Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Nuc Building, PART 3, Six-Frame Deep Nuc

In my quest for more nuc building ideas and experiments, and my desire for deep nucs due to their marketability, I drove out to Home Depot one more time with a new design in mind.  I purchased a 1 x 12 x 6ft board.  My idea was to replicate some of the lessons I took from my 6-frame medium nuc using the simple 1 x 8 lumber:

The 1 x 12 dimensional lumber is a little too wide for a deep frame.  Leaving it at that nominal dimension of 11 1/4 inches risks brace comb building on the bottom of the nuc as well as extra comb off the bottom bars.  Not a big deal, but being a purist I decided to do it right and rip the 1x 12 down to a width of 10 1/8.  This extra 1/2 inch from a 9 5/8 deep dimension gives the girls some walking around space.

Here are the dimensions.  Note that as in the medium nuc build, all joints are simple butt joints joined with 1 5/8 screws.
In case this is a little blurry:
- the sides are 19 1/4 x 10 1/8
- the ends are 11 1/4 by 10 1/8
- the bottom is 11 1/4 by 22

I screwed them together through the ends with 1 5/8 screws.   The bottom, a scrap piece of 1/2 inch plywood, was attached with 1 inch drywall screws.
A simple 3/4 inch hole is drilled to provide an entrance.

The next step is preparation of the inserts, pieces of plywood at the ends that create the frame rest for the frames without requiring rabbeting any boards.

In this case the inserts are 3/8 inch plywood (scrap) with the dimensions of 9 3/8 x 9 3/8.  This panel is screwed into each end so that it looks like this:
 You can see how the top bar rests in the recess.

Here is the final result:

I made a simple top with more 1/2 inch plywood and added cleats to the ends for easy of carrying.  I also opened up the entrance a little more.

So the round up:

- 1 x 12 was $10
- the scrap plywood, if part of a 4 x 4 sheet, would have cost $6.

It took me about an hour and a half with kids hovering and a circular saw and drill my only tools.

This is a cool nuc that is competitively priced, but on the high side for large production.  The extra frame is a plus as one can also use the space for a division board feeder.  Stac- ability is its main strength, however, especially as one can mix and match medium and deep boxes and go vertical with the hive like this:
Notice also that I have not put ventilation in the bottoms of these nucs.  There is a method to my madness in spite of the fact that ALL my hive bottoms are screened and left open during the winter.  These nucs may end up over-wintering colonies.  In such a case I may add granulated sugar to both the bottom of the hive and the top.  Ventilating the bottom would allow the sugar to flow out, but this configuration keeps it in.  In the event I do overwinter in any of my nucs, I will use a piece of burlap as an inner cover to absorb moisture.

Stand by for one more nuc experiment.  While Nuc Building Part 2 was successful, and widely read, a rather glaring oversight was pointed out by a forum contributor.  I will have some simple modifications to address.



  1. Butt joined corners or quick and simple.
    But if you already have the router table set up for a 3/8" cut for frame rests. why not rabbet join the corners?

  2. I use a 6 frame Nuc also.
    I cut my long boards 19 1/8 inches
    I cut my short boards 11 1/4 inches.
    I use my router table to cut the frame rest 3/8" x 5/8"
    I then cut a rabbit joint at each end of the short board
    3/8"X 3/4" with a dado blade on the tablesaw.
    When it's put together it is 11 1/4 " X 19 7/8 inches.
    I use a screen bottom.
    In the winter I sit the NUC on a piece of plywood to cut down ventilation