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  1. #1
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    Jul 2012
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    Default Cedar Boards, Rough or Smooth Side Out?

    I am going to make some brood boxes this winter and decided to experiment with wood other than pine. I am going to make a few cedar, catalpa, and maybe sassafras boxes and seal them with exterior water base polyurethane to let the wood grains show.

    The cedar I have is planed 3 sides and rough on one side. Since I have already had a problem with moths, I hope the cedar will help with that. I am building stands and bottoms out of the cedar and going to try a cedar cover. While observing bees landing on the hive, I noticed that slick surfaces cause them to lose their grip and slide off the box. I was thinking rough side out for everything to give them a good gripping surface. But it would look better smooth side out. What will they do with the rough side on the inside? Will I have more problems with bur comb and other stuff if I put the rough side in?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    Default Re: Cedar Boards, Rough or Smooth Side Out?

    Make sure it is tight grained heavy cedar. I made western covers out of pallet wood cedar that shrinks and expands so much that it will not hold paint, t&g joints opened up by a much as 3/8", and some rotted and grew fungus's in two years.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    St. Albans, Vermont
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    Default Re: Cedar Boards, Rough or Smooth Side Out?

    According to Spivak, rough side in...so they propolise more.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Rockford, MI
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    Default Re: Cedar Boards, Rough or Smooth Side Out?

    Cedar is stained not painted. Cedar as well as redwood and teak has natural oils that will not allow paint to stick for long.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
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    Default Re: Cedar Boards, Rough or Smooth Side Out?

    My operation is all cedar with rough side out. Paint holds very well.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Evansville, IN
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    Default Re: Cedar Boards, Rough or Smooth Side Out?

    Really makes no difference to the bees, so put it the way you want it. Rough side out might be a bit more difficult to paint, but hardly impossible.

    I see the same problem with semigloss paints, I'll probably stick to matte in the future if available, but I tend to haunt the "oops" shelf for paint and will take whatever is there and not too obnoxious. Mauve and pink seemed to be the colors everyone returned this year.

    Peter

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    owensboro,ky
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    2,240

    Default Re: Cedar Boards, Rough or Smooth Side Out?

    "....Really makes no difference to the bees, so put it the way you want it..."
    Won't make any difference to the moths,either.
    Good Luck, Mike
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Spokane, Washington, USA
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    Default Re: Cedar Boards, Rough or Smooth Side Out?

    Quote Originally Posted by psfred View Post
    Rough side out might be a bit more difficult to paint, but hardly impossible.


    Peter
    Peter, I did not notice a difference.

    Same painting as usual. The reason why one side is rough is basically for housing trims, other exterior applications and paint sticks much better. It's not rough like typical pine from a saw mill. Its rough because it went through a machine with a roughing head which gives a uniform roughness or simply cut with a nice blade. Cedar is soft and comes out nicely from a saw mill but most likely the wood was roughened uniformly giving it a rough texture which is easy to paint.... How do I know this? I am in the middle of Cedar country where wood is 30 cents direct from manufacture. I will never again build hives with a smooth exterior. The paint really does stick to the rough texture.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Jackson, MO
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    Default Re: Cedar Boards, Rough or Smooth Side Out?

    Like I said, I am not going to paint the hive. I am going to use a water base exterior polyurethane to seal the wood.

    Putting rough side in would lead to more propolis? Why would this happen?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    owensboro,ky
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    2,240

    Default Re: Cedar Boards, Rough or Smooth Side Out?

    all bees seal the inside of the hive with a coat of propolis (some thicker than others,but all do it)
    rough surface=more surface area=more propolis
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Starkville, MS, USA
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    82

    Default Re: Cedar Boards, Rough or Smooth Side Out?

