I'm curious if anyone has done the math on cost/time of building your own boxes, bottoms, tops vs just buying them. Wood is rather expensive where I live and the only things I've found to be most cost effective to build is my own nucs - since we know you can build 4 with a single sheet of plywood.
For example, Mann Lake sells a 5 pack of commercial grade 8 frame deeps for just under $80. A decent 4x8 sheet of plywood is going to run me around $36 - $50 (depending on the quality of plywood) but I doubt I could get 5 boxes out of that sheet. If I used the cheaper stuff (measuring .7 inches in thickness) then I could get two sheets for the price of 5 hive bodies and definitely make more than 5 boxes. However, this is of plywood and not solid wood so there is likely a quality difference. Not to mention all the jigs I'd need to cut joints (or stick to butt joints) and a dado bit to make things move along.
Is there a cheaper way I'm missing? Better to use 1x12 boards cut down (1x12x6 is about $15 locally)? If I'm making hundreds vs dozens does it become more cost effective? Buy the boxes and build the more expensive lids?
Simply curious on others economics as there seems to be articles, videos and a lot of talk around building your own stuff, without it seeming to make a lot of sense?