Latest cost for Cedar planking

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


House Bee
Feb 11, 2010
Reaction score
South West Scotland
Hive Type
Number of Hives
I have just received my latest consignment of cedar planking (6in x 1in and 6 in x 2in) from Timbmet in Glasgow.The 6x1 is £ 1195.00 per cu meter plus vat and the 6x2 is £1152.00 per cu meter plus vat.This works out at just under £2.00 per ft run for 6x1 and just under £4.00 per ft run for 6x2 including vat.The 6x2 is used for the top and bottom cleats on the National hives and the 6x1 for the sides of brood boxes and supers - two pieces edge jointed for the national deep boxes.These prices mean that self construction of the hive woodwork costs £15.00 for a super and £21.00 for a brood box.This represents quite a saving over commercially produced equipment made of cedar.I've costed out at about £66.00 for a complete hive :-floor,broodbox,crownboard,super and roof including all the metalwork.
You would be better to have 5 x1 and joint it, it would make for a much more stable board and prevent warping!
Never had a problem with wide cedar boards warping,twisting or splitting yet,so why would i want to do that,not noticed large manufacturers doing this.
Just wondering, for the lesser experienced, whether this wood is nominal size sawn, in which case there is a huge amount of planing or 'nominal PSE' in which case the finished sizes are considerably less and are they delivered prices or not?

I would likely be going to Fitchet and Woollacot, if I needed any amount (but I don't) and am not aware of the prices at the moment.

I would prefer less than 150mm boards for planing as both my planers are maxed out at 150ish. Also not all PSE has a good (IMO) square edge! No problem if pieces are turned round for butting (for the wider pieces) but not if you don't wish to. It matters not a jot if narrower pieces are butted together, if you need over 300mm (for eg) for a 14 x 12 box. One can reduce cost by selecting sizes carefully. Ymmv of course.

Just a few things to think about for those considering building their own from scratch.

BTW, John, I like (or actually, not) the mixed units - inches and cubic metres. I remember well, ordering the softwoods in metric while hardwoods were in Imperial.

Regards, RAB
Using 6in boards means that with just edge planing I can get a super side out of this width.Edge join 3 boards to make 18in width then split down the middle and and I can get the sides out for a deep.I've made dozens of hives from these widths of materials and my experiance says this is the best size for ME.
I think that Timbmet do produce wider boards Hivemaker,but my planer/thicknesser (Sheppach) will only go to just over 9in width on the thicknesser so I work in multiples of 6in.I also select 8ft lengths which gives me 5 off 18 1/8 lengths with a minimum of waste.I collect from Glasgow and I include my diesel cost in the price per foot.I don't know if they will deliver ,I like to make sure that the timber supplied is the best without splits and bad edges and so far have had perfectly clear 1st grade planks -no knots or shakes etc.I've used this company for years and always had excellent service - they now even ask after the bees when they see me.
I meant to add the timber is as sawn but usually is on the generous side.It is sawn in Canada so is supplied in imperial measurements - so sizes are not rounded down as would be in metric.I notice that a london based supplier (S L Hardwoods) prices are about 50% more expensive than Timbmet which is a major timber importer.The info that I have given is based on MY experience of hive making for the past 25 years - I wouldn't presume to suggest this is the only way to make your own hives - its a bit like beekeeping itself -find a method that suits you and stick to it.I would advise tho' always buy materials from the major suppliers and then you cut out the middle man and his quite expensive costings.
C'mon John,

sawn in Canada so is supplied in imperial measurements

Canada is metric! Much more so than us Brits! Only the old US of A (and a few inconsequential ecomonies) is still using Imperial, or closely related measures?

A generous 25.4mm leaves you with plenty of lee-way for trueing and planing to thickness!

I was only clarifying for others on the forum. I agree a 225+mm planer is better than most. I have access to a nominal 300mm planer, but it is not worth the hassle, most of the time, for the small parts I make.

Regards, RAB

Regards, RAB
Having just come back from Canada in the past 6 months and having actually purchased "lumber" in a local "emporium" for a job at my brother -in-laws, I can assure you that timber is still SAWN in imperial sizes although it is quoted in metric AND imperial.Having run a tape over it I can assure you that it is still imperial i.e 6in is 152mm at measure not 150mm.
So c'mon Rab
I, too, have in-laws in Canada. We go over oocasionally. In fact SIL is over here right now. My wife says she (SIL) would laugh at anyone saying Canadians use Imperial measurements. Sure, some old ones do, but, remember, in parts they (almost) speak French (that small area called Quebec), they drive in kmph across the whole country, all signs are in km, etc. We go to Ontario which is very much metric.

