Out of the scrap pile and into a gift #11: Bird house from weathered deck wood

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Blog entry by sras posted 02-21-2019 04:22 PM 1121 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 10: Rattles and custom storage box (drawing included) Part 11 of Out of the scrap pile and into a gift series no next part

This project build is from 2015. I gave it away before I took pictures of the completed birdhouse. Last fall I finally took some pictures.

This started with a pile of boards salvaged from a worn out deck. There were a couple pieces of tight grain fir in the pile that caught my interest. So I grabbed a few pieces. I re-sawed the worn wood away with the idea that the underlying tight grain fir would be of interest.

However, once the weathered wood was cut away, the fir wasn’t all that interesting.

The interesting stuff is the pieces of weathered wood.

After some pondering, I chose to build a birdhouse. The basic structure is from the non-weathered part of the deck boards.

The shape was driven by a self imposed restriction to use only the deck boards I had. I sized it to be a bluebird house even though I expect it will remain indoors.

I reinforced the joints with 1/8” dowels (the only part that is not from deck wood).

I cut tapered pieces for the siding. I used my bandsaw with a fence and slightly tilted table.

The siding was glued on one piece at a time. After about 30-45 minutes I could add another piece.

Some of the wood was severely cracked and need repair.

I chose to hide the ends of the siding pieces with trim. The first step was to smooth the stepped siding on each end.

Thin strips of fir were soaked in water and heated in the microwave. Old fir does not bend easily. I had to bend 8 strips to get 4 good ones.

The strips were left on a form overnight.

And then glued in place.

The result was used to create the shape for the front & back trim.

These were glued on as well as trim around the entrance hole.

Then it was time to work on the roof. Thicker strips were used here.

The ends of the roof boards were cut on a curve. The result is the overhang is larger at the peak.

Thin pieces were added to create a front door and a back window.

Strips were added to the inside to position a removable floor.

One of the strips shifted, but luckily the floor still aligned well.

The house was finished with a spray on poly. My wife did the decorative painting.

The final project is posted here.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

8 comments so far

View lew's profile


13223 posts in 4679 days

#1 posted 02-21-2019 04:41 PM

Way Cool, Steve!

I guess that’s in the higher rent district :^)

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View sras's profile


5671 posts in 4053 days

#2 posted 02-21-2019 04:48 PM

Thanks Lew!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View htl's profile


5298 posts in 2083 days

#3 posted 02-21-2019 05:52 PM

Thanks for the blog had no idea of all the work you put into it, made me stop and really look at it.
Love it even more knowing all the details.

The trees are blooming here may just have to build a couple a houses. LOL
Been wanting to build something but just not up to a model at this time so a house or two would be great. Hmmmmm!!! ;-]

May I ask the over all dimensions and the hole size, will save my feeble brain some pain?

And was thinking it wouldn’t take much to have a matching bird feeder.
Sorry I’ll shut up now. LOL #4

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View ralbuck's profile


6609 posts in 3190 days

#4 posted 02-21-2019 06:08 PM

Very nice HOUSE and a great wood rescue too!

A+ A+!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View Dutchy's profile


3890 posts in 3092 days

#5 posted 02-21-2019 06:44 PM

That is a really nice one. A owl residence I would say.


View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4257 days

#6 posted 02-21-2019 06:54 PM

Much appreciate all the work photos and descriptions in this blog Steve. For me that is the most fun part. Your attention to detail always impresses me.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View sras's profile


5671 posts in 4053 days

#7 posted 02-21-2019 08:20 PM

Thanks for the comments!

htl – I don’t have the birdhouse here, but I can guess at a rough size. It was about 11” tall and maybe 7” wide – 8” at the eaves. Depth was maybe 10”. I can’t remember the hole size. I would have made it wider if I had more material. I looked up the recommendation for a blue bird house. It gave ideal height width & depth, hole size, and hole to floor distance. This house was a little too narrow. I found it interesting that blue birds don’t prefer a perch below the hole.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View htl's profile


5298 posts in 2083 days

#8 posted 02-21-2019 09:50 PM

”I found it interesting that blue birds don’t prefer a perch below the hole.”
I read about that just after reading your post and went a searching for info.

I think the thinness helps give it that gypsy wagon look to me.
Again great project!!!

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

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