My son enjoys watching birds eat out of the bird feeder and he became concerned about their living arrangements. He promptly requested that we build a birdhouse. We originally tried to find one on Amazon to just assemble together but we couldn't find one that we liked and it turns out most of them wouldn't be suitable for actual birds anyway. A little research found a bird watching website that has information about the specific size of bird houses for different birds.
The bluebird likes their floor size to be 5" X 5", Height to be between 8" - 12", Entrance above floor 6" - 10", Hole diameter 1 1/2" - 1 9/16", and off the ground 4' - 6'. They also don't like those cute little perches because it makes it easier for predators to get in.
- Tape Measure
- Drill & Bits
- Table Saw
- Wood Glue
- Binding Tape
Please read, understand, and follow instruction manuals for all power tools. Wear your safety glasses.
Step 1: Cut Out Pieces
All the parts are 1/2" thick. I made mine out of cedar scraps. On the next one I think I'll use popular and let my son paint it.
(1) - 5 1/2" X 5 1/2"
(2) - 5 1/2" X 8 3/4"
(2) - 6" X 12 1/4"
(2) - 5" X 7"
Start by ripping all the parts to width. Then using the miter-gauge cut the pieces to length. I recommend labeling all the parts at this point. It is a good habit to have when working on larger projects. Next cut the slope on the front and back pieces. To find this I marked 3" to the middle and 3" down from the top. While marking out those cuts I also marked the hole on the front piece at 3" and 8".
Cut the miter on the top pieces next. This cut gives a nice look on the roof. I cut this after I cut the dados and ended up needing to redo one. Set the fence 5" from the bottom of the blade.
Step 2: Dado and Rabbits
All the dados and rabbit cuts are 1/2'' and are 1/4" deep.
The sides have a dado at the bottom of each where the bottom piece fits.
The front and back have dados at the bottom where the bottom piece fits and have them on each side where the side pieces fit.
The top pieces have a dado at the back where the back piece fits and have a rabbit 1" from the front where the front piece fits. This gives the front an inch overhang like a porch to keep the blue birds out of the rain.
Step 3: Drill Holes
On the bottom piece I just used a 1/4" drill bit and put a hole in each corner and the middle. The bird watching website just recommended drainage holes and wasn't really specific.
The entrance hole we used a 1 1/2" forstner bit. We also used a drill press which wasn't necessary but a lot easier for my 5 year old to participate.
If you don't have a forstner bit this could also be done with a jigsaw or a bunch of little holes with a smaller bit.
Step 4: Assemble
First you'll want to dry fit all your pieces. You don't want any surprises when you've got glue drying. Set out your Automaxx clamps so they are ready to go.
Put glue in the dados on the sides, front, and back. I put the the side pieces together with the bottom first and clamped that lightly. They are all the same size so the edges line up at the bottom making the back and front pieces easy to place. Place clamps so that there is even pressure on all the joints. Check for square. Dry fit the top pieces, if they fit it should be close enough for any bluebird.
The top pieces will be held by tape. I used painters tape on accident and it worked but there is tape for this like 3M's binding tape. I lined up one top piece with the top of the roof. Applied the tape to the top of the roof created tension in the tape and tacked the tape down on the back piece. Then with the other top piece I applied tension across the mitered edge to bring the two roof pieces together. Last I put a piece of tape down the back.
I finished it with a coat of Deft spray can clear finish.
If anything is unclear or you have questions please let me know!