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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
What is the easiest way to fix some some deeps that I use for hive top feeders that do not appear to be flush or fight tightly to the box below or above? I have gaps on a couple of the hive top feeders that I built.

Try to square it up on the table saw?

Is there a tape or such that can be used to seal these areas?

Thanks, Jim
 

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Hi Jim.
I come across this kind of thing quite often, as I build boxes from reclaimed pallet wood, and even the tiniest amount of twist in a plank (which I try hard to avoid) is enough to create gaps and cause the box to 'rock'.

The method I've adopted is to place the box onto a glass-top table I use as a reference flat surface, and place shims equally under both corner gaps to stop the rocking. Then, with some precision-height uprights in position which also clamp the box in place, I run a sledge-mounted router over the box top edges. When the top surface is uniformly flat, I then turn the box upside-down and router the bottom edges. No need to shim-up a second time, of course.

I'm sure there must be other ways which are better or quicker - or both - but that's what I do.
LJ
 

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The problem with that approach is that you lose box overall height which will compromise frame rest depth and vertical bee space between frame tops and bottoms. I dont know how much leeway there is in the common British boxes but standard langs could be a concern. Medium boxes and standard frames are dicey tight to start but the deeps are on the loose side and actually benefit from a bit of trimming on boxes.

I would favor giving the box a good water soaking then force it down in a bit of over correction twist in the opposite direction and let dry a bit before putting it in a stack with weight on top.
 

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The problem with that approach is that you lose box overall height which will compromise frame rest depth and vertical bee space between frame tops and bottoms.
To clarify - I was describing when the boxes were first made. I make their height typically 5-10mm oversize then router them down to spec. The OP is talking about fixing a feeder box (feeder shell ?) the exact height of which I presume doesn't need to be precise. I know mine aren't. :)

Should I need to rectify an existing box - which does happen from time to time - then I glue on thin (10mm-ish) battens to the offending surface (without using nails !!), and again router down to spec. I decided upon using this method when converting from bottom bee-space boxes (the British 'standard') to top bee-space - which I think is far more sensible. (imo)
LJ
 

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Is there a tape or such that can be used to seal these areas?
Guess it depends on how big the gaps are, but I use Frogers tape if I need a temporary seal to keep bees from checking out the gaps:D They will be propolized shortly.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
These are a couple of The Fat Beeman's hive top feeders and I have a little room to play.

When I started I had some old old 1x12's that I used and I did not check that closely.
Little bit of gap on the top and bottom and this is where I feel the SHB's are getting in. I have 1/8 wire over the vents then went back and put screen wire over this because I seem to have very few mites but great number of beetles around the area. Thanks, Jim

Is there an easy was to square up the top and bottom so the gap is gone?

Even easier is there a long lasting tape or gap filler that will not give out in the winter?

Anyone tried Don's boric acid trap up in the feeder where the bees can not get to it? I always have a few beetles and some type of small roaches, plus some small sugar ants in the feeder box.
 

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If I understand your problem the easy fix you're looking for is just to take a hand planer to the high spots. If they are off a lot look for more tight weatherproofing caulk. It comes in ropes and it seals good yet you can remove it when needed. J
 

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I use medium and shallow boxes to hold feeders, and interchangeably as honey and brood boxes. Height does matter there. If they are strictly feeders or quilt boxes it doesnt. The rocking can be caused by non parallel sides or twisted boards; Usually it is twist, so that is what to address to make it right.

Twist it true and beyond a bit and allow it come to its senses! Several cement blocks on top can be quite pursuasive:D
 

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My approach is a bit labor intensive, but I do have a good flat concrete work area and with a carpenter's square and an orbital sander I can generally get a good flat fit. DSCN3554.jpg

I'll set the box on the concrete with a drop light inside the box. Use the square where I saw light and sand until it's level. I do have several planes, but I want to be careful to not remove too much wood.
 

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The method I've adopted is to place the box onto a glass-top table I use as a reference flat surface, and place shims equally under both corner gaps to stop the rocking. Then, with some precision-height uprights in position which also clamp the box in place, I run a sledge-mounted router over the box top edges. When the top surface is uniformly flat, I then turn the box upside-down and router the bottom edges. No need to shim-up a second time, of course.
Some old photographs, just in case my description wasn't too clear:

Here's shot of the sledge-router on top of the uprights which were dimensioned for deep (225mm/ 9") boxes. I later made some extension pieces to accomodate extra-deep (305mm/ 12") boxes.



And here's a shot of a box being converted into top bee-space by the addition of thin battens to it's top rim. The height of the box divider was also machined down to spec at the same time.



Not worth building such kit for one or two boxes - but if you're making quite a few of them ...

LJ
 

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Discussion Starter #11
For one or two I was thinking about Aggie engineering and using an inter hive cover as a "flat/square piece" and attaching it to the better of the the box edges then using the table saw to very carefully smooth off the edges on the worse side to get a better fit then reverse the process on the other end if needed. It is rigging but can anyone see a problem with this to try to fit one or two hive top feeders?

Thanks,

Jim
 

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Jim - providing you can source a known flat surface - if you cover that surface with a sheet of polythene, then run a bead of suitable filler (thickened epoxy, automotive polyester filler - that kind of goop) along the box rim, and then place the box rim-down onto the protected flat surface until the goop sets, and then trim off the excess, I would think that should solve your immediate problem. Might be wise to paint that area to stop the wood swelling and possibly dislodging the filler. A bead of silicone rubber might also work - but I've never tried that.

Can't comment on your table saw idea, as I don't have that much experience of table saws, and zero experience of using the high quality cast-iron-bed table saws which a lot of you guys own.
LJ
 

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A simple way to seal small gaps between boxes is with builder's polyfoam tape. You can buy it at your local hardware store or the big box stores. The product is used between footer boards and a concrete sill to seal small gaps. I've seen it in yellow and pink and it usually comes in 50' / 6" rolls for $8 to $10.
Cut 1" wide strips and staple to the edges of the hive box.

Jeff Willard on YouTube recommends it for sealing boxes against SHB in conjunction with NeverWet strips.
 

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I have to chuckle at all these woodworking solutions. I probably couldn't successfully use a hand-operated bit and brace, so my solutions would be:

1)3-M Original Blue painters' tape over the joint (not the kind with printing on the surface). Holds for months at a time;

2) Self-sticking window and door weatherstripping on the meeting surfaces (both or just the wonky one). Lasts for a year or more.

Nancy
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You are probably right Nancy. It is probably a guy thing to try to fix things. :)

I stripped the boxes down added the inter cover for a straight edge and still did not get what I wanted because it was just too hard for me to have an open table saw blade trying to push a the box and keep it straight. Maybe if you had a tall board attached to the fence to keep the top stable. I am just a little scared and could not get the box down the table saw to keep it square enough to do the job I wanted.

Bottom line was I said" UNCLE" and I just went over and bought a 12 ft 1x8 and rebuilt the boxes a lot quicker as a simpler and easier fix. ;)

Thanks for the suggestions. Jim
 
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