Wedge Top Frames for Plastic Foundation?
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  1. #1
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    Jan 2018
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    Default Wedge Top Frames for Plastic Foundation?

    This will be my first years starting two brand new hives. A friend gave me a shopping list of equipment, which I ordered, not realizing he used starter strips for the wedge top frames he recommended. I plan to use Rite-Cell plastic foundation. I understand I'll probably get a different opionion for every response I receive to this question but I'm going to ask anyway.

    Should I exchange the wedge top/split bottom frames I ordered for groove top/bottom frames or keep them and use them with the plastic foundation?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    beaver county pa usa
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    Default Re: Wedge Top Frames for Plastic Foundation?

    You can use the split bottoms but you will have to use the wedge top by removing the wedge and anchoring it tightly against the plastic foundation, Or you could leave the wedge in the top bar and put a couple brads through the split bottoms to keep the plastic foundation from dropping down. The bees will fill in the gaps

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Wedge Top Frames for Plastic Foundation?

    Nailing the wedge on is a finger-smacking fiddly job. Some kind of pneumatic stapler, nailer, brad shooter will make it easier, but a small hammer is also fine.

    The good part is that having done this once, that a detail of the murky, confusing, things about choosing frames will be forever clear in your mind. Foundation needs groove/groove.

    Nancy

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Wedge Top Frames for Plastic Foundation?

    Thank you. I thought I could use the wedge but wanted to confirm. I plan to use 5/8", 1/4 crown staples in my pneumatic stapler to hold the foundation in place. Yes, this was an important lesson in choosing frames. I appreciate my friends advice but I dodn't know what I dodn't know and what questions I should have asked.

  6. #5
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    Jan 2012
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    Roanoke, VA, USA
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    Default Re: Wedge Top Frames for Plastic Foundation?

    Or, you could get some grooved frames to use with your plastic and either trade the wedge top frames (maybe for the grooved) or save them for when you want to use a little wax foundation, maybe to make some comb honey.
    8 years, 8 hives

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Wedge Top Frames for Plastic Foundation?

    If you bought unassembled frames, you should be able to buy just the grooved bottom board. The wedge top bar is not so much a problem. Remove the wedge and nail it back in position. The plastic foundation will pop right in. If you use the divided bottom board, you will need to nail the foundation in place. In the end, it doesn't really matter.
    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: Wedge Top Frames for Plastic Foundation?

    Wedge top are just grooved with a cut.... just leave it as is, it will function the same, no need to remove it or staple it back in place.

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Wedge Top Frames for Plastic Foundation?

    On the Brushy Mountain frames I use, the connecting strip of wood is VERY thin and the wedge cleat will break off with just a little pressure. That is why I recommend removing and renailing. The connector strip on other brands may be more robust and not be in danger of breaking.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Wedge Top Frames for Plastic Foundation?

    I would not go to far with that experiment or you might regret it. Different companies frames may vary but mann lake frames for snap in foundation have a shallower but wider groove than the wedge frames. The embossing of the cell pattern is cut away on the foundation for only a bit over an eighth of an inch. To snap in and out and not be squished from top and bottom allowing clearance for temperature change etc. is built into the groove both top and bottom dimensions. The foundation should be fairly centered in the frame too.

    I have played around with cutting the comb section out of one piece plastic frames. Trimming back the cell embossing and getting the right overall height is tricky to get them to fit properly in different frames.
    Frank

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Wedge Top Frames for Plastic Foundation?

    I'll see if I have some plastic foundation and if I can snap it in, I felt like I did it already, but who knows.

  12. #11
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    Suffolk Co, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Wedge Top Frames for Plastic Foundation?

    are you certain the plastic foundation is not too wide to fit into the split bottom bar? many of my split bottom bars
    are.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Wedge Top Frames for Plastic Foundation?

    I would bet that breaking off the wedge would be an issue as Jwpalmer suggests. My concern is that the raised cell base portion may interfere with the wedge seating. I used to slap together some miscreations to draw drone culling comb on but now using partial panels of foundation. I did create a few bastardized combinations and have fun dealing with them. I dont do it deliberately any more.
    Frank

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Wedge Top Frames for Plastic Foundation?

    Quote Originally Posted by clyderoad View Post
    are you certain the plastic foundation is not too wide to fit into the split bottom bar? many of my split bottom bars
    are.
    Yes, that too could be an issue.
    Frank

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    Morgantown, WV
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    Default Re: Wedge Top Frames for Plastic Foundation?

    Thanks for all the info. I'm going to return all but a couple boxes of the wedge top/split bottom frames and order the grooved top/bottom frames. I don't want to create any unneccessary work/problems for myself this first year. I'll used the others down the road when I'm ready to try my hand at some cut comb honey. Thanks again for all the advice.

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