Do-It-Yourself Birdhouse From Scrap Lumber!

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Do-It-Yourself Birdhouse From Scrap Lumber!, Kenosha, Racine

Odd Job Larry is here to help you with a do-it-yourself project! Here's a quick guide to making your own birdhouse from scrap lumber you may have lying around. Of course, it's only a guide. Your birdhouse can be as creative as you like! 

You will need:
- Front
- Back
- Floor
- 2 sides
- 2 roof pieces
- 3/8" diameter dowel
- Waterproof wood glue
- Finishing nails
- About 60-90 minutes of free time

1. Use 1" standard lumber; the largest pieces approximately 8" x 10" in size. 

2. Figure out the shape of the birdhouse you would like to build. Perhaps a traditional birdhouse, which is primarily just a box with a roof. Or, for more of a challenge, you can alter the design by slanting the walls or even adding a second story. For this post, we will keep it pretty basic and presume that you are building a traditional birdhouse.

3. Make your front and back walls the same shape, approx. 8" wide, by 10" tall, with 45-degree angle cuts that come to a point at the top.

4. Drill the entrance hole for the House Wren, roughly 1 1/2" in diameter, which should be about 4 - 6" above the floor of the birdhouse. Using a 3/8" drill bit, drill the hole in the front, for the perch. This will be about half the distance from the floor to the entrance hole. *Note* Only make these cuts for the front wall.

5. Looking at the front and back walls you cut at 45-degree angles from the top, measure the distance from the bottom to where the angle starts: this will be the height of your side walls. Now you can cut your sides. The measurements will be the height of your side walls x 7" wide. Using the waterproof wood glue and finishing nails, nail the front of the birdhouse to the sides, leaving the bottoms flush. Then, nail the back to sides. 

6. Now for the floor. My personal preference is to make the floor larger than the birdhouse, to give it a little flare. Measure the width and depth of your assembled walls, and add an inch to both dimensions. This is your floor size. Cut your floor and nail it to the bottom of your walls. Be sure to use waterproof wood glue, before nailing, to seal the floor to the wall bottoms.

7. Moving on to the roof, measure the length of your 45-degree angle and add a half inch to the length, and a full inch to the width. These dimensions will be one of your roof pieces. Add an additional 1" (provided that you used 1" lumber)  to your length to make the second roof piece. Adding the additional 1" will cause the longer roof section to overlap the shorter section by the thickness of the wood, helping to seal the roof. Using your waterproof glue, glue and nail your shorter roof section to the walls. Make sure to keep the top of the shorter roof section flush with the opposite walls. Add the longer roof section, but overlap the shorter roof section by the thickness of the wood. This will make the roof pieces flush with each other.

8. Cut the 3/8" diameter dowel to 3 inches long. Apply some wood glue to about 3/4" of one end and press it inside the 3/8" perch hole you have previously drilled. Now your birdhouse is complete! You may even want to use a good outdoor varnish to seal the outside of your birdhouse. You have to keep the new residents dry!

The only thing left to do is either mount your birdhouse to a tree, hang it with some rope from a tree limb, or just about anywhere in your yard or garden. It won't take long to start seeing birds, but you could always place some bird feeders nearby to speed up the process (another project, perhaps?)! You will have hours of fun watching the birds and feel wonderful knowing your hard work resulted in their beautiful new home.