Just for Fun... #52: Not much going on... might as well build a birdhouse...

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Blog entry by littlecope posted 07-21-2011 04:20 AM 1650 reads 3 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 51: A Rare Sight, and a New Home for an old "Family Member"... Part 52 of Just for Fun... series Part 53: Adjustments... »

Those of you who’ve been on LJ’s for a while may recall my first effort at a birdhouse which began here
Somewhere in there, I mentioned that there was another one to re-build, but I had to wait until it was vacated… Well, the thing finally fell to the ground and the sparrows were forced to re-locate…A birdhouse that's seen better days...A front view...
So today I had a rare free day, and decided to re-work this… Just to begin with, I didn’t like the “eaves” arrangement… I think the guy who originally made these boards weren’t wide enough!!
I began by tracing half of the pattern onto a piece of paper…Marking one half of the old birdhouse onto paper...
I then used carbon paper to trace the same pattern onto the same paper, after folding it at the halfway marks of the birdhouse…Folding pattern in half...
I then place it on a window and re-trace it back onto the first side… I do it this way because it’s a fairly accurate and fast way to “mirror” two sides of an odd shape… Tracing it onto correct side...
After the pattern is drawn, I transferred it onto the wood… I actually did this twice, because I had the wrong grain orientation the first time… Using Carbon paper to trace pattern onto wood...
After getting it right, I cut the piece into a smaller, more manageable section and screwed it to another, so as to cut front and back at the same time…After cutting the pattern piece down to size...
I would have cut this with the band saw, but my ordered blades haven’t arrived yet…:-(
The access hole was cut next and then sides added… These are pegged in place with 1/8” dowel…After pegging ends to sides...
After that, I cut some strips for” roofing” on the table saw and trimmed them to length on the scroll saw… in this case 8”...Cut a bunch of strips on the tablesaw...
Next was to make a suitable bracket for hanging the thing, and attach it…Cutting a "bracket"...Bracket attached (toe-pegged)
To attach the “roofing” I took one piece, marked it, and then drilled it with a slightly undersized drill… then used that one to pre-drill all the others…Pre-drilling roof parts
I set it up in my simple “Box Vise” and began the pegging…Pegging roof on...
Then I trimmed the excess pegs and filed down the “nubs”...After cutting of excess pegs and filing "nubs"...
Continued onto the second side of the roof, add a floor and Voila… A New Birdhouse ready for the Finishing Department!!New birdhouse...
If I can finish the thing in time, I’ll try entering it in the Contest, but I’ve already seen some pretty stiff competition!! :)

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

15 comments so far

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9231 posts in 2941 days

#1 posted 07-21-2011 04:24 AM

Cool renovation! The birds will be proud to come back to lodge at this spiffy place next time! It really came out nice!

Sheila :)

-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View lew's profile


12099 posts in 3777 days

#2 posted 07-21-2011 04:42 AM

Nice house!! You’re going to have to raise the rent after all those improvements!


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View EMVarona's profile


437 posts in 2857 days

#3 posted 07-21-2011 06:44 AM

Love it! I am keen on these types of projects. You did a good job. The use of the scroll saw instead of the band saw is remarkable. I do not have a band saw only a Makita scroll saw. I’ll try cutting thick wood with it sometime, just like you did. In a scroll saw article I read that other ways of holding the wood together is with double sided tape or glue gun (heat glue). The scraps will stay clean and may be usable still.

-- Ed "Real happiness is one that you share."

View degoose's profile


7234 posts in 3376 days

#4 posted 07-21-2011 09:26 AM

Mr Little … that is very well documented and well made too…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3454 days

#5 posted 07-21-2011 12:29 PM

Now THAT is a birdhouse… recycled and all!
Nice work Mike.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3524 days

#6 posted 07-21-2011 12:48 PM

Thanks Everybody!!
Sheila: As you can see, I wasn’t completely idle, though it’s no excuse for not having done my homework for class…
Lew: As the landlord says to Don Vito, in Godfather II, “The rent st-ays the same!!”
Ed: I never tried two-sided tape, or hot glue, but others have had success with them… I’ve always attached stacked-wood cuts mechanically, with either screws or nails… That way, I’m certain that the stack isn’t going to shift or come loose, especially on thicker cuts… By all means, try some thick cutting on your Scroll Saw!! You’ll need a heavier blade (or two!) and be prepared to be patient, because it’s slow going…
Larry: I’m surprised you have time to read other folks’ blogs, as busy as you are!! I still say you have 36 hour days down under…
Ellen: It’s not the fanciest design, but it’s Bird-approved!! The old one had tenants in it continuously, for over 25 years!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Lenny's profile


1596 posts in 3549 days

#7 posted 07-21-2011 03:36 PM

Another fine birdhouse Mike. Nice job!

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View moonls's profile


412 posts in 3008 days

#8 posted 07-22-2011 01:51 AM

Mike you are very clever and the birds up your way are going to love setting up shop in this house. Nice job!

-- Lorna, Cape Cod

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3212 days

#9 posted 07-22-2011 06:20 AM

nice bird house….all dowel pins holding it together, if you used all gorilla glue
you might win that contest too!!!! I just started Sheila’s class, and I was amazed that
the office supply store still sells carbon paper….also tracing paper, great stuff for
mirror imaging. At work it’s all computers that does that stuff…At home it’s all
by hand….Can’t wait to see her all painted and ready for sparrows!!!!

-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 2944 days

#10 posted 07-22-2011 04:29 PM

I like the angled roof… like a Pagoda from Chinesse. Simple and realistic.

I love your scroll saw. Homemade but very effective. I like to make one…
Thanks for posting.

-- Bert

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3524 days

#11 posted 07-23-2011 10:44 AM

Thanks again my Friends!!
Lenny: I’ve been meaning to ask you, how did you like them Bruins this Year?! It was a fun ride wasn’t it? :)
Lorna: Thank You! I hope it’s a little cooler for you down on the Cape… Yesterday at work in the kitchen had to be one of the hottest days I’ve ever worked…
Bob K.: It’s held together with pegs, but no glue was used… not necessary… The “mirror-image” trick, I think I learned that in kindergarten when we made hearts for Valentines Day!! The old ways still work…
Bert: I can’t take credit, that scroll saw was store-bought, $110 in 1992… I’ve been very happy with it though and it’s worked like champ!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View HallTree's profile


5664 posts in 3789 days

#12 posted 07-25-2011 01:29 AM

I always enjoy the details and step-by-step photo’s when you post your projects. Nice job. I was wondering if your dad might of built the old birdhouse?

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3524 days

#13 posted 07-25-2011 02:22 AM

No, Dad didn’t make these…
This and the other one I made were built by a friend of my parents… I don’t really know if Pete had designed them or not, sorry… He made and sold a lot of them though!! Started making them for his own yard, then neighbors wanted them… Next thing he knew, he was making them for garden centers in our area…
Those two, that I used as inspiration, were made about 25-30 years ago out of pine, and lasted pretty well I’d say…
The first one I did, I upgraded to Oak, and this one is Cherry… I’d be proud if they last nearly as long!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Timthemailman's profile


327 posts in 2798 days

#14 posted 03-11-2012 06:46 PM

Thanks for the post. I really like the step by step detail , it really helps . Very nice job , have any of your local birds moved in ? Take care and happy woodworking.

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3524 days

#15 posted 03-12-2012 06:54 AM

Thanks Tim!
No Birds as yet,
But Hope springs eternal in the Springtime… :)

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

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