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Author Topic: plywood hives  (Read 2592 times)

Offline duck

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plywood hives
« on: August 18, 2012, 01:13:49 AM »
Ive been looking into using plywood as a material to build some hives out of.  I met a guy that has a CNC machine setup with a router.  I know we can knock out some boxes out of pine with the thing.  He uses russian birch in all his projects as it has no voids is dense and has a thick veneer.  He also showed me a piece of treated mdf.  He makes yard art and Christmas decorations out of it.  He says it will last 5 years outside with no paint.  I also have an idea for making a box that locks together using no glue or staples.

anyway, tomorrow I get to play with a cnc and hive bodies.

Offline bernsad

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Re: plywood hives
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2012, 01:20:08 AM »
I wouldn't advise using the mdf for your hives, the glues and binding agents are carcinogens, any dust or particles left over or that breakaway in use have the potential to pass into your honey.

Offline BlueBee

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Re: plywood hives
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2012, 01:34:05 AM »
I have a couple of hives I used plywood on.  I used the standard construction plywood from HD/Lowes which is pretty low grade stuff when exposed to weather.  I painted the hives but they are still delaminating after about 3 years of Michigan weather.   Quality 5+ layer plywood might fair better but that stuff is getting as expensive as solid pine.  Another bummer with plywood is weight; it weighs more than solid pine.  Probably has a lower R value too.

Heck, I’m not going to discourage some experimenting, but there are some downsides with plywood to keep in mind.

Offline Hemlock

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Re: plywood hives
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2012, 01:40:59 AM »
Don't even THINK of using MDF, painted or not.

I know people, including myself, that have used plywood.  Yes it's cheap but that's what you get out of it too.  It's funny how people will avoid a single knot in a solid board but be OK with glued & baked plywood.  Plywood will be much heavier and less durable an any solid board.  Humidity and moisture beat the hell out of plywood and hives can be very moist on the inside.  Plywood will have gaps and voids that reduce insulation and harbor SHB and ants, where solid wood will not.  If you want to use plywood for a honey super it will last you a while. As a brood box you my end up very unimpressed compared to solid boards with a knot or two.  

What's wrong with glue? Two inch decking screws are much better than staples though.  These boxes take a beating during their lifetime.  Build them a tough as you can.  Unless you don't mind always replacing boxes.  

Offline duck

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Re: plywood hives
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2012, 02:01:22 AM »
im sure i can throw dimensional lumber onto the cnc table.. alot of this guys stuff is in that russian birch.  he orders pallets of it as he carves alot of it. http://www.whittledinwood.com