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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got this super to fix:

https://imgur.com/a/R8cVv80

I'm not sure if it's damaged beyond being fixable. The wood sides are buckled out of place. I have two clamps that I can use to help push the sides back into place, I could then use glue and screws to try and put it back together.

I could tear it apart and separate the four sides, and then maybe see if I can somehow flatten them.

Not too sure how to go about fixing this either way. Let me know if you guys have any thoughts on what the best approach would be. If I manage to fix the super it'll be sitting in an urban backyard under shelter so doesn't need to be perfect.
 

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Ok - well, first of all that's not a 'super' - that's a brood box fitted with an integral floor. The reason I'm pointing this out is that the attachment of the warped sides to the floor appears to be sound, and that's going to make life a little difficult in terms of separating the box into it's component parts.

The major problem you face with this restoration is the state of those joint areas - there's obviously propolis there, and maybe some wax too. So - seems to me there are two ways you could proceed ...

To make a GOOD job, dismantle the box carefully - remove those nails, clean-up the joint areas, wipe 'em down with acetone or thinners, and then re-assemble the box with glue and screws. Would this approach be worth it ? Probably not, although much depends on how much you value your time.

For a BODGE job. I'd be inclined to flood each joint area 'as is' with a waterproof glue, then - using your clamps to close those gaps up - attach some L-shaped metal straps across each corner joint with screws, about an inch from the top, to both hold the joints closed and also to prevent the front and back panels from bowing out again. With a lick of paint it shouldn't look too bad.

If it's going to be under shelter anyway, it's probably only going to be the front which shows - and a little creative artwork with a paint brush could disguise any rough-and-ready repair. :)
LJ
 

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I've never had much luck it returning cupped board to their original position and keeping them there. Personally, I'd address it as I would with any board where potential for cupping/warping would be a problem. Divide to conquer, by reducing the effect of the cupping over numerous pieces. Pick a point where the board is just starting to separate from the sides and cut off the top part. If the removed section is still too cupped to reattach, cut it again. "Square" any of the cuts to get a better board to board fit, add a "filler" piece to compensate for any removed material, attach the pieces and sand to your satisfaction. Use a little caulk to fill in any shb hiding places.

FYI In the event you are making your own equipment, I try to orientate the boards so the "edges" of the boards will cup toward the inside of the box. The link below explains how to determine which way the board will move.

https://www.thewoodwhisperer.com/articles/avoiding-cupped-panels/
 

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It appears to me the ends were cut with the wrong side inward. It will always try to cup outward regardless of what you do to repair it. You may end up investing more money in repairing it then it's worth to simply replace it.

The quickest and cheapest way to repair it would be to pull the end flush with a Pipe Clamp, and after drilling pilot holes, secure it with several wood screws. This could be done in just a few minutes and should give you a little more life out of it without devoting much time or expense into the repair. Just my thoughts.
 

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Remove the board. Clean up all the endgrain (paint, etc). Place board in pan of water for several days. Replace, white glue, use clamps, and screw both faces at each corner.
 

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This is a common fault in bee boxes, when the boards are milled on the wrong side. Most people don't understand how boards cup, and even some of the commercial equipment manufacturers get it wrong. Boards always cup away from the center of the growth rings. I can't really see the grain on the board in the photo, but I bet the center of the growth rings is toward the inside of the box. So, once the fasteners begin to fail, the board cups out, the frame rest is no longer functional, and the box needs re-work. Mill it right the first time, and the board will cup toward the box and the joints will remain tight.
 

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What Mike and Michael say in posts # 4 & 6. I would remove that cupped piece, make about 4 or 5 saw kerfs half way through the inside surface to weaken the cupping force, flood the kerfs with glue and rescrew. It would help to wet the outside but likely not necessary.

If you make boxes, remember the direction of the growth rings. " never let them put the heart in a box of pine "! Orient the grain with the heart side out and the edges will try to curl in rather than out.
 

