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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Plywood for lids and Bottoms

    What kind of plywood do you use for tops? What kind do you use for bottoms? I have heard of stuff called steelply. What is it? What about treated plywood?
    Mike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    SNOHOMISH, WA, USA
    Posts
    267

    Default Re: Plywood for lids and Bottoms

    I dont use treated wood of any kind also I do not use plywood. For my tops I use 9/16 exterior grade OSB, runs about $8 a sheet, dont remember how many I get from each sheet. As I am making telescoping lids I also use Aluminum flashing to finsish them off, figure it works out to about $5 per lid.
    I make screened bottoms from 2x4 so they also come out pretty cheap

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Re: Plywood for lids and Bottoms

    How long does the osb last?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,497

    Default Re: Plywood for lids and Bottoms

    We use plywood and it lasts for years. If you dip in stain and then paint it will give you many years service. We run a strip of wood on the front and rear edge for weight and grip. I find that 3/4 in works the best. Doesn't warp and is heavy enough not to blow off.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Lancaster CA
    Posts
    410

    Default Re: Plywood for lids and Bottoms

    What you heard about is called concrete plywood. Hard coating on both sides. Used in concrete forms. Works great/ will last forever /little expensive, labor doing it twice is expensive also. Check your commercial lumber yards, not lowes and home depot.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Re: Plywood for lids and Bottoms

    What do yall use for the ends/top rails to keep it from warping? How long will the different plywoods last? I have been using a little more than a half inch thick plywood and treated 2x2 for the end. Is that sufficient? How long will it last?

    I got a table saw for my Bday last year. I can't find a good way to cut plywood on it since it has a small table. Any suggestions? Should I whack it in half with a skil saw or a jig saw and then go from there on the table saw?

    Mike

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Sparta, Tennessee
    Posts
    2,131

    Default Re: Plywood for lids and Bottoms

    I use 4 ply, exterior grade for both my migratory and telescoping covers, dipped in Rosin/wax. They are holding up nicely for me. Maybe I have been lucky, but not one cover has delaminated during the dipping process, nor in the field and they've been out in use for a few years now. I might add, they see some pretty rotten weather, we're a close second to Seattle for rain and much colder here. I also think we've had snow on the ground (and tops of hives) for better then a month.

    On my telescoping covers I use 3/4 x 4 inch drip edges or as I call them "risers," glued and stapled from the top of the plywood with 2 inch staples. The dipping in rosin/wax seems to seal the staples in. These covers don't seem to warp. That's not the case with migratory covers as many have warped during the dipping process. This year I am going to add supports length wise and see if that helps.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Stillman Valley,IL,USA
    Posts
    75

    Default Re: Plywood for lids and Bottoms

    as far as cutting the plywood. I figure where to cut it so there is no waste and then add an inch for cutting with skill saw. Usually it comes out close to the center. Then rip the smaller pcs on the table saw

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    NE Calif.
    Posts
    2,290

    Default Re: Plywood for lids and Bottoms

    Put a full sheet of ply or osb on two sawhorses. That is your 'sacrifice sheet'. Now set your sheet of ply on that, mark where you will cut . I use a drywall square and pencil, but have snapped chalklines.Set your skilsaw blade just enough to barely go through.This will give you pieces you can manage on the tablesaw, with clean cuts and no tearing.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Bremen,Alabama,USA
    Posts
    85

    Default Re: Plywood for lids and Bottoms

    I use plywood to for my top and bottoms.On the tops i cover them with vinyl floor covering.Cheaper then metal and stays cooler in the summer if its white.On the bottoms i just make sure i paint them good. copper287

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Re: Plywood for lids and Bottoms

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffzhear View Post

    On my telescoping covers I use 3/4 x 4 inch drip edges or as I call them "risers," glued and stapled from the top of the plywood with 2 inch staples. The dipping in rosin/wax seems to seal the staples in. These covers don't seem to warp. That's not the case with migratory covers as many have warped during the dipping process. This year I am going to add supports length wise and see if that helps.
    Are they like the dadant migratory covers in design?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Sparta, Tennessee
    Posts
    2,131

