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Author Topic: Where to get decent lumber; decent price?  (Read 2947 times)
qa33010
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« on: December 09, 2005, 03:10:11 AM »

I have checked the larger stores from North Little Rock to Searcy for decent wood and get it for a decent price.  What I see on the shelves is warped or twisted for the most part.  When I do find a decent peice it is in the high priced area (cherry, walnut...ect).  I see contractors with straight nice wood all the time and when I finally catch them to ask where they get it they tell me either the large chains or a local mill that only supplies contractors (verified the local mill).  

     I know a few of these contractors and have considered backdooring the stores for decent wood.  My only other option seems to be to use plywood.  Has anyone else run into a problem like this?  With the hassles I'm running into I'm almost tempted to chuck the build my own and call Browning or Shastina or Mann Lake or... or...or...

David
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2005, 07:10:53 AM »

A local mill is almost always the cheapest.  Shipping is a big part of your cost.  I've found decent white pine lumber (which is what I'd use for boxes) at local lumber stores and at Home Depot.  A decent price is another matter.  The wood has a sticker on it that says it's from Sweden or Norway or somewhere in one of the Nordic states.
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Michael Bush
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Jacmar
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« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2005, 12:28:00 PM »

I too use use local pine for my woodware. What I found up here in Ottawa Canada is to take a drive out into the country side and look for a small mom and pop operation where they saw up and stack for air drying. They are generaly easy to spot and when approached are willing to sell for a lot cheaper than the big box stores or local lumber yards. I find it better because they allow me to hand pick my lengths which I bring into my shop and let them continue to air dry for maybe a couple of more months. What I am getting is 1" x 12"  rough cuts and then I can run them through the thickness planer to what ever I want. Not only that but most places here that sell dressed lumber I find is milled to about 5/8" and I can mill to a full 3/4". As a point of comparison I buy 1 x 12s for .50 cents a board foot or 6.00 Cdn (7.18 USD) versus 1.65 (23.54 USD) in the box stores for a 12' length. I don't count gas etc while picking it up because we use the trip as a pleasure cruise, but even if I counted the driving cost it would still be a lot cheaper than places like Home Depot or the local lumber yard and I also get the pleasure and feeling of accomplishment of getting out in my shop and being able to say "I made this woodware" and it should last a couple of lifetimes.

You hinted to using plywood, if using a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood you would get approx five deep boxes with leftovers to use for other small pieces of wood ware. What I would be afraid of is the weight of a plywood box filled with honey. Depending on your age and abilities will you be able to move it easily and the costing out plywood versus local pine I personally would search out the pine. At Mann Lake they sell a select (which what plywood would be classed as) deep at 12.70 per box and out of a sheet of plywood you get five @ 12.70 equals 63.50 plus delivery and any taxes applied. Also using plywood you have to take into consideration the time you will spend sealing all plywood edges to prevent delamination of the ply's from condensation. In my case I can make the same boxes for approximately 20.00 using pine and at my age easier to lift.

I hope I haven't confused you with my lengthy rambleing.

Jack
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budhanes
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« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2005, 06:51:59 AM »

I am a new hobyist, and upon shopping the local Home Depots, and Lowes, you can buy a couple of supers for about the same price as you can make them.  I would guess that unless you were going to make a huge mess of them, it really wouldn't provide much cost savings.
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Kris^
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« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2005, 07:20:42 PM »

By measuring and cutting different sides from different boards I've been able to make batches of supers for under $10 a piece.  The shipping cost on ordering boxes really drives the price up for me.  Besides, a couple hours in the woodshop can be enjoyable.   Smiley

-- Kris
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manowar422
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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2005, 09:13:08 PM »

Quote
With the hassles I'm running into I'm almost tempted to chuck the build my own and call Browning or Shastina or Mann Lake or... or...or...


