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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
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    2,222

    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    Depending on what you are cutting, uniform rough sawn lumber is pretty much a pipe dream. You may get uniform thickness in plantation grown, properly thinned hardwoods, but naturally grown trees are NEVER uniform, and the wood quite often moves while being sawn. Ever watched a 12" flitch bow while you cut boards off it? I have, many times.

    Not only that, only perfectly quarter sawn lumber every shrinks uniformly while drying, and even then will sometimes go wonky.

    Wavy bandsawn lumber is a result of improperly sharpened or tensioned bands or over-feeding (just like a small bandsaw re-sawing, any excess pressure results in the blade being forced off true), but even then those little portable bandsaws are nowhere near rigid enough to keep that small band from following the grain. Just the nature of the beast. Large stationary bandsaws can wander, too, I've found.

    Naturally, a decent sawyer should be on the lookout for this kind of stuff, and saw appropriately. If you have a flitch that won't saw clean one way, flip it. Keep the log set so that the grain is as straight as possible down the log, etc. Helps a lot to know what you are doing, and keeping in mind the nature of wood, a skilled sawyer will get you much better lumber than someone who's sloppy or careless!

    My brother had a FoleyBelsaw circle mill for more than 20 years, sawed quite a bit of lumber on it. Learned a lot, too, the hard way.

    Peter

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,461

    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    No need to hit the 3/4" size , we have alot of supers so old that they measure 13/16" thick.

    Crazy Roland

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Grey County, ON, Canada
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    You may find excessive propolis buildup with a rough inside, also it's harder to scrape off a rough surface than a smooth one. Probably not the end of the world though

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    wabasha MN
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    Excessive propolis buildup is NEVER a problem. Propolis is there for a reason and smooth boards actually are not natural for bees. Propolis helps fight off diseases. Most beekeepers ( experienced and newbees ) think that propolis is used by bees to seal the hives and it is true to some extent. But the real reason bees use propolis is to fight off bacteria in the hives and to kill diseases. I scratch all of my smooth boards so that the bees have MORE room to cake it on.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    4,953

    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    Before we get into a catfight about the value of propolis in the hive, here is a link to a very interesting document on propolis by Michael Simone-Finstrom and Marla Spivak of the University of Minnesota:

    http://www.beelab.umn.edu/prod/group...set_317688.pdf

    Section 3.2 should have some interest to those concerned about varroa mites.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    wabasha MN
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    I have talked with Dr Spivak and have tremendous respect for her. She knows more about bees than I will ever hope to know. She does have very limited knowledge though on feral bees and bees living in natural hives as do most of us. I have read the article before and it just reiterates what i said. The more natural we can keep bees, the better off the bees will be. And that includes the boxes and frames.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Grey County, ON, Canada
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    The only thing two beekeepers can agree on is that the third beekeeper who is not in the room is doing everything wrong. haha

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Union County, Ky, USA
    Posts
    196

    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    I used some unplaned poplar for a few hives a few years ago. Like was stated before, as long as you make the inside dimensions what they need to be, it will be fine. If I had to do over again, I wouldnt use the poplar. It is way to heavy. It may last a life time, but they are heavy.

    In my opinion, a 1x12 #2 pine at my local lumber yard is like 8 bucks. Thats what I make my stuff from. Its pretty cheap, and half or better than the cost of buying hive bodies. I save my rough cut poplar for something else....

    Rob

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,222

    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    Weight is a major consideration! Pine, particularly Ponderosa or White (although the latter is getting rare) works very well because it will last a good long time if painted and has adequate structural strength with minimal weight. White oak or teak would be much better for longevity (both will last decades unpainted in the weather), but are expensive and weigh a ton.

    The only real drawback to unplaned lumber is that it is very unlikely to be flat and therefore more work to make sealed boxes from.

    The bees coat everything in propolis anyway. I only scrape it off where it get is in the way -- frame rests and where the boxes fit together, and off the sides of the end bars. Why scrape off free weatherproofing? Frames get a nice coating too, if you've not noticed, and it seems to help make them last longer, too. Might be less on flat wood, but it takes less to get a sealed coating too.

    Peter

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    583

    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    Quote Originally Posted by Rader Sidetrack View Post


    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.


  11. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Plymouth, WI
    Posts
    61

    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.

    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.
    We just picked up a TimberKing 2200 mill over the winter. Last year we struck a deal with the guys that won a bid to clear the old railroad right-of-way because they are putting 37 miles of new tracks in on the old line (hasn't been operational in 25 years). Anyway, they agreed to cut and limb all the trees over 16" and we'd go in behind and cut them to length and haul them out. Normally they just chip everything up to 24" or something crazy. We ended up pulling just shy of 100k board feet, with 70% being Black Walnut and the rest a mix of Maple, Cherry, Oak, Poplar, Box Elder, and misc. others.

