Gable roofs are great for stationary horizontal hives! They look pretty, don’t collect water and debris, and offer superior insulation against heat and cold. Roof overhangs shade the hive box and protect it from rain. Hinges make opening the top luxuriously easy.
The plans below are an exact fit for our Long Langstroth Hive model, but the same building principles work for hive gable tops of any size.
You can build it using a variety of tools. This is what I use:
Step 1. Cut the “one-by-four” board into four pieces: 48-13/16” (2) and 20-13/16” (2). Clamp them at right angle (the short pieces go between the long ones). Pre-drill and assemble on 2” screws, two per corner. The screws must be at least 3/4” from the top edge of the board.
Step 2. Flip the frame over; rout a 3/8” x 5/8” rabbet along the inner perimeter of the rim assembly. Square out the corners (red line) with chisel & hammer or a smaller-diameter straight router bit.
Step 3. Measure 5” from the inner corner of the rim assembly (on the long side) and rout out a slot the shape of your hinge, the same depth as the rest of the rabbet (3/8”). Repeat on the other end of the board.
Step 4. Attach the hinges with 3/4” wood screws. The screws will protrude on the other side. Cut off the sharp points with an angle grinder.
Step 5. Cut a piece of 1/4” plywood 48” x 21-1/2”, insert into the frame, and attach with finishing nails or brads. I’ve sacrificed the painting Purple Rabbit Sitting In The Grass obtained from the local high school studio — but you don’t have to go that fancy! In the hindsight I realize I could have made a fortune by selling the Rabbit at the auction!
Step 6. Put the assembly on roofing paper and cut along the perimeter with a utility knife.