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Author Topic: Nailing hives together  (Read 795 times)
House Bee
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Posts: 92

Location: South Australia

« on: September 17, 2011, 07:28:43 AM »

I bought some timber to make some more full depth hives. I don't have a staple gun so I am planning to glue them and nail them by hand. What nails should I use?
House Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 313

Location: Florida Suncoast

« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2011, 09:22:16 AM »

I have used wooden dowels with great success over the years for many projects.  5/16 or 3/8 inch (8 to 10mm) diameter in 3/4 boards.  I don't know what stock size wood is "Down Under",

It takes a bit of extra work and four bar clamps, but the joints are "blind" (they don't show) and there is no metal to rust.  Tightbond II is more than strong enough and you can get a Langstroth size box out of a six (rather than eight) foot board and save money.

If I were to use nails, they would be "6D" Galvanized 2" long, and I would pre-drill the edges to prevent splitting, or I would use deck screws.
Galactic Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 4511

Location: Mid Michigan

« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2011, 06:33:05 PM »

What I’ve always been told is that nails are “just there to hold part together until the glue dries”.  Glue is a stronger bond than a nail.  I think there is some truth in that proverb, but if you drop a box, you’re going to wish you had some backup mechanical support for the glue! 

Odd angles of force will break the glue bond and you’ll have a mess without a mechanical backup.  The problem with nails in my opinion is they’re a poor mechanical backup.  When I’ve dropped a box, the glue broke, and the nails pulled out a few mm resulting in a box that needed a full repair. 

I would suggest using screws instead of nails.  They are a much better mechanical fastener if/when a glue bond breaks.
House Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 375

Location: Palm Bay, FL

« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2011, 09:35:15 PM »

The standard hive nail is a 7D box nail and they're available from suppliers here in the U.S. If you can't find those then the 6D hot dipped galvanized nails work just fine. The good thing with box nails is that they're smaller diameter than common nails and don't split the wood as often. I bought a bunch of old supers from another beek last year and was filling them with frames yesterday; found a bunch of them that were nailed with 12D commons, then stapled later, then renailed with 8D nails. The bees just really don't give a hoot! They seem to like whatever you give them as long as it's warm and dry.  grin
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