Caravan Bird House

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Introduction: Caravan Bird House

My wife wanted a nice bird house, so I decided to create one for her. I know, that you can buy such items, but where is the fun then?

Hope you enjoy my instructables.

Step 1: 3D and CAD Files

First, the idea had been drawn in Sketchup8 and then all the parts were drawn in Qcad and imported into Inkscape to make the svg file. This step is needed to make it work with my laser cutter.

The green lines need to be lasered with little laser power, as they are just help lines to glue the accessories in place.

The main parts are made out of 4 mm plywood and the frames and smaller parts are made out of 1.5 mm birch wood.

Everything was laser cut, but it can also be done with a fretsaw or a Scroll saw.

Step 2: Assembling the Trailer Frame

For trailer frame, first the cross reinforcement is glued in place. The wheel attachment and the lever are then glued in place.

Let it dry.


With the help of a toothpick, glue the tire to the wheel attachment.

Step 3: Assembling the Main Boddy

Glue the inside frames with the slots to the main caravan parts.
The little inside frame part needs to be glued inside and will work to keep the cleaning flap in place.

(In the new plans, this step can be ignored, because, this part is now integrated in the slot frame.)

Now you can start gluing the top, the bottom, the left and right parts to the slots. Be sure, that the window drawings are on the outside. It's a little bit tricky to insert all the slots in the same time, but it works.

Step 4: Assembling the Tires

The spare tire is made out of 4 parts. First glue the two wooden circles together, and then the circle with the hole. Do not glue the small wooden circle with the engraving on it, in place for now!

The main wheels are just half wheels. On the half wooden part glue a half circle on each side. As before, do not glue the small wooden circles with the engraving on it, in place for now!

Step 5: Assambling the Cleaning Flap

On the backside, of the small part, with the lines on it, glue the small rectangle, as shown on the picture. It shouldn't protrude more than 2-3 mm

Step 6: Paint the Thing

First I sanded the edges of the parts so that the color holds better on them. After this, all the parts were painted with a primer, and sanded. On the inside of the bird house, I did not apply any primer, neither any color. Untreated wood is better for the little birds.

Before you continue, glue the stepping board and the fenders with epoxy glue in place

For painting,I used acrylic colors. The tires are painted black, and the rim in metallic silver. The trailer frame and the windows are painted in a light gray. The main body is painted white and then half blue, or what ever you prefer. For the window, the ventilation grille and door frames metallic silver was used. The license plate in yellow and the back lights in red.

Step 7: Final Steps

Now that everything is painted, we can start gluing the wheels, the reserve tire, the trailer frame and the 1.5 mm parts, like the frames and the licence plate. To make the wood, weatherproof, a layer of epoxy resin is painted over the caravan. Memo to myself, use a roller to apply the resin, not a brush.

If you don't have resin by your hand, you can also use 2-3 layer of clear varnish. This will also seal the wood. My first bird house survived like this his second year.

The last thing to do, is to install the cleaning flap and the latch with a 3 mm screw.

Step 8: The Final Result

You can hang it in a tree, fix it on a pole, attach it against a wall, or place it somewhere.

It really turns out great. I'm not a paint artist, so the windows are just gray, but I'm sure with painted curtains and flowers, it would look much better.

On the pictures you see a light blue version from the last year and a dark blue version from this year.

Hopefully you enjoyed this guide.

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    12 Comments

    0
    DaDosh
    DaDosh

    1 year ago

    This is adorable! I think of it as a mini caravan for birds hehe (which it is and I love it!)

    0
    socaltoolguy
    socaltoolguy

    Question 1 year ago on Step 8

    I don't have a laser but I do have a scroll saw. Would it be possible for you to offer this in a scroll saw pattern format? I'd love to make one for our front porch. We are long time RVers so this resembles our first travel trailer. Thank you so much.

    0
    XTL
    XTL

    Answer 1 year ago

    You could try this:
    - Download the svg.
    - Open it in Inkscape (free vector drawing program)
    - In Document properties - set the size to A1 or A0
    - manually reposition each piece so it fits inside the page.
    - resize the page and layout the pieces until there is only a little blank border around the outside
    - Save as PDF and open in Acrobat reader. Print as a poster.
    - This will tile it out on your printer - make sure you check the dimensions and scale as required to get the real drawing size you want to cut.
    - Paste the sheets onto board and scrollsaw it out.

    0
    socaltoolguy
    socaltoolguy

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks for all your help. I will give that a try. I'm not very astute when it comes to Inkscape but I'll sure try .

    0
    AlainsProjects
    AlainsProjects

    Answer 1 year ago

    Would the dxf file help?

    0
    socaltoolguy
    socaltoolguy

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks. I did download the .svg file and opened it in Inkscape but I am not able to manipulate any of the pieces. There are no dimensions so I'll have to do some finagling and see what I can come up with. I'll figure something out. Thanks again.

    0
    MakerStudioNZ
    MakerStudioNZ

    1 year ago

    that is really cool, I always want to do my caravan, thx for your sharing. btw, I also intereted to know how do you convert from 3d model to 2d svg file. you know, there are a lot tabs and you also have to make each wall from 3d model, is there any simple tools do the convertion for walls and to alight tabs/holes during the design, any good suggestion?

    0
    AlainsProjects
    AlainsProjects

    Reply 1 year ago

    I can export the sketchup file to a dxf file. There I do the main work. With inkscape I make the svg file, witch is compatible with my laser cutter. Not the simplest way, but free :).

    0
    MakerStudioNZ
    MakerStudioNZ

    1 year ago

    also in term of prime and seal the edge of ply, do you mean you use primer to seal the edge, right ? any suggestion to the ply primer?

    0
    AlainsProjects
    AlainsProjects

    Reply 1 year ago

    I put epoxy resin on the thing, Should work :)

    0
    DonM51
    DonM51

    1 year ago

    Very nice. Will be a great project for my young daughter. Thanks so much for the file.

    0
    jessyratfink
    jessyratfink

    1 year ago

    Super cute! Thanks for including the file :D