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Macrocarpa Beehive Boxes etc.


Shaun
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I had 3 alaskan mills before I got my Pacemaker.  Then I was told I had to sell all my chainsaws.  That was quite painful as I had 7 of them.

Have fun drying those big wide slabs without too much distortion and cracking.

I loved milling wood.  It is very rewarding and Mac is great to cut.

 

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7 minutes ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

Have fun drying those big wide slabs without too much distortion and cracking.

 

Yes I've had some trouble with cracks and long splits. 

I'm thinking to take some paint with me next time and paint the ends of the log. 

I don't have too much trouble with warpage plus bee gear is only 500mm long which solves most distortion problems.

They go under the house fillet stacked for a year to air dry. I blank them up oversize 25mm on the width and about 6mm on the thickness

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2 minutes ago, Trevor Gillbanks said:

Pretty much a waste of time.  I used to paint End seal on the slabs, but they still crack..

 

Thanks, in that case I won't bother. (it would have been another thing to remember to take and clean up when it spills.)

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I don't make my own but one of my landowners regularly gets some macrocarpa milled. He is a builder by trade so every so often I get him to make me a bunch of kitset boxes. I really like them but don't have the expertise or equipment to do it myself. I love having my bees in boxes made from trees grown on the same farm.

Good luck with yours. I hope they work out well for you.

Edited by Otto
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10 hours ago, tommy dave said:

please ignore my ignorance!  could you mill and sell then buy kitset pine for a profit greater than savings from doing everything yourself.

Looking forward to learning a bunch on this one

I think that as is Shaun is using jumbo brood boxes, the price of kitset would be much higher than FD or 3/4 size, partly because there is less if any timber wide enough in many of the pines being dropped - around here at least.

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Macrocarpa makes good and durable if slightly brittle boxes. You could make frames from it but they would tend to split when you are stapling or nailing them .Making simplicity frames is about all that modern pine is good for but it is good for this job.

I would love to have portable mill to play with.

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11 hours ago, yesbut said:

What about putting them under the house stacked together, no fillets, paint on ends and top surface of top slab, and leave them for TWO years ?

 

I tried that in the past.

Result:

Mold between the slabs.  The moisture content of the board migrates to the surface and cannot  escape to dry off.  The moisture needs the gap of fillets to allow the air movement to dry the timber surface moisture.

I also like my fillets to be at least 25mm as any less the moisture removal is insufficient.  Sap staining is a direct result of close fillet (or non fillet) stacking.

 

 

 

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Today's effort.

5.5m long 1.1m at the butt end and enough timber for a years worth of bee hive making.

Mac 5.jpg

Mac 6.jpg

9 hours ago, john berry said:

Macrocarpa makes good and durable if slightly brittle boxes. You could make frames from it but they would tend to split when you are stapling or nailing them .Making simplicity frames is about all that modern pine is good for but it is good for this job.

I would love to have portable mill to play with.

Yes Macrocapa splits. I pre-drill before screwing or nailing, Boxes and frames. (I'll add some photos of frames later)

20 hours ago, tommy dave said:

please ignore my ignorance!  could you mill and sell then buy kitset pine for a profit greater than savings from doing everything yourself.

Looking forward to learning a bunch on this one

I can assure you that making Macrocarpa hive wear is not cheaper than buying kitset pine.

While the timber is basically free (Honey to the land owner)

The machinery I have bought over the last 15 years would have bought 3 or 4 times over the boxes and frames I have made to date.

Edited by Shaun
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I  love macro . We used a lot when we brought the house into the new millennium. It's warm and exudes a feeling that all is good with the world.

Bee boxes ..... it becomes quiet brittle and is prone to splitting ..... I wonder if it  needs to be drilled before nailing.

We had some milled last winter with the idea of using it for cattle yards , but I might be better off to sell it and buy twice as much treated pine . 

 

A few years ago we bought some old man pine logs  and milled it into bee box grade timber. It sort of worked, but was a couple of mill too thick and is a pain in the butt  if the boxes get used for brood and need  to be  squeezed  down onto the staples on the bottom board.

 

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3 hours ago, jamesc said:

I  love macro . We used a lot when we brought the house into the new millennium. It's warm and exudes a feeling that all is good with the world.

Totally agree .

It ages well with out turning the interior in dark dungeon decor like rimu does .

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@Shaunthat tree is a beauty. The moment I saw it the first thing that popped in my mind was to turn it into top end furniture. You'll have to dry it first anyway, so you'll have a year to think about. If you look up for macrocarpa furniture you'll see that the prices are high as(i.e. coffee table from $500, Q-bed frame $1000-2000...... and more). Good luck with your project.

 

 

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Enjoy the Macrocarpa while you still have it - starting from the far north, and rapidly moving south, there are whole lines of trees dying of what is called 'canker'. It starts with odd brown and dying limbs, and slowly the whole lot die. Now moving through the Waikato, as it moves south. Two of my neighbours have lost whole lines of trees, as has daughter at Drury in South Auckland. 

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19 minutes ago, Shaun said:

(I can tell you now that a good firewood chainsaw is way too small to to make a good slabbing saw but that is a story for another time)

 

You are so correct with that statement.  A 90 cc saw is ok for logs up to 300 mm wide but over that you need 120 cc.

My big saw could run a 1800 bar.  The bigger the saw, the less teeth you need on a chain.  My milling chain was 9 1/2 inch chain.  That is one pair of teeth every 9 1/2 inches.

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You guys are probably already onto this but remember to always have your end fillet sticks flush with the end of the flitch or board, this will minimize any splitting or cracking.

I have a Lucas portable sawmill and currently have Lawson cypress timber being machined and profiled into kitset boxes. When you take into account labour etc it probably works out cheaper to just buy kitset boxes but as others have mentioned using your own timber is very satisfying. The Lawson cypress I have milled was planted by my Grandfather when he returned from WW2.

As for sawmilling your own timber, well it would have to be almost as addictive as beekeeping.? 

20180525_105306 (1024x498).jpg

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7 minutes ago, Derek Johnson said:

You guys are probably already onto this but remember to always have your end fillet sticks flush with the end of the flitch or board, this will minimize any splitting or cracking.

I have a Lucas portable sawmill and currently have Lawson cypress timber being machined and profiled into kitset boxes. When you take into account labour etc it probably works out cheaper to just buy kitset boxes but as others have mentioned using your own timber is very satisfying. The Lawson cypress I have milled was planted by my Grandfather when he returned from WW2.

As for sawmilling your own timber, well it would have to be almost as addictive as beekeeping.? 

20180525_105306 (1024x498).jpg

 

That is a couple of pretty impressive stacks.  I would have loved to have a Lucus mill.  Have you got the 6-in or 8-in.

The 8-in can make some very big boards.

 

BTW.  Welcome to the forum.

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