Bottom boards
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Thread: Bottom boards

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Sheboygan County, WI
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    211

    Default Bottom boards

    What is your preferred way to make bottom boards?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
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    Default Re: Bottom boards

    I make a pocket screw frame from 3/4" lumber. Sides and back are 1-1/2" wide, front is 3" wide. The frame can receive #8 hardware cloth for an SBB*, or I can cut a 3/8" rabbet and insert a 3/8" plywood sheet for a solid bottom board. The frame keeps the plywood out of the weather.

    The pocket screw frame sits on 2x4 runners. I actually rip the 2x4 to 3". I cut a 45 on one end of the runners, and I cut a slot for a sticky board if its going to be an SBB. I glue (Titebond III waterproof) and nail the frame to the runners. I rip a 45 bevel on the edge of the landing board and secure it to the angled runners. The landing board will be slightly proud so sand it or plane it flat (watch out for nails). Then I brad nail 3/4 x 3/4 perimeter boards on, paint, and staple on #8 hardware cloth if I'm making a SBB.

    * The board in the pictures is an 8F SBB. I've quit making SBBs but still make solid boards the same, I like having the landing ramp integrated, its only one thing to carry that way. If you decide to use my bottom board and you are using screened bottoms, do yourself a favor and go ahead and router a 3/8" rabbet in top side of the pocket screw frame before you attach the perimeter boards and screen, just in case you change your mind, it'll be much easier to retrofit to a solid bottom that way.
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    Last edited by JConnolly; 03-02-2018 at 08:22 PM.
    Zone 6B

  4. #3
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    May 2017
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    Sheboygan County, WI
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    Default

    Dang... you get fancy. They look awesome !

    I want cheep and easy. I've used 2x2 with plywood, but they seem to warp.

    Love yours, but don't wanna take that much time it would take me to figure that out !

  5. #4
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    May 2017
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    Sheboygan County, WI
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    Default

    This is an old one. All 3/4" wood.
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  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    Salt Lake City, UT
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    1,148

    Default Re: Bottom boards

    Try the plans here: https://beesource.com/build-it-yourse...-barry-birkey/




    How's this for fancy? I added a slotted board with a hanger bolt, so with a knob nut I can securely attach robber screens, entrance reducers, and mouse guards. Here it is with a robber screen attached.
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    Zone 6B

  7. #6
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    May 2017
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    Sheboygan County, WI
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    Default

    Jc, that bottom looks nice and easy and quick... that's what I need for now.

    I don't have exterior plywood, but may use regular I have laying around and paint it good.

    Anyone know if I can paint the inside of the bottom board to protect it ?

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    1,527

    Default Re: Bottom boards

    Aside from priming the top of all my bottom boards, I paint it white regardless of the outside color. Makes it easier to see what drops from inside the hive. Yes you can paint the top of the bottom board, the part thats "inside" the hive.
    Zone 5 @ 4700 ft. High Desert

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Sheboygan County, WI
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    Default

    Thanks RW. That is what I was hoping to hear.

    Suppose, everyone has different thoughts, but if it is ok for some, should be ok for me.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
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    1,148

    Default Re: Bottom boards

    I fully paint my bottom boards. It makes cleaning them up easier.

    If you follow the Beesource plan linked in my last post but cut your plywood 3-1/2inches shorter and then cut a 3-1/2 wide board the same length as the plywood is wide, and glue it to the plywood edge to edge you'll have a solid wood landing board to the weather, and your non-exterior grade plywood is now all inside the hive.

