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Availability of Macrocarpa hive boxes


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@Shaun requested that this message be posted. The comments below are from Shaun.

 

Flat pack Mac boxes are a rare item and tend to be a few home made items on trademe. I make my own (Mac boxes and frames) from rough sawn timber, even so good grade Mac timber is hard to get and tends to be expensive and Yes Mac needs to be pre-drilled.

I have a lot (about 1/2 my gear) of pine boxes and frames (kit set) simply because I can't get enough good Mac plus the mac takes so much time to machine and assemble.

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True I've had to say no to the good lady who wants to take some of my boxes inside the house for furniture, (coffee table and storage shelves) 

Guess what? I use glue in the joins instead of primer paint, I also plane a small shampher on all the tops and bottom's before assembly and then finish sand all the corners to a small radius incl

Shaun makes "furniture grade" boxes ?

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That's another thing that riles me about rural NZ...all the wonderful mature mac shade & shelterbelts are fast completely disappearing and are being replaced by ...nothing.

Disagree. Over this side of the hill they get replaced by........... grapes :(

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I'm currently making some octagonal macrocarpa boxes for a warre-type hive.

My 2 reasons for choosing macrocarpa were:

1) More stable than pine

2) cost... i had thought it would be slightly more expensive than pine, but direct from the saw mill it was actually cheaper!

6 of 10 boxes currently made, for 2 x hives...019.JPG.c2f42a14b66038e8c380eb5e43d539e7.JPG

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022.JPG.f66ed4e0fc2b74f2171a75154b2645ae.JPG

019.JPG.c2f42a14b66038e8c380eb5e43d539e7.JPG

022.JPG.f66ed4e0fc2b74f2171a75154b2645ae.JPG

019.JPG.c2f42a14b66038e8c380eb5e43d539e7.JPG

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I'm currently making some octagonal macrocarpa boxes for a warre-type hive.

My 2 reasons for choosing macrocarpa were:

1) More stable than pine

2) cost... i had thought it would be slightly more expensive than pine, but direct from the saw mill it was actually cheaper!

6 of 10 boxes currently made, for 2 x hives...[ATTACH]18067[/ATTACH] [ATTACH]18068[/ATTACH]

Looks interesting. How will the frames/bars be arranged in the octagon?

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A question for timber pros. Does macrocapa shrink?

 

The context of the question is I normally make bottom boards from pine, but get shrinkage between the boards and a gap forms. 4 years ago I made a few hundred bottom boards from macrocapa and shrinkage between boards of those ones has been negligable. Did I just get lucky or is that the norm?

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In my experience any timber that is dried then gets wet shrinks when it dries again and ends up smaller than when it first dried out. But the denser the wood the less shrinkage. So, yes macro will shrink less than radiata.

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Looks interesting. How will the frames/bars be arranged in the octagon?

Very similar to how the hexagon frames are arranged in the pic above. Though as i will have a flat box face at the front/back i will get 4 frames the whole length, and then 3 frames each side cut on the angle.

Frame management will be a bit tricky as i'll be restricted as to how/where i can move.

I'm not really intending on harvesting any honey initially from this hive... it is more about the bees.

The roof is probably more interesting than the boxes... just taped together at the moment, to be glued and filled and epoxy coated... with a copper finial to finish

004.JPG.ab726afd437eab0710292fd0ae6248f9.JPG

004.JPG.ab726afd437eab0710292fd0ae6248f9.JPG

004.JPG.ab726afd437eab0710292fd0ae6248f9.JPG

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Very similar to how the hexagon frames are arranged in the pic above. Though as i will have a flat box face at the front/back i will get 4 frames the whole length, and then 3 frames each side cut on the angle.

Frame management will be a bit tricky as i'll be restricted as to how/where i can move.

I'm not really intending on harvesting any honey initially from this hive... it is more about the bees.

The roof is probably more interesting than the boxes... just taped together at the moment, to be glued and filled and epoxy coated... with a copper finial to finish

That is really very cool.

 

You woodworkers are a clever bunch.

I have a lot to learn lol.

I've always wanted to build a different hive, eventually.

 

Most of the farmers I know have stands of macro, but there's definitely not trees on farms like there used to be.

I think it's just the cost and the fact that they take so long to grow that puts most people off, farming isn't as generational as it once was and I'm sure that must play a part.

Wouldn't surprise me if there's a major health and safety component that's putting people off too.

 

It's definitely a shame.

When I buy a bit of land if it's not already covered in trees I'll be planting them everywhere they can fit.

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Macrocarpa can no longer be satisfactorily grown in warm areas due to a disease which keeps killing its growing tips leading to large bushes rather than trees. A great shame although there are some close relatives that can still be planted. A few years ago it was the same price as untreated pine but now it is normally more expensive and most of the well-maintained stands have gone.

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most of the well-maintained stands have gone.

Yes indeed, the NZ Forest Service had some wonderful stands of Mac, Western Red Cedar, Lawson Cypress etc down here. Replanting was killed by the corporate demand for 30 year return on capital, not 60. A great shame, and illustration that private enterprise doesn't always do it better.

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As wonderful a tree as macrocarpa is for its sheltering ability , it's crazy form, and it's wood uses including firewood , if pregnant cattle eat the leaves , there is a high chance they will abort .

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