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Thread: Plywood supers?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Default Plywood supers?

    Other than weight is there a drawback to using 3/4" plywood for brood chambers and supers? I found a source to buy 3/4" pine plywood 15"x44" pieces for $1 each. That would give me a $2 material cost for a medium super and a $3 cost for a deep brood box.

    For those of you who use plywood nucs, what is the longevity of those?

    Are there chemicals in the glue that would make the plywood unfit for use because of possible honey consumption problems?

    Thanks for any opinions

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Plywood supers?

    Plywood is manufactured with a variety of different glues and exposure ratings - specifically, all 3/4" pine plywood is not the same.

    More here: http://www.apawood.org/level_b.cfm?c...elp_prd_extexp
    -- Victor Hugo -- "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Plywood supers?

    I understand that, and thats one reason for asking the question. If you couldnt verify the source of the plywood would you use it for honey supers? I dont see a problem with using it for nucs but if some of you do know o a problem please let me know

  4. #4
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    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
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    Default Re: Plywood supers?

    If the plywood does not have a grade stamp then its tough to tell what it is.

    Free or really inexpensive materials have a powerful pull for me. I'd first use up the plywood in any tops I might need, but then use it for hive bodies. Since the plywood may not last as long as solid wood, improve your odds by painting all sides, including the inside of the hive body.

    I am aware that some may consider painting the inside of a hive body to be heretical advice, but since Barry does that how can one object?

    Also, if you are serious about maximum life, before painting, brush a layer of Titebond on the exposed cut edges of the plywood (including the frame rests) and let it dry. If you do this, you can skip painting those edges, IMHO.

    And don't forget the Titebond in assembling the hive bodies!
    -- Victor Hugo -- "Common sense is in spite of, not the result of, education.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    lafargeville ny usa
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    Default Re: Plywood supers?

    a lot of the plywood used for cabinet work such as pine, birch, oak or maple is made with interior glue. this is not suitable for beehives unless you know that it has exterior glue.

  6. #6
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    Jan 2013
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    longton, kansas USA
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    Default Re: Plywood supers?

    ive mde a few plywood supers. but, they havent been used yet for supers. they seem to be just over flow if i run out of supers duing a flow....which would be nice hahha. im thinking of using them for medium brood boxes instead...not sure. i have been using medium plywood boxes for nuc supers though and they work great. i heavily paint them every year and no complaints.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Plywood supers?

    I ended up making 10- 5 frame nucs out of the plywood. I cut half lap joints for the front and back. I used a 3/8' half lap joint for the fronts and backs. I cut a 3/4" deep lap joint on each side and the bottom side of the back. The bottom will have no exposed sides and each side will have 3/8" of exposed area all the way around the bottom. The bottom has a 3" landing board so there will be 3/4" exposed ends on that. I will paint glue over all the exposed areas. I got the fronts, backs and sides all glued up and assembled this afternoon. I cut the bottoms and painted the inside surface of the bottom and I will finish up putting them together tomorrow after church. I bought 30 pieces of the plywood and they ended up being 11"x44" long. I will have about 5 or 6 pieces left after making the migratory tops for the nucs. So, I will have $25 of materials in 10 nucs. I will use some of them as swarm traps and some as nucs.
    Last edited by Brad Bee; 03-29-2014 at 05:14 PM.

  8. #8
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    Bertie County,NC
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    Default Re: Plywood supers?

    I use plywood with no problems

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
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    650

    Default Re: Plywood supers?

    Most of my supers are plywood. Prime and paint, let the bees seal the inside. No problems.
    Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Plywood supers?

    http://www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/page10.html

    Here some pictures of my plywood boxes. They have been in use for over 20 years, no problems, just more paint.

    they were made from second grade stuff, but surely it was a risky choise, but the price was low...
    Treatment free, honey production, isolation mated queens, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Saucier,Ms
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    139

    Default Re: Plywood supers?

    mine are 3/4 birch...brood chambers and supers......been using them for 2 years....cost me all of $2 a box for glue,screws and time....sure is nice to get FREE stuff......cuase FREE is always in the budget.

  12. #12
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    Apr 2013
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    Marshall county, AL
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    Default Re: Plywood supers?

    Thanks for the replies.

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