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Yes that would work really well. Wood is essentially a bundle of straws, and allowing the ends of these bundles (end grain) to drink in water will make them pliable. Instead of affixing this cupped panel immediately, compress it in between 2 flat panels and allow the wood to dry. May not need to kerf, just water, clamps and time. It will be interesting to see what steps are really taken to repair this panel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I don't place much value on my time and I consider this to be a learning experience if anything. I'm really not good with woodwork and want to improve my understanding so that I can be a better beekeeper.

My father helped me make my beeboxs. Most of them haven't held up over time. I don't believe we used the best glue, it must not good be against the weather because I've noticed after they've fallen apart that the glue is shriveled up, not sticky and clearly not helping it hold together.

It however does seem that some come apart much easier than others. Could it be possible that I simply through chance put the heart the correct way with some panels, and other panels I put on the wrong way, and maybe the panels that I put on the wrong way are the ones I'm having trouble with?

I took some photos of the insides of my boxs of this first batch I made. Maybe one of you could look at them and tell me whether I got the heart the right or wrong way with them? The painted boxs have been in use and suffering from splitting at the joints, the unpainted boxs came from the same batch but have never been used.

https://imgur.com/a/HpdY2Iw

@ little john

It does seem like it'd be quite a bit more difficult taking it apart with the bottom board attached to it, I"m not sure how feasible it'd be to do it and whether I could do it without damaging it, seems pretty stuck to it.

I've actually thought about adding these L-shaped metal strips! It seems pretty much all the boxs that I first made are vulnerable to falling apart like so and I did consider using such strips to try and hold them together, good to know that someone who knows much more than I thinks it's a good idea. I just need to find some suitable metal to use.

Boxs are expensive here, they cost $25 each for unassembled unpainted, so if I can fix one in an hour, I've essentially made a decent hourly wage for myself!

@ Eikel

That's an interesting idea. I'll considering converting it to a manley/medium sized super. If I was to cut it down so low to remove a warp/buckle, that it was too short for a manley/medium frame, and I wanted to then do as you suggest and attach another piece of wood above it, how would I actually do that? Maybe if it's short enough, I could just glue and nail it in?

@ Mike Gillmore

I had to look up what a Pipe Clamp is, and I happen to have two of them. I'm not entirely sure what you mean when you say "end flush". Thanks for your thoughts! :)


@crofter

What do you mean by a "saw kerfs"? When you say "removed the cupped piece", do you mean, entirely cut off the parts that are noticably bending outwards?

@ihor

Why place the board in a pan of water? I'm not following.
 

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You would have to remove the cupped panel to pass it over a table saw (or hand held saw) with sufficient blade protrusion to create a number of kerfs part way through on the inside surface. This would weaken that panel enough that it could be more easily pulled flat. The kerfs would close up somewhat in the process.

If you were not aware of the importance of orienting the growth ring structure and paid it no attention you could conceivably have half the pieces wrong. I have eyeballed many boxes with splayed tops and bottoms and most of them are classic examples of incorrect grain orientation.

Do a google on wood shrinkage parallel vs across the growth rings. You will see examples of how it distorts wood shapes as they season. The movement continues for many years and continues to haunt the unsuspecting!,:D

Soaking the piece in water will soften it and make easier to pull back in but the tensions will for the most part re exert themselves. Extra glue and fasteners may gain you some more usage but does not cure the original problem
 

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@ Mike Gillmore
I had to look up what a Pipe Clamp is, and I happen to have two of them. I'm not entirely sure what you mean when you say "end flush". Thanks for your thoughts! :)
This is a pic of some 5 frame nucs that I was assembling. It's a little busy, but hopefully helps to explain what I was referring to. If you use a couple of clamps on the long side of the box it will pull the cupped end boards flush against the joint, and then you can use screws to fasten it.

