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Warped Flow key access cover

Fellow honey bottlers and candlemakers, I have a question for the woodsmiths.

My Flow key access cover is warped. Evidence supplied below.

It is not a major drama, but I want to minimise water leaking in (I do not have a standard Flow telescopic roof on this hive which will protect it from rain)

Is there a way to straighten this particular piece of wood? I thought of steam and weights.

Steaming painted wood is not the best idea. But even stripped, it most likely will be a temporary solution. It may warp again with a change of humidity. Anyway, taking into account an effort required to do this, I think it would be easier to find a good plank and make a new cover.

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If it is too much futile effort, I will make a new one then. Thank you.

I think making a new one is a better option and I would use a timber like Merbou in preference to pine. If your not handy in wood work your local Men’s Shed might charge you a gold coin donation. I use my local Men’s Shed and they have never let me down on quality of their work and the price is often not enough.

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In addition to the excellent suggestions above, how about reinforcing the inside with a thin strip of metal, like the one used across the bottom of the Flow super frame end observation window? Might help maintain integrity of the closure. :thinking:

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I thought about that actually, but the warped wood is quite stiff and it takes a couple of kilos of weight to straighten it… It will need a fairly thick strip of metal to keep it in shape, and there isn’t enough space for that.

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I know nothing about wood (Jon Snow), but I was not thinking of correction, I was thinking prevention in a future re-make. Do all of the other stuff, plus stiffen it more. :wink:

I may be totally off - I am not an engineer/carpenter etc. Just trying to employ my brain on things that might inspire those with talents.

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Yes, that makes sense.

Having said that, the others I have seem to be doing well. This particular one is warping on a knot (it is not ideal to have knots on such fiddly small pieces of wood)

Painting on both sides, should also in theory help to minimised uneven moisture movement. On mine it didn’t though.

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This is a quite usual misconception. Common paints are not too effective in moisture exclusion on wood. Especially when applied by any other methods but dipping.
A general idea of better wood coatings for the purpose of moisture exclusion looks like this:
paraffin wax > two component epoxy > anything else; and
dipping > other methods of application

For those who interested in details there is Finishes on Wood Surfaces for Nerds paper below :slightly_smiling_face:


Thanks for clearing that up. I always assumed that a few coats of Weathershield will totally seal the timber from moisture.

I downloaded that document, too nerdy for me , but interesting nonetheless.

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Painting timber will also seal in any moisture as well. :wink:
Some species of timber are prone to warping as it dries out as well as the way it is sawn in the mill and how well it has been dried out prior to milling. All lesson I have learnt at the Men’s Shed; but I’m still struggling driving a nail in square. :laughing:

Hi Pete, I have a tip for driving a nail in square. Drill a pilot hole first. For example: I drill a hole the same thickness as the nail in the top & bottom bars. That way the nail starts off straight which works every time I nail my frames together.

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I use an air stapler to assemble my frames Jeff, but when making boxes up although I use a pilot hole I do a lot off miss hits and bend the nail or completely miss it. Funny that new glasses didn’t help. :laughing: :laughing:
Finished painting the poly hives, they are a dream to assemble with a bead of Aquadhere and are a push together fit but seem robust when assembled. Twelve boxes assembled in about 12 minutes each one.
The bees are going great with the rain, and the bees are working the paper bark in a big way, they flowered before the rain but the bees ignored it completely then but they are all over the flowers now.

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I just finished assembling 20 frames. I was going to drill pilot holes, but I went with thin nails and they won’t split.

I find that once I get into the rhythm of gluing and nailing one after the other, Tchaikovsky in the background, all nails go in square. I admit I enjoy this kind of repetitive work and find it soothing. I was meant to be a factory worker I think.


I’m comfortable doing frames in lots of twenty. I’m using 40x2 flat head gal nails in the top & 30x2 flat head gal for the bottoms. The gal gets a good grip & therefore is difficult to pull out. I’ve never glued. I use 30mil mil nails in the bottom bars so that the nails cant reach the hole for the wire. I put the 40 mil nail to one side in the top so it misses the wire hole.


Thanks for that info @ABB , I also thought painting timber will seal it from moisture.

What is two component epoxy? I that some sort of glue, or bog? How is that going to stick to paraffin wax?

Hi @Zzz
Epoxy has may uses. Adhesive, coating, filler among them. It comes in two parts and hardens after mixing them. You may read it in more details here.

What I meant by “>” sign was “better than”. And “better than” only in a sense of moisture exclusion. Sorry if it confused you. :slightly_smiling_face: