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I've been using 3/4" cdx plywood for tops, but a lot of them warp? I was wondering what is the best thing to use for a flat top that will last a long time and not warp. I've read online that mdo and hdo plyform are good, also something called advantech. What do yall use. Also, please include what thickness and do you paint it. Thanks.
 

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you need a square frame of 1x3 to prevent the plywood from warping. all plywood will warp if exposed to the elements. yes, they are painted and I put aluminum as a cover to aid in heat prevention and also to keep rain out.
 

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I use 3/4 in plywood no rim just painted. Rock holds em down pretty good any small gaps will quickly get filled with propolis. In the winter time I switched em out for a 2 in pink foam lid.
 

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Exterior treated plywood screwed to a wooden frame that is also treated. I make the frame 3 1/2 to 4 inches deep to help keep the top on in strong wind.
 

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I bought some MDO plywood, its also called Signboard. You can google search it to read more about it. I can get it from a plywood shop here in town for $60 a sheet and I can get 10 tops out of a sheet. It works great without any frame. Just cut it to fit and lay on the top of the hive no warping and it holds up great. HDO plywood works even better but, it is harder to come by.
 

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This year I started using the Advantech, 3/4" thickness or thereabouts. I made migratory style lids and bottom boards, primed and painted with oil based paint. I also have some of these cut to size outdoors and unpainted. So far I have seen no warping, and it has been very humid here with a lot of rain lately. In the same amount of time, I'm sure plywood around here would be ruined. Three months isn't a long time, so take it for what it's worth, but so far I'm happy with the Advantech and will continue to use it as long as it works.
 

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Advantech........$30 sheet/10 tops per sheet.........$3.00 each. Can't beat it.......
 

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I made about 50 tops and bottoms last year using Advantech. Some were painted, some were left bare wood and a select few were wrapped in flashing. The ones wrapped look brand new are very flat. The painted ones also look good. The unpainted ones are still flat and in general are holding up well, but there is some localized flaking. This is not structural, but does show that some level of treatment is very beneficial. I've found if the untreated ones are flipped, so that the side facing the inside of the hive is now facing outward the propolis and wax serves as a nice protection. I think if you could wrap these yourself that you would have sturdy, well-fitting tops for a very long time.
 

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What do yall use. Also, please include what thickness and do you paint it. Thanks.
Campaign signs or discarded ⅜" to ½" plywood covered with aluminum flashing. Rims are ¾" cedar with a rabbet for the plastic sign or plywood. We use inner covers to provide airspace for additional insulation. No paint.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for responses. Advantech sounds like the way to go. Durable, cheap, and i can pick it up at lowes.
 

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Cheeseboard, if you can get any,

Used cheese shipping boxes, high quality plywood treated with paraffin, I think.

Hard to come by, I normally have to buy it by the semi load from an intermediary after the cheese company declares them unfit for use.

My supply dried up last year though.

But if you can find some it's great.


Aaron
 

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2 pieces of 1x8 pine, wrapped in aluminum flashing, bordered with 1x3 western cedar.

Or I make some nice garden tops out of 1x10 and 1x4 red cedar. The garden tops are heavy enough to stay on by themselves.
 

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We buy the western cedar migratory tops from Western Bee and they stay flat. Love them. We paint them.

Johnny
 

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I'm thinking about trying cypress lumber for the lids to my 8 frame hives. I have a couple of sawmills in the area that sells rough sawn cypress cheaper than I can buy advantech, but I'd have to tongue and groove it on my table saw with a molding head or dado blade to keep it from leaking. I would either glue the joints with Titebond III or White Lightning adhesive caulk. I am using top entrances so I don't want to wrap the lid in flashing so I can flip the lids when I want to seal up a hive for transporting. Haven't tried this yet, so it may or may not be a good idea. What do you guys think?
 

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I use the LP 4'x8' osb sheets 3 years ago and they still holding until now. I built the migratory lids with them.
I thought they were the advantech but turns out to be the LP boards that I recently found out. It stay flat with a few coats of water seal and exterior
house paint. Be sure to get the edges too for a water tight seal. Works good for me so far. And a lot
cheaper too. Will build more of them soon.


LP osb board:
 

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I also use Advantech. As a side note, there are two grades of advantech. There is a 25 year Advantech, and a Lifetime Advantech. Lowes sells the lower grade, but local building supplies offer either. The lifetime is much more dense, you will know the difference when you pick up a sheet of it ;) , also you can see the difference in the edges after you cut it.
I use the lifetime and then paint mine...
 

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I use nothing but Advantec, migratory.. Been using it for over 5 years. Some painted, some not. No warp, no seraration. Would not use anything else.

cchoganjr
 
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