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Building Birdhouses: Far From Being a "Walk in The Park" Take it From Me

Updated on July 5, 2015
Two of my first builds.
Two of my first builds. | Source
This is my dear friend, Les Walters, who is the managing editor of the Journal Record, our local paper. I've known Walters since 1979. He requested a Capt. America birdhouse and my wife, Pam delivered it.
This is my dear friend, Les Walters, who is the managing editor of the Journal Record, our local paper. I've known Walters since 1979. He requested a Capt. America birdhouse and my wife, Pam delivered it. | Source

What was I thinking?

If you are like me, and I pray that you are not, when I view something that "looks" so easy that I could do it in my sleep, then be prepared. Pretty soon, if you get involved with this "easy" activity, you will get a tough lesson in patience and find that you need more wisdom.

With me it was building birdhouses. This idea had been hatched by my wife in 2006 and until a month ago, I did not know the first thing about this hobby, for lack of a better word.

Did I say it's tough? In case I didn't, it is. Do not laugh too hard at me, for some of you who follow me are professional birdhouse architects and could build a birdhouse condominium while blindfolded. Am I right?

My first two birdhouses.
My first two birdhouses. | Source

Lots to be done before you build.

Like everything in life that you are attempting to accomplish, plans have to be made. And made time and time again. I am serious. When I worked for Les Walters (in photo underneath the first big photo at top) he and the staff accused me of worrying too much about details as I would read and re-read stories and ads until I knew that they were error-free. Believe me. You do not want to be on the receiving-end of an angry advertiser or subscriber who has found a costly-error in your work.

So the mindset I had was to start my birdhouse project, but not over-spend on costly and unneeded tools and items that some salesman says that I need. That formula worked for as I look over my shop today, I can see a working environment with plenty of space to build birdhouses and yet, let a customer step inside and let them see what I am doing.

I am trying to  provide my customers with a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes.
I am trying to provide my customers with a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes. | Source

What had to be done before I started.

  • I needed a portable building of course to build my birdhouses, but I was not going to spend a excessive amount of dough for something that did not require that much space. A friend at my church told of this building for half the price of my budget. One trip with Pam, a shrewd shopper, and I was buying the building.
  • I had a head-start in tools. Pam had given me a lot of tools that I would need about six Christmases ago and I use them today. I did have to return a drill that would not charge and a saw that is not needed for birdhouse building and now I have a great drill, clamps for gluing houses for over-night drying, a table saw for cutting the right shapes and of course, drill bits, nails, screws and wood glue. And a desk that a lady at our church just gave me to get it out of her garage. God bless her.
  • Pam rigged-up my source of electricity by hooking two long extension cords together and ran them into the back of her shop, Anna-Alexis, located next to my shop, and with a power strip, I can work as long as I desire. God bless Pam too.
  • I buy my lumber at Lowe's in Tupelo, Miss. Although this is not a plug, it is the truth. I am a stingy-operator because in today's economy, a person with a project like mine has to be stingy.

Alexis Nash and Jennifer McCarley had a lot of fun with my wife, Pam, designing these birdhouses.
Alexis Nash and Jennifer McCarley had a lot of fun with my wife, Pam, designing these birdhouses. | Source

When I started.

I was so excited. Thus far all I have been doing is writing for HubPages, and I will continue to do so. This birdhouse building is just a new chapter in my life. As a kid I used to sit in awe and watch my dad build birdhouses, dog houses and other wood working items--all without a formal education. This is where I got the mindset of "this is so easy I can do this without trying," and it came back very quick to bite me in the rear end.

My wife, Pam, who I didn't know was a prophet, told me one night as we retired to bed, "You are going to go through a lot of lumber until you get the hand of this birdhouse thing." Oh how right she was. I used up a lot of 1x6 and 1x4 Yellow Pine lumber before I got the handle on cutting those pesky 45-degree angles on my roofing. Like I said. It is tough.

I credit my Heavenly Father for showing me His patience as I am building and cutting wood for my orders, His name leaves my lips as pleas for help, not cursing. I can assure you of that.

This piece was not intended to be a boastful person. I just wanted to share with you what I have been doing (right now) for about three hours a day for three days a week.

