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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
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    695

    Default Do I need to plane the wood?

    Is there any disadvantage for planning my wood for nuc boxes prior to building (using rabbet joints).Guy approached me today about building 50 nuc boxes for his nonprofit bee club. I told him I have a stack of box parts now and it would be a while before I clear it enough to get the planer out. He said rough cut is fine, no hand holds, assembled-cheap.
    I wondered if there was any disadvantage to running rough cut (other than more paint to cover the outside).
    I have no SHB in this cold rainy area.
    It would be a ‘one off run’.
    Do you guys attach the bottoms?
    Plans? I would assume I would need to add some width since my wood would be close to 1 1/16” minimum.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Peace River, AB Canada
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    456

    Default Re: Do I need to plane the wood?

    Work with inside dimensions and adjust for material thickness.
    The bees prefer a smooth surface and will need to spend a lot of effort collecting propolis and polishing the inside of the nuc.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,803

    Default Re: Do I need to plane the wood?

    Quote Originally Posted by JD's Bees View Post
    The bees prefer a smooth surface and will need to spend a lot of effort collecting propolis and polishing the inside of the
    nuc.
    Last thing I ever worried about.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
    Posts
    2,837

    Default Re: Do I need to plane the wood?

    >bees prefer a smooth surface . . .

    Is the inside of a hollow tree smooth?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: Do I need to plane the wood?

    I thought the rough surface will give them some better traction to walk on...

    And the rough surface will tickle the wax moth larva bellies and make them fall off.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Peace River, AB Canada
    Posts
    456

    Default Re: Do I need to plane the wood?

    Odfrank I didn't mean to imply that you worried about propolis use and Dave I don't know if the inside of a hollow tree is smooth.
    Bees do use propolis in the hive and would use more on a rough surface. I was just suggesting one disadvantage that may not have been taken into consideration. I don't believe it should be a huge worry but these nucs will be made for someone else and who knows how they will react. Some people are fussy.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,740

    Default Re: Do I need to plane the wood?

    My rough stock is cut 1 inch. I cut to length, and cut the box joints before planing. Then plane the front if I want it smooth, if not, I do not plane the front. No real advantage to planing the outside, except for the ones I sell. I do plane them both sides. The natural saw cut looks nice if you finish them natural.

    Plane the inside of the box to 3/4 and planing on the inside will help with any blowout you get from the dado cut.

    cchoganjr

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Big Rapids, MI
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Do I need to plane the wood?

    I was at a seminar a couple years ago and the speaker prefered rough sawn wood becaus it encouraged the bees to apply more propolis, and since propolis is an antibacterial the more the merrier for a healthy hive. I make most of own equipement and it stays rough sawn because I don't own a planer, my wood supplier uses a band saw rig which gives a little smoother finish than a buzz saw rig, but I have not really noticed a difference in the amount of propolis used on the walls compared the the comercial made boxes that I have. I have also been told to that boxes left in the rough sawn state on the outer surfaces don't hold up as long because the surface area is much more porous, holding more moisture which works to deteriate the wood. Again, I haven't noticed my rough sawn boxes deteriating and quicker than those that are smooth, and I have some that I have not painted or finished in any way. If he is looking for cheap, I think they will be just fine.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Huntington ,VT, USA
    Posts
    256

    Default Re: Do I need to plane the wood?

    one of the biggest reasons to dress the lumber is it is an opportunity to level it. Most material will cup to some extent as it seasons, the planer removes that cup allowing for more precise and stress (in the wood) free assembly. More of an issue with deeps than shallows, but ultimately dependent on how the wood was cut and dried...how much cup

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    1,082

    Default Re: Do I need to plane the wood?

    I have caught several swarms in 5 frame nuc that had rough insides. The bees propolis the inside corners and where the frames touch before they worry about the rough sides.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,317

    Default Re: Do I need to plane the wood?

    How do you explain all the lumber in my house being rough sawn? I have boards that are 24" wide (1" thick) that are straight as can be. I've done extensive remodeling on my house and all the old lumber that's been removed is quite straight, unlike what I find in modern housing where lumber is often warped and cupped. I think it has more to do with how the wood is dried.
    Regards, Barry

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,780

    Default Re: Do I need to plane the wood?

    sliver city !
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Huntington ,VT, USA
    Posts
    256

    Default Re: Do I need to plane the wood?

    roughsawn got used in a lot of older homes when mills were still more local for construction material and sheet goods were still unheard of. When you see those big flat boards come out of old buildings I think 2 things are at play: Larger higher quality timber trees were being cut and drying while pegged down to a true plane. With that kind of restraint you can overcome normal distortion and put a set into the stick...unless it splits from the drying stress.

