A How Too Turn The Cedar Birdhouse

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Blog entry by hoss12992 posted 12-17-2013 03:12 AM 5771 reads 3 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have had alot of folks how do I make the cedar birdhouses. These are really easy and hopefully these pics will help. As they say, a pic is worth 1000 words, and Im not much on typing. LOL If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask.

Start with a shorter piece of log, whatever type you want to use will work. I do ALOT of cedar, as I have LOTS of it on my farm, it last a really long time, and its easy to turn. Did I mention, its free, which happens to be my favorite price.

After I turn a bit and get it somewhat round, I kinda figure out what I want the base and top to look like. No real magic here on this part. LOL I usually go near half way up the stick and start with taking more off the bottom half. I always make the bottom part of the birdhouse smaller that the bottom part of the top half. After I have finished the bottom part, I will take a parting tool, and turn the top of the bottom part down a bit more about 1/2” to 1” down from the top. Then I will take out a space between the bottom part and the top part. I will then take out part of the bottom of the top half. This is important so the bottom half of the birdhouse can fit into the top half of the birdhouse. I turn the top half and make sure I have a wide bottom end and taper up from there. No two birdhouses are every exactly the same. The last thing I do before I take it off the lathe, is the sanding, as this is MUCH easier to do on the lathe.

After I have it all shaped up the way I want, I take it to the band saw and cut it apart. I use a chisel to clean up the bottom a bit, and usually hit it with a sander.

Being as how I dont have a tool to hollow out the bottom half of the birdhouse on the lathe, I put it in a jig that I made just for this, and head to the drill press.

After I get the inside drilled out, I then drill a 1 1/2” in the front just over half way up the bottom half for the birds to get into their new house.

After all the drilling is done, then I do the final sanding on any areas that may need touching up. Then I break out the old faithful, Gorilla glue and put it around the top of the bottom half, and then put the top half onto the bottom and let the glue do its magic. After the glue drys, its time to install a eye hook in the top and put a finish on tweety’s new home.

I hope this helps some folks out. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

20 comments so far

View BurninBush's profile


145 posts in 2988 days

#1 posted 12-17-2013 03:15 AM

I wanna do this!!!

-- Jason - Happiness is Homemade!!

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 5315 days

#2 posted 12-17-2013 03:18 AM

Very cool project and your Cedar is spectacular.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30646 posts in 3587 days

#3 posted 12-17-2013 03:20 AM

Really nice work

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View kiefer's profile


5852 posts in 3916 days

#4 posted 12-17-2013 03:36 AM

So you take a log and turn and drill it out ,that’s it ?
You make it sound and look too easy ,thanks for the tutorial .

-- Kiefer

View hoss12992's profile


4180 posts in 3142 days

#5 posted 12-17-2013 03:42 AM

@ Jason, You can do it NO PROBLEM! Just wait till after Christmas LOL

@Bill, Thank you very much buddy

@ Monte, Thank you very much buddy

@ Kiefer, Thanks buddy, Thats it. Super easy and pretty fast. When I teach kids how to turn, I usually start with a cedar birdhouse, cant screw that up, and they get the feel for the lathe.

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View doubleDD's profile


10718 posts in 3293 days

#6 posted 12-17-2013 03:59 AM

That’s it. huh funny. I agree wuth kiefer. Thanks hoss, I will be trying my skills at these soon. I would rather make them out of cedar but a good size log here is expensive. I have a bunch of other logs stored that I will use and put on a good finish. Thanks for sharing some tips.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View jim65's profile


1020 posts in 3183 days

#7 posted 12-17-2013 08:00 AM

Great post, I will do this this year! Thanks for sharing!

-- Jim, Marostica Italy

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4584 days

#8 posted 12-17-2013 10:26 AM

Nice work. I love the cedar, wish I could some here. Beautiful colors/grain and it’s great outdoors.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View BigFoot Products Canada's profile

BigFoot Products Canada

711 posts in 4642 days

#9 posted 12-17-2013 10:56 AM

AWESOME!!! I really like these..
Being that they are Cedar do you even need to put a finish on them for outdoors?
The finish is nice though.. Great JOB!

View 49bill's profile


183 posts in 4032 days

#10 posted 12-17-2013 11:44 AM

hoss , great way to build a bird house. I can see where this would be an easy project to get kids started turning. Nice project will have to give it a try. Thanks for sharing

-- Bill, Quitman, Georgia

View CampD's profile


1833 posts in 4735 days

#11 posted 12-17-2013 01:37 PM

Shop must smell nice while doing these!

-- Doug...

View WyOutLaw's profile


37 posts in 2900 days

#12 posted 12-17-2013 02:13 PM

Looks like a lot of fun! I gotta get a lathe.

-- Craig Bullard

View WyOutLaw's profile


37 posts in 2900 days

#13 posted 12-17-2013 02:14 PM

Looks like a lot of fun! I gotta get a lathe.

-- Craig Bullard

View hoss12992's profile


4180 posts in 3142 days

#14 posted 12-17-2013 05:20 PM

Thank yall for all the comments.
Dave, Thanks buddy, and yep, thats it and they are REALLY easy
David, I usually put some tung oil on them and then some poly as a top coat. They dont need anything though. I just do it to bring out the grain of the wood, as folks seem to really like the ones that have a finish on them.
Doug, The shop smells AWESOME when turning these
WyOutlaw, you def need to get a lathe! You will really enjoy it and Im sure you would be turning some accent pieces to go onto the style of furniture that you make.

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 4210 days

#15 posted 12-18-2013 09:06 PM

Thanks for the tutorial! Will fire up the lathe.
WyOutlaw, be aware that the lathe is just the tip of the iceberg. Your chucks and tools will cost more than the lathe …..............but it’s a lot of fun and you can make a lot of useful things.
Check out this website:

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