Building supers
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Thread: Building supers

  1. #1
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    Default Building supers

    I'm wondering the pro and cons of building 10 frame deep and medium super and 5 frame nucs deep and medium out of plywood vs solid wood boards.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Building supers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jadeguppy View Post
    I'm wondering the pro and cons of building 10 frame deep and medium super and 5 frame nucs deep and medium out of plywood vs solid wood boards.
    If you're going to use plywood make dang sure it has an X at the end of the letters that say what it is.
    Example: CDX means one side is graded C, the other is graded D, and the X means for exterior use.
    If it's not exterior grade you're wasting your time and money.
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  4. #3
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    Didn't know that. Good advise. Thank you. Right now I'm using scrapes to build two I need for splits this week.
    Plywood is 1/2 the cost of solid wood and nucs are light. However, I'm wondering how it will hold up to the weight of a 10 frame. I'm currently using 1/2".
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Building supers

    If you are going commercial and need a lot of cheap boxes, use the 3/4' plywood. If you are a backyard beekeeper like I am, you probably will not like the appearance of the finished product. I made one nuc out of plywood and decided to use real boards for the rest. I do make my swarm traps out of plywood, but I typically don't see them much and they are only exposed to the weather 5 months out of the year. But that is just me.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Building supers

    Sort it all out dimensionally too. Keep the interior bee space the way it should be. Make sure you're building so that frames fit correctly otherwise your hard work will give you problems. Burr comb, etc.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Building supers

    I think 1/2" plywood is too thin for the boxes, heck its not even really 1/2". You will have problems interchanging equipment also as the boxes must be slightly smaller to keep the bee space right. Another drawback is the insulating value of the thinner material. Would not want to overwinter in a nuc that had 50% less material to keep out the cold.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Building supers

    Quote Originally Posted by aunt betty View Post
    If you're going to use plywood make dang sure it has an X at the end of the letters that say what it is.
    Example: CDX means one side is graded C, the other is graded D, and the X means for exterior use.
    If it's not exterior grade you're wasting your time and money.
    CDX does not mean Exterior Grade.

    From the APA (American Plywood Association), which establishes plywood grade standards ...
    Note: APA Rated Plywood Sheathing Exposure 1, commonly called “CDX” in the trade, is sometimes mistaken as an Exterior panel and erroneously used in applications for which it does not possess the required resistance to weather. “CDX” should only be used for applications as outlined under Exposure 1 above. For sheathing grade panels that will be exposed long-term to weather, specify APA Rated Sheathing Exterior (C-C Exterior plywood under PS 1).

    https://www.apawood.org/help
    "Exposure 1" panels, including CDX, should be protected by another layer, such as housewrap+siding. "Exterior" rated plywood should say so on the grade stamp on the plywood face, similar to this one ...

    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  9. #8
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    It seldom freezes here, but I hear your concern and may change over when I actually buy wood. These plans called for 1/2".
    I hope to run about 20 hives within the next few years.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Building supers

    Quote Originally Posted by Jadeguppy View Post
    ...may change over when I actually buy wood. These plans called for 1/2".
    I hope to run about 20 hives within the next few years.
    Find other plans. A ten frame deep is 19-7/8 16-1/4 9-1/2. Cut the sides 19-1/8, cut the ends 16-1/4 then cut a 3/8 3/4 rabbit for the sides to fit into. Cut a 3/8 5/8 rabbit across the top of each end for a frame rest. Glue and nail it and presto, a deep hive body that will work with your store bought equipment. If you stay with 3/4" material, it makes life much easier.
    I hope to be at twenty in another two years myself so I feel your pain. That is a minimum of 80 boxes and 800 frames. Not to mention the nucs and mating nucs you will need.

    I sent a cut list and instructions on assembly for building hives that duplicate Brushy Mtn.'s hive to another BK. Pm me if you would like a copy.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Building supers

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post
    CDX does not mean Exterior Grade.

    From the APA (American Plywood Association), which establishes plywood grade standards ...


    "Exposure 1" panels, including CDX, should be protected by another layer, such as housewrap+siding. "Exterior" rated plywood should say so on the grade stamp on the plywood face, similar to this one ...

