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Sorry for the delay in posting this, guys - between first starting work on it and yesterday I discovered a simple mod which promises to halve it's height and will make it much easier to construct - that is, assuming it passes the bee-test of course ...

I've recently acquired well over a thousand top quality pallets, many of which are of identical construction - so what I'm currently working towards is making beehive components from this source which involves minimal woodworking. In particular there are several hundred 'stringers' (pallet timbers used to support the deck planks) which are around 85mm x 30mm, and ideal for making this new style of base.

But when I set out to make a prototype it was by no means clear how tall it needed to be, and one of the mistakes I made was to fit an internal strut (in order to keep the 3-sided base square) which then occupied valuable vertical space.
A second error was not providing any means of maintaining the exact vertical position of the rear closure plates, and so in practice small gaps (1-2mm) between them often resulted. One attempt to solve this was to insert 'pegs' or rather 'pins' made from aluminium nails, with corresponding locating holes drilled in the closure plates - only to find that getting these pins and holes to line-up accurately proved to be problematic.
However, by removing the internal strut and replacing it with an external 50mm x 15mm batten - which juts out by some 10mm, thus forming a ledge - the lower closure plate can now rest accurately upon this. So there's no longer any need for locating pins - and more importantly, it then became clear that additional external battens could likewise be used to form lower floor supports, such that only around half (95mm) of the existing base height of 180mm would then be required. I'll include a diagram at the end of this post.

So - here's a shot of the original base upside-down, showing that internal strut. You can also see stubs of bamboo skewers being used to seal the holes which resulted from the use of locating pins.

Here's the same base, the right way up, but now with the modified batten which provides the 'reference ledge'.

This is the first bottom board I made - from 3 wide and 1 narrow very thin oak planks - which then proceeded to bow like crazy after they'd been glued together ...

I really should have put this snafu onto the bonfire at that point, but I became obsessed with saving those oak planks. Tunnel vision. Mistake. And so I sliced into them, before adding some serious battens:

Here's a detail shot showing an adjustment screw - all slides have these - which hold the slide away from the far wall, preventing bees from getting trapped and squashed.

Moving on ... here's the plastic OMF I'll be using for trials - which will be replaced with steel mesh if successful.

Ok, so here's the assembly closed-up with the OMF (SBB) in place, and with the bottom board in place - or not, as the case may be. You may just be able to see a small 'mouse-hole' at the bottom, the position of which is currently of no importance.

However, swapping-over the two closure boards brings this 'mouse-hole' slot into a position above the bottom board, when it can be used to feed a cable through to an Oxalic Acid Vapouriser, which is represented here by a large socket some 50mm high, which is taller than most of my existing Band Heaters. So - plenty of room there for such a device.

So - that's it - except to show a diagram of the proposed Mk.II as mentioned earlier, which shows how I'll be halving the height of this base, whilst still using stock sizes of timber (lumber). (not to scale, all measurements nominal)

It'll be interesting to see what the bees make of this contraption :)
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