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Well this will be my first post but I have been around for 3-4 years. I have learned a lot going into my forth spring of keeping bees. As of now I have 12 hives (double story 10 frame) that I have built up and all is well at this point. If I can get these through winter I plan on making a major increase in spring. I would like to start selling some nucs just so I can self sustain the hobby. This would mean selling about 15 nucs a year, would work for me, and keep around 15 running full hives (double story 10 frame hives). At least this is what I’m thinking. So, this now requires me to build more nuc boxes to get ready for the spring splits.
I built a couple of queen castles last year out of Advantech and found these held up well and are heavy, I also painted them. With the left over material I was able to build two 5 frame nucs also. I was looking for a cutting template to make these nucs to be more efficient with the cuts, but I was only able to find the Coats Nuc plans which use ½ plywood. With the Advantech being a lot thicker these dimensions would not work. I searched everywhere to find nuc plans using the Advantech and could not find any so I sat down and made my own. If any of you know of nuc plans using Advantech please post.
Well, I made my own cutting pattern and found that with 3 sheets I could make 8-5 frame nucs, 8 top feeders, and 8 telescoping covers. In my area these sheets are $33 each, which means I could make 8 nucs, including feeders and tops, for $12.375 each out of 3 sheets of Advantech. These would be similar to what Dave uses from Barnyard Bees (I hope you don’t mind me using your type as a guide).
You will find theses have ample room for width of 5 frames. I hate frames being so tight and rolling bees. I also made it deeper for two reasons. 1) Clearance at the top so the bottom of the feeder will not crush bees when put on and 2) room at the bottom of the frame incase I use a frame with a queen cell at the bottom. The top feeder was build for use with some of the small rounded feeders I already had.
I included pics of the old nucs I made last year (no feeder) and also the plans for making the nucs I described, with the feeder. Please check my math as it gets a little confusing adding up all those fractions. Also, these plans are not to “scale” but all dimensions are there. I also made sure to leave “leftover” at the end of each cut to account for the blade width in the cuts, so it would subtract from what is left over rather then the cut itself.
I hope this helps someone. If I screwed up on anything please let me know, I will not get offended. I just want them to work well.
 

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Our local bee keeper charges a deposit on the wood NUC boxes. If you dont return them he can buy a new one. Or you can transfer to a cardboard NUC at time of sale.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Alex, ya i agree with that. I am planning on selling with the cardboard boxes but might supply these at an added cost. The plan I have for these is for me to use during build up.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Three things, your nuc boxes are not standard sized so will not work with any other purchased equipment. An easy fix as they need to made slightly smaller. You haven't allowed for the waste from cutting the tongue and groove off the long sides of the sheet, and finally, Advantech is not 3/4" thick. I think it is 23/32" which will make a big difference when trying to put it all together. I make bodies only out of Advantech and use 1X to make the SBB, and the inner cover and telescoping top frames which then get a piece of 3/8" ply as filler. Otherwise, $12.50 per box is a great way to get a bunch of nucs.

This one of my medium nuc supers made with Advantech.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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This is what my nucs look like fully assembled. Screened bottom board, deep nuc body, inner cover with screened hole for mason jar feeder, medium super to cover jar, and finally a tele top. Not shown is a robber screen which is very important with nucs in the same yard as your strong hives. During a flow, I can move the inner cover on top of the medium and install frames to build out or collect honey. I am into these for around $18 apiece.
 

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43545EEF-3AF2-4221-81EA-BFE29E4905B9.jpg 81554F92-0EEB-4EC4-BB94-7B5E3D3369D4.jpg 2B6BB36B-3DCF-4587-AB87-48A56A9C3DEB.jpg I do the same with Advantech but I use a 1x4 PT for the landing board and 1x2 PT for the rest of the bottom. Then staple screen on the PT. I get 5 boxes out of a sheet.
 

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I have a number of different 'fixed' saws, but unless one has a "panel saw" or a table saw with LARGE infeed and outfeed tables its not easy to cut up 4'x8' sheet with one person.

My low dollar solution is to simply lay the 4x8 sheet down, supported on a couple of 2"x4" supports (often just out on my driveway) and cut the panel into smaller pieces with a portable saw "cutting guide" clamped to the panel. One can buy a suitable fairly cheap 50" cutting guide at Harbor Freight (or similar), or you can make your own. Once the panel has been broken down its much easier (if necessary) to make further cuts on a regular tablesaw.

I made a set of guides from a MDF board and hardboard using the concepts seen here: https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/tools/reviews/a3602/4283497/
From my perspective, one great benefit of this kind of homemade cutting guide is that the edge of the hardboard guide gets lined up right on your pencilled cut marks - there is no need to adjust for the width of the circular saw base plate as it is automatic (done when you manufacture the guide).

I made several guides at the same time (some 8ft long, and some smaller ones) using up a whole sheet of hardboard and several MDF boards. If one cutting guide gets damaged:rolleyes: ... oh well, I've got a backup.:p They work well for me.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Rader, I think the issue is that there are no crosscuts that go all the way. At best, one cuts the waste end off to get the narrow pieces and then rips the sheet lengthwise. Not at all easy on a small table saw. A better cutting diagram would allow for crosscuts to length and then rip for width. That is how I cut the Advantech sheets but again, I only use it to make the bodies. First two cuts are 19-3/16", second two at 9-1/4". Cut the tongue off and rip four pieces to 9-5/8" and one to 6-5/8" out of each section. The large drop can make an additional deep and a half or several mediums.

