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Forum topic by Sanderguy777 posted 11-05-2020 02:31 AM 570 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Sanderguy777

279 posts in 2214 days


11-05-2020 02:31 AM

Topic tags/keywords: bird feeders bird houses squirrel feeders scroll saw clamps attachment question cedar clamp milling scrollworking finishing arts and crafts

I am going to start making bird feeders (possibly houses too) to help fund my college tuition. (No, that isn’t the only funding I have, but it will certainly help)

I have been looking around Etsy and Google images at bird feeders and have about 5 or 6 designs I like. The issue is that I don’t want to use screws to fasten it together because they diminish the overall look of the design. I also plan to use cedar fence pickets as they are relatively cheap (at least as far as my local Home Depot is concerned).

I have a couple questions:

1. How should I fasten it together? I have an 18ga nailer, but haven’t found exterior or cedar rated nails and the last thing I want is ugly streaks ruining my products in the first few months of rain etc.

2. I am going to use the 5.5” wide pickets and joint and plane them down to uniform 5”x0.5”x~50” boards. My designs are mainly narrow enough I don’t have to make panels, but a couple have two 5” boards made into a 10”x12” panel. Other than parallel clamps, what kind of clamp should I use to get the best, most level joint? (I am already investing in a scroll saw, I can’t afford to spend $200 more on 4 clamps to make $25 bird feeders!)

3. Should I paint or finish them? I want to batch about 8 or 10 of these out over Christmas break and then sell them over the next semester, and then make more if I see they are selling well.

4. Should I include rope and pre-drilled holes to hang them, or attachment hardware (screws, or brackets) for fence posts or trees? My personal preference would be to get that myself, but I’m a DIYer, so I don’t know. There are so many options, maybe I should just have a link to another “product” of hanging or mounting hardware to fit different situations?

Thanks! Sorry for the long, detailed post.

-- Marc Spagnuolo (standing in front of clamp wall): I think I need a few more . Me (owner of at least 8 clamps):.....?


9 replies so far

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artsyfartsy

1544 posts in 2171 days


#1 posted 11-05-2020 02:02 PM

Sanderguy, Occasionally, I make bird feeders and houses too but, just for fun. Over time they will begin to fall apart. If they are made to just look nice and stay indoors (a lot of people do this) than you can put them together any way you wish. However if its for your woodland creatures, that would be different. I have used spray paint on some of mine so far and it seems to work. I have used cedar and not painted them at all so they can gray with time. Some paints attract birds to the houses.

I would also use Titebond outdoor glue with your nailer. It will help hold your feeder/house in place until the glue drys. I have a brad nailer and it works just fine. I made a bird feeder about 8 years ago and it’s still going strone however, age is catching up to it. If you plan on selling these as you mentioned, than yes, I would add a toilet type chain or similar type of chain to help hang the house up. Many people want these houses/feeders ready to go when they get them.

I hope this helps you out. Good Luck

-- DWelch. Michigan, The only dumb question is the one not asked!

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Sanderguy777

279 posts in 2214 days


#2 posted 11-05-2020 02:43 PM



Sanderguy, Occasionally, I make bird feeders and houses too but, just for fun. Over time they will begin to fall apart. If they are made to just look nice and stay indoors (a lot of people do this) than you can put them together any way you wish. However if its for your woodland creatures, that would be different. I have used spray paint on some of mine so far and it seems to work. I have used cedar and not painted them at all so they can gray with time. Some paints attract birds to the houses.

I would also use Titebond outdoor glue with your nailer. It will help hold your feeder/house in place until the glue drys. I have a brad nailer and it works just fine. I made a bird feeder about 8 years ago and it s still going strone however, age is catching up to it. If you plan on selling these as you mentioned, than yes, I would add a toilet type chain or similar type of chain to help hang the house up. Many people want these houses/feeders ready to go when they get them.

I hope this helps you out. Good Luck

- artsyfartsy


I was planning on them being for the outdoors, but I may make a few more complex ones for indoors too. I didn’t think about the indoor type, thanks!

Is Titebond 2 good enough? Or do I need 3?

-- Marc Spagnuolo (standing in front of clamp wall): I think I need a few more . Me (owner of at least 8 clamps):.....?

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Hermit

248 posts in 2338 days


#3 posted 11-05-2020 03:22 PM

If you haven’t already, I would research what birds are in your area. Then learn what each type of bird in your area likes as far as nesting. This will go along way in determining what kind of wood, paint, stain, size of hole etc.

Me personally if outdoors, titebond 3 which is waterproof.

-- I'm like the farmer's duck. If it don't rain, I'll walk.

View Rich's profile (online now)

Rich

6558 posts in 1602 days


#4 posted 11-05-2020 04:08 PM


If you haven t already, I would research what birds are in your area. Then learn what each type of bird in your area likes as far as nesting. This will go along way in determining what kind of wood, paint, stain, size of hole etc.

Me personally if outdoors, titebond 3 which is waterproof.

- Hermit

+1. Also, you can buy stainless steel brads. I see even Home Depot carries them.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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SMP

3452 posts in 918 days


#5 posted 11-05-2020 04:18 PM



If you haven t already, I would research what birds are in your area. Then learn what each type of bird in your area likes as far as nesting. This will go along way in determining what kind of wood, paint, stain, size of hole etc.

Me personally if outdoors, titebond 3 which is waterproof.

- Hermit

He is actually planning on selling on Etsy so may ship globally. Though may be able to segment his target markets, like “for birds in midwest“, “for birds in Pacific NW” , etc. With a few different options.

