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Alright guys, I have tried to search every where about this subject and have not had much luck finding anything. Maybe I'm blind? So, forgive me if this is something thats asked everyday. You can beat me like a dead horse after!

I'm really struggling to find a good source for lumber. Store prices are pretty high for even economy wood. If I had my own portable mill, I would be out in the forest milling me some lumber!

So, I've been kicking the idea around about using 2x lumber instead of 1x. Its much cheaper than 1x is and maybe I could find a way to mill it to make 1x lumber? If not, I have considered the option making hive bodies from 2x. Yea, they will be twice as heavy as their 1x counterparts, but man, they sure would be strong, and maybe even better insulation?

How do you guys do it? I'm looking at doing 48 medium hive bodies, but I'm sure as heck not going to be able to afford to make that many when a 1x8x8 is $10.42 a board around here!

I'm looking at making these hives for personal use, but I really want to jump into selling equipment. Obviously, if I'm selling equipment, I have to use 1x, but this consumer is not wanting to pay that!

I have read quit a bit about using plywood, but I don't think I would do that to make regular hive bodies. I think I would do that if I was making 5-frame nucs to sell.

Well, someone school me! :pinch:
 

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Where are you getting these prices? The big box stores in my area are outrageous, both Lowe's and Home Depot's 1 by lumber tends to be about 3 times as expensive as the local mom and pop lumber yards.
 

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Buying lumber at a big box store is expensive. Check for local traditional lumber yards instead.

Also, I would expect that if you poke around in your area, you can find small local mills selling
lumber. That lumber may be green, and need to be be air dried before it is suitable for use, but can be much more affordable. Look for directories of small mill owners - perhaps like this one ....
http://ext.nrs.wsu.edu/forestryext/sawmill/EasternWashingtonSmall-ScaleSawmills.htm

Personally, I collect unwanted/free wood year round, and build equipment in the winter. If you collect free wood, you will be investing time in place of cash. Expect to pull nails/staples, and be prepared to burn/dispose of a portion of what you collect as unusable. Some of my free wood comes from discarded shipping frames from oversize items like log splitters and commercial mowers. Regular pallets don't yield enough material for the work involved IMO.

.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've checked Lowes and Home Depot. The $10.42 for the 1x8 is from HD. But Lowes is not much more impressive. The 2x is $5.75 a board. I figure if there was a way to mill them, I can cut the price in half even more. I'm still ahead if I used 2x instead of 1x. But I dunno if a 2x really has that many down sides to using compared to a 1x.

I've got some small businesses around here that sell lumber, but they usually are even more than the bigger stores. I've tried to call the local mill and see if they would sell me scrap, but no answer. :/

I can get pallets all day long at work, and really nice ones at that. Except, I would need about three pieces to make a medium body. I don't know if I could figure out how to join the three to make a single board without them breaking away from each other, etc.

As you can tell, I'm not much of a woodworker!

I've got to get something together before mid-april as I ordered 2 nucs locally.
 

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If you are prepared to edge join/glue boards, you can make medium hive bodies from two pieces of 1x4's.

Using recycled wood generally requires time to prepare the wood and some experience to know how to make it work best. For your initial hives, since time is short, bite the bullet and buy what you need. Then you have until next spring to figure out how build what you want in a more inexpensive manner.
 

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If you are asking me :) - it all depends on how much you are prepared to heft. Other than weight, 2x hives are likely to last longer. I don't see all that much value in the 'insulation' factor in 2x wood in Sandpoint, but it probably doesn't hurt.

If I could get 2x8s for free, I might build hives from that. But if I only had free 2x4s, perhaps not. :lookout:






OK, I really am cheap.:rolleyes: Build your first hives from free 2x4s, then look for alternatives for next winter. You might find that 2x4s work perfectly well for you. :D Or you may find a better solution.
 

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I wouldn't use 2x. I build 3/4" thick deeps for 3.50-$4. Look for local sawmills, wood wholesalers, lumber 84, go for discount lumber, sort thru it to find decent boards.

Like radar said I would use 2x if its free or super cheap, otherwise not interested.
 

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The only downside I can think of from using 2x lumber instead of 1x lumber would be the weight factor. I think it would be stronger and more insulating, and I've thought of using it myself, but I've already got all I need built from 1x lumber. But I still think about it now and then. It seems to me it would be more solid and insulating for the bees. I've seen videos of someone who uses 2x lumber and he seems to do fine with it.
 

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I have decided to buy my hive bodies and frames, but build my own tops, inner covers, bottoms, and nucs.


The price for man lakes budget grade can not be beat. Plus free shipping.
 

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I see the downside being the time invested. If you wanted to rip a two by eight youd need a band saw and a jig which would leave you with two pieces of three quarter, then youd need a jointer to get a factory edge. A planer would also be beneficial. If your going to lam up boards you need a bunch of clamps. Id recommend getting rough pine from a local lumber mill, that way you can get away with just a table saw, you waste less wood and time. Up in Canada it is pretty common to use 7/8s pine for all our boxes. I do know a guy who uses 2x8 to build warre hives, but they are much smaller boxes so weights not as much of an issue.

