When I went to pick up my new packages, the oldtimer was very interested in the top bar idea. He pulled down an old frame from the wall and showed me what they used to look like, with no foundation. The top bar was a triangle, with no foundation in the frame. He said that was the way they used to do it. Bees just built out their comb from the triangle. It looks like that shape would be a lot easier to mill than the shape I made (see pics at http://photos.yahoo.com/dn4911) I know some of you are gluing in strips of wood. Just wondered if any of you pros had seen or were aware of the old fashioned frames like that. I might just try some for replacement bars and see how they do.
>When I went to pick up my new packages, the oldtimer was very interested in the top bar idea. He pulled down an old frame from the wall and showed me what they used to look like, with no foundation. The top bar was a triangle, with no foundation in the frame.
I'd be curious to know more about the triagle top bar. I've been making them since the 1970's and Charles Martin Simon has a similar design that he is not manufacturing now. You can buy ungrooved tops and bottoms from Walter T. Kelly. Just tell that that's what you want. Then run the top through the table saw at 45 degrees to put the slope on it.
Your hives resemble the Hardison design. I made one, l6 inch top bars. My bars look just like yours but I tapered the splines with a block plane, then painted them (splines) with hot beeswax. If the V-bottom bar works as well as the spline it will sure save work in building the TBH.
I also made one of the hives on the Crowder pattern, with langstroth length frames. This permits me to start a TBH in a langstroth nuc box.
I also put out a swarm box with langstroth length Top Bars. These can simply be transferred to the Crowder hive.
When we compare notes this fall we should have a very good idea of the best pattern for the TBH.
The old time "V" bars were tapered more than just to 45 degrees, i would estimate the angles were 60 - 60 - 30. next time I get over towards Clyde I will take my camera and make some measurements.
Yeah it would be easy to rip them, much faster too.
Once I get a better idea of the best size, it will be good tohave all the hives the same size, at least the top bar, so they can be interchanged.
thanks for the link to the Charles Martin Simon pictures, yes that is very similar idea, although I do think the older ones have a longer taper, I will try to get more of the history of it.
More information from Steve at GzBz on the triangular frame: It is an 1890 frame from A.I. Root. I will try to get some pictures next week when I pick up some more supplies in Clyde.
What does the bottom bar look like? solid and square? Triangular?
Bottom and sides are square.