Free Wood for Slatted Racks

I’ve been rounding up free unwanted furniture this week. Primarily because I want to build 50 slatted racks. I’ll share some photos later on. Today we hit the jackpot. We’ll have enough wood to build 150 slatted racks. We did 4 previous trips only to discover a lot of chip board veneered over to look like wood, mixed in with the pine. Who knows, chip board might be good in a smoker. If that’s the case, I’ve got enough smoker fuel to last several lifetimes.

We hit the jackpot today because these items were left in the shed by the previous tenants & the property got sold, so everything had to go or go to landfill. The photos show less than half of what we picked up at the shed.

This afternoon we quickly pulled some apart without removing nails etc & loaded my ute while we had access to the property. We’ll get the rest on Sunday with another opportunity. Tomorrow I’ll spend the day removing nails etc from the ones we pulled apart today.

I noticed an Ikea label on the back of one of the items. That might have been the one in the bottom photo.


I loooove repurposing otherwise wasted stuff. I can’t wait to see what you make, and photos of your treasures.


If only the world had more people like you jeffH, go you good thing :wink:


Let that stuff go to the landfill Jeff, it’s held together with glue that makes toxic fumes when burned :face_with_spiral_eyes:

Yes please to more pics as you go!


Hi & thank you Eva. I suspected as much in relation to chipboard in smokers. Lucky there wasn’t much in the stuff we collected yesterday. However I still have a lot. Yesterday morning we picked up a unit that was 100% pine, the bloke offered us a beautiful silky oak unit, which I felt guilty for taking. Silky oak is good for bee boxes, because it’s stable, easy to work & doesn’t need treating. It was the perfect thickness for what I wanted. Would you believe it was silky oak veneer over chipboard. I think the owner believed it was real silky oak. He just didn’t have any further use for it.

We were lucky to get all the stuff in the shed because a truck arrived yesterday to load everything on to take away to dump. All those units would have been taken. I think there was 7 in total, plus a large unit that’s made up of bits of pine that gets put together like a puzzle, which must arrive in a flat pack. It must have been trendy 30 or 40 years ago. I’ll get a lot of use out of that, because it’s the right thickness & there’s a LOT of it :slight_smile:


These photos wont do justice to the scale of the work of removing all the screws & nails over the last few days. They wont do justice to the amount of usable wood we acquired. Even if I tipped out all the nails & screws, that still wouldn’t be a good indicator.

Photos following:
This photo shows a lot of 1/2" T&G boards that are ideal for lids & bottom boards.

This photo is wood I’ll be cutting the slatted rack components out of after I use all the wood from the puzzle stand.

The next 2 photos shows a lot of boards suited for hive bodies.

This photo shows the wood from the puzzle stand, indicating the wood after the stain & varnish is removed. They’re all sitting on the thicker bench tops, that are too thick for hive bodies. They’ll sit nicely under our car.


I thought I’d better make a prototype first.
This is it.


Very pretty! I love it. :heart_eyes:

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Thank you Dawn :slight_smile: I’m glad I did because I changed one thing, which meant that I don’t have to make a lot of supports that I originally thought I needed to. I was going to make supports to screw the flat board onto. Instead I screwed into the flat board from the outside, which worked well. I’ll get cracking & make the other 49.

Don’t you want to try a few before you make that many? They work well for me, but not everybody likes them…


Hi Dawn, I’m sure they’ll work for me also. Two things I’m looking for is to help the bees during winter to keep cold wind from blowing onto the entrance end of the brood frames, plus I’m looking forward to seeing the bees use the brood frames right down to the bottom bars. Any bearding that they help to reduce during summer will be an added benefit.

I’m only going to use them on my permanent hives, not my nucs.


Amazing work @JeffH! You’re a gun with your hands and your mind is still sharp. Just looking at the photos I know how much time and effort you’ve put in.

Lots of tips and great ideas in here! Thanks for sharing and just so you know, you’re my idol mate :wink:


Cheers & many thanks Detto :slight_smile:

I told one of my honey customers how I picked up these free pine tv cabinets on Marketplace. He replied that he burnt his. Another customer who is also a new beekeeper did the same thing with hers.

It’s a shame because there’s some beautiful wood in them, & it’s better quality timber than what’s used in pallets, which seem to be in vogue at the moment for making stuff out of.