Need to point out that I rabbet the ends 3/8" deep by 23/32" wide so the finished length is still 19-7/8" and the width is 9-1/4".
 

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I admit I didn't study the cut sheet until now, and JWPalmer is correct. But my solution would be to sacrifice the 2 small pieces that are 3rd from the right on the cut diagram, and cut across the 48" width separating the four "feeder side" pieces from the rest of the board. Then the remaining sheet can be ripped into 5 long strips with a long cutting guide and portable saw. The sacrificed pieces are a small amount of money, unless, [for however many finished nucs you want] you need to buy a whole 'nuther sheet and don't have any use for the remaining partial panel).
 

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This should provide a easer break down of the sheet
View attachment 5f .75 with feeder.pdf
you can get 4 nucs per sheet, so the 3rd sheet is feeders and waste... At about $36 a sheet, that's $4.50 a feeder vs a $1 for a jar
for those looking to build up there wood wear 1 sheet of advantech at a time, here is a cut sheet for 4 nucs (RBCofficer's dementions, I didn't proof them)
View attachment 5f.75 no feeder 1 sheet.pdf

when working alone I have found this very handy https://www.harborfreight.com/132-lbs-Capacity-Roller-Stand-68898.html

looks like I missed some cleats... lol, but you get the picture
here is the feeder in a better layout View attachment feeder.pdf
 

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I make my nucs 9 5/8 tall so I can stack them, bottom board has 3/4 riser around perimeter like a regular box. Ends are 9 1/4 x 9 5/8 and sides are 19 1/8 x 9 5/8. Ends get 5/8 rabbet 3/8 deep across top and 3/4 rabbet 3/8 deep on sides.

When I pick sheets up I get them to cut 39 1/2 off each end so they are easy to handle. Each of which will cut 8 sides or 20 ends.

Not counting tops or bottoms, 4 sheets will make 25 nuc boxes.

I love this stuff!
 

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I bought one of these just for cutting large sheets with a circular saw. Kind of pricey but man does it make things easy if you make your cut sheet so you can rip things into manageable pieces to put on the compound miter saw.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/BORA-100-in-WTX-Clamp-Edge-and-Saw-Guide-Kit-543106K/206133103

Also, RBC, just to throw another idea at you. Have you considered using the 4-frame "Palmer" nuc for increases? They are designed so that when stacked next to each other they are the same width as a 10 frame and can be wintered next to each other and under one 10 frame lid for shared heat. They also have plenty of extra space so using the thicker advantec would not be a problem at all. I have a cut sheet for palmer nuc bodies but not lids or feeders.
 

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Three things, your nuc boxes are not standard sized so will not work with any other purchased equipment. An easy fix as they need to made slightly smaller. You haven't allowed for the waste from cutting the tongue and groove off the long sides of the sheet, and finally, Advantech is not 3/4" thick. I think it is 23/32" which will make a big difference when trying to put it all together. I make bodies only out of Advantech and use 1X to make the SBB, and the inner cover and telescoping top frames which then get a piece of 3/8" ply as filler. Otherwise, $12.50 per box is a great way to get a bunch of nucs.

This one of my medium nuc supers made with Advantech.
What are your dimensions of your cuts?
 

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I can make four deeps and two mediums from a single 4x8 sheet of Advantech. I am surprised it is taking you 3 sheets to make only 8 nucs.
 

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This should provide a easer break down of the sheet
View attachment 45451
you can get 4 nucs per sheet, so the 3rd sheet is feeders and waste... At about $36 a sheet, that's $4.50 a feeder vs a $1 for a jar
for those looking to build up there wood wear 1 sheet of advantech at a time, here is a cut sheet for 4 nucs (RBCofficer's dementions, I didn't proof them)
View attachment 45453

when working alone I have found this very handy https://www.harborfreight.com/132-lbs-Capacity-Roller-Stand-68898.html

looks like I missed some cleats... lol, but you get the picture
here is the feeder in a better layout View attachment 45455
Trying to understand how your pieces go together and scratching my head..and you also have a #7 on the diagram, but not on the cut list....I make nucs all the time, but not out of plywood........standard nucs are 9 5/8" wide.....are these butt joints or rabbeted?
 

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I bought one of these just for cutting large sheets with a circular saw. Kind of pricey but man does it make things easy if you make your cut sheet so you can rip things into manageable pieces to put on the compound miter saw.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/BORA-100-in-WTX-Clamp-Edge-and-Saw-Guide-Kit-543106K/206133103

Also, RBC, just to throw another idea at you. Have you considered using the 4-frame "Palmer" nuc for increases? They are designed so that when stacked next to each other they are the same width as a 10 frame and can be wintered next to each other and under one 10 frame lid for shared heat. They also have plenty of extra space so using the thicker advantec would not be a problem at all. I have a cut sheet for palmer nuc bodies but not lids or feeders.
I would be interested in your cut sheet for palmer nuc bodies if you care to share. I`ve made 8 of the nuc bodies but used 3/4 inch plywood. I take it the Advantec will last a lot longer?
 
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