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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,342

    Default Making your own wooden ware and extractors!

    I dont mind working with wood, infact, I love doing things that keep me busy, I hate sitting around!! I was in home depot yesterday and looking at the price of pine boards,
    1x8, 1x10 and other pieces. The thing I found is its almost cheaper for me to buy unassembled hive bodies/supers than it is to buy the boards, rip them down and so on. Trust me, if I can make it and save a few bucks, I will. Now I see that some people use plywood to make the bodies, how well do they hold up? What size do you recommend, I assume something close to 3/4"?

    What wooden ware would you recommend just buying over making? I am going to make my own SBB and hive tops as I can make a lot for way cheaper than buying them. I am making my own elevated hive stands since the metal comes free (break away posts for mounting traffic signs, the more accidents, the more hive stands I can make!!) and I am going to make my own extractor since I dont want to spend the coin being I am just a hobbiest!!

    Just picking peoples brains that are in the know!! Oh Ya, I used someones plans on here (cant pull the name up, but thank you anyhow!) and made 4 nucs yesterday.

    Another question, would it be a bad thing to make hive bodies out of redwood? Just curious!! Thanks for any responses in advance!!...............Jason

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lewisburg, TN
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Making your own wooden ware and extractors!

    home depot wont do anything for you price wise. I only purchase wood there if i have too, but not much or often.

    Best lumber is from a mill, craigslist seems to be a cheap source for me. alot of people who saw wood in this area have lots of 1X "scraps" (sometimes anything less than 8') I bought approx 1000 board feet the other day for 75$. Now this is true 4/4 lumber, not 3/4 they have at home depot. It doesnt have to require a planer though, you could leave it thick if you wanted. And you could leave it rough also. And you dont have to cut "Joints" if you dont want to either, but it will sure last alot longer if you do. You can make almost all parts out of any scraps, dirt cheap. construction sites could also render some cheap scrap lumber also. I wouldnt use plywould though, not very stable in the elements.

    Frames..... Just buy them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,342

    Default Re: Making your own wooden ware and extractors!

    Thanks Chris!! Ya, I have no need to build the frames, they are cheap enough to not just buy them!! I'll check around craiglist for boards. I have an old shed that came down with lots of good barn wood, gonna check that out after work tomorrow to see if any of it would be good enough for a few bodies!! Have a good one!.............Jason

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,057

    Default Re: Making your own wooden ware and extractors!

    If you can get the wood cheap enough, anything is cheaper to build than buy. However, you have to factor in the time costs too.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Chippew County, WI, USA
    Posts
    650

    Default Re: Making your own wooden ware and extractors!

    I can build them cheap enough, its all the time involved that dont add up when you figure it out. That said, they get any more expensive and im going to have to make them. $14 even $16 and higher, its getting out of hand? I think you can almost buy poly and not have to paint ect. and be ahead pretty soon.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,610

    Default Re: Making your own wooden ware and extractors!

    Another nice thing about all mediums, is there is a lot less waste making a medium box. You cut a 7 1/4" board (1 x 8) down to 6 5/8" by cutting only 5/8" off. Where you cut a 1 x 12 down to make a deep and waste 1 5/8". It would be tempting, when making your own, to just not rip the 1 x 8s and make the frames 6 7/8". But then they wouldn't be standard.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,122

    Default Re: Making your own wooden ware and extractors!

    It makes no sense to buy expensive lumber to make your own equipment. There must be saw mills in California. At a NH mill specializing in kiln dried White Pine, I purchased a bundle of 6'x1x12 for $288. 160 pieces. Works out to $.30/bd.ft.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Postville, Iowa, USA
    Posts
    380

    Default Re: Making your own wooden ware and extractors!

    Regarding using plywood for hive bodies, here is a recent thread that might be useful: http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?255630

    Could you use the 1 5/8" ripped off a 1x12 to make telescoping & inner covers, bottom boards, etc.?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Arcade,NY
    Posts
    120

    Default Re: Making your own wooden ware and extractors!

    3/4 plywood is very strong. it last a long time. bees dont care what kind of wood we use.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Kirkland, WA, USA
    Posts
    1,020

    Default Re: Making your own wooden ware and extractors!

