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Building Birdhouses Can be Fun

Updated on May 31, 2020
kenneth avery profile image

Kenneth, born and raised in the South, resides in Hamilton, Alabama. He enjoys sharing his unique perspectives on life through his writing.

So There You Are

ready to embark on a sideline business to supplement your main income, or maybe you have longed for just the right type of hobby and it took a while until you settled on building birdhouses. At first glance, you probably laughed then began to ask good questions aimed at the logical-minded, and yet, you were still hooked on the simple idea on building our “fine featured friends,” so you began to study the design of building birdhouses; a set of minimally-expensive tools—hammer, nails (medium size); ruler; magnifying glass; portable air tank; staple/nail gun; and table saw.

Are you still ready to build birdhouses although you have a sick feeling at looking at the list of tools? Well, let me let you in on the best rule of thumb that will serve you, if you want to do like I did a few years ago and shop for the inexpensive tools, and while that is not to say these tool brands are “Brand X,” or knock-off copies. No. There are a lot brand-name tools that you can buy from the big department-style lumber and home improvement stores.

1x4 Yellow Pine lumber is what I use for building birdhouses.
1x4 Yellow Pine lumber is what I use for building birdhouses. | Source

These Helpful-Tips

can not only educate-yourself with the tools (and other items) that will be of big help to save time and energy as you enter the world of personal satisfaction of being your own boss and being able to knock-out as many birdhouses that you want each day.

  • Of course I am referring to the two major classes of birdhouse engineers and designers. These groups are the serious, business-minded men, women, and young people who have fallen in-love with the best system to build attractive birdhouses that can be used as gifts for birthdays, Christmas, and anniversaries. Plus you will enjoy that personal benefit of knowing that your gift of a birdhouse was enjoyed so much that you will be ready for more birdhouse-building.

  • Start with a simple strategy for your birdhouse project. Get the birdhouse design not only in your mind, but on paper. If you have chosen a birdhouse from the internet or magazine, be careful. Most companies that sell birdhouses have their materials copyrighted and if your product is the same as those of the big birdhouse companies, you might be in some trouble.

  • There is no trick at it at all. Just start from base to roof and stay simple. I hope that you can use these information bits that will help you to cut-down the first attacks of frustration as you build your first birdhouses and just find out that “this” project turned out to be more work than you thought. Do not fret. Relax. Walk away from the project and study your plans again and take your time. This is the key to successful building.

Now For The “Tool Show”

that may prove beneficial in your birdhouse shop. Above all, BE CAREFUL in all aspects of the projects that you plan on building. You may not only save time, but injury to yourself.

Clear Goggles Are a Must

if you want to not have to worry about nails and staples flying-off wood and head for your eyes. The goggles are not expensive, but worth every minute that you wear them even if they were very costly.

  • You do not need a huge work space to start your birdhouse-building. If you have a moderately-sized basement that has electrical outlets, then are on your way. You shouldn’t have a need to overload the electrical cords at one outlet because of the Cord Strip that can hold up to 12 different tools and will not give reason for power surges. Sure. Invest in a power strip.

  • Organization is very important to the dedicated birdhouse builder. Keep tools together and in touch of the tool(s) that you can reach for and keep the building going and not have to stop and search all-over the work area for your hammer, tape, etc.

  • Use Caution when you use all of of the tools, but a table saw and a mitor saw is where you need to slowly cut what pieces of wood that you have lines written to show you exactly what you are cutting. And take your time. That way, you will save time and lumber.

  • In building a moderately-sized birdhouse is one I call a “Vertical Condo,” that can house two birds and their families, but make sure that the top and bottom sapce(s) ar as close to perfect as you can. Take your time. I have said this before but it works.

  • The “Vertical Condo,” has six total pieces of wood ranging from eight to nine inches in vertical measurements and the tops and bottoms will be close to being perfect if the width of your lumber is the same width as a 1x4, which I advise you to start in any birdhouse-build.

The Bigger and More-Elaborate

birdhouse project can be designed and planned the same way as the birdhouse above. And what? Take your time. Do not get into a hurry. If in the early-going you feel frustration start to build because you made an error in cutting a needed piece of wood, stop. Walk away and cool down your nerves before you continue. You will thank me later.

  • The air tank and staple gun is very important. Keep your air tank free of moisture inside the tank because water droplets will form and work back inside the saw motor then you have problems. The air tank (on graphic above) has a gold valve to the left on the lower side and you can gently-twist the valve and let the air to go out. Then tighten-up the valve and turn the air tank on and it should go off when the right air poundage is reached.

  • With staple guns, they work great when building birdhouses. Some professional birdhouse buildings build and sell those projects that rival (in size) of a Barbie Doll House and then I advise you to use a nail gun on projects of this size. Use your clear plastic goggles as you shoot your birdhouse pieces together and as the project reaches the finish line, you can feel the satisfaction swell as you shoot the final staple.

  • As you build your first birdhouse, stop before you finish, to make sure that you are using the right design. Do not allow your imagination to run wild. Simplicity is always the best.

  • After you have cut the various pieces of wood that will be used to build your beautiful birdhouse, this short-cut helps a lot. Take a sponge and dampen the fitting areas followed by any wood glue and let it set for a few minutes then slowly place the cut wood together and if you like, use clamps to let the sections dry over-night before finishing the birdhouse. Do you ever need to glue and staple? Sometimes. Depending the height of the birdhouse. Use both if you want to use a 1x10 or 12 vertical, I say use both the wood glue and staples later.

  • I mentioned the use of a staple gun and a hammer because sometimes it feels good to “go old school” and gently tap the small nails into the birdhouse pieces.

  • A ruler is a must. Do NOT play guess-work. The old standard of “measure twice, cut once,” will always apply here.

  • Should you paint the birdhouse? If your customer has asked for it. In my case, bluebirds cannot stand bright colors on the side of their birdhouse—they like a regular, unsanded lumber, I think because they can see that their “

Always make sure that you check your air tank and drain all of the moisture out before work on building birdhouses.
Always make sure that you check your air tank and drain all of the moisture out before work on building birdhouses. | Source

Look Into my Design For Cleaning

the nest of the family that used it in the first season. My “Vertical Condo”has the top with a wood screw drilled into the top edge so the top can be moved side-to-side and then turn the birdhouse over and the old nest will fall out.

  • Keep saw blades fresh. When you see them with rough cuts, stop using them immediately and use new ones. You will be glad that you did.

  • If you are building a birdhouse with a angled-roof, get the correct measurements, then place the ends together and place them on your Mitor saw at a 3 inch slant (that is what I use), and with one cut, there you have the two sidewalls with 45-degree angled-roof.

  • When you are finished cutting every piece of wood that you will need, remember to clean-up your saw(s) and this way, the sawdust will not clog into those small machine parts underneath the saw which might cause problems.

  • If you are using a drill bit to make the hole in the front of the birdhouse to let birds come and go as they please, I use a 2.75” bit and run the hole around and around when I am finished to make sure that there are no harmful splinters that might hurt the owner when cleaning the birdhouse or even the birdhouse tenants.

So there you are. I tried to edit-down as many tips as I could. I wish you all the best when you follow your dream of becoming a birdhouse builder. With very little practice and devotion, you can build, design, and create the birdhouse of your dreams.

May 30, 2020___________________________________________________

© 2020 Kenneth Avery


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