Comments

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    • profile image

      Kenneth Avery 

      3 years ago

      daydreamer13,

      Thank you sincerely for your sweet comment.

      And the lovely things you said about the photos. Comments such as yours makes writing hubs worthwhile.

      Come back anytime.

    • daydreamer13 profile image

      daydreamer13 

      3 years ago

      Cool topic, beautiful pictures, and a fun read. Excellent hub!

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      BlossomSB,

      Thanks so much for your very sweet comment. Take it from me. You are very appreciated.

      Come back anytime you like to talk with me.

      God bless you.

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Great practical hub and love the illustrations, too.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear Jennifer,

      Thank you so kindly for your supportive remarks. It feels so good to have people able to relate to what you write about. And this hub proves my point. Oh, my wife sings, cooks, and other stuff that I just sit and watch. Get this. On the second week of working in my birdhouse shop, she took a piece of lumber and put it on my table saw and zing! zam! A set of perfect 45-degree angles at the end of this lumber. I was shocked.

      I asked her why she never told me she could do this. She replied, "You never asked me." Now really. How many men are going to ask their wives at any time if they are proficient on a table saw?

      And life goes on.

      Come back and talk anytime, Jennifer.

    • Jennifer Mugrage profile image

      Jennifer Mugrage 

      3 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

      Congratulations on your exciting new (hobby?), and as always, you have written a chuckle-worthy post about it.

      You are so right about things looking easy until you try them. How often have I had that experience? Only every time I ever tried to: cook ... sing ... parent ... dive ... put up a simple shelf ... the list goes on.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hey, KoffeeKlatchGirls,

      Hello down there in Sunny Florida. Thank you very much for the sweet compliment. LOL. I am sure that there are some birds with taste in homes who will move into his house.

      Do me a favor and get the word out that I am offering FREE SHIPPING on my birdhouses NO charge for the painting. I offer another option: The moderate-size models are $20 or $25 . . .I do have larger models, but I want to give my customers a break.

      I need address/check from customer and what school/college they desire.

      Thanks, Kenneth

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      3 years ago from Sunny Florida

      I think your birdhouse look great. You should see the one my husband built. The birds won't even move in it.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Bravewarrior,

      Thanks to you, sweet friend, for your super-nice words that make me want to do more birdhouses. They, the birds are His creatures too.

      Like I told Jodah, I am doing this to raise some money for my household and the prices are negotiable. If you know anyone who would like one, just inbox me and I provide FREE shipping too.

      Thanks and have a blessed day.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Jodah,

      Thank you so much for your supportive comment. It IS an involved task, but it is fun to sit back when one is finished and know that you had something to do with this.

      I am trying to raise some extra money for my household and rather than just ask for it, I had rather give the giver something in return.

      Kenneth

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      3 years ago from Central Florida

      You seem to be getting the hang of your new craft, Kenneth. Your bird houses are bright and colorful. I can see how they would involve a lot a patience - a virtue I'm still trying to perfect.

      What a wonderful hobby you've chosen! You'll keep the birds and your customers happy!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Well done Kenneth, those are impressive looking bird houses. I once built a bird house..yes, just one. It was much more difficult than I expected. I am no expert at wood work. Voted up.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Kristen,

      My sincere thanks to you for your nice comment. It is scary sometimes watching a table saw cut within an eighth of an inch away from your fingers.

      But it is more fun than anything else.

      Like I told Kiss and Tales, if you know of anyone who would buy one, I can put their own college symbol on it and the prices are so low that it is laughable.

      Just send me an email. Thanks.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      3 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Kiss and Tales,

      Thank you very kindly. I appreciate your sweet thoughts. It is a new chapter of my life that has many levels and I love it. Oh, if you know of anyone who would like to buy one with their college affiliation, just inbox me on my profile page where it says: 'Send Kenneth an email.' Again, thank you, dear friend.

    • Kiss andTales profile image

      Kiss andTales 

      3 years ago

      These are so cute and colorful, I love your creations Kenneth thank you for sharing another talent of yours.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      3 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Kenneth, those birdhouses looks pretty good to me. Keep at it. Great hub and voted up for interesting!

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