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  1. #1
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    Mar 2013
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    Oxford, Maine
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    Default Unplaned lumber for hives

    Any problem with using unplaned 1" thick bandsawn white pine for hive bodies and
    and other wooden ware ?

  2. #2
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    Aug 2006
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    Danbury, CT
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    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    Not as long as it is properly dried so it doesn't shrink on you after assembly. If you are not sure, stack and sticker it in a barn loft for 12 months before you use it.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  3. #3
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    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    Unplaned lumber is not a problem as long as you make sure that the interior dimensions of your hive bodies match existing standards.

    But, if the"unplaned" lumber is also "not dried", then a different set of issues arise. Lumber that is not kiln dried or not air dried will shrink as it dries to equilibrium moisture, and hive bodies will likely not be the same dimensions after the lumber dries.

    Make sure you know what you are buying before you invest!
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #4
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    Mar 2013
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    Oxford, Maine
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    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    Its my own lumber harvested and cut about 6 years ago, was covered and stickered a few years before
    i had a chance to bring it into the barn.
    Couldn't really see the extra bother of planing the stuff if its not necessary even though
    i do have a planer.

    I made up a hive stand and outer cover today with it using my store bought hive
    for inside dimension.

    I think in the future i will make my own hives out of bandsawn pine. Rustic !

    Thanks for the input

    Newbee

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Forest grove, Ore USA
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    182

    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    I just moved my unplaned fir from the barn to the wood shop however I think I am going to plane mine

  6. #6
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    Aug 2006
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    Danbury, CT
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    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    One benefit of not planing it down is that every mm you don't shave off also doesn't knockoff R value.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  7. #7
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    Apr 2011
    Location
    Palermo, Maine, USA
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    724

    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    As was stated earlier, the interior dimensions are important in a bee hive. Proper "bee space" most be maintained or they either will fill it with bur comb or not have room to travel in the hive.

    The problem that you may find with unplaned lumber is not that it is thicker than planed lumber, but that it is not consistent. The thickness of each individual board may vary along the length of the board. If you can work with that, you will be okay. You may want to consider planing one side just to get consistent thickness.
    Like us on facebook This is the place to bee!
    Ralph

  8. #8
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    Mar 2013
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    Oxford, Maine
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    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    Quote Originally Posted by ralittlefield View Post
    As was stated earlier, the interior dimensions are important in a bee hive. Proper "bee space" most be maintained or they either will fill it with bur comb or not have room to travel in the hive.

    The problem that you may find with unplaned lumber is not that it is thicker than planed lumber, but that it is not consistent. The thickness of each individual board may vary along the length of the board. If you can work with that, you will be okay. You may want to consider planing one side just to get consistent thickness.
    Good point Ralph.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
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    1,022

    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    I have to ask this: what does "stickering" lumber mean?

  10. #10
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    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives



    Note that the stickers here are lined up, and directly over support blocks. This allows uniform air circulation and keeps the boards as straight as possible.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  11. #11
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    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
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    2,229

    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    The other reason for planing the lumber (and jointing it flat, for that matter) is that it ALWAYS changes shape as it dries. Shrinks more along the grain than across it, so board cup when "flat sawn" an shrink across the length when quarter sawn. It's hard to build good boxes out of cupped lumber, to say nothing of twisted or warped.

    I'd plane at least one side flat, both sides is better, to get it flat. You don't need to do more than that, and if you run the whole stack through each time you change the planer settings, you will have uniform thickness within the capability of your planer. Surface texture won't make any difference, but a quarter inch gap in the middle of the corners will!

    Peter, who had planed an amazing amount of lumber for a PhD botanist!

  12. #12
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    Apr 2010
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    fairfield,ohio
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    641

    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    image.jpg
    Unplaned poplar stacked and stickered for 18 months covered outside. I paint the end grain to minimize splitting. Like Bluegrass, I like the added R factor, bees don't seem to mind mill surface. I use lap joints, Tightbond II and 16-1 5/8 drywall screws. I use all mediums, I pay $250. For 200 1x8x72 boards which is just right for a box with a minimal amount of scrap. I started building these 3 years ago and so far haven't had any problems.

