Follow the sequence below and you will get your beautiful bird house. You need some scraps of plywood, a few screws, and a piece of dowel wood for the perch. We decorated the bottom part, just for fun using coloured electrical tape. The birds love the welcome sign!
Archive for January, 2010
You can make this birdhouse from some scrap plywood. Hang it up against you house or barn or against a tree as long as it is in the shade, otherwise it would overheat. The birds will come! “First come, first served!”
We show the bottom, sides and front and back of the birdhouse. Engineers normally show the parts in a “projection” that tells them how they fit together. Can you see how the front and back flip up, then the sides and … presto…you have the basic house!
Not too fast though, follow the instructions below and you will get there.
The bottom is a square piece of wood, plywood might be the best, about 10 by 10 cm, or 4×4 inch. The width of the front and back are therefore also 10 cm or 4 inch. But… the sides must be a little wider to match the total of the bottom width and the thickness of the plywood of the front and back!
Note the hole in the front is made with a one inch or 2.5 centimeter diameter hole saw. That is a saw that is like a shallow tin can and it has teeth. Any plumber or carpenter has it, but most hobbyist don’t. So you need to be adventurous and find a trades person who will gladly help you!
The roof is just a piece of plywood that is bigger than the body of the birdhouse so that it shelters the house. Birds like a good roof over their head, same as you…
We used number 6 screws, they are not too thick and use the ones that are about 1.25 inch or 30mm long. If something goes wrong, you can start over by drilling a new pilot hole and this time you will be right, for sure…
We use number 6 screws about 1.25 inch long about 30 millimeter, but it does not really matter too much, select a screw from your collection that is long enough. Number 6 screws are nice because they are not too thick and don’t split the wood. Ask any hardware store for the number 6 screws, they sell them by the piece or in a box of hundred. Good luck!
You might need to pull out a nail that did not go into the front panel or back panel when you nail the roof in place. Put the roof on top of the birdhouse and check if it sits nicely square and aligned on the sides, then hammer one nail in, hope for the best! If the nail goes beside the underlying wood, either leave it in place or pull it back out and try again. This requires some skill and patience, a great learning experience! You might also need some help from an older more experienced friend or adult. The birds deserve a good roof!
You can make a nice flute that works like a trombone. It has a sliding piston which makes high and low tones when you slide it in and out. Have a look, the mouthpiece is a little tricky, but with the help of an adult you can do it. You always can ask a friendly plumber or electrician to give you a hand with the cutting of the ramp!
You need to blow into the mouthpiece with your lips around the end of the whistle. Slide the piston in and out and hear the tone go from low to high. You can try to play a tune, but most of the fun is just experimenting with the sound! Your friends and family will be impressed, for a little while at least…
The materials you need are a piece of plastic tube, we get it at the electrical shop, ask for 3/4 inch inside diameter, it is the most common electircal conduit. The electrical tape is just for decoration of the flute. You need a cork from a whine bottle or other source that fits snug inside the tube. You also need a piece of wood that we round off a little, but you can use dowel wood. only that is a little more expensive. It should fit easily inside the tube. One roofing nail and a small piece of leather that you have to cut in a disc that fits snug inside the tube completes the list. We like to work with scraps and recycled materials where possible. The wooden piston rod and the pipe are about 30 centimeters long, just 12 inch if you talk with a tradesperson…
The mouth piece insert is one half of a whine bottle cork, the gasket is a piece of leather cut to fit snugly into the plastic tube. A Canadian 5 cent coin can be used as a template to cut the gasket. We use a roofing nail to hammer the gasket on to the end of the wooden piston rod.
Making the cut in the plastic pipe is a little tricky and you need help! We use a hacksaw for cutting metal, but you can use any fine saw. Make a cross cut about six to seven millimeter deep just over 20 mm back from the end of the pipe, then cut the slanted ramp, about 18 mm back from the cross cut and ending up at the bottom of the cross cut. If you do this right, a triangular piece will come out of the wall of the tube and you have a nice ramp! Clean the burr and any debris away with a very sharp knife, such as a box cutter, but make sure the ramp keeps a sharp edge. The edge needs to be sharp to make a great sound! Again you need adult supervision and skilled help. If stuck ask a plumber or carpenter friend of the family to do this for you, they will help you, for sure!