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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
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    1,693

    Default Building 4-way pallets: Treated or painted? More questions

    Hello all,
    I'm building a batch of 4-way pallets, and I'm wondering if it is worth the extra price to go with all treated lumber, or if it's better to use untreated and just paint. What's you thoughts and experience? Also, on the frame stringers on the underside of the pallet: Should these be 1" x 6", 5/4 x 6", or 2" x 6"? Experienced information needed. Might have a few more questions later, if I think of some. Input welcome. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
    Posts
    715

    Default Re: Building 4-way pallets: Treated or painted? More questions

    Untreated. Wax dipped. 1x6 works.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,895

    Default Re: Building 4-way pallets: Treated or painted? More questions

    Treated will last longer. I would not use treated where bees come into contact with it but I would use it everywhere else...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
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    1,693

    Default Re: Building 4-way pallets: Treated or painted? More questions

    Ok, I also got some feedback from a friend who said that treated is too heavy. Thoughts?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
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    1,693

    Default Re: Building 4-way pallets: Treated or painted? More questions

    I don't have equipment for wax dipping, or else I would. Is painting ok?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,895

    Default Re: Building 4-way pallets: Treated or painted? More questions

    Treated lumber is heavier, but not so much that you will have to buy a bigger forklift... I would use treated anywhere it comes in contact with dirt...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
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    1,693

    Default Re: Building 4-way pallets: Treated or painted? More questions

    Yeah, the forklift isn't really what I was worried about. It's the load weight. Each pallet weighs in at around 50 pounds, multiplied by 102 pallets per load, is over 5,000 pounds. A standard flatbed holds about 48,000 lbs. That leaves about 105 lbs per hive after the pallet. Pretty tight.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    groveton tx
    Posts
    133

    Default Re: Building 4-way pallets: Treated or painted? More questions

    Go with treated everything. Unless you really love building pallets.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ludington, Michigan
    Posts
    632

    Default Re: Building 4-way pallets: Treated or painted? More questions

    I use treated everywhere. I build them in winter and leave them out exposed to the weather until spring. As for the stringers you can use whatever you want but just make sure they are all the same. I usually use 1 X 6 but last year switch to 5/4 because it was cheaper. So my pallet height did change I dadoed slots 1/2 deep before I fastened them

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Jamestown, North Dakota, USA
    Posts
    128

    Default Re: Building 4-way pallets: Treated or painted? More questions

    I make mine with treated wood except the plywood/sheathing the actual hive sits on. 4-ways with 2x4 and they are plenty strong. I've put 408 doubles on trucks without weight issues unless they are ultra heavy. Only had to pull a couple pallets off to keep within weight limits in the past 10 years.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Lakeland, FL
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Building 4-way pallets: Treated or painted? More questions

    Same as what Chip said. Using ring shank nails (8d or 9d, cant remember) to hold everything together seems to make them indestructible for quite a while, unless they get run over.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,323

    Default Re: Building 4-way pallets: Treated or painted? More questions

    Use treated for the 2x4's and especially the 1x6's on the bottom. Try to find 1x6's treated for below grade use (not easy to find). I would also strongly recommend using a treated board for the middle strip on top that the clips attach to. Yes the bees come into contact with that but it is where pallets always rot first. Ideally some type of non wood material the same thickness as the rest of the top rails is ideal here but I have never found the ideal product of the right thickness.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Montgomery County, NY
    Posts
    1,703

    Default Re: Building 4-way pallets: Treated or painted? More questions

    I use treated 2 by 4s for the runners and 5/4 treated decking boards ripped in half for the lower crossmembers. Decking I use used 1/2" concrete form and for the wood strips on top I use tamarac I ripped down to appropriate size. I started recessing the clips into the tamarac as well to keep the bees from migrating from one hive to another thru the little space there.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,323

    Default Re: Building 4-way pallets: Treated or painted? More questions

    Quote Originally Posted by westernbeekeeper View Post
    Yeah, the forklift isn't really what I was worried about. It's the load weight. Each pallet weighs in at around 50 pounds, multiplied by 102 pallets per load, is over 5,000 pounds. A standard flatbed holds about 48,000 lbs. That leaves about 105 lbs per hive after the pallet. Pretty tight.
    But it works. I typically use a "ball park" 440 per double pallet and 220 per single pallet as a baseline in calculating loads. It always seems to come our pretty close for us. The treated lumber is really only heavy the first year, after the water is dried out of the preservative there isn't much difference in weight. Just settle on a style and a dimension and stick to it, it makes a big difference in how neat your load ends up and can affect ventilation as well. Make sure you set the top panels back from the end of the 2x4 stringers at least 3/8" for proper top to bottom ventilation in the middle. Its amazing how the smallest of variations will magnify themselves when loading a big truck.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Building 4-way pallets: Treated or painted? More questions

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    Make sure you set the top panels back from the end of the 2x4 stringers at least 3/8" for proper top to bottom ventilation in the middle.
    You mean the plywood decking that the hives sit on? I am going with these plans. I believe they feature what you are talking about.
    Pallet_Clip.jpg

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,646

    Default Re: Building 4-way pallets: Treated or painted? More questions

    Does anyone here use pallets, and telescoping covers? been pondering a bunch of new pallets setup for telescoping.... wondering if the slightly wider spacing is a problem??
    As for pallets treated AND painted here.... takes about 5 minutes and 2.00 to paint them......

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Philadelphia, MS, USA
    Posts
    627

    Default Re: Building 4-way pallets: Treated or painted? More questions

    We are building ours all treated. 5/4 x 6 on the bottom. We are building them with screened bottoms so no plywood. Started using them this spring and love them so far. We are not migratory so they will stay in one location unless we loose a yard and have to move.

    Johnny
    "Suppose you were an idiot and suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." - Mark Twain

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Lakeland, FL
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Building 4-way pallets: Treated or painted? More questions

    Quote Originally Posted by westernbeekeeper View Post
    You mean the plywood decking that the hives sit on? I am going with these plans. I believe they feature what you are talking about.
    Pallet_Clip.jpg
    For the entrance reducer strip, just make one longer strip centered on the middle stringer rather than 3 pieces per side. Will save you time and keep the entrances farther apart. When you have all the pallet parts cut out before assembly, stack all same-sized pieces up and paint the end grains with a roller...fast and easy.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Building 4-way pallets: Treated or painted? More questions

    Hi

    Sorry of topic but I cannot find an answer anywhere ... I have a question regarding the nails used in standard 4 way wooden pallets. I am fairly new to the pallet business. At this moment, for our 4 way pallets, we use long nails with a nail gun to attached the top and bottom boards to the stringer boards. We then bend the nails after they have been nailed through the stringer board. With the blocks, the nail is of course going directly into the block. Is there another method to do this without having to bend nails? We have tried shorter nails but they were not strong enough and our customers complained saying that the top boards were coming loose. Is there a screw solution, a special nail, or an alternative solution? we are trying to avoid as much wood damage during repair of pallets and the bended nails are hard to remove

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    5,944

    Default Re: Building 4-way pallets: Treated or painted? More questions

    If you are currently using smooth sided nails, the next step up is "ring shank" nails similar to these:
    http://www.homedepot.com/b/Tools-Har...s/N-5yc1vZc282


    There are also nails that are sold as "pallet nails" and some of those have a twist in the shank somewhat similar to a screw:
    http://www.grainger.com/product/3EYY...140401004335:s
    (You can move the cursor over the photo at the link to enlarge it and see the twists in the nails)
    ultracrepidarian >> noting or pertaining to a person who criticizes, judges, or gives advice outside of his expertise

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