Assembling The Cathedral Hive Kit- Un-assembled

Instructions for assembling The Cathedral Hive Un-assembled Kit.

This page is for the kit assembly, if you are building from the Hive Plans
go here: Building the Cathedral Hive from the hive plans


The Kit comes with detailed schematic plans for assembling.

3-13-20- UPDATE
We now ship the kit with an easier process to glue the boards together. Instead of making a gluing board jig we now provide 'spacers' that will hold the 3 sides together while the glue dries.

Gluing the 3 sides together at the exact angle with the new 'gluing spacers' provided with your kit.

gluing spacer for Cathedral Hive


Step 1:
Put glue on edges and splines of side boards, assemble and place upside down on spacers. Slide spacers in 10 inches from the end of the side.
Cathedral Hive gluing sides boards with gluing spacers

Cathedral Hive gluing sides boards with gluing spacers

Step 2: 
Apply glue to inside of end cap on the braces, and the end of the assembled sections. Place glue on the end.
       B. Using supplied 1-1/4 inch screws, ensure that one of the top corners is tight against the end cap brace and screw from that side to the other (4 screws) on the  top, make sure the screws pull everything together.
      C. Now work from the corner down each side apply.
      D. Repeat for other side.
Step 3:
Add strap tie downs as necessary and clean all excess glue from the inside and the outside with a clean wet rag.


The Gluing Board Jig. 
No longer needed if you use the technique with the 'gluing spaces' above.

The Gluing Board Jig is not part of The Cathedral Hive Un-assembled Kit

Purpose:To hold the 3 Side Panels boards comprising each of the hive halves at an exact angel while the glue dries

Cathedral Hive Assembly end boards

 *  Flat board: of plywood, particle or melamine board   Size:  18 ½” wide  x 33-36” long x ¾’ thick
  The 18 ½” width needs to be exact to achieve the correct angle for the sides when held in place while glue dries.
*  2 Side Rails   Size:  1 ½ x ¾ “ x 28” length (screw to the sides of jig board)
*  4-5 Scrap Board Lengths  Size: (18” lenth aprox.)
*  4 Ratchet Straps    NOTE: non-ratcheting rafting straps won’t provide enough pull
* Long Wood or Cardboard Strips Size: 33”  long  - These create a uniform pressure on the joint when the straps are applied
* Wood Glue – Tight Bond II – Best waterproof and dries slowly



Detail of the Ratchet Strapsand the Scrap Board Lengths which will lay under the 'Flat plywood Board'

Lay 'Flat plywood Board' (which has side rails drilled on) on top of your Scrap Board Lengths and Ratchets
NOTE: The 18 ½” width of the Flat Board, side rail to side rail,needs to be exact to achieve the correct angle when the Side Panels are glued in place.




Detail of the Ratchet Straps laid under the Gluing Boardfirst before setting the 3 hive body 'Side Panel' parts in position on the Gluing Board/Flat Board


Propthe Side Panelsin place as the glue is applied and fully sets. Here we used boxes of nails from the wood shop.


Propthe Side Panelsin place as the glue is applied and fully sets. Here we used boxes of nails from the wood shop to prop the Side Panels in place.


Ensure Side Panels are flush before gluing together


Side Panels - hand planing to make flush


Detail of Side Rails screwed onto Flat Board Jig and Side Panel butted up against Side Rails


Detail of Cardboard or Wood Strips made to even out the pressure from the Ratchet Straps that could mare the Hive Body

STEPS gluing and clamping hive panels

1) Prop up the JIG plywood platform off of the table using scrap wood pieces, so that ratchet

    straps can slide under the jig.

2) All 4 hive side panels have tongue and groove on one side and one flat side. Glue only the tongue

    and groove edges together to the Hive Bottom and then Hive Top Boards

3) Side Panels are propped up temporarily to hold the boards in place until the straps are secured

    and holding the Side Panels together. example: use a box of nails or brick. 

4) Set ratchet straps in place under flat plywood platform

5) Another person is helpful for the process the gluing/clamping boards 

6) Cardboard strips protect the wood from marring – use heavy strips of cardboard. These 'pressure strips'

    also create a uniform pressure on the joint when the straps are applied. put packing tape along

    underside of cardboard, so cardboard doesn’t glue to hive boards. rehearse putting the hives boards

    into the jig and test putting ratchet straps around boards before putting on the glue.

7) Run glue along 1 tongue side of a hive board

8) Run glue along 2nd tongue of opposite hive board

9) Ratchet one strap first, make sure ratchet buckle meets were cardboard strip is so the buckle does not mare the hive boards. while boards are still movable check that the board ends are all flush. place all 4 ratchet straps in place, then tighten down. The straps should feel solid.

 STEPS attaching hive Front and Back boards


Ratchet Straps in place and Front & Back Boards ready for gluing

Cathedral Hive - Front Board  - Draw line

Cathedral Hive - Front Board - Glue line


Gluing the Front Board - a bead of glue on the pencil line (see picture above) 

STEPS attaching hive Front and Back boards

1) Hive boards need to be flush on ends, if not shave down with hand planer
before glue is applied, the hive Front and Back boards are positioned by measuring 3/4” in on three sides, make a pencil line on Front and Back boards where they intersect with hive body. This allows the correct location of where the glue should be applied and allows the hive Front and Back boards to be positioned and clamped quickly and accurately after the glue is applied.

2) Apply glue inside the pencil line and use bar clamps to hold the hive Front and Back boards in place

3) Dry overnight for a solid hold!

Assembling The Cathedral Hive - Gluing straps


Cathedral Hive Assembly end boards

The Cathedral Hive Side Panels and Front & Back Boards drying overnight

Brace Supports


Brace Supports - add needed support to the Side Panels for the weight of the honeycomb pressure

Cathedral Hive Hexagonal Honeycombs
Cathedral Hive Hexagonal Honeycombs - Each combs will be 10-15 pounds each x 2-23 bars adding pressure to the Side Panels - so ensure your spline or joint connecting the Side Panels is solid


Brace Supports

Brace Supports - around a Front Board engraved panel

Brace Supports - ready for gluing and stapling

Brace Supports -

Brace Supports - Upper Section - all 9 Brace Supports glued and stapled into place

Side Roof Panels - Upper Section - Clamped for glue drying 



The Cathedral Hive - Viewing Window

The Kit parts come with the glass window pre-assembled


Cathedral Hive Window Detail


Cathedral Hive Window Cover Detail


 Cathedral-hive-ready-for bees

 Cathedral Hive - Ready for bees!