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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Mount Gilead, NC
    Posts
    9

    Default Spruce Woodenware

    Thinking of buying some Spruce lumber from a local building supplier. I can get it at some pretty good prices, making it worth my time to make
    some hive bodies and other assorted bee things. Anybody use Spruce boxes, bottom boards, etc.? Difference between it and Pine functionality wise? They have Pine 1x10's
    but the 1x8 and 1x12 I also need are Spruce only. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    North Okanagan BC Canada
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: Spruce Woodenware

    Hi,
    In our neck of the woods, white wood, or #2 SPF, spruce pine and fir is common, I buy pine if I can I prefer to work with it , it smells nicer and machines a little better but the construction grade spruce works fine.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    6,541

    Default Re: Spruce Woodenware

    Does spruce split more easily?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Cullman, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    484

    Default Re: Spruce Woodenware

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Does spruce split more easily?
    When I worked as a carpenters helper, many years ago, I was thoroughly chastised for bringing "yellow pine" . Spruce is a softer wood, & less likely to split.
    Started summer of 2013, just another new guy, tinkering with bees.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    North Okanagan BC Canada
    Posts
    160

    Default Re: Spruce Woodenware

    Spruce is probably the easiest wood to work with, hand nailing screws without pilot holes, or air nailers. Most house framing in our area is spruce.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,077

    Default Re: Spruce Woodenware

    Quote Originally Posted by tech.35058 View Post
    When I worked as a carpenters helper, many years ago, I was thoroughly chastised for bringing "yellow pine" . Spruce is a softer wood, & less likely to split.
    Yellow pine is harder than a lot of technically hard wood. Compared to the mellow character of white pine it is hard to believe it is in the same family. Jack pine is quite hard and split prone too.

    Spruce often gets lumped together under the heading of Fir which could be balsam fir, spruce, hemlock etc. If it was dressed spruce from fairly large logs and not too many knots it would be ok for hive building but that is not what framing grade spruce usually is. That gets cut from smaller trees with lots of transition from flat to edge grain across the width of a board which guarantees it is not too likely to stay flat.

    I would pay the premium for white pine as it is so much nicer to work with.
    Frank

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    1,692

    Default Re: Spruce Woodenware

    I would pay the premium for white pine as it is so much nicer to work with.
    That depends on what you are comparing. Given a choice between white pine at $1.40/ft and cypress at $1.40/ft, I'll take the cypress hands down.
    DarJones - 46 years, 14 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Palermo, Maine, USA
    Posts
    792

    Default Re: Spruce Woodenware

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    Does spruce split more easily?
    Spruce will be more brittle than (white) pine and therefore will split more easily, but I do not think it will be a problem. As was mentioned, it is part of the SPF group and is commonly used as framing lumber. Spruce Knots are incredibly hard, and spruce will typically have more knots than pine.
    Last edited by ralittlefield; 01-19-2016 at 11:43 AM.
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    Ralph

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
    Posts
    2,020

    Default Re: Spruce Woodenware

    this is the spruce I know.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,077

    Default Re: Spruce Woodenware

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    That depends on what you are comparing. Given a choice between white pine at $1.40/ft and cypress at $1.40/ft, I'll take the cypress hands down.
    I can't argue on that, FP! I dont think I have ever seen a piece of it dead or alive up in the frozen north! Is it in the same family as unobtanium?
    Frank

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    1,692

    Default Re: Spruce Woodenware

    Cypress is relatively easy to obtain, just have to live in an area that has an abundance. Cypress is common across the southeastern U.S., up into Indiana, and across to the Mississippi river drainage. Most of the old growth cypress was cut for timber in the 1800's. The wood commonly available today is second growth cypress which is less rot resistant. It is still good to use for beehives. The wood can be a bit brittle and will chip if dull blades are used. Assembled and protected properly, it will last 40 to 50 years. I have several cypress hive bodies that are 20+ years old and still as good as the day I nailed and glued them together.
    DarJones - 46 years, 14 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Birmingham, AL
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: Spruce Woodenware

    Fusion, where do you get your cypress? I'm in Bham and I can't find it. Thanks

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Location
    Deep Brook, NS, Canada
    Posts
    444

    Default Re: Spruce Woodenware

    Quote Originally Posted by catchingabuzz View Post
    Thinking of buying some Spruce lumber from a local building supplier. I can get it at some pretty good prices, making it worth my time to make
    some hive bodies and other assorted bee things. Anybody use Spruce boxes, bottom boards, etc.? Difference between it and Pine functionality wise? They have Pine 1x10's
    but the 1x8 and 1x12 I also need are Spruce only. Thanks.
    I'm surprised you can't get Pine in NC.
    Where I am, Spruce is about 1/4 the price of pine. I use Spruce for "temporary" stuff like shims or feeders, but for the "permanent stuff, like boxes, bottom boards, frames, lids, and so on, I bite the bullet and use C+ pine. Not only does it have almost no knots, which can dry up and fall out after a while, but the pine machines so much nicer, and requires a lot less sanding. Pine always looks a lot nicer when it's done too. I would say there is no difference in durability.
    I figure if I take proper care of the stuff, the cost/year difference will be negligible anyway.
    We learn more from our mistakes than from our success.
    Buckfast bees rock!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    1,692

    Default Re: Spruce Woodenware

    You have to buy direct from a sawmill to get a reasonable price. http://www.simsforestproducts.com carries it for $1.40/ft rough cut green. You have to stack and dry and plane to suit. If you search a bit, you can find it a little cheaper.
    DarJones - 46 years, 14 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    6,541

    Default Re: Spruce Woodenware

    Quote Originally Posted by Fusion_power View Post
    You have to buy direct from a sawmill to get a reasonable price. http://www.simsforestproducts.com carries it for $1.40/ft rough cut green.
    I just got in 2015 bd ft of 1x10 white pine, kiln dried and planed 4 sides. Mix of industrial and standard for $.60.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clinton, Iowa
    Posts
    3,766

    Default Re: Spruce Woodenware

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    I just got in 2015 bd ft of 1x10 white pine, kiln dried and planed 4 sides. Mix of industrial and standard for $.60.
    Is it an actual 10", Michael? That price is great. Just paid $1.05/ft for 1x12 and $0.53/ft for 1x8 this weekend.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Richardson, TX, USA
    Posts
    247

    Default Re: Spruce Woodenware

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    I just got in 2015 bd ft of 1x10 white pine, kiln dried and planed 4 sides. Mix of industrial and standard for $.60.
    Would that be 2,418 linear feet at a subtotal of $1,209? If so, that was a very good price. Random lengths or specified? #2?

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    6,541

    Default Re: Spruce Woodenware

    9 1/4 of course

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    6,541

    Default Re: Spruce Woodenware

    Quote Originally Posted by RichardsonTX View Post
    Would that be 2,418 linear feet at a subtotal of $1,209? If so, that was a very good price. Random lengths or specified? #2?
    That's right. Random lengths, 8' - 16'

    I think the 1x12 will be .70, and has more industrial. I used 4 bundles of it last winter. Bundle = 2000' Nice to have the wood I need to add to my nuc operation and rebuild the production hives that are in need.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    2,069

    Default Re: Spruce Woodenware

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    ... I used 4 bundles of it last winter. Bundle = 2000' Nice to have the wood I need to add to my nuc operation and rebuild the production hives that are in need.
    Wow. 8000'. That's a busy winter in the shop! I thought I was busy just making 100 deeps...

    Adam

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