(non-paint) finish for hives

Discussion in 'Building plans, blueprints, and finished projects' started by 11Nick, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. 11Nick

    11Nick New Member

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    I'm getting new hives. I prefer the wood look to paint. I really wish I could dip them in wax, but the cost factor for the wax most likely puts it out of the question. In my reading, tung oil is the next best bet for a waterproof non-painted finish.
    Is there other options that you think are better?

    Thank you!
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I dip but not in pure paraffin. I obtained a recipe (CCC days wood preservative) that contains 1 part paraffin, 1 part varnish or stain and 8 parts paint thinner. you heat it up (doesn't take much) and submerge the wood in the mixture for 5 minutes or so. I suspect you could also heat the mix up and apply with a large brush if you didn't have the necessary volume of wood to justify a big vat.

    I like the dipping because it does a real good job on the end grains of the boxes.
     

  3. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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    Nick i am using Spar Varnish. I cut it 50% with thinners and give three coats

    I dont bother to sand like i would on a boat.
     
  4. 11Nick

    11Nick New Member

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    Zulu, how long have you used this method? How long do you expect to go before you will have to re-treat them?
    Thanks for the reply!
     
  5. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    Tec:
    What and where did you obtain that recipe? Ts that something that's available at the home center?
    Sorry for hijacking this thread, 11Nick, but I'm also looking for alternatives.
     
  6. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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    I am a newbie, but hoping at least 5 years or more.....
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    gunsmith writes:
    What and where did you obtain that recipe? Ts that something that's available at the home center?

    tecumseh:
    I got it from another beekeeper (lives somewhere up in northeast Texas) at another bee site (one from which I was evicted). the site providing the information was a government web site that describe materials used in preserving wood in the CCC days (1930's)... window and door frames I would guess. not only are the materials local, but the heat requirement is only that necessary to melt the small amount of pariffin.

    ps.. I have only had these dipped boxes out in the field for a maximum of two years so the jury is still out on how this will hold up. as of now it is definitely an improvement over just paint and they are prettier than my painted boxes (which has just got to count for something???).
     
  8. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    Thanks tec:
    Will do further research. What I worry about is using something harmful to the bees, the paint thinner is my main concern.
     
  9. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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    Thinners gas off pretty quickly, when i started and had no woodenware i varnished mine and left outside in the sun for 2-3 days then used them. Bees had no issue as they settled in just fine.

    and while I am only painting the outsides this worked for me

    Now i try plan ahead and keep a few supers varnished ahead plus i have two extra deeps ready as well.
     
  10. jb63

    jb63 New Member

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    I've been using boiled linnseed oil.If I use a brush I use it streight.If I spray it with a h.v.l.p. gun I thin it with turpintine.
     
  11. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    zulu writes:
    Thinners gas off pretty quickly

    tecumseh:
    when I heat up the vat (55 gallon drum with the top 1/3 cut off) the fumes don't smell so good. at the heating stage of the process a paint mask is a good idea and naturally you always need to be aware of the fire risk involved (I keep a fire extinguisher handy). after the pieces were dipped I did let them air out for quite a long time before I assembled the boxes.
     
  12. 11Nick

    11Nick New Member

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    What kind of lifespan do you get out of the linseed oil finish? How many coats do you put on?

    I've been researching linseed and tung oil. From what I understand, if you cut them with terpentine (or similar) you get very good penetration into the wood, which is what I am looking for.
     
  13. jb63

    jb63 New Member

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    So far they have been on 3 boxes for a year.I gave them two coats.I let it soak in for a couple of weeks.They look the way I want them to look and the bees don't mind.
     
  14. 11Nick

    11Nick New Member

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    How did you apply it? thinned and sprayed, or brushed straight on?
     
  15. jb63

    jb63 New Member

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    Both.If I only had one I brushed it.If I had three or four I stacked them on a cart and sprayed.Also I used a brush when they were occupied.
     
  16. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    Spar varnish is good for a few years. If you are worried about toxins and off-gassing tung oil and anything else that has a flammable or warning label already has the toxins and petro-chemicals mixed in. If it is brushed or sprayed on the outside there is little for the bees to contact. When supers are dipped it is on the inside and parrafin and most everything is made with petro-chemicals these days. Drive by a refinery or fuel depot and read the signs on the fence. It might make you think twice about putting it next to your honey or bees.