Our local woodworking club has an annual Birdhouse Contest. It's an opportunity for us to try to out-do each other, so we get some crazy entries. I made this Rubik's Cube Birdhouse. I always try to make something that would be funny to see birds using. But, I spend so much time building and decorating them that I just put them on display in my workshop, rather than let the animals and weather destroy them. This one is no different.
Watch my build video, then follow the instructions and pictures in this Instructable to build one yourself!
Supplies: 6-foot 1x10 pine board, wood glue, spraypaint, one 1-1/4" screw, blue tape, sticker label (optional)
Tools: Table Saw, Drill, Drill Bits, Sander, Screwdriver, Clamps, Printer (optional)
Step 1: Cut the Sides
My birdhouse was made from six 9" squares with 45-degree bevels on each side. You could certainly build the box using straight cuts and butt joints if you want by adjusting the dimensions of the sides to get a cube.
I tilted the table saw to 45-degrees, then set the fence so that it was 9" away from the point where the blade exits the board. I cut all four sides to make a square and repeated that 5 more times. I recommend the magnetic Wixey Digital Angle Gauge for getting accurate bevel cuts. First, you zero it on the flat saw table, then stick it on the blade to set the right angle.
I selected one piece for the front of the birdhouse and drilled a 1.5" hole, which is suitable for bluebirds. We have a lot of those here in the ATL.
Tip! Birds are picky about the size of their birdhouses and holes. Find out what kind of birds are in your area, then look up a birdhouse dimensions chart to find a suitable size house for your birds. Also, birds don't need a perch so ditch the dowel - it will just embarrass them.
Step 2: Assembly
I glued the front piece and 3 other pieces together using blue tape for clamping pressure. I made sure the edges were flush and the box was square. After gluing on the top, I added a cross brace across the bottom opening so I would be able to screw on the bottom. I used my trim router to put an 1/8" roundover on the corners.
Tip! When making a birdhouse, it's a good idea to have a way to open it so you can clean it out.
Step 3: Cut the Cube Lines
To make it look like a Rubik's Cube, I set the height of the table saw blade to about 1/4" and cut some shallow grooves 1/3 of the width into the box. My box was 9", so I set the fence about 3" away from the blade.
That little yellow Gator Zip Sander is awesome!
Step 4: Drill Holes in the Bottom
It is a good idea to add drainage holes in the bottom of a birdhouse. I drilled a few holes inside the grooves on the bottom piece. I also drilled a countersunk hole in the center of the bottom so I could screw it onto the box.
Step 5: Paint the Sides
I used yellow, red, blue, green, white, and orange spray paint to paint the sides of the cube. Tape on some paper towels to block over spray from getting on previously painted sides.
Note: One of my YouTube viewers commented that birds stay away from bright colors, like red or orange. Not sure if that's true or if it was just a troll, but you can't build a Rubik's Cube Birdhouse without them! Just be aware that if you want to put yours outside for the birds, do a little research on this "tip" and maybe you should paint the front a different color.
Step 6: Paint the Grooves
I masked off the grooves and painted them black so it would look more like a Rubik's cube. I recommend using a heaver paper than paper towels to block the paint, because the paint did soak through and bleed a little. It was easily scraped off with a razor blade though.
Step 7: Paint the Corners
I used regular copy paper to mask off the corners and painted them black as well. The copy paper did a much better job at blocking the paint than the paper towels. Peeling off the masking to reveal the finished paint job was so satisfying!
Step 8: Finished!
I printed the original Rubik's Cube logo on a sticker label and stuck it on the center white square. Since I'm going to just display this birdhouse, I made a little triangle stand for it.
If I was going to actually put this outside for the birds, I would probably attach it to a tree or fence. I felt bad that the birds wouldn't get to use it, so I made some less time-consuming birdhouses for them out of cedar fence boards.
Thanks for checking out my Instructable! If you like this project, check out My Website for other projects and lots of free plans. You might also enjoy watching more of my project videos on My YouTube Channel. Have an awesome day! - Steve...
This is an entry in the
Colors of the Rainbow Contest