Building a bird house
I built this bird house just for fun and it took me quite a few hours because
I do not have a shop or proper tools. Still I managed to finish it and
I am not displeased with the result. I did not have detailed plans, only
the general idea as shown in the diagram at right. Then things took shape
as construction progressed. It may be a bit large and could probably be
made a bit smaller. That is why I am not providing detailed dimensions,
only the general idea. There are plenty of plans with detailed dimensions
to be found on the Internet.
I used some scraps of floating flooring material. It is nice in that it is
sort of plastic outside and looks waterproof but the body of it is like plywood
and looks like it would fall apart if it got soaked so it needs to be reasonably
protected from the rain.
The nicest finish would be using miter joints in the corners but, as I say, I
do not have a miter saw and any attempt to make miter cuts with a circular saw
would leave somewhat to be desired. On the other hand plain butt joints
are the simplest but also the ugliest and would leave the edges open to water
penetration. So I decided to go with rabetts which, even if they are not
perfect do not show much and this would protect the edges more from the rain.
I made the rabetts with a hand-held circular saw and they were good enough.
You can see the front is rabetted on both sides and bottom, the sides are rabetted
on the back side and bottom and the back is not rabetted at all but is cut shorter
than the front because the bottom goes all the way to the back. The idea is
that the bottom is hinged at the back so it can swing open for cleaning.
In the following photos you can see the four sides cut, before assembly and after
being joined. For the joining I used wood glue, hot glue, very few screws
and I did not have nails but I made do by drilling a hole, putting a bit of hot
glue in it and then inserting a hot piece of wire which would melt the glue as it
went in. This should be as good or better as nails. Hot glue is really useful
for these types of projects because it provides holding power quite quickly while
wood glue will take hours to dry. It also allows for thicker thickness so
that more uneven parts can be joined.
I added a support piece which holds a wire ring for hanging the bird house from
above. This gives more strength than hanging it directly from the roof
pieces which would also be fine. The wire is a thick wire from a clothes
I also added a wire ring in the back so it can be hanged from a nail on a wall.
Then I added a strip of wood along the back so that it would separate the bottom
from the wall and the bird house would not lean forward if hanging from a nail
in a wall.
Now a little bit of paint to cover the exposed plywood edges and protect them
from the weather.
I was on a roll and I went on to make a second birdhouse.
Page first made: 2012-02-14