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  1. #1
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    Jul 2011
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    Default Which is better...Cypress and rabbets or White Pine and box joints?

    I'm wanting to start getting some equipment together for my little two hive beeyard on the horizon. Looking at supers it appears my options are either cypress and rabbets or white pine and box joints. The white pine cost less...

    Which of these two would give the best service?

    Thanks,
    Ed

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Spokane, Washington, USA
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    Default Re: Which is better...Cypress and rabbets or White Pine and box joints?

    I built my hives out of pine using the dado Rabbet joint and sometimes the tongue and groove. I don't use box joint because both ends stick out. Box joints last less but I use them for honey supers.

    In your case I would go with pine and box joint. Looks very nice. It should last you a good ten years if painted well.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Which is better...Cypress and rabbets or White Pine and box joints?

    Thanks for the feedback, RAK. Disregarding the cost factor, since the rabbetted joints withstand the weather better than the box joints then wouldn't the cypress be the better choice for longetivity? Do youuse the box joints for your honey supers because they are stronger joints for frequently (relatively speaking) carrying a heavy load? The cypress is about 24% more expensive than the pine, but for no more than I'll be purchasing the cost isn't prohibitive. Now, if I was buying a few hundred it'd be a different story!!

    I guess I'm trying to figure out which one would be the best for strength and durability.

    Ed
    Last edited by honeyman46408; 07-11-2011 at 05:19 PM. Reason: UNQ

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Alachua County, FL, USA
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    Default Re: Which is better...Cypress and rabbets or White Pine and box joints?

    I have every combination of Pine and Cypress, rabbet and box joint in the apiary. I have not noticed a difference among them. My Cypress that is an inch thick seems to last a wee bit better. I plane 5/4 to exactly an inch. The joints have more surface area and there is more material to resist warping and splitting.
    http://americasbeekeeper.org/check_da_fit.JPG
    http://americasbeekeeper.org/family_framing.JPG
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
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    Pinellass County, Florida
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    1,105

    Default Re: Which is better...Cypress and rabbets or White Pine and box joints?

    Hey America-b-keep
    in Picture #1 "check da fit"
    Da' fit looks cock-eyed

    I know you built them right

    Ed
    I think cypress is best for you the pluses are
    less or zero rot and no Paint needed
    Rabbited joints are OK with glue,nail or screw



    Tommyt

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Alachua County, FL, USA
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    Default Re: Which is better...Cypress and rabbets or White Pine and box joints?

    Sorry I didn't include your pic Tommyt! Cypress will soak up moisture and warp if not sealed with something.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  7. #7
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    May 2010
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    Spokane, Washington, USA
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    Default Re: Which is better...Cypress and rabbets or White Pine and box joints?

    I only use pine and fir because that's what I get my hands on. Reason why I use box joint is it is strong but I don't keep supers on in the winter so rain don't touch them. Over here it does not rain in the summer (Box Joint = easier to assemble). I use only nails + glue for box joint, but for rabbet I use glue with screws.


    If cypress fences last a long time then hives should too. Pine also Warps like cazy. This year I ordered more Fir than pine just to see how things go. So far the fir is easier to dry.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Spokane, Washington, USA
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    Default Re: Which is better...Cypress and rabbets or White Pine and box joints?

    Just found a article online that states that cypress is resistant to rot. Not pine.

    Read this article and decide.

    http://www.wsmaonline.org/cypress_fences_1-3.pdf

    Hey AMB why do you use 1 inch wood?
    I have been thinking of going to 1 inch because I know the guys in Russia use 1 -1.25 inch wood and have good honey crop in the TAIGA. Good for cold winters.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Alachua County, FL, USA
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    Default Re: Which is better...Cypress and rabbets or White Pine and box joints?

    Thicker lumber is more stable dimensionally. It does not warp, split, or twist as much as thinner stock. It is also better insulation from heat and cold. Cypress may not rot as it turns a beautiful silver, but it will warp and pull the joints apart if it is not sealed from moisture.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
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    2,887

    Default Re: Which is better...Cypress and rabbets or White Pine and box joints?

    In all reality it doesn't really matter. Look at a British National hive, no box joint, no rabbit, full end grain exposure and traditionally they did not paint them.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  11. #11
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    Jul 2011
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    Crenshaw County, Alabama
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    Default Re: Which is better...Cypress and rabbets or White Pine and box joints?

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrass View Post
    In all reality it doesn't really matter. Look at a British National hive, no box joint, no rabbit, full end grain exposure and traditionally they did not paint them.
    You're right, bluegrass. With some decent wood, good sealed joints, and a coat or two of paint and box oughta last long enough to get our money's worth out of them.

    Ed

  12. #12

    Default Re: Which is better...Cypress and rabbets or White Pine and box joints?

    Quote Originally Posted by Intheswamp View Post
    You're right, bluegrass. With some decent wood, good sealed joints, and a coat or two of paint and box oughta last long enough to get our money's worth out of them.

