Building 8 Frame Bottom Boards

Discussion pertaining specifically to the hive type commonly known as "Langstroth" with Hoffman frames.
Nate K
Freshman Beekeeper
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed May 20, 2015 1:42 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Building 8 Frame Bottom Boards

Postby Nate K » Tue May 09, 2017 10:00 am

Hey Everyone, wanted to show you guys how I build my bottom boards.

The dimensions listed below will be for 8 frame hives. I'm building bottom boards with scrap plywood I get for free. Of course, you could do this with any lumber you salvage or buy. I make my own tops and bottoms because of the cost. Its for that same reason that I buy hive bodies instead of making them. I make these bottoms for about $3.00 all in, including electricity, glue, staples, and lumber.
Dimensions

I make my bottom boards the same outside dimensions of the box. I used to make them 1/2" larger so the box would have more room to sit, but I've realized this larger size just gives water a place to collect and sit. So, recently I changed to 14" wide x 20" Long.

I prefer 1/2" spacing between the box and bottom board. I would advise you not to go much more than this because the bees may build comb in the open space. For my side spacers, I cut them 1/2" Thick, 1" wide.

I start with plywood or lumber and cut to 14" x 20".
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Cut List & Tools

(1) 14" x 20" piece of plywood or lumber, any thickness.
(2) 1/2" x 1" x 20" side spacers
(1) 1/2" x 1" x 14" back spacer
For front spacer, you can either leave it completely open, or leave it small. More on this below.

You'll need the following as well;

Stapler, or screwdriver will work
Glue

I use 1" staples on my bottom boards. I like Senco fasteners, no jams, no bent heads, and no problems. I'll leave a link below for where to find them.
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Now that you have all of the pieces cut, start by gluing the side spacers.
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Spread your glue evenly to get good bonding.

I love these little glue brushes, no more sticky fingers. These are made by Bench Dog and make gluing a breeze. After you use them and the glue dries, it just peels off because the brush is silicone.

Staple both sides
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Next, glue and staple the back spacer.
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Entrance Size


This is where you get to decide what size entrance you want. Some people like them wide open, others prefer to keep them small. I prefer to keep them small. I make my entrances about 3-4" wide. If you would like, for added versatility, you can leave the entrance totally open, and cut entrance reducers.

I use the scraps from extra cuts to make the front entrance. My entrances range from 2"-4".
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Thanks for reading, hopefully you liked this post, I'll leave a link to my site if you want to check it out.

http://mylibertyhomestead.com/building-bottom-boards/
What's good for the beekeeper, isn't always what's best for the bees.
http://Mylibertyhomestead.com

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