With the USA next door (and a large customer) they probably do pander to them with those out-dated units. Also, a lot of items are sourced (in feet and inches) from the USA, so they are still quite common. I always have a look in the Lee Valley store in Ottawa (got the latest catalogues delivered by hand just a couple of weeks ago) and, of course, nearly all that is Imperial as the main option.

Try buying food, cloth, yarn, fuel by the ounce, yard or gallon - no chance, unless imported, etc, etc. Yes, houses were built in Imperial, just as they were in the UK. So the past lives on when repairs and replacements are needed to fit, but theirs is a metric economy now.

I would think that the metric measurements are the ones actually used for cutting timber(so close to 2, 4 and 6 inches), but the older ones in the population still find it easier to say 4 x 2 etc.

No, Canada are certainly metric. I will show this thread to SIL when she comes back from her wanderings around the country. She would chuckle or be downright peeved at any suggestion that Canada, as a whole, is aything other than metric for measurements!

Regards, RAB
On the Canadian sawmilling forum i use the Mainly Canadian and American members always talk in imperial measurements,perhaps someone forgot to tell them Canada has gone metric,but who cares,they sure don't,and i don't think they are going to be talking in metric measurements any time soon.
Going back to the thread, a couple of months ago got a price for planed 6 x 1 from Jewsons. (they advised finished size 5.75" x 23mm)

I don't have a planer thicknesser.

Price was £276.98 + VAT for 40m. Add £15 del charge and it's £8.57/m INC VAT.

For a L/s super use 1.85m + 5% waste = 1.94 x £8.57 = £16.63.

At the time I could get (on an offer) perfect supers for £19.97 inc VAT and del.

so for me to cut (I have a table saw) then finger joint I would save £3.34 per super.

Not worth buying a router to do this IMO, not with a small number of hives anyway.
I don't know if it's just here but the cedar I buy here has quite a few knots so even though the final product is cheaper it's not a top quality hive due to the timber and also ending up more expensive than sale hives/boxes which has similar knots.

you will find that you can ask for imperial sized timber in the uk and still get it , the answer of if you will get that is a differant matter, canada is most deffinatly metric and if the truth be know so is a lot of the america industy as well the only people who are not are the building and timber suppliers.
just out of interest some of the american metric people are

all millartry services, the vietnam war was fought using 7.62mm bullets aand all maps were in clicks ( kilometres)
most of the car industry is converted.
manin univeristies have to use metre measurements to be able to understand european research
and so on, as my father used to say the only people in the states or in england still that use the imperial system are the people that use a hand held tape measure, every one else uses metric,

personaly i am a hater of the imperal systems as they are so confussing and at the best of times gibberish. the funnist thing has to be the people who decree that they have to use imperial because that is what they were brought up with, what rubbish.

a seventy year old person today would have spent from 1969 to 2010 on imperial so thats 41 years metric and 29 years imperial. i think that 41 years is enough to learn some thing new dont you??
i was born in 69 and was taught metric in school,but my dad was an engineer during and after the war so taught me imperial! i am now quite happy working with both. :)

just thought, bit weird but i tend to use imperial when working with wood and metric when working with metal or mechanicals.
Last edited:
I to am happy working with both and often mix them up when working on jobs just to add confusion.
For what its worth when I get timber from Canada its nearly always tight if not slightly under size in contrast to US timber nearly always slightly over size and the US is without doubt imperial and I will put money on Canada being the same.
OK so after a search I had to find one thread to bump and this was the best. I was quoted by my very helpful local timber merchant (Metro Timber) as follows: 40mm×40mm £5.53/m and 18mm×225mm board £16.36/m based on very small quantities of about 10m each.

Unfortunately, with the best will in the world on both of our parts, I cannot make it work at those prices. If anyone currently has cheaper sources, please post here.
OK so after a search I had to find one thread to bump and this was the best. I was quoted by my very helpful local timber merchant (Metro Timber) as follows: 40mm×40mm £5.53/m and 18mm×225mm board £16.36/m based on very small quantities of about 10m each.

Unfortunately, with the best will in the world on both of our parts, I cannot make it work at those prices. If anyone currently has cheaper sources, please post here.

~£72/sqm that smarts! ... a hive is roughly 1 to 1.5 sqm . My materials are only £8/sqm