David,
I wish I was as close as you are to Rossman Apiaries. They have
6-5/8" Commercial Cypress Supers for $7.65 ea. if you buy in
quantities between six, & forty nine supers at a time.
I'm not sure if they allow orders to be picked up without extra
charges, but if you could make the trip over there to pick up your
order, I think you'd be very satisfied with the quality of cypress over
the pine. wink
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Jay
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2005, 05:53:53 PM »

David,
As others have already stated in this thread, a local mill (who dosen't only supply to contractors) is your best bet. I have a local mill two towns over from me and I bought enough lumber on my last go around to build four deeps and six medium supers, all for $35. With that said, the lumber was rough cut, which means I had to plane it to thickness, true up an edge on the jointer, rip it to width, and then cut it into the lengths I needed for the boxes. If you don't have the resources for this, or a local mill within driving distance I put this out to you:
Brushy Mountain Bee Farm has an ad in the December Bee Culture magazine that says their Christmas present to you is no shipping charges in the month of December. And since the shipping is the thing that makes woodenware expensive to buy........ Cheesy
Good Luck!
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Jack Parr
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« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2005, 06:20:31 AM »

Quote from: qa33010
I have checked the larger stores from North Little Rock to Searcy for decent wood and get it for a decent price.  What I see on the shelves is warped or twisted for the most part.  When I do find a decent peice it is in the high priced area (cherry, walnut...ect).  I see contractors with straight nice wood all the time and when I finally catch them to ask where they get it they tell me either the large chains or a local mill that only supplies contractors (verified the local mill).  

     I know a few of these contractors and have considered backdooring the stores for decent wood.  My only other option seems to be to use plywood.  Has anyone else run into a problem like this?  With the hassles I'm running into I'm almost tempted to chuck the build my own and call Browning or Shastina or Mann Lake or... or...or...

David


If you live near a town you would be surprised and pleased at what folks throw away.  As you ramble around notice piles of debris in front of houses that may be going through a renovation; Often times there is some useful lumber for making hives that is free for the picking.

If you live near or go to a large city or town there will be for sure some construction projects going on and there is usually treasures untold waiting for you there. Free for the picking.

Now if you are into trips come down to New Orleans and pickup enough good cypress lumber in the trailer truck loads. Katrina and Rita have made more lumber available than you, and, your decendents from here to eternity could ever use. Katrina and Rita have been generous in that way. cheesy

Actually a few beekeepers around here in the storm areas have had their hives flooded and claim that they are contaminated and will burn them. A few of the folks are found at www.labeekeepers.org.

If the found lumber 3/4" thick is not to width size there is some wonderful glue available to make wide boards.

I bought my first boxes. two, from Rossman and the precut cypress is 3/4" thick which makes for a good fit for the frames. I now make the boxes from salvaged lumber. I use plywood for the covers and cover it with thin aluminum sheeting, also salvaged.

Cypress is a good, durable, exterior wood for damp places but pine will last for a long time if kept dry or allowed to dry properly after being wet.
Probably longer than the desire to keep bees. wink

Actually if you are into fiddling around making/building things using found materiel you are only limited by your imagination. smiley

Happy hammering.  Cheesy
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bill
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« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2005, 11:08:48 PM »

My son and grandson are in construction, and i can give you some advice on buying wood. I also worked until retirement in builders square until it folded and I retired. In buying wood it is the wheel that does the squeeking that gets the grease. the crooked ones are what is left after other have picked through it. pick through it aggressively. if there are no straight ones find someone in the lumber department and tell them to show you some wood you can use. if they blow you off ask to talk to the store manager and ask him if there is some way he could find you some wood you can use.if not ask him when there will be some there. If you get now satisfaction ask for the ph0one number of the corperation or the district manager. yo8u will get soome good wood. My son has wood delivered and iif it is crooked he will throw it all over the job site and call them, to come pickit up and bring him some wood he can use, and they do it so you have more power with retail than you think. like I said though it is the wheel that does the squeeking, that gets the grease
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billiet
Horns Pure Honey
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« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2005, 03:50:03 PM »

The best place to get wood for me in Illinois is at Menards, lowes is to high priced. Smiley
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Ryan Horn
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