    I think you could build a hive body just fine from fresh green material and secure the corners adequately to keep it true while drying, but trying to force cupped boards together will lead to headaches

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
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    1,740

    Default Re: Do I need to plane the wood?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    it has more to do with how the wood is dried.
    Barry...And very likely the quality of the wood back then.

    Windfall.... If you build a hive body from fresh green pine, poplar, or cypress, and you cut it 9 5/8, or 9 9/16, in about 9 months to one year you will find the depth to be about 8 7/8 to 9 1/8.

    Two years ago I did an experiment on green pine. I constructed a bottom board, grooved side boards, 4, 6 inch boards planed and inserted in the side groove, glued with Titebond III, clamped with pipe clamps and two nails from the outside into each board. Six months later the boards had pulled apart by 3/8 to 1/2 inch. I thought about putting screen over it and having a ventilated bottom board. If I still have that experiment I will photograph it to show what it looked like. Most of the boards pulled the Titebond III loose between boards, but, one of the boards tore the board apart.

    cchoganjr

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Huntington ,VT, USA
    Posts
    256

    Default Re: Do I need to plane the wood?

    Cleo, This came up in a thread just a few weeks ago and certainly you would need to account for the shrinkage in the construction. And you would have to use decent material...cut well clear of the pith, but my point is that when heavily restrained while seasoning wood can be forced into a set. Either a curved one as in a boat, or a flat one like Barry's house planks or a bee box.

    But it's important to note that boards so restrained have a great deal of internal stress and can split or develop deep surface checking to relieve it. To return to the OP's question. planing the wood flat so it can be joined stress free is one great advantage of dressed lumber.

    On a side note Cleo, I like your idea of planing after box jointing to remove blow out. You must keep your planer well tuned, I would worry about snipe messing up my finished ends on any boards not fully supported on entry/exit...i need a better planer.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
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    1,740

    Default Re: Do I need to plane the wood?

    windfall... You are right on all counts. What I wanted everyone to know is if you use green wood, ( I thought I read in the post, fresh green material), and cut your box say 9 5/8 and assemble, it will normally be fine, because of the glue and joints. The main problem with using green wood is after 9 months to a year, the deep will only be about 8 3/4. That will violate bee space, and introduce frame problems.

    Actually I virtually never get snipe. I use Delta 22-560's. I have 3 of them, and they rarely ever snipe, and I always cut to length and cut the box joints before planing. I would highly recommend Delta 22-560's. They have good inboard and outboard feed tables. You can find them on Craigslist for $100.00-$150.00. New blades are $29.00, and they last for a long time before needing to be replaced. If the wood is coming out as sawdust, rather than shavings, you know they are dull.

    Thanks.

    cchoganjr
    Last edited by Cleo C. Hogan Jr; 01-10-2013 at 01:36 PM. Reason: add

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    695

    Default Re: Do I need to plane the wood?

    Not green, just rough. Hemlock air dried below the ability of the cheap harbour freight moisture meter. I noticed that one of the glue-lam legs of my apple press had a gap that I did not remember in fall so hoping she is not going to self destruct like mentioned above (tightbond II).
    http://s1141.beta.photobucket.com/user/6minz/media/DSCF4127.jpg.html" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/n599/6minz/th_DSCF4127.jpg
    http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/...z/DSCF4127.jpg
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sweetwater,TN
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Do I need to plane the wood?

    Minz I'm not sure how much you are looking to invest in these boxes but a few monthes ago I bought 10 of the budget nucs from Mann lake and I was very satisfied with them. They are finger jointed and have hand holds on the sides and where I think 8.50 each. With a hundred dollar order they ship free, just thought I would throw that out there.
    Major

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    695

    Default Re: Do I need to plane the wood?

    Thanks Major that was an excellent tip! I forwarded that on as soon as I read it. I did not even see it there on the bottom of the page. Why is it they can make a nuc for $9 each and then charge just as much for a lid and a bottom? I told Tim buy the nucs I will make you some covers and bottoms. The $40 nuc is now $8.50 plus a dollar lid and 2 dollar bottom board!
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

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