 

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I would pull the nails that are exposed and get a truck cargo sized ratchet strap and pull it back in place with some good glue applied first and then set some screws. Or use a rope and a Spanish windlass approach. Merry Christmas
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sounds like it's important to learn which way they're supposed to go, and pull a few apart and reassemble them the right way.

The only problem is, if they are the wrong way around and they've already been painted, then if I was to correct it, the painted side will be inside the hive, and I believe that'd be bad for the bees health. So if I do have it the wrong way around, what should I do? Could I try peeling off the paint? Might it be okay with the paint? At this point, might it be best to use the box until it falls apart, using some short term measures to hold it together and seek to replace it with better built gear in the future?


I've spent some time reading and watching videos on this woodworking concept, and I'm starting to get a vague idea about it. I'm confused about the "never put your heart in a box of pine" saying. I take that to mean that, if there is a heart in inside my bee box, it's designed badly. I looked at my boxs, and I saw the panels that had a heart on the inside, also have it on the outside. The photo Mike just posted of his nuc box, has a heart on the inside, which can visually be seen. Does that mean it's going to buckle and cup?

I've tried looking at my grains to get an idea if they've got the grains set correctly, but I'm not sure how to tell. I've noticed that none of them have the grains going to the right or left, they're all either going up or down.



@ Mike Gillmore

I didn't think to try and put a clamp above it like so. I only have two clamps, I might need to go buy a few more it seems.
 

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Disregard the clamp running diagonally across the box, that one was used to square the box while the glue was drying.

In the future you'll need to look at the edge of the boards to determine which way the board will cup before making your cuts for joints. There's not much you can do with the box you have now. The frame rests have already been notched into the board, you can't turn it around.
 

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Yall are making this job much harder than it it.I have fixed many boxes like this one.Use some longer nails than those little short stubs.Start nailing it back down from the front and it will draw back down.Then nail from the sides also.Nails from both directions is one of the reasons for the rabbet joints.If you think you need it a ratchet strap or a clamp would help.From the close up pics all you see is nails coming in from the front side.This is where but joints fail because of being nailed on one side only.
 

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I'll considering converting it to a manley/medium sized super. If I was to cut it down so low to remove a warp/buckle, that it was too short for a manley/medium frame, and I wanted to then do as you suggest and attach another piece of wood above it, how would I actually do that? Maybe if it's short enough, I could just glue and nail it in?
Not sure exactly what you're attempting other than cutting a deep into a medium. If I was to "shorten" a box, the removed material would come off the bottom so the frame rests wouldn't have to be recut. If the warp was on the top I'd still remove the material from the bottom and address the warp the same way I suggested. If that doesn't answer the mail let me know.
 

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Gday from Melb, I been beekeeping since I was a tacker now i am old as dirt but still love the little beggers, generally the boxes will spread at the tops first, due to a little too much bee tool pressure, when trying to pry out the frames, I remedied this by using 30mm or 40 mm plaster sheet screws at the tops and bottoms during assembly, and skew nailing the rest, I also use liquid nails. Some purists say not to use liquid nails but I haven't had a complaint yet from the bees

Regards,

Tea Tree Stan
 

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I would simply clean what I can from the open joint with scrapper and acetone, flood with glue, clamp and screw them. Adding metal bracket would be better like someone said.


Future top: If you make your own boxes then remember to "never put a heart in the box", a saying a learned from an old timer. i.e. the heart side of the lumber goes on the "outside" of the box so when the board straightens or cups, it will put pressure on the top and bottom portions of the joint and won't compromise the joint. If you buy the ready made boxes then this tip won't be of much use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I managed to fix the box up using clamps and screws. It's remarkable how well its turned out. I put in a good number of screws to give it extra life.

crankhandl, do you use screws on both sides of each corner? I never knew that my hivetool could be contributing to this. I do use a J hive tool and press down when lifting frames.

I don't understand the "never put a heart in the box", because it seems every panel that has a heart on one side, has a heart on the other side. Maybe I don't know what a heart is exactly and need to read on it more. I have built all my boxs as it was way cheaper.
 
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