    As for making your own extractor, http://www.voiceofthehive.com/VotH/1..._Extractor.htm is what I built (and I still have it). It isn't "production" quality, it isn't like the awesome steel monsters you can get from Maxant or others, but it is cheap, and it is food grade (stainless steel, food grade nylon are the primary ingredients). Woodenware - I build my own lids and floors, I buy frames and boxes. I can't build them cheaper than I can buy. If your time and electricity are worth anything you might not be able to either.
    http://www.voiceofthehive.com - Tales of Beekeeping and Honeybees

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Palmyra, WI
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Making your own wooden ware and extractors!

    When calculating time it takes to make these, you must also take into consideration what it takes to buy them too. For instance, the closest outlet to me is 50 miles away; getting 20 mpg that's 5 gallons at $4 = $20 just for gas...Or $18.50 for shipping. The lumber yard is 1 mile off my normal route to work and back and would cost $0.25 to get it, well you see what I mean.

    Plus with most hive body's, you have to assemble them anyway so why not take the extra effort and make something you'll be proud of.

    Or maybe find some decent barn boards, maybe glue a few together to make the deep frames, etc. Just some my thoughts.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,610

    Default Re: Making your own wooden ware and extractors!

    >Could you use the 1 5/8" ripped off a 1x12 to make telescoping & inner covers, bottom boards, etc.?

    Of course. I always did when I was making deeps. But I don't use deeps anymore and I seldom make boxes.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lewisburg, TN
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Making your own wooden ware and extractors!

    I wanted to explain my setup to you so you can see where I am at, and what I believe is the best way to make hive parts (In my opinion) On a larger scale.

    I use all mediums (thanks to MB) and I dont make the boxes either (yet, I just havent managed the 2k for a good shaper) But I have a barrage of other tools I have aquired. A cabinet saw with several good blades and dado's, A band saw, and a Jointer, as well as an air compressor. I then purchased two coppies of each piece I wanted to build. I cut one apart at each factory cut, and left one assembled. I figured out that with these tools in X number of complete hives, I would be saving money compaired to purchasing all of X number of hives. The number was actually less than I imagined it would be. And could be cheaper if you bought second hand etc.. A planer and shaper are next on the list. The planer will save money by purchasing rough cut wood instead of having to pay to have it planed. This will be the last purchase and second hand for sure, as these are not cheap, but after 10,000bf @ .20cents or so it will begin paying for itself. The jointer mainly fills this task right now as I dont make bodies. And the shaper, the spindle will allow 3- 3/4 cutters stacked between 3/4 inch spacers. I figure I can make about 5 bodies in about 10 mins, start to finish. At less than 5 dollars a piece. I dont like using the dado for making bodies because you have to keep adjusting, and this takes alot of time when making tight joints. Making them myeslf wont take real long to pay for these tools, and begin saving money. I also bought a small sheet metal brake (50$) to bend the alum, flashing for the top covers. They look alot better with a good bend instead of trying to beat them with a hammer.

    This is just my example, nobody has to follow me.. But just to give you an idea of my aspect on building equipment.

    If you figure a commercial manufacturer sells an complete 8 frame medium hive for 75$ Not including shipping (which is approx 17.26) by their web site). by purchasing the 2 mediums @ 13.50, and 16 frames @ 17.10, (both cheaper if you buy more) My starting total is = 44.10, I build the top, inner, and bottom for about 10 dollars total (usually), This gives me a total of 54 bucks. 17.00+18.23s&h= 93.13 dollars. theirs vs My 54.00+17.26= 76.26, at total savings of 21.87. Multiply that by say 50= 1093.5. Once I begin building the bodies, subtract 27.00+14.92s&h, or 41.92. (figure off because difference in shipping is minimal, etc..) My total cost doing it that way is (15.20frames+13.77s&h) 28.97 + my approx 10+5 for the bodies= 43.97 Total. Saving a grand total of 49.16 each. Build 50 hives and save 2458$. (forgiving the frames would be alot cheaper if purchased in that large amount.)

    Its obviously not worth while to do it this way if you plan to have just a few hives, but If you really plan on getting big, then It can quickly pay for itself. And I dont just use my tools for my beekeeping I live in a 1912 house that I am restoring... So I "Had to have them" for that, So I tell my wife.

    I started building my equipment using a craftsman table saw, 400$. And it did ok, just took alot longer to do. But did make for good savings and repeatable cuts. You could use a 100 skil saw and a guide also, and be just fine.. Though its harder to keep your cuts consistant, and takes alot more time because of that. And making box joints this way is impractical.

