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Queen Bee
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Some time ago I saw a website that offered the top and bottom side bars for national supers (and hence brood boxes). I didn't want them then. Now I've decided I'm going to make hives :smash: out of ply (tight budget!) so this would be handy. Of course, I can't find it now. Any ideas folks?
 

Hombre 

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I think of them as end rails, as I run my frames cold way, the same as Langstroth.

I buy my rails from a local woodworking shop 424mm at £2 a shot, so any box that I want to make has a fixed £8 cost attached. I also make the rails into end plate assemblies using appropriate jigs to guarantee the correct final dimensions, insetting the end plate, 9mm ply as standard, between the top and bottom rails. Then I glue up the side plates using another jig to keep thinks square and correctly spaced. Finally each end of each rail gets two 50mm x 4mm screws using pre-drilled pilot holes and drive the screws in with my electric drill.

I have a larger diagram available if required, in .png or Inkscape svg if you want to dabble.
Just ask pm me to be sure I read your request.
 

beeboybee 

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we should all club together and get a few hundred machined, i wonder if it would be viable? ;)
 

Hombre 

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we should all club together and get a few hundred machined, i wonder if it would be viable? ;)
A few hundred? 100 only makes 25 boxes. Well that might satisfy a few, but not ALL clubbing together . . . just joking. It would be interesting to know where the break points were and what prices could be achieved.

I had reason to feed back that the chopping of one batch, from my woodworker, was sloppy and caused me no end of grief. If I couldn't rely on an accurate square cut, then I would need to increase my length by 3mm to give me processing room, but wouldn't be willing to pay any more. The next batch was nice and square.

I suspect that any savings made might well be swallowed up by shipping costs. Best to work out your next year's requirement and suck your teeth a lot when your local woodworker comes up with the price. Best to try a couple.

I use inset end plates at 9mm, but can increase it without having to change the design; the depression on the outside surface isn't quite so deep. For supers they are only 62mm high, so not really much more than 424mm offcuts. I make them oversize, ensuring that the top and bottom rails are square, and then saw or machine off the extra plywood.
 
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kermit 

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Then again... just buy a router and make your own. Lengths on 2X1 are cheap and you can make loads at once. Just takes a few minutes to set up to get the right size rebate.

Dave
 

Hombre 

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It won't have escaped you that I use 44mm x 44mm stock for the rails that I need. I suspect that I wouldn't be saving an awful lot. It is something that I should investigate however.

At the moment, I make quite enough sawdust without producing more. :) :)
 

tonybloke 

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why bother, I get supers for £20, ready-cut, inc runners and nails!
 

Hombre 

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Birch twigs at dawn Finnish style in the snow. :) :)

Couldn't find the router and wouldn't part with £20 for a super to save my life :)
 

harveyzone 

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It won't have escaped you that I use 44mm x 44mm stock for the rails that I need.
Does that mean that instead of making a conventional joint butting the rails to the side along the edge of the rail (left below), you are making narrower side pieces and butting them on the top/bottom faces instead (right below)?



If not, how are you doing it with 44mm x 44mm rails?
 

nonstandard 

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Does that mean that instead of making a conventional joint butting the rails to the side along the edge of the rail (left below), you are making narrower side pieces and butting them on the top/bottom faces instead (right below)?



If not, how are you doing it with 44mm x 44mm rails?
I can only assume that by using the 44mm rails like this it allows for any variation in board thickness, (apparently 18mm ply usually comes out at 16mm) or for the same rail profile to be used with 18/16mm ply for brood boxes and thinner cheaper board for nucs and supers.

Am I correct, or am I talking rubbish as usual? :D
 

oliver90owner 

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nonstandard,

Am I correct, or am I talking rubbish as usual?

The answer is 'probably'.

