or breakeven at $16 --and even cheap grades of 3/4 ext ply is well above that.

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« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2013, 11:20:41 PM »

I build screened bottom boards from 2x4's.
I cut a 3/4" rabbit the length of the 2x4 and cut a 45 degree angle for a landing board.
I also cut a 3/4" rabbit at the top of the rear board to put the #8 wire in.
Then all boards get a 1/2" rabbit cut just above the bottom to slide a piece of plywood in to cut off the ventilation in the winter time.
The back board is ripped length wise for the plywood insert in the winter.
I use brad nails and titebond II glue.
I use 1/2 inch staples to secure the #8 wire.
for a landing board I cut a 5 inch wide piece of 3/4 wood and cut two 45 degree cuts the length of the board which is then glued and brad nailed.
Titebond II is a food grade glue that is used to make cutting boards.
The telescoping top is a frame of 2 1/4 inch wide 1 by's made into a frame, topped with 3/4 or 1/2 inch plywood and aluminum flashing added to the top and is stapled with a 3/4 inch air stapler.
Everyone loves the bottom board design.
The top is good also.
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Richard Vardaman (capt44)
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« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2013, 10:15:06 AM »

I would post a photo showing what is left of ¼” luan after 1 winter in Michigan.....if there was anything at all left.  

Plywood is a bad choice here too.  It will start to delaminate in 3 to 4 years.  Pretty much impossible to keep the freeze/thaw cycles from breaking it apart.  It lasts a little longer with enamal paint.
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