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LesB

2877 posts in 4456 days


#6 posted 11-05-2020 06:06 PM

If you are building for functional outdoor nest boxes there are lots of variables but instead of building for a geographical area I would suggest building for specific bird types. Information on this is available on the internet but it includes size and shape of box, entrance hole size and location, and mounting locations. There are different requirements for example for tree swallows, blue birds, wrens, screech owl, and say bigger birds like Wood Ducks. Robins prefer platforms for nests not boxes.
People like to see perches but for functional boxes a perch only allows predators a place to land and attack.

The size of the hole can be very critical because there are predator birds (no not hawks) such as Jays, house sparrows, and starlings, that will prey on the eggs and chicks of smaller birds if the hole is big enough for them to get in. Last summer I had house sparrows show up (the invasive ones from Europe sometimes called English Sparrows)attack the tree swallow nests and actually killed two male swallows inside the box defending the nest then started building their own nest right on top of the bodies.

Another thing to consider is that the boxes will need to be cleaned out every season. My preference is to create a side of the front that can be held in place by nail on each side about 1/4th of the way down from the top that allows the board to pivot open for cleaning and inspection. It can be held closed by a nail or screw at the bottom.

The roof is usually the problem area. It must keep out rain and wood eventually rots (before the sides) so I have started putting metal roofing over the wood.
Vent holes near the top are important; either drilled holes or a slot between sides and roof. Also drainage holes in the bottom (I usually cut the corners off of the bottom board for this).

I have build over 100 various nest boxes here on the rainy side of Oregon and Tightbond III works fine. I tack the box together while the glue dries with a 18 gauge nailer. Using mostly cedar I just let them age and turn grey. Cedarhouse siding plywood (5/8” often called T-1-11) with out the grooves works great because you can cut to the size you need and are not restricted by the width of boards.

I would include appropriate methods of attachment. Many of mine are attached with just screws from inside the next box by access through the tilt out side or front mentioned above or by adding a mounting board attached to the back that protrudes above and/or below the back of the box.

Good luck….sorry for the long detailed answer…LOL

-- Les B, Oregon

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therealSteveN

7250 posts in 1587 days


#7 posted 11-05-2020 06:24 PM

Titebond 3, which when dry will be stronger than the Cedar, plus you get the 3’s water resistance qualities.

An 18 gauge pinner to hold them tight until the glue dries. Not enough of a hole to mar them, yet plenty strong enough to hold them together.

Just like any wooden structure outside, they will require maintenance, to keep them from turning into landscape after a while, but using Cedar works well as an outdoor wood, especially if not in contact with water. They can drip dry pretty quick up in the air.

Probably best to get an education pkt of some type for your birders on general things, and suggest they Google about the local birds for food, and tips on caring for the house. As mentioned the birds change by the location.

Lastly, leave the inside unfinished, but do drill a few weep holes in the bottom so rain can drain.

-- Think safe, be safe

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Sanderguy777

279 posts in 2214 days


#8 posted 11-06-2020 12:48 AM

Wow! Thanks! That is a lot of info.

I was leaning towards the feeders vs the houses because I’m in college and finals are pretty close (I didn’t want to spend days just figuring out what kind of birds need what. I might try it with a couple and see if they sell though.)

Do those bird HOUSE related details also go for the bird FEEDERS? Like the color and the shape/size of the overall box?

I actually found that Grex, Simpson stringtie, and grip-rite all sell stainless brads. I’ll probably pick up a box or two of those (apparently galvanized is bad for cedar and redwood

-- Marc Spagnuolo (standing in front of clamp wall): I think I need a few more . Me (owner of at least 8 clamps):.....?

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

7250 posts in 1587 days


#9 posted 11-06-2020 03:30 AM

Feeders can be specific, but an open feeder can work. Many are now leaning toward suet cakes, and spirals for Winter feeding, the fat goes a long way toward giving the birds extra nutrients in cold weather. Most of those feeders are going to be mass manufactured of wire, and some plastic. Not as much wood feeder as there used to be when a simple A frame surrounding an open flat where you dumped seed, thistle, and grains. Everything is getting more specific, and like the different houses for different birds, the same is said for feeders.

Like so many things in our world you are shopping for Winter clothes in July. Now really is the time to start making bird houses. The birds won’t use them till next Spring, but the stores, and places selling them are ramping up.

Etsy bird feeders. A lot of the old faithful type. A combo of resold Chinese junk, and an A frame with a tray.

https://www.etsy.com/market/bird_feeders?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=etsy%20bird%20feeders_e&utm_campaign=Search_US_Brand_BNG_Home_General_New_LT_Exact&utm_ag=Bird+Feeders&utm_custom1=_k_199f2ec992951eb89511716d5379331b_k_&utm_content=bing_398217995_1304021024891976_81501366897559_kwd-81501455528460:loc-190_c_&utm_custom2=398217995&msclkid=199f2ec992951eb89511716d5379331b

Now here is a top birder site for feed, and supplies, see what I am saying about feeders where the birders flock, plastic, and metal.

https://www.songbirdgarden.com/store/Scripts/prodList.asp?idcategory=73&curPage=2

Etsy houses. A lot more room for originals here.

https://www.etsy.com/market/bird_houses?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=etsy%20bird%20houses_e&utm_campaign=Search_US_Brand_BNG_Home_General_New_LT_Exact&utm_ag=Birdhouses&utm_custom1=_k_a2c08bda88b214193917d47e494947ab_k_&utm_content=bing_398217995_1308419071762700_81776244912532_kwd-81776334303849:loc-190_c_&utm_custom2=398217995&msclkid=a2c08bda88b214193917d47e494947ab

-- Think safe, be safe

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