    When plywood is exposed to the weather the exposed end grain is where damage starts. The end grain sucks up water and then the water delaminates the layers of the plywood. A strip of solid wood glued to the edge of the plywood with Titebond III exterior wood glue significantly slows that process, and once it's painted it will last a long time.
    Zone 6B

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Alexandria, MN
    Posts
    723

    Default Re: Bottom boards

    I make them warre style. I can make them quick and out of scrap laying around. I also never have to worry about getting the bottom box sitting just right on the bottom board as it’s flat.
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Amsterdam, NY, USA
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Bottom boards

    I stopped using conventional bottom boards. I build these now....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMTdQxb_73s&t=7s

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    1,635

    Default Re: Bottom boards

    I have a variety of bottom boards in use - the best I've yet designed for my vertical hives is to have a solid bottom board (made from pallet planks) with an Open Mesh Floor above it, with these separated by a 3-sided eke. There's a 4th side to the eke which is only attached if a gale is forecast - otherwise it stays open at the rear all year round providing ventilation. With bottom entrances there's no through-draught.

    I have played with sheets of Correx which fit on top of the solid floor (and thus under the OMF) to catch debris, which can then be removed at intervals by sliding the Correx sheet out, backwards, through the 'missing' eke side - but in practice it's just as easy to use an L-shaped scraper to pull the debris out by the same route.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    4,163

    Default Re: Bottom boards

    We build the "Level Drain" per my Grandfather's patent, US2446081. It can be flipped over and the other side is identical.

    Crazy Roland

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    7,817

    Default Re: Bottom boards

    My bottom boards are 22 x 16 1/4" x 1/2" exterior plywood. One end and the sides 19 7/8" long are rimmed with 1/4" slices of 1 by scrap. Feet/stiffeners are 1" slices of 2 by scrap 16 7/8" long. The entrance end foot is underneath the entrance. If entrance collapse, insert one inch piece of the 1/4" rim material.

    I like them because no room for a rattlesnake to get in. A mouse has to chew and attract attention getting in. And the **** ventillation fetish is crazy. I reduce that entrance much of the year. I have an upper entrance too, a hole bored in hive bodies right below hand hold when appopriate. When not appropriate, duct tape.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Sheboygan County, WI
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    211

    Default

    Vance,
    Dou you have a couple pics you could post please ?

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Alexandria, MN
    Posts
    723

    Default Re: Bottom boards



    In case anybody is interested in what I described. This is a warre floor in Langstroth dimensions. For this floor I had some scrap tongue and groove laying around. Underneath is a board going across the front and back. They add stability and the board across the front doubles as a landing board. All the bottom boards I haven’t done have been made out of scrap.
    Not Michael Bush. My name is Dan. Sorry for the confusion.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Morgan County, Alabama,USA
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Bottom boards

    I use the plans shown on myoldtools.com click on beekeepers pages . quick , easy, and cheap! cutting the shelf from the 2x4 runners , i only cut in 1/2" instead of 3/4", this leaves a wider piece of wood for the box to sit on.

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,249

    Default Re: Bottom boards

    Lobottomee, what advantage do you think your design has over a conventional BB?
    Has anyone used pvc trim? I have some scraps and was thinking a BB would be a good use for it. Never rot.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,131

    Default Re: Bottom boards

    If I had PVC trim boards lying around, I would use them. Too expensive to buy new for that purpose. My bottom boards are exact copies of the Brushy Mountain SBB. The nuc size costs me $4.97 to make. Haven't done the math for a 10 frame but figure an extra $.70 for screen and wood.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Amsterdam, NY, USA
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Bottom boards

    Fivej

    - Since I started using these I no longer have to worry about mice. Drafts from strong winds are minimized, and where I live wind driven snow no longer gets blown inside. It's not possible for rain to get into the hive at all, and I've also noticed that robbers seem to get confused by the design. It's not visible in the videos, but the back is removable and inside there is a varroa screen and tray that slides in and out. If I want ventilation I can simply leave the back cover off, and in the winter I have foam insulation cut to size that just slides in to insulate the bottom. And for me, one of the best things is that during the winter I can take the back off and slide in my stethoscope and listen to make sure the bees are okay, and tell about where the cluster is by how strong the buzzing is.

    I admit these are more complicated to build than a conventional bottom, but now that I have the steps and measurements down I can average about 20 minutes each if I do a bunch at a time.

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