A possum house/box made from pallet wood. All the wood used in this build was collected from pallets.
To make the box fit together better and look better there are a few things I would change if building again. These changes are mentioned throughout the instructable.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
- Scroll saw - optional
- Ruler/tape measure
The scroll saw is optional as a hand saw works fine.
- Screws - I used treated pine screws size 8 - 10 x 45mm, a total of 52 was used
- Reclaimed pallet wood planks - I used 8
It would be possible to make the possum house without power tools however they do make it easier and faster.
Step 2: Measuring and Cutting - Walls
Step 3: Cutting an Angle on the Side Walls
The roof of the box has a slope, this allows the overhang of the roof to prevent water from entering the entrance hole when it rains and also stops leaves and branches from building up on top of the box.
Getting the correct angle is easy, all you have to do is use one board from the front (marked 'F') and one board from the side (marked 'S') and place them next to each other with the ends even (see photos). Then using a pencil mark where the top of the front ('F') board reaches on the side ('S') board.
Place all the side boards next to each other and rule a line from the mark to the corner of the last board (see photo). Do the same to the planks used for the other side wall.
Cut along the lines.
Step 4: Cutting an Entrance Hole
The entrance hole has a diameter of 120mm and should be cut into the front of the box. The entrance on my box is circular however it can also be a square. I used a lid off of a container as it had a diameter of 120mm and traced around it onto the front boards. Using the scroll saw I cut on the lines. When the planks are together there should a hole.
Make sure to cut the hole low enough so the support wood does not cover it.
Step 5: Measuring, Cutting and Screwing - Supports
To hold the box together and support it, wood measuring 40mm across and 30mm thick was used. 2 supports were used for each side of the box, one at the top and one at the bottom.
The back supports should each have the same length as the diameter of the three pallet boards when they are together (see photo).
Cut two supports for the top and bottom.
In the photo the support is on the very top, to prevent having a gap between the lid and walls (like in my box, see intro photo) this support can be moved down.
2 screws per pallet were used to attach the support (see photos).
Do this the same way as the back was done. The supports can be positioned as they are in the photo.
Screw the support on the same way as the back was done.
You can see in the photo the support wood just covers a bit of the entrance hole, remember to make sure your entrance hole is low enough so this doesn't happen!
The side supports were cut the full width minus twice the diameter of the support wood (see photo). This is to allow the side supports to fit between the front and back supports.
It doesn't matter where the top support goes as long as it is in line with or below the lowest point.
Only four screws are used to attach these supports, two on the middle plank and one on each other plank. The support should only go over about half of each outer plank.
Step 6: Putting the Sides Together
After all the supports have been screwed on you can now start screwing the sides together. The screws should go through the side walls into the supports on the front and back walls. You should use 8 screws altogether, four at the top and four at the bottom.
You should now have a box with four walls!
Step 7: Roof and Floor
Three pallets are cut to a length of 400mm. Two supports are also used. One support is cut to the diameter of the three pallets. The other support is cut to the full width minus twice the diameter of the support wood.
Sit the three pallets onto the top and reaching through the entrance hole draw a line where the edge of the front wall is, so your tracing along on the inside. Using your shorter support place one of its edges along the line with the rest towards where the back of the roof is i.e the part that doesn't overhang and screw it into position. The other support goes at the back of the roof, rather than screwing this bit on I just used three nails.
The floor is also made of three lengths of pallet wood, my planks measured 230mm. To get the right length measure between your front and back wall.
The wood making up the floor is not attached, it sits on top of the bottom supports.
You now should have a finished possum house!
To hang it in a tree drill two small holes in the back and loop some wire through, wrap the wire around the tree.