Author Topic: Wood buying decision  (Read 1229 times)

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omnimirage

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Wood buying decision
« on: August 02, 2016, 02:29:56 am »
I've contacted every lumber mill in my state, and went to numerous salvage yards looking for suitable wood to build beehives out of, and now I need to decide what to actually buy.

One salvage yard is offering radiata pine, 190x19mm, $6 per linear meter. The wood looks decent quality; it's straight, seems to be some sort of dress wood, doesn't have any smells or look off. It has a label on their from the manufacture, and I contacted them to confirm that it hasn't been chemically treated. A decent amount of the wood has knots in it, maybe one in four, but I'm able to buy the individual pieces that I like. Being able to buy individual pieces of wood is also an advantage, as I don't have to invest so much up front.

A local mill is offering me wood also. It's 245x19mm, going at $5.50 per linear meter. The cheap price is on the condition that I buy all 216 meters of it, which is close to $1200. It's also dressed pine, untreated, kiln dried, supposed to be straight. He tells me that he ordered this wood in for a client, but they didn't buy all of it and he now has this excess that he's looking to get rid of.

I no longer wish to build deep supers, and am looking to transition into using mediums. I note that, though, 245mm is about the height of a deep super; if I'm already acquiring wood at that depth, maybe I should just build deeps? I'm really not sure. Would I need to trim down the sides at all, since the deeps actual depth is 244.4750mm? I figure if I build mediums out of it, I should be able to use the 77mm spare on something, perhaps building bits for lids.

Buying the bulk package also means that I'm unable to cherry pick the good pieces of wood, and a lot of it could be knotted.

My last option is ordering wood from another state, and have it freighted to me. Freight and costs factored in, it's being sold for $5.2 per linear meter, at 245x22mm. Is there any benefit having that extra 3mm thickness?I have to buy 320 meters of it, which comes down to $1666. Been told that the wood is straight, he told me that it's not rough cut or dress timber, but rather it's "gage" wood, which he explained is a mixture of the two. Any ideas what they will mean, quality wise?

I also note that the local beekeeping supply yard is selling unassembled mediums supers for $24; my rough calculations suggests that I can build two for the price of one, by buying the timber and cutting it myself.

I have a little amount of money, so need to carefully consider my options here. I'd like to build enough to capture a good 20-30 swarms this spring, and have plenty of supers to fill them in, and also sell some equipment off a local barter site called gumtree, but I'm not sure how much I actually need.

Offline Perry

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Re: Wood buying decision
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2016, 07:36:23 am »
Tough call to make. Without actually seeing it I would be hesitant to buy any of it so I guess I would lean towards the local mill. They should have no problem allowing you to have a good look, and if they do, cross them off your list.
I would shy away from bringing it in from elsewhere only because if there is a problem you are stuck with it.
Building yourself is always the cheaper route if you have the time and ability.
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Offline LazyBkpr

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Re: Wood buying decision
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2016, 08:55:43 pm »

   I buy boards by the pallet, and often come in the day after unloading them to find them twisted ALL over the place once the bandings were taken off..   I HATE Menards with a passion, their quality really sucks, but they have run EVERY one else out of business. Their wood is not well dried, OR, they let it sit outside and absorb moisture. Whichever the case, I usually end up with 20 to 30ish boards that are just pure junk.
  I don't really care about knots, the bees dont care if there is a knot in the board, and if it ever does get loose they will glue it in place. Clear pine is better for making frames etc out of though. So I usually sort the boards as I go, using those that are clearest for frames, tele cover sides etc..
  if you can get boards from the local mill at that price, then it is a good deal and will help them out.  As you deal with them over time they will come to know you and what you want. The local lumberyard used to call me when they got boards in so I could go scrounge through them. Now that they are gone, I have to drive 60 miles for boards that are wet and often warp as they dry out. Some have bark on them in places, sometimes split, or cut unevenly.    To the big box store, it is all about making money. They really dont CARE if their boards are not the best, so long as they can sell them...   I'd go local if possible.
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omnimirage

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Re: Wood buying decision
« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2016, 10:56:38 pm »
Tough call to make. Without actually seeing it I would be hesitant to buy any of it so I guess I would lean towards the local mill. They should have no problem allowing you to have a good look, and if they do, cross them off your list.
I would shy away from bringing it in from elsewhere only because if there is a problem you are stuck with it.
Building yourself is always the cheaper route if you have the time and ability.