    Now to my question, since you seem to have the experience to maybe answer it Bluegrass....On some of the logs (I think they were Ash) the would cup really bad when sawing. They ended up being 1/2" thicker in the center compared to the ends. Most logs are 10-15' long, and it didn't matter which way we flipped them. They all sprang up as we were cutting. We cut a whole bunch of stickers from Box Elder and none of those cupped, then we ran a bunch of Basswood and Poplar which also cut true. That one species (Ash?) always cupped, and you could see it springing off the log a few inches as the blade ran down it.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks,


    p.s. - in the past we would run our logs on a 48" mill that has been in continuous operation for 104 years (this year). It started out as steam powered, but is currently run from an old tractor, with homemade belts from the rim and a series of homemade wooden wheels on a shaft to run the trolley and sled and such. That thing is a blast to use, but it is a lot of physical labor! One day last year, 3 of us ran 12,500 board feet on a single Saturday.

    The owner of that mill charged us by the bf, so for that price we could pay for a new mill with just half the logs we pulled off the railroad tracks.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,222

    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    If there is internal stress in the wood, it warps, curls, or twists as you cut it and no amount of skill, real or imagined, on the part of the sawyer is gonna do squat to change it.

    Dead straight vertical trees tend to have the least behavior like this, but you just never know. Some species of trees, particularly the harder ones, are more prone to internal stress, but it's possible in any tree trunk.

    Pretty impressive to watch a 12" flitch warp as you cut boards off, isn't it? Sometimes rotating the flitch 90 degrees helps, but even then we've had a couple that went all over the place.

    Thick and thin on opposite ends is a swayer being careless, but wood moving as it's cut you can do nothing about except toss the log to the side and find another.

    Also, the only board that will NOT cup some when drying is a true quarter sawn one, and even those can do strange things if the grain isn't dead straight or they are not weighted well enough. Anything else the wood shrinks more across the grain than along it, so it's not gonna be flat when it's dry, nor square anymore.

    Peter

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    lafargeville ny usa
    Posts
    254

    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    spring cut logs seem to be more prone to act badly . if you have a species that acts badly cut the logs shorter and let them air dry a few months before sawing. this will help releive some stress. the worse i have seen in my area is shag bark hickcory cut off a ridge in the spring, the stuff would not only pull some would turn almost a full turn.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Plymouth, WI
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    Thanks Peter and Matheson,

    We suspected the culprit to be stress in the log. Unfortunately, with the way we got the logs, we were not able to see the trees standing except for when we walked a while to estimate the lumber out there. These trees have not been managed at all, so they are by no means perfect saw logs for the most part.

    It was crazy to see, as we cut and flipped the logs.... When they got down to 8" the whole thing bowed up off the mill, even with the hydraulic clamp holding it in place.

    I just set those boards aside to make birdhouses or planters or whatever out of them.

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Palermo, Maine, USA
    Posts
    724

    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    Quote Originally Posted by psfred View Post

    Also, the only board that will NOT cup some when drying is a true quarter sawn one, and even those can do strange things if the grain isn't dead straight or they are not weighted well enough. Anything else the wood shrinks more across the grain than along it, so it's not gonna be flat when it's dry, nor square anymore.
    Quarter sawn will cup the least, flat sawn will cup the most, rift sawn somewhere in between.
    Like us on facebook This is the place to bee!
    Ralph

  16. #36
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Plymouth, WI
    Posts
    61

    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    Quote Originally Posted by ralittlefield View Post
    Quarter sawn will cup the least, flat sawn will cup the most, rift sawn somewhere in between.
    Thanks for the tips. We plan to quarter saw most of the black walnut. I'm not sure about the rest though. These first logs have mostly been the worst of the bunch, so we can all get accommodated with the saw. Once the weather breaks, we'll be moving the saw a bit and setting it up to do the real work. We bought an old lumber company property many years ago, and currently run a rental supply company out of it. It has about 8k sq. ft. of covered lumber shed space so we can store the lumber as it dries.

    We have a new 24" planer and a strap bander on order, to strap the stacks when dry and the scraps for sale as firewood bundles.

  17. #37
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    chilliwack, bc
    Posts
    627

    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    If the wood is a inch thick then it wouldn't take much to plane a 16th off each side to bring it down to 7/8 inch. It would make it cleaner and it is the usual thickness of supers (at least here in Canada from beemaid supplies).
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,861

    Default Re: Unplaned lumber for hives

    If the logs were harvested in an area where they grew reaching for sunlight (like the edge of a field or powerline right of way) they often have a lot of stress in them. As mentioned above letting them lay for several months will help. After the drying period I would throw them on the mill and see if they move when you pull the first slab off, if it does throw it off and cut it into firewood. It will save you a lot of aggravation.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

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