    Edited
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Building supers

    Quote Originally Posted by aunt betty View Post
    How many homes have you built? I'd like to hire you because I'm a general contractor. It would be interesting to have a beekeeper tell me that I've been doing it wrong for almost 40 years. How much do you think you're worth?
    You should note the first part of the APA quote, "... commonly called “CDX” in the trade, is sometimes mistaken as an Exterior panel and erroneously used in applications for which it does not possess the required resistance to weather. “

    You are not alone in thinking CDX is Exterior rated. But in the end, one can hardly claim that the APA is wrong - after all, they are the ones who establish the standards for plywood and other structural panels. FYI, I built the house I'm living in now (started construction about 2 years ago), and I used "Exposure 1" sheathing (OSB on the exterior walls and plywood near the edges of the roof with OSB on the more central portion of the roof). All of it was covered with appropriate wrap/waterproofing and then siding/roofing. But I'm retired and not looking for a job.

    But it doesn't matter how many homes I have built - my goal is to see the correct info disseminated on Beesource. If you think my reference is wrong, post a better one.

    One can certainly build hives/woodenware with "Exposure 1" rated CDX. There are also those that even claim to use (Exposure 1) OSB to build woodenware. Just don't get fooled into thinking that means "Exterior" rating.

    While we are on the subject of weather exposure of engineered panels, Advantech is in a different class from the rest of its "ordinary" OSB brethern, IMO. Personally, I'd rate Advantech as more suited than CDX plywood for exterior use. But that is just my opinion - the manufacturer of Advantech makes no such claim.

    .
    Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 09-18-2017 at 07:34 PM. Reason: add more
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Building supers

    I wonder what a hive would look like if I made out of T-111 exterior grade siding. Perhaps a little Hardyplank to make it really weather proof.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Building supers

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Find other plans. A ten frame deep is 19-7/8 16-1/4 9-1/2. Cut the sides 19-1/8, cut the ends 16-1/4 then cut a 3/8 3/4 rabbit for the sides to fit into. Cut a 3/8 5/8 rabbit across the top of each end for a frame rest. Glue and nail it and presto, a deep hive body that will work with your store bought equipment. If you stay with 3/4" material, it makes life much easier.
    I hope to be at twenty in another two years myself so I feel your pain. That is a minimum of 80 boxes and 800 frames. Not to mention the nucs and mating nucs you will need.

    I sent a cut list and instructions on assembly for building hives that duplicate Brushy Mtn.'s hive to another BK. Pm me if you would like a copy.
    when did they start making a deep 9-1/2" deep. I always cut it 9-5/8".

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Building supers

    >> Hardyplank to make it really weather proof.

    James Hardie makes 4'x8' panels of the same stuff (fiber-cement board) as Hardie Planks. I think that would be simpler to use for hives. But fiber-cement board is relatively heavy stuff. As it is, some beekeepers are looking for lighter loads to lift - fiber-cement goes in the other direction.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Building supers

    Honestly, I wondered about that too. Triple checked the last boxes I got from BM. All 9-1/2". Still plenty of room on the bottom board and it tightens up the space between frames in the upper and lower boxes so less ladder comb. That, or I got bad boxes the last time around.

    Went back to some older measurements and sure enough, 9-5/8" for deeps, 6-5/8" for mediums, and 5-3/4" for shallows.
    Last edited by JWPalmer; 09-18-2017 at 07:56 PM. Reason: Additional info
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Building supers

    The "standard" size for a deep hive body has been 9 5/8" for some time.
    http://www.beeculture.com/deeps-medi...ons-decisions/


    But Brushy Mtn seems to have changed at least some of theirs to 9 1/2". See this page, for instance ...
    http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/sale?page=2
    Note that the Brushy mediums are still 6 5/8".

    Dadant is still at 9/58" for deeps: https://www.dadant.com/catalog/8-fra...ct-deep-supers

    Lappes Bee Supply is 9 5/8" deeps: https://www.lappesbeesupply.com/10-f...ve-components/

    Beesource plans are 9 5/8" for deeps: https://www.beesource.com/wordpress/w...s/10frlang.pdf
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Building supers

    If you really want to get picky about it, the measurement is 9 19/32. Go read the patent to find out why.
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Building supers

    op. I made a bunch of nucs and 2nd story nuc 5 frame boxes out of plywood. 30 bucks a sheet. map it out so you have minimal waste. use the cutoffs for the lid sides.
    I painted them and they work. good to have on hand. but HEAVY. an empty one with a lid feels like a deep brood chamber. so I stick to wood for my supers and deeps. oh I also make quilt boxes out of the 3/4 ply. i'd stick to 3/4 ply so all your equipment is the same dimensions.
    Terrence

  20. #19
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    Kaizen, are you saying your 3/4 plywood nucs are heavier than those made from solid wood?
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Building supers

    FYI for anyone using plywood. A waterproofing material called drylok will seal the wood. I have built plywood fish tanks with the stuff. Drylok would be great for wooden tops. Drylok is a hydrolic cement used to seal concrete basements.

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