Building a Bird House
(1) 1” x 8” x 8’ Cedar Wood
1-¼” Galvanized Finish Nails
Miter Saw or Skill Saw
Stain or Paint
Drill with 1 ½” and ¼” bit
3” piece of dowel
2 eye hooks
Today we will go through some easy to follow steps to create your very own birdhouse. Most of the materials shown above can be found in any hardware store. As for the saw, any saw can work, but a miter saw or a skill saw will display better results. The following safety matters must be address before starting.
1). Make sure that you have a clean space environment to work in.
2). Always wear your safety glasses when cutting or drilling the wood.
CAUTION: these cuts are dangerous since the blade will be close to your fingers.
3). It is STRONGLY recommended to use a clamp in order to create a safe procedure.
Now that we got the basics covered, let’s get started!
The first thing we need to do is get our pieces cut. For this birdhouse we will need: (2) front/back pieces, (2) sidepieces, (1) bottom piece, and (2) roof pieces.
Note: when cutting the front/back and the sidepieces, measure the first cut, and then use that as the template for the second cut. This will ensure that the two pieces will be identical.
i. Start by measuring our piece of cedar and mark the center of the board at one end. The board is 7-¼” wide, so the mark will be at 3-5/8”.
ii. Now from that mark, measure 9-7¼”.
iii. Using the saw cut the board at that mark.
iv. Now, using your speed square, mark a 45-degree angle starting from your center mark, to the edge of the board. You will do this on one end of the board, and it will have two 45-degree marks giving the board a nice peak.
v. Take your first piece and use your drill and the 1-1/2” bit and drill a hole in the center.
Note: Make sure you measure before you drill to know that the hole is properly centered. It’s also recommended to keep a piece of scrap wood underneath so when you drill the hole will not splinter.
vi. Follow this by drilling a ¼” hole approximately 1” below the freshly drilled entrance.
vii. Now that you have your front piece, use that as a template for your back piece.
viii. Cut your back piece.
Note: Do not drill any holes in your back piece. You will now have two pieces of your birdhouse done.
For this step, we will focus on our side pieces. Here we will make squares that are 5 ½” x 5 ½”.
i. Using the same piece of lumber we cut our front and back pieces from, proceed to mark from the cut end 5 ½”. Cut the board.
ii. Now use that piece as a template and cut another 5 ½” piece. You will now have two 5 ½” x 7-¼” pieces.
iii. Next mark these boards 5 ½” across its width and then cut. You should have two pieces that are 5 ½” x 5 ½”.
Step 3 will be cutting the wood for the roof. The roof will be slightly different from the previous steps.
i. One piece of the roof will be 6 x 7 ¼”, while the other piece will be 5-1/8” x 7 ¼”.
Note: The difference in lengths is present so that you will not have to make 45-degree cuts on these boards. When assembled, the roof pieces will extend the same length.
ii. Now measure your cedar board 6” from your cut end and mark. Cut your first piece.
iii. Next measure 5-1/8” and mark. Cut your second piece.
The last piece on the list will be the bottom plate. Since it will be going on the inside of the other pieces, it will be much smaller. The measurements are 5-½" x 2-½”.
i. Measure the 5-½”, mark and cut it.
ii. Now you will measure the width and make a mark at 2-½”.
Now that we have all our pieces, let’s move on to the assembly!
i. Start by taking our front piece and attach it to our side pieces.
ii. Use glue only for the front, sides, and back pieces.
iii. Make sure that the edges are flush with each adjacent piece.
iv. Apply glue on all corners of the four pieces of wood.
v. Wipe off any excess glue when the pieces are put together.
vi. When the sides and front are dry, put on the back piece.
vii. Follow this by putting in the bottom piece, using glue as well as nails to hold it into place.
Note: For step 5, only the bottom piece will have nails. The rest of the pieces will be put together with glue only.
While the main structure of your birdhouse is drying, put the roof together.
i. The roof has two pieces of wood. One of them is the longer piece and the other is the shorter piece. Stick the shorter piece of wood to the longer piece at approximately 60 degrees.
ii. Apply glue to stick the pieces and for a stronger hold, nail them together.
iii. Now is the time to paint or stain your birdhouse if you desire.
Note: Make sure to give the roof at least 4-6 hours to dry after painting or staining it.
Once your paint or stain dries, it will be time to finish your birdhouse.
i. Attach the roof to the main structure. Using the glue and nails secure it into position.
ii. Try to make sure the front and back overhang is about the same, of what little overhang there will be.
iii. Drill two holes into the peak of your birdhouse, and put in your two eyehooks.
iv. Insert your 3” dowel in the 1/4” hole we drill earlier with a dab of glue on the end.
The final step is to hang your birdhouse using a rope or wire from a branch.
Hopefully you followed these instructions and enjoy your birdhouse!
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