  13. #13
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    Aug 2006
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    Danbury, CT
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    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    Band sawn lumber should be uniform thickness even when rough sawn. If it isn't it means you need a new Sawyer. Because the one you have is either in a hurry or doesn't know what he is doing.

    I did a large sawing job for a tree service several years ago (30 TBF). The tree service hired me and then about half way through got a second guy to come in and set up beside me in order to get the job done faster. The second guy was flying through the logs and I had other jobs I could be doing so I packed up and moved on. About a year later the tree guy called me back to do another job because all the stuff the second guy milled was wavy and inconsistent..... He told the tree guy that that was normal for rough sawn, but then when they looked at the stacks I had milled everything was straight and uniform...

    The difference was he was paying me by the hr and I later found out he was paying the other guy by the BF. In the end he hadn't saved any money because he ended up with a bunch of wood that he had to pay to be planed on all 4 sides.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Palermo, Maine, USA
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    724

    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    Quote Originally Posted by bluegrass View Post
    Band sawn lumber should be uniform thickness even when rough sawn. If it isn't it means you need a new Sawyer. Because the one you have is either in a hurry or doesn't know what he is doing.

    Perhaps it should be.

    Talk with anyone who has planed any amount of rough lumber and I am guessing that they will tell you that it isn't.

    I plane my lumber with several shallow passes. Seldom does the first pass take off the same amount for the length of the board. Usually there are sections along the length of the board that need more than one pass.

    Some sawyers are better than others, but asking for uniform rough lumber every time is asking for a lot.
    Like us on facebook This is the place to bee!
    Ralph

  15. #15
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    Mar 2013
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    Oxford, Maine
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    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    See a lot of knowledge about bandsawn lumber here and
    agree that even the best sawyer will end up with a untrue piece of lumber on occasion .

    Have a cull pile for that, not very big at all but anyone who has planed much lumber can usually see (eyeball)
    before making the 1st pass if its an oddball.
    Seems the last board cut from a log is usually where any thickness variation end up from end to end.
    And dry wood can cup, the wider it is the more it can cup.

    Was curious most about the texture but if they hive up in a hollowed out tree than
    texture shouldn't be much of a problem.

    Not going to be a problem finding flat and true 7" wide roughsawn boards for medium boxes.
    Have 3 thousand BF to choose from
    Thanks for all the pointers

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    fairfield,ohio
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    641

    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    The bees have no trouble with the texture that I have seen.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Salem, Indiana, USA
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    53

    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    I have several boxes I built from unplaned poplar. I did make sure all interior dimensions were to plans. I used lap joints and Gorilla Glue and screwed them together with deck screws. I caulked all cracks and gave them two coats of latex paint. My bees seem fine in them and I have 100% survival of my hives so far this winter.
    The lumber was cut on my farm so it was cheap, just the cost of sawing, .20 bd. ft.. I'm not sure I would use it if it wasn't cheap.

  18. #18
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    Jul 2012
    Location
    lafargeville ny usa
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    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    it is not just the sawer. i have seen a couple of mills that were so poor a setup and worn out that they would not cut straight. it was simple to cure, i walked away.

  19. #19
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    Apr 2011
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    Palermo, Maine, USA
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    724

    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    Quote Originally Posted by woodsy View Post

    Not going to be a problem finding flat and true 7" wide roughsawn boards for medium boxes.
    Have 3 thousand BF to choose from
    Thanks for all the pointers
    Sounds like you are all set! I would go for it!
    Like us on facebook This is the place to bee!
    Ralph

  20. #20
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    Aug 2006
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    Danbury, CT
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    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    Quote Originally Posted by mathesonequip View Post
    it is not just the sawer. i have seen a couple of mills that were so poor a setup and worn out that they would not cut straight. it was simple to cure, i walked away.
    You are correct.. A worn out mill will not cut true.

    Other issues include poorly sharpened and set bands
    Dull bands
    de-tempered bands.
    Sawyer in a hurry.
    Dirty logs.
    Foreign objects in logs.
    Log movement due to not sawing to grain or off centered pith.
    I am sure other factors can contribute as well, but a good sawyer knows how to fix most of them and culled boards should be few and far between... I always turned them into stickers.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

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