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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    New Kent, Virginia, USA
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    34

    Default Furniture Grade Plywood TBH

    I got a bargain on a piece of furniture/cabinet grade plywood and have enough for my two initial hives. I'm thinking that since there were multiple layers, it would hold together. Has anyone used this grade of ply before and am I looking at a short hive lifespan usint his ply vs pine? Ive read grab whatever wood you can find so I did. How about a little feedback expertise.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Cordova, TN, USA
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: Furniture Grade Plywood TBH

    If it isn't OUTDOOR plywood, then it will come apart, no matter how you try to seal it. Plywood like you have - the glue will not stand up to the humidity and rain outdoors.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    McClure, OH
    Posts
    1,017

    Default Re: Furniture Grade Plywood TBH

    If it is not outside grade it will come apart.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,096

    Default Re: Furniture Grade Plywood TBH

    I agree that Exterior exposure rated plywood offers the longest life outdoors, but other plywood can be used also.

    You can "paint" Titebond II or III glue on all exposed "end grain" cut edges to provide a better seal. Extend the roof over the sides slightly to provide additional rain protection. Use some kind of waterproof material on the roof board to protect it from standing water, roofing tin, perhaps. Paint all plywood exterior surfaces.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Cordova, TN, USA
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: Furniture Grade Plywood TBH

    I'm a new beekeeper but a long-time woodworker and carpenter. All respect intended, but if you're going to go to the work involved to build hives you want them to last at least a few years. I wouldn't use interior ply on anything outdoors unless I expected it to only be something temporary (a year or less). Paint is not a water-impervious surface. Neither is any varnish except for spar varnish. Ever set a wet glass down on your furniture and get a white ring? That's water vapor from the glass that has gotten under the varnish. If paint made interior grade plywood last, you'd see exterior home siding made from it.

    Use your nice plywood to make a stand for your extractor and uncapping tub, or other bee-related "furniture" that isn't out in the weather.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,096

    Default Re: Furniture Grade Plywood TBH

    Note that the hive(s) in question are Top Bar Hives, and the work involved in building a TBH is considerably less than Lang style hives. You can see how easily TBHs can be constructed here:

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beestopbarhives.htm

    Also, most TBHs have sloping sides, angled inward further away from the top. If the roof extends beyond the ends of the bars, the sloping sides will be more protected from rain than a typical Lang hive with vertical sides.

    If you are buying wood at full price, clearly the best choice is solid wood, or possibly exterior rated plywood, depending on the application. If you can get wood inexpensively or for free, the decision matrix is altered, in my opinion.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Cordova, TN, USA
    Posts
    152

    Default Re: Furniture Grade Plywood TBH

    Well, for me personally, my time is worth much more than my money, so I have a different viewpoint on doing work that I'll have to re-do in a couple of years. All the while hoping the hive doesn't come apart in mid-season.

    YMMV.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,096

    Default Re: Furniture Grade Plywood TBH

    Kwright, check to see if you can find a grade stamp on the plywood you are referring to. The grade stamp, if there is one, will offer a guide as to how the plywood was constructed, and that will offer more info on its potential longevity.

    Here's one example of a grade stamp:






    Rweaver7777, I understand that starting with less than optimal materials is seen as shortsighted from an experienced woodworker/cabinetmaker point of view. But beekeepers employ all sorts of unconventional materials in hive construction. There are quite a number of experienced beekeepers using Advantech (a proprietary form of OSB) as hive tops. In some cases this OSB material is used without any paint or any other protection, and performs very well. Here's a thread that starts out as a plywood thread but morphs into an Advantech thread.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...uc-boxes/page2

    .
    Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 11-08-2013 at 03:28 PM. Reason: update
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,970

    Default Re: Furniture Grade Plywood TBH

    Nice score, but I woudl find someone to trade it with for an exterior grade. you could easily get a 3 to 1 trade for it. furniture grade is premium stuff.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    New Kent, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Furniture Grade Plywood TBH

    Thanks for all the feedback. You all have made very valid points. I do not want to have to rebuild if I don't have to. You know, my daughter has been asking for a bookshelf for a while. I think it's in my best interest to use this great looking interior ply making her that bookshelf and going with simple solid 1x12 for the hives. Thanks for all the input. That's why I like this forum.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Accomac, Virginia
    Posts
    189

    Default Re: Furniture Grade Plywood TBH

    Quote Originally Posted by kwright View Post
    Thanks for all the feedback. You all have made very valid points. I do not want to have to rebuild if I don't have to. You know, my daughter has been asking for a bookshelf for a while. I think it's in my best interest to use this great looking interior ply making her that bookshelf and going with simple solid 1x12 for the hives. Thanks for all the input. That's why I like this forum.
    Great use for the bookcase, but for your TBH solid wood may be your best bet. There are plenty of folks using plastic or steel barrels instead of traditional wood. I mill my own trees into lumber I need but I know you can get a good deal on seconds 1x12s at Lowes
    Ed

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Bristol,RI
    Posts
    384

    Default Re: Furniture Grade Plywood TBH

    Or go really weather resistant and build up 1x12s from some 1x6 eastern cedar that you don't have to paint or anything

    makes the shop smell really nice haha

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    601

    Default Re: Furniture Grade Plywood TBH

    i would say any plywood is not an option for TBH's. the long body with no support lends to alot of warping and uneven spacing that will occur for at the follower boards. then it will just be unusable. use it for some woodshop tables or indoor stuff. (pssssst... we use cedar pickets for our topbar hives)

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