Never underestimate the weight of honey when you have to lift it off a stack thats six feet high. I have a hernia that will testify to that!
 

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I have decided to buy my hive bodies and frames, but build my own tops, inner covers, bottoms, and nucs.


The price for man lakes budget grade can not be beat. Plus free shipping.
Exactly its hard to beat the cost of quality from the big suppliers Mann, Kelley, Dadant, power in volume, they buy hundreds of thousands if not millions of board feet a year. If I didn't have a local hookup for discount 10" boards I would do the same as you hjsmith.
 

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This newb went to a local mill and paid about $1.10 per board foot of 1" pine (actuall 15/16"). When I went back for more, I got yakking about what I was doing with the wood and the sales guy pointed out that I probably did not need 8 - 10 - 12 foot boards as I was going to cut them all up in little pieces. He pointed me to 1x10 (actual width > 10") off cuts ranging from 4 to 7 feet long .... at 50 cents a linear foot. A "six footer" will make one deep 10 frame box with only sawdust and about a 3/8" x 6' waste. That's a 10 frame deep box for $3 plus labour.

Here are some pics of stuff I have made from this material:

Centre Hastings-20140309-00134.jpg
10 frame Langstroth deep

Centre Hastings-20140309-00131.jpg Centre Hastings-20140309-00130.jpg
Combination bottom board for top entrance hive (not finished). The solid floor was made by ripping 1/2" strips and inserting them into 1/2" rabbets in the side rails. The screen frame was made by cutting 2 3/8" wide (max height of my table saw) pieces then turning them up 90 degrees and ripping again to obtain a 1/2" x 2 3/8" piece and a ~3/8" x 2 3/8" piece.

Lots of work? Yes! But even that bottom board used only about $2.00 in material. I also very much enjoy getting out into my wood shop in the Winter evenings.

These were all built from the 1" x 10" (act. 15/16" x >10") boards.

I use a jointer for the lap joints and a cheap Craftsman stacked dado for rabbets.

The point is that there are a lot of ways to approach building woodware with widely varying potential to break the bank.
 

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I just built 6 deeps and 9 mediums for about $72.00 in wood costs. First ones I have made. Its a lot of work!
 

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Hex, Been using 2x12's to make 8fr deeps for 4yrs, works nice, and you can put a 10fr deep on for supers.
Extra insulation value is a plus, but you need different tops. 5Fr double deep nucs work nice too when using
for overwintering.
 

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Check with the local cabinet supply shops for cut rate lumber. Some have it, some don't.
Use a 14" band saw with a 3/4" blade to rip 2x to 1x. Go slow and use lots of tension on the blade. A large fence helps.
 

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This newb went to a local mill and paid about $1.10 per board foot of 1" pine (actuall 15/16"). When I went back for more, I got yakking about what I was doing with the wood and the sales guy pointed out that I probably did not need 8 - 10 - 12 foot boards as I was going to cut them all up in little pieces. He pointed me to 1x10 (actual width > 10") off cuts ranging from 4 to 7 feet long .... at 50 cents a linear foot. A "six footer" will make one deep 10 frame box with only sawdust and about a 3/8" x 6' waste. That's a 10 frame deep box for $3 plus labour.

Here are some pics of stuff I have made from this material:

View attachment 9520
10 frame Langstroth deep

View attachment 9521 View attachment 9522
Combination bottom board for top entrance hive (not finished). The solid floor was made by ripping 1/2" strips and inserting them into 1/2" rabbets in the side rails. The screen frame was made by cutting 2 3/8" wide (max height of my table saw) pieces then turning them up 90 degrees and ripping again to obtain a 1/2" x 2 3/8" piece and a ~3/8" x 2 3/8" piece.

Lots of work? Yes! But even that bottom board used only about $2.00 in material. I also very much enjoy getting out into my wood shop in the Winter evenings.

These were all built from the 1" x 10" (act. 15/16" x >10") boards.

I use a jointer for the lap joints and a cheap Craftsman stacked dado for rabbets.

The point is that there are a lot of ways to approach building woodware with widely varying potential to break the bank.
No handholds?
 

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I wondered about making a hive from 2x's just because. Like everyone else, I think it would be very heavy. But, go to youtube and search for japaneese bee hive. It looks like they make theirs out of 2x8's or something like that. They only look to be about 12" x 12", not nearly as big as our hives are. So, its not unheard of building one from 2x's...


Rob..
 

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hex, I think you have the pros and cons pretty well figured out, so you should do what makes the most sense to you for yourself. I wouldn't do what you have in mind, but I don't do much myself which makes more sense to me to pay someone else to do for me. I'd rather pay for quality than make something shoddy. Not that yours will be.

So go for it.
 
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