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The torrential rain brought Jeff inside
Some people say “what a mess” some think it’s great. I see a happy man. The mess is easy to clean up.
I love seeing the creativity.


Me, I’ll be just glad when the job’s over.


This is inspiring me Jeff. I need to make some of these too. I have another reason- some of my hives came with a 1 1/2 inch riser on the baseboards. This has created a world of pain for me with those hives as every spring the bees make cross comb off the bottom of the frames and fill it with drones. This brood breaks and falls back into the hive, angers and upsets the bees, and gives me a whole heap of work every year that i don’t need. After the main drone season the bees full that comb with honey and create even more problems. I was planning to go into every one and put a simple board into the bases to get rid of the space- but I think slatted racks will do a better job and give me all the other advantages.


Hi Jack, I would have modified those base boards so that risers are only 1/2" or 3/8". As you know, I make my own anyway.

It’s the panel or baffle that interests me, as I can see it being a benefit in keeping the brood away from the entrance. The added benefits of the slats will be a bonus. I think that the baffle should be included in the name, such as a “baffled slatted rack” for example.

I showed them to a successful mentee of the last 4-5 years. It’s easy to explain with the item in hand. He borrowed one so he can make some for himself, exactly like mine :slight_smile: You might remember a bloke who gave me a tuna fish a few years ago, that I spoke about. @akthommo would remember because he called in while I was filleting it.

I put the last screw in last Tuesday, that’s all the woodwork done, now I have to tidy up the rough edges, treat & paint, ready for winter.


Looks great Jeff!
I have an old lidless pine chest that might now find a new purpose in life.
Do you have some dimensions to work off?
Also, what are those plates called?

Thanks @Outbeck , I worked on the dimensions from Randy Oliver. I made mine 55mm deep. The plate or baffle is 100mm by 18mm. I used thicker material (the same as the outside) so that I could screw into it without needing to support it. The slats are 18X18, or thereabouts. When I had 450 to make, I stopped worrying about getting them all the same. I kept them all level at the top, about 3mm down, the same as the baffle. I kept them 3mil down, thinking that 3mil plus the 5or6 mils below the frames would give the bees just the right bee space between the bottom of the frames & the baffle/slats.

I use 9 frames evenly spaced in my 10 frame brood boxes, so therefore I spaced the slats appropriately, so that the slats line up with the frames.

Do you mean the plates joining the slats to the baffle? I went shopping for a roll of galvanized builder’s strapping, so that I could cut the joiners with tin snips. They didn’t stock strapping, however they had long brackets that contain 12 of those plates, once you cut them with tin snips. They work out more expensive, however a bit neater finish. Although strapping may have been better because you could make them a bit longer, on account that sometimes the wood would split, being so close to the end. All the little screws from the hinges etc were perfect for that purpose, in preventing the wood from splitting.

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Thanks for the great info and detail. Sounds like a winter project for me and my very suspect woodworking skills. Yes, I did mean the plates joining the slats to the baffle and have since found them online. I won’t be as ambitious with my slat rack numbers as you and I use 8 frame boxes, so, what do you think of these as joining plates:

They are more expensive again but give that extra length.

Thanks again

The ones I used are the same as these:

Except the strips I got were 3 times as long. I’m not sure how much they cost because there was a whole range of similar things in the one little area.

Wilma sorted out all the screws from the furniture. Even the tiniest ones were useful & to my surprise, still screwed up tight without splitting the wood. The odd one spun in the soft pine, so I went to a larger screw, which always worked.

My friend turned up today to return the one he borrowed. He asked me how long it took to make the 50, because he built 3 using dressed pine from Bunnings, which took him all day.

I finished up with 6 X 10 liter buckets of saw dust & shavings, which I let sit under some rain for an hour, primarily to use in my smoker. I found that damp sawdust is fantastic in my smoker. This is after you get a decent fire in it. After that it just smolders. The other day I came inside for an hour, then went back outside fully prepared to relight my smoker, only to find it still smoldering, & only took two puffs to get decent smoke again.
Normally when I go from one bee sight to another, I’ll block the spout, which means I have to relight it at the next destination because it always goes out in transit. The other day I was surprised to find it still smoldering with the use of damp sawdust.