Offcut Stack Birdhouse

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Introduction: Offcut Stack Birdhouse

A bird house with a difference that does not conform to the standard convention of four walls and a roof.

I would make it out of offcuts stacked on top of each other with a central hole.

The offcuts are bolted together with threaded rod and the central hole capped at both ends to make a box with an access hole in the front.

All the pieces that make up the house are all exactly the same shape and size, meaning no odd shapes to contend with.

Its simply a case of drilling a large central hole in all but 2 pieces and aligning them vertically.

Supplies

Decking boards H 9.5" (24cm) x L 9.25" (23.5cm) x W 4.75" (12cm) - Qty 10

Wood Screws 5mm x 50mm - Qty 2

M8 nuts - Qty 2

M8 T nuts - Qty 2

M8 Threaded Bar 10.5" (26.7cm) - Qty 2

M8 1" (25mm) plain washers - Qty 2

M6 1.62 (45mm) bolt

M6 plain washer

M6 nut

3mm drill

8mm drill

102mm Holesaw

32mm Holesaw

Cylinder pull latch

22mm flat drill

Hammer/Mallet

Step 1: Design

The bird house is designed for small birds such as chickadees and tits

The design has been created in Tinkercad and can be found here: Offcut_Birdhouse

The bird type defines certain design features.

Most designs are square and as such this defines a floor size of 4"x4" (10.16cm x 10.16cm), this design 2" (5.08cm) radius.

A height between 6"-10" (15.42cm-25.4cm), this design is 9.52" (24cm)

Hole diameter 1.125" (2.86cm), this design as specified

Hole above floor 8"-10" (20.32cm-25.4cm), this design 7.5"(19cm)

Box above ground 6'-15' (1.82m-4.6m)

Further details can be found at Birdwatching Bliss*

*Not affiliated to this site in anyway and you may have your own preference.*

Step 2: Cut the Main Holes

The offcuts consisted of 10 rectangles of 24mm x120mm cut to 23.5cm.

I already had the offcuts available but if not these can be cut from a full size length which is 1.8M long.

Identify the centre (60mm x 11.75cm), and mark.

Fit a sacrificial plank beneath the plank to be drilled to protect the work area and clamp the plank to be drilled above it.

With a 102mm hole cutter drill out a hole in each of the eight planks.

Step 3: Stacking the Blocks

Mark the block at (60mm x 45mm), from the end, do this at both ends and drill 2 x 6mm holes.

Do this on 8 of the planks.

The 9th plank is the bottom of the house and blocks the end of the hole created by the stack.

Take the 9th plank and drill 2 x 8mm holes at (60mm x 45mm), from each end.

These holes are to accommodate the T-nuts, tap them in with a hammer to force the prongs in to the wood to lock them in place.

Stack all nine blocks together and fit the 6mm threaded bar of length 27cm through both holes from the bottom and screw into the T-nuts.

Once these are attached fit a washer and nut on the bottom end and tighten.

This now holds the stack together.

Step 4: Fitting the Lid

Align the lid with the top of the main stock.

Mark at 60mm x 25mm and drill 3mm holes at both ends of the block in to the lid and through to the block below.

These hole will hold the lid in place.

Then with a 22mm flat bit drill to a ~5mm depth using the centres of the threaded bar as a marker. These holes are to accommodate the top of the T-nut.

Drill two 8mm by 10mm deep holes coincident with the centres of the 22mm diameter holes.

Turn the plank over and align with the tops of the threaded bar it should fit flush with the previous plank.

Fit two 5mm x 50mm screws to hold the lid in place.

Step 5: Entrance

Mark a vertical line along the centre of the stack.

Measure 50mm from the top of the stack along this line, this will be the bottom edge of the hole.

From this mark measure up 16mm this is the centre of the 32mm hole to be cut in the front of the box.

Drill the hole.

Step 6: Trim the Ends

Dependent upon whether the planks where cut specifically for the task or offcuts. It may be required to trim the the edges of the house to level them up.

Mark the edges with a tri square to identify the material to remove, highlight with tape if required.

With a saw (hand, band or circular), trim off the excess to create straight sides.

Step 7: Anti Gnaw Guard

To discourage squirrels from gnawing the hole wider fit a metal guard with a suitably sized hole.