That's one reason why I'm concerned about ordering it from interstate, especially because it's said to be of lower quality also. The extra wood doesn't seem worth the lower quality wood and risk of not being able to see it first, and also the added invest cost is quite a burden.

I've seen the salvage yard's wood already, and I'll examine the mill's wood before I commit to buying it.


   I buy boards by the pallet, and often come in the day after unloading them to find them twisted ALL over the place once the bandings were taken off..   I HATE Menards with a passion, their quality really sucks, but they have run EVERY one else out of business. Their wood is not well dried, OR, they let it sit outside and absorb moisture. Whichever the case, I usually end up with 20 to 30ish boards that are just pure junk.
  I don't really care about knots, the bees dont care if there is a knot in the board, and if it ever does get loose they will glue it in place. Clear pine is better for making frames etc out of though. So I usually sort the boards as I go, using those that are clearest for frames, tele cover sides etc..
  if you can get boards from the local mill at that price, then it is a good deal and will help them out.  As you deal with them over time they will come to know you and what you want. The local lumberyard used to call me when they got boards in so I could go scrounge through them. Now that they are gone, I have to drive 60 miles for boards that are wet and often warp as they dry out. Some have bark on them in places, sometimes split, or cut unevenly.    To the big box store, it is all about making money. They really dont CARE if their boards are not the best, so long as they can sell them...   I'd go local if possible.

What a crappy situation. I had wonder about the value of providing my business to a mill, rather than a salvage yard. I actually rather like the guy from the mill, as based upon our conversation he comes across as being a good genuine person, whereas the salvage yard guy looked a bit exasperated when I was asking whether his wood was treated with chemicals, and couldn't give me a definite (I rang the manufacturer to confirm it wasn't chemically treated). I think I'll probably take my business to the mill, might mention that if all goes well, I'll probably be looking to buy the same, the year after.

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Re: Wood buying decision
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2016, 06:41:02 am »
Our local mill was running about 5,000 feet of 7/8" pine for a couple of local keeps and the quality was pretty good. Word spread about the availability of the 7/8 and the cost and over the last few years the amount moved has jumped.
Interestingly, so has the quality. When milling out 7/8, they would start out with say 1 1/8" rough lumber which sometimes left a minor bit of roughness on one side after having been planed. With the amount they now move they have bumped the rough cut to probably 1 1/4" and the result is a smoother board. At the same time they are improving their grading and fewer knots are allowed. I saw the last 600 feet they milled and it looks fantastic.
A local beekeeping supply business approached them and I think they are now selling somewhere in the 10's of thousands to them alone.
It pays to develop a relationship with a local mill, you could both end up winning.
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Offline apisbees

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Re: Wood buying decision
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2016, 08:35:05 am »
Perry now if you could get them to plane it to the old standard width of 9 5/8" wide and you could buy 1X10 instead of 1X12 and have to rip it all down.
Omni check the 245mm width and make sure they haven't made it any narrower than that, If the boards gets to narrow you lose the bee space. I don't know about the sizes of lumber in Australia but in Canada and the USA the size of a 1X10 is to small in width for a super side. When Langstroth invented his removable frame super he used a standard 1X10 which at the time was dressed down to the standard 7/8" X 9 5/8" In the early 1960's the sawmills changed the final dressed size of lumber down to the 3/4" X 9 1/2". Then with the speed in which the lumber is sawed Kiln Dried and planed, the boards do not have time to shrike all that they will os once they have sar and dried we can find that the width will be 9 3/8" with a few boards being as narrow as 9 1/4" 
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