Thinking of making boxes from pallet wood.

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

BigAshW 

House Bee
Joined
Oct 29, 2013
Messages
408
Reaction score
248
Location
Romford
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
10
The main problem with pallet wood (which is great for roofs as any spaces get covered) is to ensure a straight edge for gluing boards together without gaps. Gorilla glue is helpful in that respect as it expands on curing but the tighter the better.
Agreed. I've used sash clamps and gorilla glue when making crown boards etc that seems to work ok although I've not done it for actual boxes.

I'm at the yard tomorrow so will pick up some fresh pallets, I have in mind a variation of @pargyle method above to try out and see if it will produce something useable.
 

John McC 

New Bee
Joined
Oct 21, 2019
Messages
18
Reaction score
10
Location
Dublin
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
14
I have used pallet wood for mating Nucs, so are only used in the summer. The mating Nucs are 3 frame doubles so they are not too heavy when finished.
 

Beebe 

Survivor bee
***
Joined
Jan 18, 2021
Messages
1,430
Reaction score
1,346
Location
Scotland
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Owned by six
Only because he is constantly drawing our attention to them - exhibitionist !
To be fair to him, he does seem to attract a lot of knockers. ;)
 

hemo 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
1,986
Reaction score
1,371
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6-10
Yes ... I ran them through my planer jointer to get a decent edge before gluing them together.
I am still in yesteryear and still use my old #7 jointer.
 

pargyle 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
***
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
14,940
Reaction score
5,667
Location
Fareham, Hampshire UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
I am still in yesteryear and still use my old #7 jointer.
Mine is a 40 year old Inca Startrite ...bought in a bit of a state but it was Swiss engineering underneath and all it really needed was cleaning, lubricating a bit of adjusment and a lick of Hammerite to the cabinet ... it's a bit of a scary beast when it's running but it really does a job,
Inca Planer.jpg
 

BigAshW 

House Bee
Joined
Oct 29, 2013
Messages
408
Reaction score
248
Location
Romford
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
10
Maybe I should get myself a planer.......😱

Screenshot_20220125-072606.jpg
 

madasafish 

Queen Bee
***
Joined
Apr 10, 2010
Messages
10,541
Reaction score
1,995
Location
Stoke on Trent
Hive Type
langstroth
Number of Hives
6 to 8 Langstroth jumbos, a few Langstroth and National nucs.
I gorilla glue and dowel pallet planks. Then square up the resulting plank and cut to size in my table saw. Simples.
 

hemo 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
1,986
Reaction score
1,371
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6-10
Same as my Bailey #7.
1643107163384.png
 

hemo 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
1,986
Reaction score
1,371
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6-10
The #7 is a weighty tool to handle compared to the #5 jack.
#5 jack is the normal plane for me, along with a a couple of small palm plane's.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

International Beekeeper of Mystery
***
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
30,346
Reaction score
8,634
Location
Glanaman,Carmarthenshire,Wales
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Too many - but not nearly enough
The #7 is a weighty tool to handle compared to the #5 jack.
#5 jack is the normal plane for me, along with a a couple of small palm plane's.
I remember my father showing me a trying plane once (after explaining to me why use a Jackplane occasionally) I think it was about four or five feet long.
Now that's a plane
I think that one was a Stanley Bailey as well
 

Somerford 

Drone Bee
***
Joined
Aug 24, 2009
Messages
1,902
Reaction score
415
Location
Wiltshire, Somerset, S Glos & S Oxfordshire
Hive Type
national
On making beehives out of pallet wood - yes it's entirely possible but a few thoughts..

1. alot of pallets are treated for rot and pests - be careful not to use these for beehives
2. turning pallet wood into indoor wood products - fine - as it is dry and doesn't flex. If you leave pallet wood outside you find it flexes and warps and considering the fine margins in a bee box and the fact the beehive is outside all year in all weathers it will flex.
3. making boxes with panels set at 90 degrees (like a ply in effect) to make them less likely to flex will add considerable weight to the boxes. Add honey, frames, bees and even the supers will be crazy heavy.
4. Nucs - kept outside for the summer and stored away in winter perhaps not such an issue with weathering.
5. rot....cedar, even second grade, is rot resistant by nature. white wood used in pallets isn't...

on balance if the pallet isn't treated, perhaps use it for the interior hive parts such as the laths under a roof, or a crown board, or a floor at a push....but don't let this stop you !

lastly, a friend on here made a huge amount of 14x12 brood chambers out of ply a few years ago....he abandoned them as they were very heavy and started to delaminate...

KR


Somerford
 

BigAshW 

House Bee
Joined
Oct 29, 2013
Messages
408
Reaction score
248
Location
Romford
Hive Type
commercial
Number of Hives
10
On making beehives out of pallet wood - yes it's entirely possible but a few thoughts..

1. alot of pallets are treated for rot and pests - be careful not to use these for beehives
2. turning pallet wood into indoor wood products - fine - as it is dry and doesn't flex. If you leave pallet wood outside you find it flexes and warps and considering the fine margins in a bee box and the fact the beehive is outside all year in all weathers it will flex.
3. making boxes with panels set at 90 degrees (like a ply in effect) to make them less likely to flex will add considerable weight to the boxes. Add honey, frames, bees and even the supers will be crazy heavy.
4. Nucs - kept outside for the summer and stored away in winter perhaps not such an issue with weathering.
5. rot....cedar, even second grade, is rot resistant by nature. white wood used in pallets isn't...

on balance if the pallet isn't treated, perhaps use it for the interior hive parts such as the laths under a roof, or a crown board, or a floor at a push....but don't let this stop you !

lastly, a friend on here made a huge amount of 14x12 brood chambers out of ply a few years ago....he abandoned them as they were very heavy and started to delaminate...

KR


Somerford
Yep understood, aware that they will have a shorter life span and weight disadvantage the reasons were more from a cost perspective. If I could afford to buy a bunch of cedar boxes then I would but I'm not in a financial position to do this at the moment. So maybe this option will tide me over until I can replace them.
 
Joined
Dec 11, 2021
Messages
57
Reaction score
46
Number of Hives
6
I reckon that the potential for warping is the greatest enemy. Pallets in UK are made of both pine (the most common) and also oak.
Also, many of the pallets I've come across through work (landscape and nursery) previously have been imported and made of 'bog wood' - no idea what that actually is, but a splinter will go septic really fast...
 

pargyle 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
***
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Messages
14,940
Reaction score
5,667
Location
Fareham, Hampshire UK
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
6
Maybe I should get myself a planer.......😱

View attachment 30100
A bit of elbow grease, some WD40, new blades and a motor and belt .. would do the job- I've seen worse than that brought back to life. Many a good tune played on an old fiddle !

You don't need a lot of table width to put a decent edge on things like pallet timber or scaffold planks. Just watch for any nails or other embedded contaminants.
 

Latest posts

Top