Building birdhouses is one of those classic things to do with your hands. We are first exposed to the process in high school wood class. Frustrating moments with poorly fitting plywood and nails usually end any interest in the project. This is a new twist on the design for these usually dull construction projects that will actually look good on the outside of your house this summer and involves fun construction techniques uncommon for this type of project.
The process uses bendable poplar wood plywood that is made in Italy and is available at most specialty wood shops assembled in a composite epoxy-coated structure that is light, waterproof and elegant.
Step 1: Gather Materials
Bendable Poplar plywood 4x8 sheet--about $35
West System 105-B Epoxy Resin 32 ounces
West System 206-B Slow Hardener 27 ounces
Craftsman or RotoZip Cutter tool with 1/8 " rotary blade for wood
Razor blade knife with utility blade
Shirt cardboard 4 pieces 8"x12"
Elmers Carpenters wood filler--interior/exterior
Hot glue gun
Sandpaper or sanding block
Bits: 1/4" 1 1/2"
Step 2: Modeling the Birdhouse
This birdhouse design is a simple arrangement of four pieces of 8"x12" bendable poplar plywood. I began with a model of the construction made up of 4 pieces of shirt cardboard--a construction material that I remember fondly from my childhood. These are still available from your shirts if you have them boxed and laundered otherwise you can cut them out of "store bought" cardboard. The roof and the floor consist of identical cut designs that hold the curved sides in place. The curved cuts in the cardboard model should be centered mirror images of each other and should not extend further than 1/2" from the edges of the cardboard. The type of curve you draw and model are up to you but the curve must be long enough to accomodate the length of the side pieces. In the model you can cut the slits with a razor-knife in the poplar you will be cutting the slits with a 1/8" rotozip bit that will allow the plywood to slip in.