Introduction: Bird Seed Log
Bird seed logs have become popular and are readily available, if you want to shell out that much cash. For the cost of one ready-made log you can make several for yourself. You can use the recipe found at https://www.instructables.com/id/Bird-seed-wreath/. This project will show how to make the reusable equipment and how to use it to make your own logs.
1 pc-4" diameter X 12" long PVC pipe
1 pc-3/4" ID x 12" PVC pipe
1 pc-2" x 6" x 12" or other scrap wood
1 pc-1/2" x 15" dowel
4 pc-2" x 2" x 1" (size can vary)
1 pc-1" x 6" x 6"
1 pc-2" x 4" x 12"
6 pc-1-1/4" wood screw
1 pc- 1" x 2" x 18" (size can vary)
1 pc- 6" x 6" wax paper
Kitchen spray or shortening
Saw ( a table saw is handy but not necessary)
Coping saw, band saw or jigsaw
Drill bits, up to 1/2"
Ruler or tape measure
Step 1: Making the Form and the Ram
Locate the center of the piece of 2" x 6". This is the base. Drill a 1/2" hole in the center and fit the dowel into it. Center the 4" PVC on the dowel. Hold the PVC firmly as you draw a circle on the base around the perimeter of the PVC. Set the PVC aside while you attach the locator blocks. Pre-drill each of the 2" x 2" blocks using a bit slightly larger in diameter than your screws. Evenly space the blocks around the circle and firmly attach each one to the base with a screw. Position the 4" PVC between the blocks. Slip the 3/4" PVC over the dowel. Your form is ready to use.
To get the dried log out of the PVC form you need a ram. Place the 4" PVC on the piece of 6" x 6" and draw a circle around the perimeter. Remove the PVC and draw another circle 1/4" inside the first circle. The inner circle is the cut line. Cut out the circle. Make sure it fits inside the 4" PVC. Trim as needed. Center the 12" x 2" x 4" over the center of the circle and draw around the 2" x 4". Set the 2" x 4" aside and drill two holes inside the rectangle you drew for the screws that will attach the circle to the end of the 2" x 4". Be sure to use a bit slightly larger in diameter than your screws. Stand the 2" x 4" on end and again center the circle on it using the rectangle you drew. Drill a pilot hole through one of the holes in the circle into the end of the 2" X 4" , using a bit smaller than the screw diameter. Attach the circle to the 2" x 4" with a screw. Center the 2" x 4" and drill the pilot hole for the second screw. Install the second screw. Firm up both screws. Your plunger is ready.
Step 2: Making the Log
Make a small hole in the center of the wax paper square and slide it down over the dowel. Slide the 3/4" PVC over the dowel and mix your log ingredients. Give the inside of the 4" PVC a light coat of cooking oil or a misting of kitchen spray and position the 4" PVC to the base. Use a large spoon or bowl scraper to transfer the seed mixture to the PVC cylinder. Be sure to tamp the seed mix firmly using the 1" x 2" x 18". The seed mix should be tamped every few inches to remove any voids from the log. Pick up the whole assembly and rotate it to horizontal. Slide the log and form off the base and dowel. Set the log aside to dry in a warm place for a couple of days. I set mine near the wood furnace.
After the log has set for a day to harden it is time to remove it from the form. Stand the plunger upright so the circle is on top. Center the log over the plunger and slowly push down on the PVC to strip it away from the log. As the PVC is nearing the middle of the log, rotate the log and form to horizontal over an old newspaper. Finish stripping the form from the log. Dry the log for another day or two before putting it out for the birds. By using multiple sets of PVC you can make several logs at one time. You can supply one feeder for a longer time, set up several feeding stations, or give logs to your bird feeding friends.
Please note that these logs are held together by a gelatin paste that will fall apart in the rain.