Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 51

Thread: Cheaper Wood?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Strafford, NH, USA
    Posts
    397

    Default Cheaper Wood?

    Michael Palmer has made comments about the low price he pays per board foot for hive box lumber in his area. I am not that far from him (relatively) in SE New Hampshire but can’t seem to find comparable prices to what he has mentioned in dimensioned lumber (have checked as far as southern Maine). I am able to find similar prices in rough cut green wood from local mills so I wonder if that is what anyone is using. With that being asked, follow up questions are:

    Do you use rough cut green wood?
    How do you treat the green wood before building boxes with it?
    Do you air dry it for XX time first?
    If not, is there any issue with shrinkage as the wood dries (Ie. Boxes getting to tight for frames, etc)?
    Do you then use a thickness planer to finish the stock to depth?
    Have you tried hemlock (lots of old barns are made from it around here)?

    Any tips on cheaper wood are appreciated!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    7,052

    Default Re: Cheaper Wood?

    I use rough or planed, whatever I can get cheapest after adding my cost to plane.
    I would not use green wood as it is harder on the tools and continues to change and not always at a predictable rate.
    If I had green lumber I would dry it for several months before making any cut.
    Pine and cypress are most prevalent around here.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,565

    Default Re: Cheaper Wood?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishman43 View Post
    How do you treat the green wood before building boxes with it?
    Do you air dry it for XX time first?
    Courtesy of Vermont Dept of Forests, here is info on air drying of green lumber:
    http://www.vtfpr.org/pdf/drylumber.pdf

    If you use green lumber for hives (not kiln dried or not air dried), you will almost certainly have problems with those hive bodies as the wood reaches equilibrium.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,143

    Default Re: Cheaper Wood?

    I pick up rough cut from a local mill. Usually local mills do not cut green wood, they cut wet wood. The logs have been cut for a while and stacked whole until needed. The bees get left overs from other work unless I get going on making boxes. If the mill is not cutting slab firewood or chipping there is some slab wood cut with wane and that is thrown into the slab pile. Plenty for hives if you are there at the right time.

    Kiln dry in the rain is going to swell, wet is going to shrink in the sun. My eyes and hands are a bigger problem than my wood.

    Green wood shrinks more than wet. The cells have lost some internal water and most of the water is between cells when wet and not green. I rough plane to 7/8 and air dry for a while. If I needed a box and all I had was green I would cut it a little over and not worry about it after a few screws. Wood shrinks more in width than length, even in a deep with wet you will lose maybe an 8th, green maybe more but I have not needed to try green.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Strafford, NH, USA
    Posts
    397

    Default Re: Cheaper Wood?

    I tried asking for the slab scrap piles as well and most of the yard staff has dibs on it for their wood furnaces. I found a local guy that has a large wood mizer type mill so his wood may still be green not just wet.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,541

    Default Re: Cheaper Wood?

    I use shorts and industrial grade. Shorts are 2-4' lengths, with some flaw, cut off the end of a long board so the remaining board is higher grade. Most mills that plane and kiln dry will have something like this. Or...industrial grade...good enough for bee hives.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,143

    Default Re: Cheaper Wood?

    Hemlock;
    Works great if it stays wet or it stays dry. It can rot quickly if it gets wet and then drys repeatedly. That is what I find, have never read anybody say the same though. Painted box should be fine but I have not used, pine is easier to get and work. Dry hemlock it is a little hard to work as it splits unless you blunt the nail or drill. If I am going to build with hemlock I like it wet or green not dry. Nail it wet it will not split. Nail it dry it will.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,936

    Default Re: Cheaper Wood?

    I have been using pine, cypress, and poplar rough saw for years. I pick boards that are at least 10 3/4 width, either 7/8 or 1 inch thickness. I strip stack and let it air dry for approximately one year. Pine, cypress and poplar will shrink about 3/4 inch in width, ( a 10 3/4 wide board), and about 1/16 in thickness. I have never tested length.

    Locally, saw mill pine is $.50 board ft, cypress is $.80 bdf, and poplar is $.46 bdf.

    cchoganjr

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ballard County, KY
    Posts
    348

    Default Re: Cheaper Wood?

    Cleo, what kind of life do you get on the poplar?

    I remember as a kid, my dad cut the poplar logs, we hauled them to the mill and built all our tobacco barns out of rough cut poplar lumber. I know the outside boxing has since rotted away on the barns, granted they were not painted regularly and not at all the last 20 years.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,936

    Default Re: Cheaper Wood?

    Unpainted poplar will last 25 to 40 years. . Virtually every barn door in Kentucky is made with poplar. Very few are ever painted. Bee boxes painted or some other preservative will last forever. It is a little heavier than pine, but it is plentiful here, and almost all my honey supers are made with poplar. One caution, you must let it season, ( 9 months to 1 year), or have it kiln dried because it will shrink about 3/4 inch in width, if you start with an eleven inch board. After seasoning, it works really well.

    cchoganjr

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chesterfield, NH
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Cheaper Wood?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    I use shorts and industrial grade. Shorts are 2-4' lengths, with some flaw, cut off the end of a long board so the remaining board is higher grade. Most mills that plane and kiln dry will have something like this. Or...industrial grade...good enough for bee hives.
    I can find Shorts about 2Mi from me 6'X 3/4" X 4,6,8,10,12 in. wide about $0.60 board ft #2 pine all plane and kiln dry


    BEE HAPPY Jim 134
    Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA.
    http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    771

    Default Re: Cheaper Wood?

