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Thread: Makeing boxes

  1. #1

    Post

    I preface this with saying i'm a cheapskate, and I know it, LOL.

    Looking at the price of lumber, looks like the cheapest way to build these would be with 3/4 inch plywood. Any problem with using plywood? I can make then for about 1/5 the price of using 1x lumber.

    Sparky

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,278

    Post

    I have priced it in the past and could never buy 3/4" ply for cheaper than 1 by. I have built them from scrap 3/4" CDX and it works fine. Just paint the outside and the top and bottom edges. I'd make butt joints and glue it a screw it with 2" deck screws.

    I have not priced it lately, but I still think you can buy #3 pine and pick some with solid knots for less than the 3/4" CDX plywood.

    If you shop around you might even find hives cut for less than either. If there is any local company making hives, it's usually cheaper because they buy lumber cut to the right widths and don't waste as much.

    If you really want to use plywood, you could use 1/4" or 3/16" cdx or some other outdoor glue or scraps of chip board from a job site and use 1 x 2" for a frame around it. It would be really light weight (with the 3/16" ply). Just make sure the INSIDE dimensions are correct. I've done this with 3/8" plywood scraps from soffit material.



    [This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited January 26, 2003).]

  3. #3

    Post

    well, it takes right at 6 board feet to make one. One 1x12x6ft runs about $9. I can get a sheet of 3/4 plywood for $15, and I can make 5 of them out of one sheet. Thats for Deep Brood Boxes.

    Sparky

  4. #4
    Sparky
    the best thing is to look around where they build houses and you could find anough for all your needs======free is that cheap ?
    I used to do just that before I bought a saw mill to make my own.
    even useing plywood you can replace it free and for paint most painters I know will trade little honey for left over paint
    Don

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    I agree, you can get scraps from job sites that will work for free, why buy anything. If you're a real cheapskate, prove it!

    I used to build whole hives, bottom boards, inner covers, lids, top bars, and top bar hives from scrap lumber. All I'd buy was the screws to put them together, and sometimes I just sorted through mixed up nails and nailed them together.

    Just remember, it's not the outside dimensions that matter, it's the inside ones, and you can build a hive out of scrape 2 x 12's, or chip board or whatever. Bees aren't picky and small pieces are all you need.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
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    Post

    Please allow me to offer the following WOODWORKING advice:

    NEVER, NEVER try to insert screws into the edge of any plywood. The plys will split apart, maybe not right away but they WILL split.

    Plywood, especially YELLOW PINE CDX, will not lay flat, bowing of supper sides will destroy required beespace.

    Plywood (CDX, YP) does not retain paint very well. In home construction, most plywood is stained.

    White or sugar PINE is much easier to work with, and using a #3 grade is the best buy. I am always pleased with the results.

    Dave W
    Professional Woodworker,
    Beekeeper-in-training

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >NEVER, NEVER try to insert screws into the edge of any plywood. The plys will split apart, maybe not right away but they WILL split.

    First, I've never bought plywood to build a hive. It was all scraps. Second, I always use a countersink pilot drill for the screws and I always glue the corners. I have seen some splits, but I've seen some not split. If you don't use the pilot hole, it will always split.

    >Plywood, especially YELLOW PINE CDX, will not lay flat, bowing of supper sides will destroy required beespace.

    I have seen some bowing on occasion. Again, it was free, so i wasn't that concerned. If it gets too bowed, it will destroy the beespace, but it's not too significant until it's bowed more somewhere around 3/16". Most of the boxes I built did not bow that much.

    >Plywood (CDX, YP) does not retain paint very well. In home construction, most plywood is stained.

    Probably true, but the main place the paint seems to matter is the edges so that it won't delaminate so fast. And the glue is what keeps the paint from soaking in so much, but if the glue has soaked in, it's just as good as the paint. I don't care what they look like, just that they get preserved. Water seal works on it just as well as paint.

    I still think it's only worth using plywood if you don't have to buy it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Drums, PA, USA
    Posts
    331

    Post

    well, it takes right at 6 board feet to make one. One 1x12x6ft runs about $9. I can get a sheet of 3/4 plywood for $15, and I can make 5 of them out of one sheet. Thats for Deep Brood Boxes.
    Sparky


    I guess I am a cheapskate too. I have used plywood, scrap in the past, and it will work. Now, I agree with you, around here in PA, it is cheaper to buy a 3/4 in plywood, exterior. Bowing? I used box joints in the past, and no problems. Splitting out? Predrill. Use gorilla glue on the joints, seal up the ends, and wallah you have cheap bee boxes. Considering, bees live in hollow trees, rotting houses, ect., the box from plywood would be a 5 star hotel! I say go for it.. I am.

    ------------------
    Dale Richards
    Dal-Col Apiaries
    Drums, PA

    [This message has been edited by Hook (edited January 27, 2003).]

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Petersburg, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    16

    Cool

    Hi all! I am new to this forum. Even though I have been around bees all my life, my wife and I officially became bee keepers last year after my father passed away and left us with his bees.

    Being that I build wood projects a lot, I have scrap wood around always. I recently built 20 screened bottom boards, 20 inner covers and 20 telescoping top covers, from scrap wood. We are replacing old equipment and adding hives. Total out of pocket costs, about $80, mostly for the hardware cloth, aluminum flashing and glue.

    I find that it is cheaper to buy the deep supers then to make them. The cost of #2 pine is almost as much as the super from my local bee supplier, so I can't justify the time and quality for the savings.

    Nice to see and hear about all the opinions on this site.

    We are still debating the use of FGMO or trying Oxalic acid instead of the usual Apistan strips.

    Happy beekeeping to all!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Mason, MI, USA
    Posts
    1,015

    Post

    welcom aboard
    Clint

    ------------------
    Clinton Bemrose
    just South of Lansing Michigan

  11. #11

    Post

    One thing that you should always do is glue. Use Titebond, preferably outdoor glue. I have seen a joint glued with Titebond and nailed that was stronger than the wood. It was an incorrectly made cabinet door, and when we knocked it apart, the wood would break rather than the joint. That settled it in my mind that you should ALWAYS use glue.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    oneonta al.
    Posts
    848

    Question

    hello out there, on the subject of making box's,I've been told that bee's won't stay in a box made of green popular,or popular. has anyone ever had any dealing with it , thank's

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