    Ed

    I believe you will get your moneys worth a lot more out of the white pine. I find my box joint boxes hold up just as well if not better than my rabbet joints. I seal all my boxes with 2:1 (lineseed oil:turpentine) and they last more than long enough to get my moneys worth out of them. I will say however that the environment in Arizona is much different from Alabama so what works for me may not work as well over there.
    Jim Andersen
    Desert Viking Ranch

  13. #13
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    May 2010
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    Default Re: Which is better...Cypress and rabbets or White Pine and box joints?

    Jim... Do you use boiled linseed oil or raw?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Which is better...Cypress and rabbets or White Pine and box joints?

    I use boiled linseed oil because it's cheap and easy to find. If I found raw (that wasn't cost prohibitive) I would probably use that instead. Either way the boiled so far seems to work just fine in protecting the wood. It's monsoon season here and the water still rolls right off even after massive downpours.
    Jim Andersen
    Desert Viking Ranch

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Grifton, NC
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    Default Re: Which is better...Cypress and rabbets or White Pine and box joints?

    Heart cypress and heart pine are both good for long life. Sapwood of either won't last as long. I like rabbeted joints and I may start using biscuits and 45s so there is no exposed grain.
    Banjos and bees... how sweet it is!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Which is better...Cypress and rabbets or White Pine and box joints?

    Well, it looks like I'll probably be going with yellow pine and rabbets...the guy that I'm getting my hives from said he'd show me how to cut'em. Sounds like a winner to me! We'll see how that goes...

    Ed

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Limestone Co, Alabama
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    Default Re: Which is better...Cypress and rabbets or White Pine and box joints?

    Quote Originally Posted by Intheswamp View Post
    ... looks like I'll... be going with yellow pine and rabbets... We'll see how that goes...

    Glue the hive side panels to the ends pieces of a rabbet hive joint with Tight Bond III wood glue. Attach the ends to the side panels with wood or 2 inch long dry wall screws (pre drill the holes and counter sink). Before painting take a small amount of Tight Bond III (mixed with a dab of water) and "paint" the two 3/8 inch wide strips of exposed wood end grain on each end panel. After you prime and paint, you won't have much moisture soaking into your boxes. Do not over tighten the screws, just snug them up.

    WARNING: If you do the jig project outlined below be sure to start with a piece of plywood that is perfectly square and parallel (on all four sides)! Failure to do so may result in a jig that will insure "perfect" parallelogram bee boxes, not square ones.

    A nice flat (and square) piece of scrap 3/4 inch wood with (4) 13/16 inch "channels" (3/8 inches deep) dadoes in one side of the plywood the same size as the type of hive you are using makes a fine jig for holding & squaring the 4 hive sections and 8 ends of a rabbeted hive box in place until you get them glued, clamped screwed and/or nailed together.

    If you are really froggy you can make a 10 frame, an 8 frame & a 5 frame nuc jig, all using the same piece of plywood by just dado two more channels for the side panels to rest in while they are glued, clamped, and screwed or nailed together. One side or long channel is a common channel used for (by) all three box sizes. The two end channels are common to all three box sizes. This jig looks a little like a tic-tac toe grid once finished. This jig is also useable for holding bottom boards.

    Remember to wax the heck out of the top of the plywood and all the channels (especially the corners) to help prevent glue spills from sticking to tightly. Also do not forget and allow a finished box to top frame to set in the jig while the glue dries or you take a break. Once Tight Bond III sets you may not be able to retrieve your new equipment from the grip of this jig.

    The jig will hold a telescoping top frame together for assembling if while you have your table saw set up you cut 4 more channels (the size of the T-top frame) around the 4 channels used to hold what ever size hive box you prefer.

    A handy dandy try jig (for an 8 frame box) can be made by using a 1 by 4 that is 22.08 inches long and with each end shaped into a wedge or lead pencil point shape measuring 22.08 (23.56 for 10 frame) inches from point to point. A box that is square should barely accept this jig when it is used to measure from one corner of the box to the furthest corner. In other words the jig is inserted into the box catty wampus (cross ways) the length of the box, once for each 2 corners.
    Scrapfe---Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.--Otto von Bismarck.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Which is better...Cypress and rabbets or White Pine and box joints?

    Scrapfe, thanks for the tips and jig plan!!! I'm going to heed what you've told me and try to get the boxes sealed as best I can. I've got a 15 gauge finish nailer I was thinking of using to put the boxes together but I think screws would hold better...will be a bit more of a chore, though. I've also got a stapler and brad nailer...max 1" staples and 1-1/4" brads. Would these do for putting frames together...I've see staple lengths of from 1" to 1-1/2" stated?

    I'm chomping at the bits to put a order in for frames and supplies but the freight is causing me to pause...there's a couple of vendors coming to the state convention in October and I could dodge the freight charges by picking the order up there...but I'd sure like to start tinkering with things. Ah well, we'll see if my patience holds out...

    I checked Lowes website and I think they bumped their heads on their yellow pine pricing...."select" for around $18 for a 1x8x8 (no 6' or 12' showing). They had 1x8x8 "whiteboard" (looked like knotty white pine) for $7.30....I called the local building supply and I can get 1x8x12 #2 yellow pine for $6.30 a piece.

    Ed

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
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    707

    Default Re: Which is better...Cypress and rabbets or White Pine and box joints?

    I use titebond III and II and both are extremely strong designed to be water and weather resistant.

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