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For standard dimension hives what length lumber do you buy? How do you cut to make the most of it? Other suggestions for economizing hive construction?

Thanks,

Sylus
 

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I usualy buy 1x12x8 at menards its the cheapest (by the foot) I use a radial arm saw to cut to length dado blade to rabbit the corners, frame rest, and handholds. Goes quick i ust the scrap for tops/bottoms.
 

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8 frame are really efficent, you get 2 boxes of of a 12' board, but I usally buy shorts (4') or surplus. 10 frame gear need an 8' board or a pair of 4's. I just finished building a bunch of nuc boxes, some 4' boards 640' cost $75. Not my best deal as this was a mixed lot, but it was 220 feet of 12"s and about the same in 8"s (supers) I will use the 4"s for tops, and bottoms.
 

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I use 1" x 8' dimensional lumber. Cut it to the correct height first then build 6 boxes out of 5 lengths. Cut the first 4 boards into 3 long sides (19 7/8) and 2 short sides (16 1/4) allowing for a 1/8 saw cut between pieces this leaves 3 3/8" of waste. Cut 4 short sides off the 5th board which leaves a piece 30 5/8 which you can use for another long side or short side depending on what you need. I try and lay out the cuts so they do not fall on a knot. Overall waste for 5 boards ends up somewhere around 20" in length. If you don't like the idea of that last 8' length being used for something else, you can buy a 6' board for the last one and then only have about 3" left from it after cutting 4 short sides from it. Or even better, use the last 30" piece to build your bottom board frame out of.
 

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I buy 1x12x12 foot or 16 foot boards at Home Depot. The cost per square foot is the same as for narrower boards. But, you get a better quality in the longer lengths. Rip them to width for deeps or mediums. The off-cuts are good for handles, bottom boards, covers,etc. Building several boxes at the same time is more efficient.
 

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If you are making shallow supers you can double the amount made by using 12" boards and ripping them down the middle.
 

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...what length lumber... for [economic] hive construction?
To whome it may concern:
If you are only making one or two boxes this may not be that helpful for you.

Take one board and cut only sides or only ends out of it. That way you can set up a table saw, miter saw, or a radial arm saw to make rapid and exact cuts.
REJECT any board that is badly bowed, twisted, warped, knotty or split.

A 8 foot board is 96 inches long but in really is slightly longer than 8 feet.
By using rabbet corners an 8 foot board will yield 5 hive sides 19 1/8 inch or 19.125 inch long. Before you start cutting be sure the end you are measuring from is square. For every cut you make you will loose 0.125 inch in saw dust so each hive side will consume 19.250 running inches of lumber. 19.250 X 5 = 96.250 inches but it onlt requires 4 cuts to make 5 sides so the whole board should be utileized except for the saw dust, plus the extra inch or two the board is for good measure should be enough to realize 5 hive sides.

When picking out your lumber carry a good tape measure with you to be sure the boards you are buying are over “long” enough. Also check out where the knots are, or any bark is in regard to the ends or cross cuts so you don’t loose a hive side to a defect like a knot hole etc.

These boards will work for either a 5, frame nuk or an 8, or 10 frame hive.

Ray’s advise about ripping your boards first is good. (unless you need to dodge knots, bark or sap wood on both edges)
Other standard length boards:
10 foot (120 inches) = 6 sides with a remainder of about 5 inches
12 foot (144 inches) = 7 sides with a remainder of about 9.25 inches (enough for a 5 frame nuk end)
14 foot (168 inches) = 8 sides with a remainder of about 14 inches (enough for an 8 frame hive end)
16 foot (192 inches) = 9 sides with a remainder of about 18 inches or possibly enough to make a 10th hive side (depending on how much over 16 foot long the board is.)

For absolute 0 waste the 10 foot board is best as long as you need a few nuks. other wise use an 8 foot board for the sides. )

During my perambulations the past 6months I have haunted country sawmills from Alabama to Indiana and beyond. The average price for air dried rough cut lumber is about 50 cents per board foot (144 cubic inches) for mostly pine and yellow popular.)

A 5 frame nuc end is 9 inches wide.
An 8 frame hive end is 13 ¾ inches (13.75 inch) wide.
A 10 frame hive end is 16 ¼ inches (16.25 inch) wide.

A 5 frame nuc end consumes 9 1/8 or 9.125 running inches.
An 8 frame hive end consumes 13 7/8 or 13.875 running inches.
A 10 frame hive end consumes 16 3/8 or 16.375 running inches.
This is true regardless of the type of joint used on the corners.

Remember you still loose 0.125 inches in saw dust for every cut you make so the inches consumed above includes the saw kurf, 9.125 inches for nuc ends. 13.875 inches for 8 frame ends, and 16.375 inches for 10 frame equipment.

8 Frame Equipment
An 8 foot (96 inches) board = Six 8 frame hive ends with the possibility of a seventh end if there is an inch or so of extra length.
10 foot (120 inches) = Eight 8 frame hive ends plus a remainder of about 8 ½ (8.50 inches) enough for a nuc end if there is sufficient overage on the board.
12 foot (144 inches) = Ten 8 frame hive ends plus a remainder of about 5 inches.
14 foot (168 inches) = Twelve 8 frame hive ends plus a remainder of about 1 1/2 inch.
16 foot (192 inches) = Thirteen 8 frame hive ends with a remainder of about 11 inches or enough to make a nuc end.

10 Frame Equipment
8 foot long board = 5 ten frame ends with 14 inches remaining
10 foot long board = 7 ten frame ends with 5 ½ inches remaining
12 foot long board = 8 ten frame ends with about a foot remaining
14 foot long board = 10 ten frame ends with about 4 inches remaining
16 foot long board = 11 ten frame ends with about 12 inches remaining

It would bee nice if someone looked over this to see if I got my ciphering right.

If you use the Metric system check out this link for US length measurement conversions. http://www.convert-me.com/en/convert/units/length/length.foot.en.html

THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO THINK... AHEAD,
MEASURE THREE TIMES AND CUT ONLY ONCE
look at my humble chart, I belive 10 and 12 foot boards work best for 10 frame equipment. 2 of each board should yield 7 brood chambers or supers.
 

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Great post Scrapfe, you put a lot of time and study in it. Ive been making a lot of eqpt. this winter about 10 boxes at a time, and like you use all my waste for tops, bottoms, feeders etc. You got some useful info here. Good Post !!
 

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Even though he states it, you need to remember that scrapfe uses rabbet joints. If you use box (finger) joints your sides are longer and you cannot get 5 out of an 8' board.
 

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Scrapfe: Great post:thumbsup: Regardless what your making you need the design (prints/drawings), a bill of material, etc, etc, etc., sit down with some "yellow-dog"(scrach paper) and figure it out. I do use Menards shorts rack and have visited remodel sites. What the heck wood is wood, if not treated or other wise not suitable for use with the bees. Packing grates are great, especility with a "treated stamp". "treated stamp" import/export wood packing now requires the wood be treated - microwave, steam or other high temp. to kill "bugs".
 
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