Using 2X lumber for boxes? - Page 3
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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Jacksonville, Morgan County, IL

    Default Re: Using 2X lumber for boxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brad Bee View Post
    Why is the "standard" for boxes 1X lumber?
    Well, the '1X' 'standard' has evolved over the years.

    '1X' WAS 1" at one time, then 15/16, then 7/8, then 13/16, and is now 'nominally' 3/4"

    ( For a mind-numbing discussion on how 'dimensional' lumber's 'dimensions' have changed, here you go: )

    Also, I read a while back and have been trying ever since to find the passage in numerous books I've accumulated, that Langstroth's first 'standard' hive was made from a FRUIT SHIPPING CRATE, thus the 20 x 16-1/4 'standard' outside dimensions.

    So it seems that maybe 'the father of modern beekeeping' might have grabbed the first handy empty box, made frames to FIT THE BOX, and the rest, as they say, is history...

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  3. #42

    Default Re: Using 2X lumber for boxes?

    I did it the other way round, so my existing lids, bottom boards, and supers would fit. Bought, think it was an 8 ft 2x10 and a twelve ft 1x10. We don't have fancy wood working equipment or skills, so wanted something to do with hand tools. We cut the 2x's for the sides, the 1x's for the ends. It was pine for the 2x's and spruce for the 1x's, not so good. And they weren't QUITE the same width, so it might have been a little breezy till the bees propylized the gaps. Got two 7 frame deeps and a 9 frame deep out of it. Have been using them for a year. I had no intention of moving them around, they are my bottom boxes, and the 1/8" deficiency in depth is made up for by setting on a bottom board. I'm happy with the 7 frames, but the 9 frame is a little tight. If I make any more, think I will just use 2x for one side of the 9 frame and aim that at the N side for winter, maybe the S for summer. I only used Mann Lakes weird wood treatment for of the 7 frames, paint for the other 2. I had moisture problems in a standard 10 frame hive last winter, but no problem with the 7 frame hives with the 2x sides.

  4. #43

    Default Re: Using 2X lumber for boxes?

    Correction, I see that the 10" width boards are only 9 1/4" thick so the boxes are 3/8" shorter than they ought to be. But as I say, they were made ONLY to be bottom boxes and I don't move them around, and setting on the bottom board they are fine. Still plenty of bee space below the frames. And they only cost me $9 a box, if you don't count labor. They ARE heavy, esp as they don't have a cut in for handles, they have added wood for handles. I thought that a 1x4 or 1x3 as handles on the ends would make up for them not being as thick. That's one thing I really don't like about the standard equipment, is those cut in handles that mean the boards are closer to 1/4" thick at that point. We didn't have a very cold winter last yr in Tennessee, but summers are hot here too, so I like the idea of thermal mass as well as insulation. It was an experiment for me, and I am not at all displeased with the results. I've spent way too much on bee equipment the last 3 years, so getting those boxes for $25 instead of $75 suited me fine. At least my bees were free, so I guess I shouldn't complain. I have heard way too many stories of failed queens and pkgs.

  5. #44
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA

    Default Re: Using 2X lumber for boxes?

    Quote Originally Posted by JConnolly View Post
    Several of my boxes were made from 2x that I resawed and planed to 3/4"

    The r-value of 3/4" wood is ~1. A 2x will have an r value of ~2. That isn't going to make a practical difference to be a factor in the choice.
    hmmm reading the thread from 1x to 2x is a 100% increase in the R value if 100% does not make a practical difference then so be it. Nights do not last forever, the goal is to stay warm until the next sunrise, any help to keep the heat in would help incrementally IMO.

  6. #45
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Dane County, WI, USA

    Default Re: Using 2X lumber for boxes?

    I suppose one argument against 2x lumber is - it is heavier (for a set # of frames contained).

    Well, who said the # of frames must be set to X.
    Make it (X-1) to make up for the heavier box.
    Or make a smaller box or a smaller frame or make them both smaller.

    Doubling the thermal mass of the wall - this is where it really counts.
    Doubling the R-value counts, but less so.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  7. #46
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Ka'u Hawaii

    Default Re: Using 2X lumber for boxes?

    [QUOTE=Sour Kraut;1686521]Well, the '1X' 'standard' has evolved over the years.

    '1X' WAS 1" at one time, then 15/16, then 7/8, then 13/16, and is now 'nominally' 3/4"

    Well, at least on the west coast and beyond, 1 x 12 pine has been 3/4 thick for at least the last 50 years.

    What has changed is pine lumber grades. I used to be able to buy a stack of #3 pine and they were very good boards. Essentially they were a #2 with a flaw. A #2 was a perfect board except that it contained some tight knots.

    These days, they throw a lot of pretty poor quality boards into the #3 grade. Lowes, for one, doesn't call them by the grades anymore; however, if you look at the mill tag on the end it will have the number. Mostly they sell #2, which as I have implied, is a lower quality than what used to qualify for that grade. Never did use #1, which would be a perfect clear board.

    I think part of the issue is the creation of plywood? made of fragments of whatever grade.

    We used to buy mill ends also, which were 3 or 4' 1x12 boards. I don't know where to get those anymore.

    I find it better these days to buy equipment milled by the box manufacturer, though I still make some top and bottom boards from................whatever.

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