Years ago, my husband brought home a stack of metal spools used
to store MIG wire. He sewed wire cloth onto the spool in a somewhat
rudimentary fashion, and called it a bird feeder. A raccoon demolished
it, the spool was chunked into a pile, and that was the end of that.

Fast forward a few years, and I found myself with a backyard that had
become a bird oasis. It seemed like a good time to drag out the old
feeder and give it an overhaul.

The result is a large feeder that is very durable, can be painted, easily
filled, will feed many birds at once, and will also last a very long time.

Step 1: Supplies and Tools Needed...

Gather the following materials for your feeder:

1 large metal spool
(mine is a 12" spool)
These spools are typically used to hold MIG welding wire, but can also
be used to hold other wire. Check with local welding supply stores. Any
welder should be able to steer you toward a pile of these spools, free of

1 roll of hardware cloth

You will need enough cloth to cover the front, back, and circumference
of the edge of the spool. A 10' x 3' roll will cover almost nine 12" spools.

1 roll of galvanized steel wire (I used 24 gauge, with a 10 pound work load)

A short length of chain that can be shortened, used to hang the feeder

The following tools are necessary, if not very helpful:

Sheet metal scissors
Felt-tip pen such as a Sharpie
Durable hand protection, such as leather gloves
Needle-nosed pliers
Wire cutters
A tool with a tiny hook on it, such as a small latch-hook or crochet hook


Spray paint

Absolutely love this project!
<p>Thank you, Mjtrinihobby. I visited your member page, and must say, I left absolutely astounded. You've created so many amazing tutorials, and in short time, too. Wow. I am simply wowed! Great work!</p>
Wow. You made my day when I read your compliment! Thanks for making me smile!
<p>Wow... I was a welder (as part of my job as a semi trailer mechanic) for over 2 decades, and we did plenty of MIG welding, but every single wire spool we ever got was a cardboard spool - occasionally with a bit of metal as the very inside round center - or an all-plastic spool. I feel a bit... cheated, LOL!</p>
What a bummer! I felt lucky to have the metal spools. I've checked with other welders, and now find plastic.
<p>This is a really great idea! Who uses MIG wire spools - electricians or welders? Do they normally toss them?</p><br>
<p>Hello, Panks, </p><p>Welders typically use them. You could probably find a local business that either tosses them, or has a big stack of them, just waiting for someone like us to come along. :-)</p>

About This Instructable




Bio: Let's skip the pretentious titles. At present, I am a paper pusher for a manufacturing plant. In the remainder of my life, I am ... More »
More by WUVIE:Harvesting, Processing, Cooking - Native Persimmon Bread  Meatball and CheeseTortellini Soup Harvesting your own clay, dirty but delightful! 
Add instructable to: