Build A Chickadee HouseComments (0)
Around here, most of us try to practice what we
preach, but there are many levels of skill in woodworking, ranging from nil to
expertise that is close to unbelievable. For those of us working the electrons
to produce the e-Newsletter, a few weeks ago seemed a good time for a Spring
brush-up of some woodworking skills, so Nancy Miller, Mike Haught, resident Web
Wizard, and I went to the Woodworkers Club to make some birdhouses. I
drew up a quick plan (too quick: I forgot to adjust the floor size down, so had
to do some extra cutting) for a chickadee house, after which I checked the
lumber room at the Woodcraft store in Parkersburg for good wood.
Cypress seemed the best choice as it was wood of
the month, and is very suitable for the task at hand. We edge jointed
the boards that were already surface planed, and then ripped the squared away
boards to width on the Delta Unisaw. Quick cuts by Nancy, with the club's
DeWalt DW708 slide compound miter saw, got the cypress to correct lengths, and
Mike made the 45° roof line cuts after I marked them off. We each then
took our birdhouse backs to the
14/" Deltabandsaw, where, after adjusting the blade tension and the guard height, we cut the arcs in the back. We also clipped the edges of the bottoms for drainage and ventilation using the bandsaw. Next up,we drilled three 1/8"
pilot holes in the back. One is aligned with the front entry hole, while two
are in the tail, so that a good firm three screw mounting is easily carried
out. You can reposition these mounting holes as your site demands. From there,
it was time to find a
1-1/8"Forstnerbitanddrillthealreadymarkedentryholesinthefronts.Onceallthepartswerecuttosize,we rough assembled each birdhouse to check the fit and positioning.
With the cypress dried to construction standards, we thought there might be some difficulties, but all cuts were squar
and there was no evident cupping or other problems, sooneside was then clamped inavise, one edge coated with TitebondII, and the front was attached withthree1-1/4"
brads. The two-part sub-assembly was lifted from the vise, and the second side
was edge-coated with glue, the assembly laid in place on that, and three more
brads were driven. The assembly was then turned on its face, and the two
sides again edge coated with Titebond II. The back was then placed and aligned
and six brads, three per side, used to tack that in place.
Roof assembly was next: the long tail of the
back was clamped in the vise to make this easier. The long roof board was
placed first, on the glued edges of the 45° angles, with careful alignment, and
two brads per side. The short roof board went in place next, with two brads per
side. Some people may wish to modify the design to allow clean-out
from the top. That's easily done by aligning the long roof board, without glue,
on the angles and using #6 wood screws to hold it in place, two per side. Drill
pilot holes, and use round head screws instead of countersinking and
counterboring. Flat head screws need countersinking; countersinking in the roof
area opens the possibility of small amounts of standing water, which cuts down
on roof life.
the roof is finished, all that needs to be done is to install the floor. This
takes one screw, into pilot holes that have also been countersunk and lightly
counterbored, per side, with a third screw in front. The finished house
is ready for occupancy. The front screw can be backed out, and the bottom
pivoted on the other two screws for clean-out (the side screws must be an equal
distance from the back of the nesting house to allow even pivoting).
There is now only the job of locating a suitable spot for your
replication of our chickadee house. That's super simple if there is a wooden
fence post around. Chickadees love to nest in old fence posts, where often
holes are just about the nice tight size they like for a nest. Place the
chickadee house four to a dozen or so feet above the ground, on a fence post or
on a pole, or on a tree.
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