    Hopefully this brings a small bit of insight to you, after typing all this Im not even sure it makes since.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,610

    Default Re: Making your own wooden ware and extractors!

    >the planer will save money by purchasing rough cut wood instead of having to pay to have it planed.

    Leave it rough sawn. The bees will propolize it better and that will help prevent diseases. Not to mention the wood will be thicker and provide more insulation.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lewisburg, TN
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Making your own wooden ware and extractors!

    I dont disagree with you on that, But with the rough sawn pine that I get its anywhere from 4/4's to 7/4's. And with the big differences, my box joints will vary from 0 to 3/4 and I would prefer them flush as to not hold water and snow, etc... I could re adjust, and cut deeper joints, but I would have to change it up on every board, cutting down my time. And When cutting enough for 10 bodies at a time, I would have to search thru them like puzzle pieces to figure out which I cut deeper or shallower so they fit together right.

    I also plan to sell some of the wooden ware i build, locally... And its alot harder to sell something to people that dont grasp your concept, or when the joints look cheap/week.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Canton, Texas USA
    Posts
    533

    Default Re: Making your own wooden ware and extractors!

    I make my own boxes due to cost of material and cheapness of my labor. I do make a few tops, too. Looks like I need to cut down on honey supers and maybe go all mediums on some hives. I just need to make peace with the framing square..LOL
    LtlWilli

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    8,442

    Default Re: Making your own wooden ware and extractors!

    http://i697.photobucket.com/albums/v...eBodies011.jpg

    http://i697.photobucket.com/albums/v...eBodies012.jpg

    These hive bodies were made from all scrap lumber, ¾ pine and ¼ pine plywood on the inside. If you have the time and you value it at 0 dollars than you can make anything cheap. If you are thinking of manufacturing for sale you better sharpen your pencil. It is tough to compete with a big firm that is established.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lewisburg, TN
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: Making your own wooden ware and extractors!

    Who said anything about competition with a big firm? I was pretty sure I said sale a few locally. ANd in that respect, not its not hard to compete at all. If I was offering 30$ each hive savings. I would be looking pretty good. Take the people greenbeehives, or whatever that sell a few on ebay. Hell, they quit their day jobs and build and sell hives. There is an amish guy not far from here (2 hours or so) that builds hives with "some savings" and alot of people travel there to get hives, instead of ordering them. Would they/I/you be able to produce the amount needed to compete with WTK, Dadant, Or BM. No, not without a large investment in capital. But they did all start somewhere.

    Your hives look nice. And will probably last you a while, But I have built some with butt joints like that, and they are just not strong enough for me. Alot of the first hives I built were that sort of style, except using 1Xlumber, and cutting the rabbit.

    Ltlwilli: take a piece of ply wood and set a known square body on it (or what ever piece you are making, then make an outline using 1X3/4 or angle iron, etc... and nail/screw it to the wood making a template. I built one for each piece I was building, and It really helped me speed up on checking square and nailing etc..

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    628

    Default Re: Making your own wooden ware and extractors!

    Here is what I found being a cheep woodworker: Get (2) 10’ boards you can get 3 hives / supers ($12 per board here at the lumber store). If you finger joint the boards prior to cutting to depth you can add the plywood and get and inner cover per hive after you cut them apart. One of them take scrap wood and make some triangles for a bee escape. The remainder you can rip to make a telescoping cover with another piece of plywood in the cover. Now you have three hives, two inner covers , one bee escape, one telescoping cover for the $24 of lumber and piece of T1-11 plywood. Cover does not have metal cover but the exterior sheeting holds up well here.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Lafayette, IN
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: Making your own wooden ware and extractors!

    Everyone is different but for me.....I really enjoy building the boxes, covers, and bottoms. For me that IS part of the hobby I enjoy. When I sit back and watch the girls coming and going and working inside something that I built, it really makes me feel good. Some folks would rather see how quick they can get some honey and not worry about a lot of the stuff that goes into the hobby preceding the honey. I am content and enjoying the journey AND sitting down every evening to read about other peoples adventures in this wonderful hobby I have recently entered.

    Good questions BeeGhost. Sorry, I don't know about how the redwood would fare.

    Happy Beekeeping.

    Jim Taul

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