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TBH construction

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> Horizontal top bar hives
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bajaboyd
New Bee


Joined: 29 May 2014
Posts: 3
Location: USA, California, San Diego

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 3:43 pm    Post subject: TBH construction Reply with quote

I have built my first hive following PJ Chandlers plans. I even have it loaded with very industrious bees I am very satisfied with the progress being made. I have an immediate problem though. Both the follower boards warped significantly. I replaced one of them using different wood. Ash instead if Western Red Cedar. That is beginning to warp also Is there some secret that I am missing?
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Dexter's shed
Scout Bee


Joined: 16 May 2014
Posts: 307
Location: Grays, Essex, UK

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

all woods will warp to a degree depending on water content etc, new/seasoned timber/heat/cold etc
as it's now happened twice, why not try either a plywood or plastic substitute
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Manuel Robert
Guard Bee


Joined: 04 Dec 2011
Posts: 73
Location: Bischofsheim, Rhön , Germany

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you could also use tongue and groove boards ( not too wide ones ) screwed onto battens without pushing them too tightly together ( the boards ).
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trekmate
Golden Bee


Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 1125
Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you try again use wood from the centre of the tree. Look at the end-grain, if you see part circles it's from the outer part of the tree, if you see the centre of the rings it's from the middle of the tree and less likely to warp, no matter what the wood.

The source of the problem though is high humidity on one side and low humidity the other.
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stevecook172001
Site Admin


Joined: 19 Jul 2013
Posts: 443
Location: Loftus, Cleveland

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 5:21 pm    Post subject: Re: TBH construction Reply with quote

bajaboyd wrote:
I have built my first hive following PJ Chandlers plans. I even have it loaded with very industrious bees I am very satisfied with the progress being made. I have an immediate problem though. Both the follower boards warped significantly. I replaced one of them using different wood. Ash instead if Western Red Cedar. That is beginning to warp also Is there some secret that I am missing?
If, by the follower boards, you mean the rectangular end boards of the hive, one way to limit warpage would be to construct a crude laminate board with two layers. That is to say, cut some tongued and grooved planking to the size of the board and push them together. Then cut some more and push these together but at right angles to the first. Then place one on top of the other and screw then together. The tendency to warp, of one set of planks, will be offset by the tendency of the other to warp at right angles to it. Overall, you should get less warpage. Finally, the thicker the boards you make, the less they will warp. In which case, you could laminate the above follower board with three layers. You could even, if you are skilled enough, vary these layers at several angles and not just right angles. This would limit the risk of warpage even further for obvious reasons.

Last edited by stevecook172001 on Thu May 29, 2014 11:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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biobee
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Joined: 14 Jun 2007
Posts: 1055
Location: UK, England, S. Devon

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...or just use external grade plywood, sealed with shellac. That's what I do.
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jumbleoak
Scout Bee


Joined: 03 Aug 2010
Posts: 295
Location: UK, England, Kent

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 6:10 pm    Post subject: Re: TBH construction Reply with quote

stevecook172001 wrote:
If, by the follower boards, you mean the rectangular end boards of the hive

No, that's not what he meant - or rather, if he went by the plans, it's not what he should mean. The followers are the hanging trapezoidal shaped things that bound the extent of the hive.

It's seems to be a fairly common problem. Some people use ply. As said above, tongue and groove, or just glued together strips (thin planks) can be used, and might help. Some people don't use them at all.
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CeeBee
Foraging Bee


Joined: 16 Jun 2013
Posts: 104
Location: UK, Cambridge, Milton

PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2014 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is the warping actually causing a problem? I guess it is, otherwise you wouldn't be trying different things. Mine (made of the same 'scaffolding board' as most of the hive itself, so about as thick as a top bar, certainly aren't flat - neither are the sides of the hive. I've planed and filed them (before bees were in residence) to achieve a compromise fit in the half of the hive where the particular follower is to be used. Better loose (too small) than not fitting at all - the worst thing, I reckon, is when it jams agsinst the sides (or hits the bottom) before the bar at the top is resting on the sides - if this happens, then it's likely to pivot about the contact points and leave a gap between it and the first bar.
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Barbara
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1581
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with CeeBee. A perfect fit is not important, but if the warping is causing problems, I used an old sheet of quarter inch MDF which I had lying around. It certainly won't warp. I painted it with melted wax just to seal in any unpleasant chemicals in the glue from the bees but to be fair the bees are hardly ever on it. Sandwiched it between two thin lats at the top for it to hang from and works a treat.
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andy pearce
Silver Bee


Joined: 30 Aug 2009
Posts: 663
Location: UK, East Sussex, Brighton

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

External plywood... works fine.
A
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1495
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2014 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Untreated scaff boards seem good. We get the ones that are rejects for scaffolding but can cut them such that the flaws don't cause a problem. Local place that also recycles wood round Cambridge does them.
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jumbleoak
Scout Bee


Joined: 03 Aug 2010
Posts: 295
Location: UK, England, Kent

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

catchercradle wrote:
Untreated scaff boards seem good.


For follower boards?
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madasafish
Silver Bee


Joined: 29 Apr 2009
Posts: 880
Location: Stoke On Trent

PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use Insulation - Celotex or Kingspan aluminised.. Fixed to top bar. Easily cut to shape.. and of course it can be easily made to fit using small bits of card. Cover the cut ends with aluminium foil and paint with masonry paint.

Nice and light..
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MikeRobinson
Foraging Bee


Joined: 01 Apr 2012
Posts: 200
Location: Upper Northwest Georgia, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2014 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Followers can be made of other kinds of (non-wood) building material fastened into a top-bar. But another way to deal with warping is to lightly coat them with Thompson's Water-Seal. (Just one thinnest coat will do nicely.) I used this on the outside of the hive (not the inside), and on the roof, and in three seasons they still look fine. If the follower seriously-warped, it might not have been made of a well-seasoned wood?

All of the wood that I used anywhere consisted of weathered boards that had been used somewhere-else on the farm during the past 20 years or so; dismantled sheds and so-forth, all unpainted.
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