Monday, July 18, 2016

Dumpster Diving

A lot of people use pallets to build TBHs. It's a great way to recycle, and a real wallet saver if money is a primary consideration. I applaud those who do it. For me, though, as a mom of three who also freelances, I feel like the amount of time spent deconstructing them just isn't worth it. A few months ago, we had a speaker at my bee club, and he said something I believe in wholeheartedly. "Time does not equal money. I can make money. I can't make time." For less than $50, I can build a hive. The hours spent breaking down a pallet and trying to remove all the nails? That's priceless and much better spent on other tasks.

On the other hand, I do love a bargain, and I'm more than happy to score some wood if the price is right (or free). Sam Comfort loves to say, "Show me a dumpster, and I'll get a hive out of it." Well, today, I did some dumpster diving.

I needed some wood for more bars. While the local lumberyard has better wood, Lowes happens to be in the same plaza as my favorite local Caribbean bakery. Since this South Florida transplant can't resist a spicy Jamaican patty... (Hey, this mom has to multitask -- now I have wood & dinner, so the trip was a twofer.)

Anyway, 10' boards give me more bars with less waste. However, they're unwieldy and don't fit as well in my car, so I like taking advantage of the free cuts they make at Lowes. While standing by the saw, I noticed a dumpster that had some really nice boards in it. I asked the customer associate helping me what Lowes did with the wood. He told me some people want a cut of wood, but they don't want the cut-offs, which just get thrown away. What?!?!?!?! That nice wood? Some of those pieces were at least 3'-4' long!

So in addition to the board I purchased, I walked away with an assortment of wood, including several nice 2" thick boards and two furniture-grade pieces of plywood (thinking my guest room could use side tables). Best of all, I got them for free! My DH warned the salesperson that he'd gone and done it. Giving me wood is like feeding a stray -- now I'll be over there all the time. What can I say? Some girls like purses and shoes. I like lumber and power tools.

A tidy little haul


  1. Score!!! What a great tip! I was looking for some scraps at Lowes a few months ago and they were all cleaned out. But I want to try to make some wedged bars, so I think I'll have to visit them again. Unfortunately, there no Caribbean bakery next to mine!

  2. Cool! Can't wait to see the bars that you make! Be careful of your fingers, and never let your guard down while you're making them. I find a push stick is extremely useful when making bars. Good luck!


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