    Default Re: Plywood for lids and Bottoms

    Kingfisher, I don't recall looking at the Dadant migratory covers and have never purchased one from them. It would probably be a good idea if I do look...ty
    Last edited by Jeffzhear; 01-17-2010 at 01:45 PM. Reason: fixed a mistake

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Re: Plywood for lids and Bottoms

    how much does vinyl run? Will a air stapler go through it?
    Mike

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Re: Plywood for lids and Bottoms

    How do you dip your tops? Do you dip your bottoms?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Default Re: Plywood for lids and Bottoms

    We don't design lids or migratory covers based on the tongue and groove crap that's the common use, they are recipie for leaking, water penetration into joints and rotting. We've built hive bodies, migratory lids and bottom boards from standard plywood, different thinknesses over the years and they outlast anything purchased at least 2 to 1.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Gilmer,TX USA
    Posts
    1,830

    Default Re: Plywood for lids and Bottoms

    Quote Originally Posted by Joel View Post
    We don't design lids or migratory covers based on the tongue and groove crap that's the common use, they are recipie for leaking, water penetration into joints and rotting. We've built hive bodies, migratory lids and bottom boards from standard plywood, different thinknesses over the years and they outlast anything purchased at least 2 to 1.
    What kind of plywood do you use?
    Mike

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Shallowater, Texas, USA
    Posts
    355

    Default Re: Plywood for lids and Bottoms

    Joel, how about some details on how you build your hive components using plywood. What type of joints do you use?
    "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink"...well that horse ain't got nothing on a bee.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Lawrenceburg, IN
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Plywood for lids and Bottoms

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfisher Apiaries View Post

    I got a table saw for my Bday last year. I can't find a good way to cut plywood on it since it has a small table. Any suggestions? Should I whack it in half with a skil saw or a jig saw and then go from there on the table saw?

    Mike
    A good way of cutting plywood with a circular saw is to take a scrap piece with a factory edge on the long side, cut it about 6"-8" wide and use it as a straight edge on the piece you need to cut. Make sure you measure the distance from the edge of the saws base plate to the blade and add or subtract it (depending on what side you are using) from the measurement that you need and clamp it down with a couple of small clamps at each end. If both pieces have a bow to them, make sure the both are facing each other (helps to keep the stock and straight edge tight in the middle so the saw doesn't creep under the straight edge while you are cutting)
    It is easier to get a nicer cut this way than with a small table saw, unless your fence is long and coordination is real very good. It just takes a little extra time.
    My son, eat honey, for it is good,Yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste; Proverbs 24:13

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Lawrenceburg, IN
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Plywood for lids and Bottoms

    Forgot to add this

    Put 4 scrap 2x4's on the floor to put your plywood on when cutting. You don't have to reach far to cut, just climb on it. And you don't have to carry a 4x8' sheet of 3/4" stuff up to a table and bust out your shop lights, mess up your back, knock your kids in the head, or knock over your coffee, etc.
    My son, eat honey, for it is good,Yes, the honey from the comb is sweet to your taste; Proverbs 24:13

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Default Re: Plywood for lids and Bottoms

    We call our migratory tops " the ugly top". For hive bodies we don't use any joints and it must be the glue in the plywood but our 12+year old bodies, stained one the other night, are still strong at the joints. We do rabbit joints with metal frame rest for the frames. If you cut your all your ends and all your sides from seperate 4 X 8 sheathing (3/4" for hive bodies or maybe it's 23/32) you wil get 8 hive bodies from 2 sheets with 4 ends left over and enough to make migratory handles. We paint or stain the ends and outside before we assemble

    Tops are cut just slightly larger than the hivebodes with 1 x 2's at the front and rear same width at the top as the cover and a 1X2 running down the middle between the front and rear cross piece. Paint or stain before you assemble and drive the screws from the under side. Use 1/2 inch sheathing for wood. NO OSB.

    Bottoms are exact fit to hive bodies with 1 x 2 rails on top and plywood rails on the bottom.

    I'll try and post some pictures either here or on our website this week and post a link.

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