Cut List for a Five-Frame Nuc Hive

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The following tables break down the five-frame nuc hive into its individual components and provide instructions on how to cut and build those components.

Lumber in a store is identified by its nominal size, which is its rough dimension before it’s trimmed and sanded to its finished size at the lumber mill. The actual finished dimensions are always slightly different from the nominal dimensions. For example, what a lumberyard calls 1 inch x 12 inch lumber is in fact 3/4 inch x 11-3/4 inch.

In the following tables, each Material column lists nominal dimensions, and each Dimensions column lists the actual, final measurements.

This hive makes use of dado and rabbet joints.

Bottom board

Quantity Material Dimension Notes
2 1" x 12" clear pine 22" x 1-7/8" x 3/4" These are the side rails.
Dado 3/4" wide x 3/8" deep along the entire length of each side rail, and rabbet one of the rear corners of each opposite side rail 3/4" wide x 3/8" deep.
1 1" x 12" clear pine 21-5/8" x 8-1/4" x ¾" This is the “floor.”
1 1" x 12" clear pine 8-1/4" x 1-7/8" x 3/4" This is the rear rail.
Dado 3/4" wide x 3/8" deep along the entire length.
1 1" x 12" clear pine 7-3/8" x 3/4" x 3/4" This is the entrance reducer.
Cut two notches on two different sides of the entrance reducer as shown in the figure (one side 3/8" high x 3/4" wide, and the other side 3/8" high x 4" wide).
[Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design]
Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design

Here are some close-up views:

[Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design]
Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design

Hive body

Quantity Material Dimension Notes
2 1" x 12" clear pine 19-1/8" x 9-5/8" x 3/4" These are the long sides.
2 1" x 12" clear pine 9" x 9-5/8" x 3/4" These are the narrow sides.
Rabbet 5/8" wide x 3/8" deep along the entire inside top length of both short side panels; rabbet a 3/4" wide x 3/8" deep joinery cut along both ends of the narrow side panels.
2 1" x 12" clear pine 9" x 1-7/8" x 3/4" These are the hand rails.
[Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design]
Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design

Inner hive cover

Quantity Material Dimension Notes
2 1" x 12" clear pine 19-7/8" x 3/4" x 3/4" These are the long rails.
Dado 1/4" wide x 3/8" deep along entire length, 1/8" from edge.
2 1" x 12" clear pine 8-1/4" x 3/4" x 3/4" These are the short rails.
Dado 1/4" wide x 3/8" deep along entire length, 1/8" from edge.
Optional: Cut a 3/4" wide x 1/4" deep ventilation notch at center point of one short rail (on the thick side of the rail).
1 1/4" lauan plywood 19-1/8" x 8-1/2" x 1/4" This is the top.
Drill a 1" round ventilation hole in the center of the plywood.
[Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design]
Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design

Here is a close-up view:

[Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design]
Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design

Outer hive cover

Quantity Material Dimension Notes
2 1" x 12" clear pine 21-1/4" x 2-1/4" x 3/4" These are the long rails.
Rabbet 3/4" wide x 3/8" deep along entire length of top edge.
2 1" x 12" clear pine 11" x 2-1/4" x 3/4" These are the short rails.
Rabbet 3/4" wide x 3/8" deep along entire length of top edge.
Also rabbet 3/4" wide x3/8" deep along both ends of the boards.
1 3/4" exterior plywood 21-1/4" x 10-1/4" x 3/4" This is the top.
1 14" aluminum flashing 25" x 14" This is the metal roof.
Wrap flashing over the top of the assembled outer cover. Fold corners to avoid sharp edges.
[Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design]
Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design

Close ups of the short and long rails:

[Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design]
Credit: Illustration by Felix Freudzon, Freudzon Design

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