Introduction: Bird Cabin

I have been binge watching Longmire and I have been loving all the different log cabins. However, I noticed you do not see any log cabin birdhouses. Here is a bird cabin I built with notched beams. It resembles a log cabin. It is easy to cut the pieces and it is fun for most any age to assemble.

Step 1: Procure Lumber and Rough Cut

I purchased a 6ft, 1x10 common pine board in the cull pile at the local home improvement center. At 70% off, I got it for four dollars and it will be enough to make two cabins.

Start by cutting the board into four piece 13" long and one piece 17" long. This only uses 69" of the 72" length so you have extra stock to cut around knots. From the 13" long pieces, rip six pieces 1-3/8" wide. From the 17" long piece, rip one piece 6-1/4" wide and two pieces, 1-3/8" wide.

From the photo you can see the wood looks pretty sad.

Step 2: Mill Wood

Plane all of the pieces to a width of 11/16" and then plane the 6-1/4" wide board to a thickness of 1/2". Then cut the narrow pieces to 1-3/16" wide and the base piece to 6" wide.

Step 3: Cut to Length

For each cabin you will need; 1 base 8" long, 2 large gables 8" long, 2 small gables 4" long, 18 beams 6" long, and 4 connecters 1-3/4"long. For the stock prepared in the previous step, after cutting around knots, I was able to get: 2 bases, 5 large gables, 5 small gables, 37 beams, and 10 connectors. Plenty enough pieces for two cabin with some spares.

Step 4: Dado Notches

Cover the working service of your dado cutting cradle and tack into place a thin sheet of plywood or MDF. Install your 3/4" dado blade and make a cut into the cradle. The edge of the MDF will show the exact edge of where the dado starts. Set the height so the dado blade cuts 5/16" deep. The dimensions for cutting each of the piece types are given in the included PDF.

Step 5: Bevel Gables and Spilt a Beam

Each of the four gables need to be beveled and one of the beams needs to be split in half. I did this all with a scroll saw. Dimensions are given in the included PDF.

Step 6: Bevel Beams, Connector, and Gables

To make the pieces look more like logs. Tip the blade of your table saw to 45 degrees and rip an 1/8" off each edge.

Step 7: Cut Roof Slats

Take 1/4" lath and, for each cabin, cut eight slats 8" long. Then rip them to a width of 1-1/4".

Step 8: Dye the Pieces

You will want to dye the pieces. The dye I like to use is Fiebing alcohol based leather dye.


It comes in 4 oz bottles but I mix it with 28 oz of denatured alcohol to make a quart of alcohol based dye. It cost about $10. The dye come in 28 different colors. I used medium brown for the beams/connectors, green for the roof pieces and red for the gable pieces. I wish I had gotten dark red but all in all I am still happy.

I use an acid brush to apply the dye to the pieces. With so much alcohol it pretty much immediately penetrates and there is not need to wipe the piece after application.

Step 9: Assembly, Lay the Foundation

Start by measure 17/32" and 5-17/32" away from the back of the base. Then glue the two half beams into place. I use Rapid Fuse cynoarcrylic wood glue.


Best wood glue I have found on the market. It dries in 30 minutes. If you use an accelerator it takes 10 seconds.

Step 10: Assembly, Lay Bottom Layers

Stack and glue 10 beams, five layers high.

Step 11: Assembly, Top Layers

Stack and glue the four connectors and six beams to complete the top layers.

Step 12: Assembly, Gables and Crossbeam

Stack and glue the gable pieces and remaining beam.

Step 13: Assembly, Roof

Start be gluing one slat at the gable peak. Set the Slat 1" away from the back gables. This will give 1" overhang in the back and 2" in front. Continue gluing slats in place into the roof is completed.

Step 14: Variation

If you don not like the big 2-1/2" entry then replace

the four connectors with two beams. Clamp two beams together and drill the desired sized entry hole.

Final Note

As a salute to Henry in Longmire, I did not use any contractions in this Instructable!