I can't remember the section I use but certainly I cut the section at an angle to make both top and bottom bar. The top one has a 'drip' edge and the bottom a run-off face. The angle needs to be more than about 7 1/2 degrees for water to run off a surface (and not just sit there in large droplets, pools). Rather more the sensible design than the one on the left. the angle also helps when picking up the box.

Regards, RAB
 

Hombre 

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I use the option on the right and consider them to be end plates rather than side plates.

Think Langstroth where the entrance is on the end and the frames are cold way. Now we all have the same perspective, if only temporarily, I'll try to answer your questions.

I use the arrangement on the right and construct the end plate assemblies in a jig using polyurethane wood glue which is a good gap filler and covers for a multitude of sins.

My end plates are standard 9mm, although 18mm could be used without any changes being required to the jigs or the procedure. Like a car, you would not choose to make one of glass, but it does lend structural rigidity to the complete item. Similarly the 9mm end plate is just a rectangular piece of ply that is structurally strong in it's shape if not in it's thickness.

I use the same technique, with a different jig for my 14x12 boxes also and still use 9mm end plates. I don't make SN sized boxes but it's all valid and all boxes have 18mm side plates, 460mm long and the appropriate box height:
460mm x 150mm super
460mm x 225mm SNational
460mm x 315mm 14x12​

The end plate assemblies are 424mm wide and butt glued onto the inside face of the side plates.

One side plate being laid on the bench, the end plates stood vertically in position and quickly drawn round to give a guide for gluing.

The end plates are rotated, so that the opposite edge is used to similarly mark the other side plate. At this point the actual side plate mating surfaces are used as the marking templates.

Side plates and end plate assemblies are given a film of glue on the contact areas.

One side plate is carefully placed on battens to give clearance for a couple of mitre clamps which hold the end plate assemblies square.

I have a thick MDF board, with beveled corners so that it doesn't get stuck, that ensures the correct internal dimension of the box is maintained, and two light spars with notches that fit over the 9mm edge of the exposed side plate assemblies to ensure that they lie exactly where expected.

So currently there is a "U" shaped assembly on the bench, the box on it's side. I present the second side plate, carefully matching up the surfaces to ensure that 3D squareness is maintained (almost).

On top a piece of ply with a large brick provides contact pressure for the glued surfaces and a couple of sash clamps are used over the uppermost side plate to correct any slight tendency to drift out of square.

End plate assemblies 424mm wide + (2 * 18mm) = 460mm. So the box is wide enough internally and externally.

External length 460mm - (2 * 44mm rails) = 372mm cavity length
372mm - 356mm frame bottom bar width = 16mm / 2 = 8mm bee space between ends of box and frame side bars.

Normally leaving overnight for the glue to set completely, I drill two pilot holes through the side plates into each end of the top and bottom bars and screw with 4mm x 50mm screws. A total of 16 per box.

RAB, I could improve my boxes by the incorporation of a drip lip, thank you for the tip.

I would like to build my boxes horizontally on the bench rather than vertically, so being able to use the stone surface to better guarantee the flatness of the boxes which is currently good but not always perfect without a lot of care.

A number of my 14x12 boxes will have the 9mm end plates externally insulated this winter by the insertion of a block of expanded polystyrene foam into the recess on the ends of the box. The results will determine whether insulation is used on the box ends in winter 2011 or not.
 

nonstandard 

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Hombre,

I don't suppose you have any photos of your jig/clamp setup, if I'm going to start building my own I may as well start out right rather than trying to reinvent the wheel.

Regards
 

Hombre 

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Tim1606 has already asked the same question Nonstandard.

I have no photographs at the moment, but am working on some drawings and am happy to follow up with photographs as soon as I have them.

Like Hedgerow Pete, My boxes don't conform to a published specification insofar as the construction method and detail differs, but they are functionally sound and the way I have chosen to go. This year I made thirteen 14x12 boxes and almost as many supers, to meet my requirements.

If anyone wants larger diagrams in .png format or indeed an original inkscape SVG file I'm only too happy to email them.

Watch this space . . . :)
 

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