    I am half way into the experiment! $400/1000 BF hemlock, stickered it to dry.
    http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/...z/hemlock2.jpg
    1 yr/ inch dry time, I would not use green. Last spring I made frames out of it (not side bars had a 2x6 for them). No issues yet on the100 I built.
    Dewalt Thickness planer.
    hemlock
    Wood Some good advice here about my stickers should have been further out. Spent about a day running wood through the planer. Problem was that I have ADD real bad. I had all this planed lumber I was cutting into boxes and found I needed to do something to do with all my apples. So I changed directions and made this
    http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/...z/DSCF4129.jpg
    Problem was I needed some white oak for the basket and grate. Found some scrap by the pound (S4S) and found that buying wood by the pound is not cost effective when you have a planer.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Cheaper Wood?

    The article above is good on drying, as is the above info. 1 year per inch is a general time frame to get the wood down to as low (12-18% MC) as it will be until it's moved inside. In my experience poplar moves a ton so I wouldn't use it unless it's been brought in after it's dried. I wish I could get poplar for under a dollar a board foot.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,143

    Default Re: Cheaper Wood?

    If you are doing a detailed cost comparison remember that a rough cut 1x10 will usually stay wide enough for a deep, a 1x6 makes a shallow. Every log is cut a little differently and each tree drys a little differently, but I usually have enough. If not it does not get wasted.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,936

    Default Re: Cheaper Wood?

    Saltybee.... My experience is that a rough cut 10 inch will not cure and give you a 9 5/8 or 9 9/16 finished board. You will need 1/16 for surfacing the two edges, and, poplar, cypress, and pine will shrink at least 3/4 to 7/8 inch in width, which means you need at least 7/8 to one inch more rough cut, than you will need when cured and surfaced.. I have all my pine, cypress, and poplar that I buy rough cut, cut at 11 inches for deeps, and 7 inch for shallows.

    One full year with the rough cut, strip stacked inside, will get the moisture content down to 11% to 15 %. Good enough for bee boxes. I normally let mine set about a year to a year and a half. If possible, purchase your rough cut, sawed from logs cut in the Winter time, especially pine. It will cure better

    delber... Guess we are just lucky here, we can get poplar for anywhere from $.25 bf to $.50 bf, with most wanting $.48 bf for select, no knots, cut to 11 inch width, but, take whatever length they provide. Length doesn't really matter, so, I take whatever they provide, and they figure the bf in the bundle that I get. Most of the saw mills here are Amish and they are very nice to work with.

    cchoganjr
    Last edited by Cleo C. Hogan Jr; 11-25-2012 at 06:17 AM.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    1,143

    Default Re: Cheaper Wood?

    Cleo,
    The slower a tree grows the less it shrinks even in the same species. Edges of the log shrink more than centers. Mostly I think it depends on the mill, I find the ends are the thinnest and the middle thicker on the boards I get. The carriage wears the most in the middle of a mill.
    Your right though, I would not buy a lot without trying a few boards until I knew how a mill worked out dry.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ballard County, KY
    Posts
    348

    Default Re: Cheaper Wood?

    So is it better to cut a log now and let it lay and dry out until next fall to have it sawed up or go ahead and have it sawed now and then let the lumber dry for a year?

    Tim

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    839

    Default Re: Cheaper Wood?

    It's fine to do either with the log. Make sure you seal the end of the log though. This is very important!!! If you don't you'll end up with about a food or two of the log that won't be useable. It would still be very wet / green at the end of the year so if it were me I'd cut it up now rather than wait. I know I've passed places that have piles of logs drying down in Va I think, but they have a process of spraying water on them at certain intervals. I don't know if it was once per day, twice per day or every other day or what. All I know is they had piles of logs and I saw them spraying them with an automatic sprinkler. I would immagine that this would stop the ends from drying so fast. Regardless you'll still need to seal the ends of the boards to reduce end checks. The end grane loses moisture much faster than the face of the board causing the end to shrink before the middle of the board is ready causing end checks. (or end cracks)

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Park City Ky
    Posts
    1,936

    Default Re: Cheaper Wood?

    Delber are you saying paint the ends of the boards?? I have never done this, and yes, I do often get a crack 4 to 6 inches long on the ends of the boards. Most of my boards are never square, and their 10 foot boards are normally 10ft, 6 inches long. That has made up for the end cracks. If paint on the ends will reduce or eliminate this, I will start painting them after they are stacked..

    Thanks.

    cchoganjr

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,565

    Default Re: Cheaper Wood?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleo C. Hogan Jr View Post
    I have never done this, and yes, I do often get a crack 4 to 6 inches long on the ends of the boards.
    At one time I was considering buying a mill, and spent some time reading up on small mill issues.

    You might be interested in this discussion of log end checking on a forestry forum.
    http://www.forestryforum.com/board/i...p?topic=7384.0
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads