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Author Topic: Top Bar Width - How much trouble am I going to be in?  (Read 3196 times)
AliciaH
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« on: April 01, 2012, 02:31:50 PM »

Back from a long absence -- howdy folks!

Got my TBHs built for me and my friend.  Don't know how I did it with all my visits here, but completely missed all the info. about how wide the top bars should be.  As a result, we are setting up with standard Langstroth top bars.  I knew something was wrong when my brain kept saying, "those don't look right" and finally realized that what was wrong was the absence of width due to the missing side bars.  Now that I'm back, one of the first posts I look at explains the 1-1/4" and 1-1/2" widths.  With that figured out, I'm assuming the bees are going to have a hay day waxing over everything?

So, is there a way to fix the bars we have?  Or, do we need to reorder the bars?  I suppose we could cut 1/4" and 1/2" spacers and staple them to the bars.  It shouldn't matter where the groove is in the bar as long as the spacing between the wax is correct, right?

Blah...
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SEEYA
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« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2012, 06:52:10 PM »

Are you talking about the top-bar of the Hoffman style frames? 1 1/16" wide with 4 notches for the side frames?
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AliciaH
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« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2012, 10:43:11 PM »

Okay, a bit embarassed here -- I don't know what you mean by "Hoffman"-style.  We built a TBH that would fit a standard Langstroth top bar, because my friend doesn't have access to shop space and/or the ability to make the parts herself.  We thought that by using standard "L" top bars, she could replace them as needed.  We are only dealing with top bars here, no side frames.

The Langstroth top bars are only 1" wide, so when I realized they might be too narrow, that's when I posted the question. 

Will the bees adapt to the lack of width, or do I need to hussle my fanny and replace the top bars?  The bees arrive on 4/14.

In the meantime, I will look up the Hoffman frames so I, at least, will know what that means.... Undecided
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2012, 04:37:53 AM »

Cut a bunch of 1/4" wide bars for spacers.  What are you using for comb guides?
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Michael Bush
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AliciaH
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« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2012, 01:06:01 PM »

Michael:  Can the 1/4" spacers simply be placed between the bars (not attached to them)?  The reason I ask is because if they can just be placed, then we should be able to avoid any "reversed" comb issues later that would mess up spacing.

We are using strips of wax foundation held in by popscicle sticks.  I was going to cut the strips so that about 1/4'' of wax was hanging down from the bars.  Do you think they should be longer?

Thanks for the help!
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AliciaH
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« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2012, 01:07:59 PM »

Oh!  And should we cut some 1/2" spacers, too, for the comb used for honey storage?  Would we place those after the initial comb is already built, or as soon as the bar goes in?

Thanks, again!
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Poppi
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« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2012, 05:31:31 PM »

Alicia,  glad to see your back   missed ya!!   

I like what Michael said about the 1/4 in strips.  In fact he gave me the same info and I just finish "modifying" the top bars on a hive given to me that had 1 7/8th top bars...  I cut them to 1 3/8 and will use the 1/4 strips to separate the topbars for the honey.    I'm not attaching them in any way...   just using as spacers so to speak...   we'll see how it works...    I cut a groove down the center of the top bar and used popsicle sticks for a guide....   I have read that bees wax in a groove can prove to be a problem for the bees to attach new wax.   Some folks do that with success, but ya know what...  who knows...  Bee's are bee's and  they'll figure it out...   Good luck...  John
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BoBn
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« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2012, 10:43:50 AM »

Oh!  And should we cut some 1/2" spacers, too, for the comb used for honey storage?  Would we place those after the initial comb is already built, or as soon as the bar goes in?

Thanks, again!

Cut the spacers 1/4" X !/2" then you can use them either way. 
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AliciaH
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« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2012, 01:55:04 PM »

Cut the spacers 1/4" X !/2" then you can use them either way. 

 grin
Thank you!

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2012, 10:18:05 AM »

>Michael:  Can the 1/4" spacers simply be placed between the bars (not attached to them)?

Yes.

> The reason I ask is because if they can just be placed, then we should be able to avoid any "reversed" comb issues later that would mess up spacing.

>We are using strips of wax foundation held in by popscicle sticks.  I was going to cut the strips so that about 1/4'' of wax was hanging down from the bars.  Do you think they should be longer?

If you have popscicle sticks you don't need the wax.

1/4" will do.  1/2" is better.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
AliciaH
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« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2012, 07:52:14 PM »

Thank you!  I think we're back on track now.  The bees for these hives come this weekend!
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Joe D
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« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2012, 10:04:37 PM »


A little late on answer but what I do in making the top bar is  set up table saw for 45 degree cut, run 2x4 through, turn it around and cut other side. You are cutting the 2x4 close to the middle so you get 16 ft out of a 8 ft board. you have the point in the middle of the 2x, then cut to lenght, cut a knoch at each end to rest on hive sides.  I leave all 1 1/2" wide.
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AliciaH
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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2012, 09:46:28 PM »

Joe, so you have a pointy side that hangs down?  My husband just cut me a couple like that because the bars I was using have started to fall. 
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beek1951
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« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2012, 07:52:46 PM »

I've got several Kenyan's and a Tanzanian Combo Langsroth/Top-Bar
Tanzanian 2ft X 4 ft Longhive. All work great. I use Bars cut to 1 and 1/4
inch with a groove ripped in the bottom and Popsicle sticks glued in the
groove. I have a crockpot of Comb and paint the Popsickle sticks. They
draw out fast and straight and do not break off. The combo has 15 modified
Langstroth frames, a divider (which I have moved to the back wall) and 15
Top-Bar frames. It is made from 2X12 and is my most active hive
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Joe D
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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2012, 08:29:51 PM »

Yep, Alicia the points are pointed down.  I also when cutting the knoch, angled it and finished  the frames with sides and a bottom.  My tb is 20", the point is 161/2" long, the sides are 13" and the bottom is 91/4",  that gives me a distance of 10 15/16" between the point and the bottom bar. So far its working.

Joe
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Roofer
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« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2012, 06:01:16 AM »

here in the UK standard tile batten is 38mm wide and 19mm deep and rough sawn, perfect for top bars
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