    Question about cedar-
    Are you talking about aromatic cedar - tends to be red and white in color with a strong odor (the kind that Grandma had lining the cedar chest to keep moths out of the wool sweaters), or are you talking about Western Red Cedar that grows in the Pacific Northwest, or the White cedar that grows on the east coast? This has always been a point of confusion for me when folks are talking about cedar hives.

    http://ozarkcedarhives.com/faqs.html

    http://www.legacyapiaries.com/materials.php

    http://www.evanscedarbeehives.com/


    Thanks

    edited to add links- the first ones I found on google for each cedar type- no experience with any of the suppliers

  12. #12
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    Jul 2012
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    Jackson, MO
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    Default Re: Cedar Boards, Rough or Smooth Side Out?

    When I use boards from cedar off the farm, it will be Eastern Red Cedar, which is aromatic.

    The origin of the cedar that I am using this weekend is Manard's Red Cedar. It is aromatic and makes a pleasant smell in my workshop like local cedar. But I suspect it may be western red cedar, it is a lighter, softer species than what we grow locally.

    I have used local cedar for many projects and seal it with a urethane clear coat. I refinished a gun rack a few years back with urethane that my Dad built in woodshop as a kid 60 years ago and finished it with varnish that yellowed. I have done other cedar projects with bark and pulpwood outer layers on the board for a rustic effect. My fly tying bench has cedar, sassafras, oak, and walnut all from the farm. We had to saw up a nice cherry this fall that fell in a windstorm, I need to come up with something nice to do with that.

    I am going to do a hive in catapla wood. We lost a tree planted by my ancestors on their arrival in the 1800's last spring and had it sawed into lumber. They were the first known beekeepers in my lineage, so I feel it may be fittin to build one out of it.

  13. #13
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    Aug 2012
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    Starkville, MS, USA
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    Default Re: Cedar Boards, Rough or Smooth Side Out?

    Interesting idea since you have access to "non traditional" lumber. Catalpa grows around here (S. MS) and I had an impression that it splits fairly easily as (if memory serves) the light wood between the dark bands is fairly weak. I have seen routed signs made out of it that were sandblasted and looked spectacular. I knew a guy that carved it then sandblasted it for effect.

  14. #14
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    Dec 2010
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    Huntington ,VT, USA
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    256

    Default Re: Cedar Boards, Rough or Smooth Side Out?

    Catalpa is relatively weak and brittle, but plenty strong for beehives. It is also extremely rot resistant and dimensionally stable...which is great in any exterior application. It also fluoresces under UV lighting but that isn't really relevant, just kind of interesting

    I have yet to encounter any clear coat finish that will hold up to more than 3 years of fulltime UV. If you really want that look, you have to maintain it regularly...recoating long before it shows the damage, or it's a complete strip job. I just can't see giving the hive bodies that much attention

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Cedar Boards, Rough or Smooth Side Out?

    Quote Originally Posted by windfall View Post
    Catalpa is relatively weak and brittle, but plenty strong for beehives. It is also extremely rot resistant and dimensionally stable...which is great in any exterior application. It also fluoresces under UV lighting but that isn't really relevant, just kind of interesting

    I have yet to encounter any clear coat finish that will hold up to more than 3 years of fulltime UV. If you really want that look, you have to maintain it regularly...recoating long before it shows the damage, or it's a complete strip job. I just can't see giving the hive bodies that much attention
    Interesting tidbit about the UV light, don't bees see things in UV? Maybe I can create a hive where bees can fly at night and find their way back.

    As far as the attention to the hive, beekeeping is just a hobby for me, something to pass the time with. But, like my other hobbies, in order to keep it interesting, I have to experiment and play some. I usually tend to over engineer some things.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Slinger, WI
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    204

    Default Re: Cedar Boards, Rough or Smooth Side Out?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdmidwest View Post
    I am going to do a hive in catapla wood. We lost a tree planted by my ancestors on their arrival in the 1800's last spring and had it sawed into lumber. They were the first known beekeepers in my lineage, so I feel it may be fittin to build one out of it.

    That is cool and a fitting tribute!
    Steve Wenger
    Gentleman farmer/7 year Bee Keeper

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