I used a metal cylinder pull latch and fixed it to the front with a 6mm bolt.

A large washer could be used instead.

Step 8: Finally

The bird house is complete.

So as not to discourage any birds with the addition of chemicals I did not add any preservative treatments.

The house can be mounted to a flat surface by L shaped brackets attached to the threaded rod at the bottom or by attaching flat brackets to the back that protrude beyond the lid or out to the side. Even a combination of both subject to the size of the brackets.

If mounting to a pole attach with u-brackets.

These are just a number of many fixing options subject to the mounting point.

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    10 Comments

    0
    PeterTheUnGreat
    PeterTheUnGreat

    9 days ago

    What a great design. I love the use of the nightlatch pull round the entrance!

    0
    Gammawave
    Gammawave

    Reply 9 days ago

    Thanks. It may look a little ostentatious but it was the closest I had, having neither a sheet of steel or a washer with a suitable sized hole and being brass will weather the elements better than steel.

    0
    OculumForamen
    OculumForamen

    11 days ago

    What a fabulous Idea, a lot of thought went into this design, the channels in the wood will circulate the air and you've made it easy to access the inside so it can be cleaned out. I only have one question, the entrance with the brass around it, wouldn't it make it easier for the birds to have something to easily perch on outside the entrance, the brass is a great idea to stop the squirrels from attempting to gnaw their way in, however, I was thinking that a long bolt could be used to protrude out so that the parent bird can perch outside the entrance and pass the food they've collected to the other, inside without having to fully enter the nest or are these birds way to small for that? I doubt that they'll be able to hold onto that brass guard very well at all, no? This is a good idea that can be made by very young aspiring carpenters because of its simplicity, and introduces a bit of a different approach using hardware that you wouldn't really use for a birdhouse. A design that can also be made by people with limited tools, and who doesn't have offcuts? One could also raid a garbage bin outside of a house construction site and grab all the 2x4 offcuts needed for free! This is a fantastic design and great for entry level builders as well as veteran carpenters! Well done, and let me know what you think about adding a perch to the front door.

    0
    Gammawave
    Gammawave

    Reply 11 days ago

    Thank you, the intention was to try and create something different, but still recognisable. Perches do seem to be something that you will find on commercially made bird boxes but like a number of additions these are more a human desire. They encourage predators either by giving them easier access to the entrance, intimidating the occupants or enabling them to attack the parents. Likewise if the hole is too large it allows larger predatory species to enter. Appreciate you taking the time to comment.

    0
    jvector
    jvector

    11 days ago

    I too like the way this uses offcut 'waste' materials that might otherwise just sit in the shed unused.

    Assuming a pair of birds come and live here, raise a brood and then all leave, what then? Do you need to clean it out over the winter? And would the same (or other) birds come and live here the next year?

    0
    Gammawave
    Gammawave

    Reply 11 days ago

    Its a good idea to clean the box out at the end of the season once the the young have left as there may be unhatched or remains of young that did not survive which can attract unwanted pests. The same birds may reuse the box over successive seasons.

    0
    engineersdaughter
    engineersdaughter

    11 days ago

    I don't know a lot about birds, but some nests have an exit hole, hidden from predators. Maybe I'm just claustrophobic. It looks so small - but then the birds you mention are very small. It looks like there are breathing holes the way the wood has channels in it. I like that idea, too. Thank you for a simple design for a strong bird house. And no chemicals! Great idea!

    0
    Gammawave
    Gammawave

    Reply 11 days ago

    Agree it is small from a human perspective though meets the recommended criteria. Although the real test would be a sitting tenant. Without channels that allow air circulation I think it would be too enclosed. But then again I have seen versions made using hollowed out tree trunks and far less ventilation. However, its well insulated from the elements and should last many years with little attention on my part subject to how well its used. Chemicals impact biological processes in many ways and make the habitat less inviting from a birds perspective too. Thanks for commenting.

    1
    levitan
    levitan

    11 days ago

    Being one who hates tossing out scraps of wood (it's not done till it's completely gone), I really appreciate this idea. Many thanks!

    1
    Gammawave
    Gammawave

    Reply 11 days ago

    Likewise, agree.Thank you.