• Advertise with us
Project by snowdog posted 08-10-2007 12:55 PM 2422 views 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

We started enjoying birds a few years back, humming birds mostly, but when we moved to PA last year we started with the other flying dinosaurs. This is my first, of what I hope to be many, bird feeders. I didn’t have any plans, just started cutting with a general idea in my head. I used cedar but there is not much cedar in North East PA so I may have to find other woods to play with that can hold up to the outdoor weather (unless I can find a cheap source for cedar). I didn’t finish the wood with anything, I was worried that the birds might not care for it and cedar seems to hold up pretty well on its own. I can’t wait to see how long my feeder will last outside before falling apart :). I used 4 screws on the lower part of the roof in case I have to replace the plexiglass. The rest is water proof glue I bought for making a cutting board project that is yet to be started :)

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

13 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4188 days

#1 posted 08-10-2007 01:26 PM

love the design of the roof.

I don’t think birds like finishes so leaving it natural was a good decision.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1809 posts in 4113 days

#2 posted 08-10-2007 07:13 PM

Good stuff Snow. I used Cabot’s Australian Timber Oil on the exterior surfaces and vegetable oil on the interior of the seed hoppers and tray of this feeder I built for my Mom. I have lots of feeders. Each season I’ll clean them thouroughly and then let them dry, then I just wipe down the areas where the seed will be with the vegetable oil and let it soak in. Make sure you have weep holes drilled in the bottom of the tray to allow them to dry out. Moldy seeds aren’t good for the birds.

Strangely enough I’ve actually done some experimenting with finishes on bird feeders and houses. From my observations the birds don’t care as long as the finish is more than a couple of days old.

On the flip side I have a cedar birdhouse my Dad built 30 years ago that is unfinished and still in good shape. I clean that every year as well but don’t use the oil.

-- Bob

View TomFran's profile


2957 posts in 4021 days

#3 posted 08-10-2007 07:19 PM

Wow, that’s a beautiful view in your backyard. I’ll bet there’s lots of birds.

Nice job on the bird feeder. Birdfeeders are nice practical projects with immediate benefits – like enjoying the birds when they come to eat!

My wife got me into bird feeding several years back, and it’s a constant source of enjoyment to us. It could also be a source of cash for you too, because people will pay for a nice bird feeder.

Keep them coming (the photos of your bird feeders)!

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View TomFran's profile


2957 posts in 4021 days

#4 posted 08-10-2007 07:23 PM

”From my observations the birds don’t care as long as the finish is more than a couple of days old.
– Bob Babcock

We have a “squirrel proof” feeder which is metal with a green enamel finish, and the birds (and squirrels) don’t seem to care that it has paint on it. I think Bob is right, in that, as long as it has cured, it will be fine with the birds (and squirrels).

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Hawgnutz's profile


526 posts in 4104 days

#5 posted 08-10-2007 07:34 PM

nice feeder! A good source of relatively cheap cedar is your local box store. I use the cedar fence pickets to make a lot of cedar projects. It even looks good for a box, too. Don’t forget their redwood fencing material, either. Both are designed for outdoor use, so they should hold up satsfactorily—even with the snow and humidity.

You can “squirrel proof” the feedere by taking an old pot lid, removing the holder on the middle of the top and run the string or metal trough the hole. The birds can get underneath it, but squirrels can’t get around the lid. And it will also help the feeder and seeds stay dry in some rain!

God Bless,

-- Saving barnwood from the scrapyards

View WayneC's profile


13754 posts in 4125 days

#6 posted 08-10-2007 07:40 PM

Great feeder. I have one running all the time as well. I am very pro bird.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View TomFran's profile


2957 posts in 4021 days

#7 posted 08-10-2007 09:09 PM

How about a picture of your “squirrel proof” feeder idea? ;^D

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View PanamaJack's profile


4483 posts in 4105 days

#8 posted 08-10-2007 09:26 PM

Great idea and design on this feeder Snow.

What Tom said, Hawg.

-- Carpe Lignum; Tornare Lignum (Seize the wood, to Turn the wood)

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1809 posts in 4113 days

#9 posted 08-11-2007 02:10 AM

Like Hawg said. I’d look at Lowes. I’m surprised you can’t get cedar there.

The fencing materials idea works for sure. The old bridge my garden is built from unfinished cedar fencing and has stood up well for 8 years despite being over a almost constantly running stream and waterfall. The Lowe’s near me sells single sided cedar that is pretty cheap. Even 10” boards are inexpensive.

Oh…and in response to your comment on my Mom’s feeder. Having a constant supply of water for the birds through the winter is what sets my yard apart when it comes to habitat. I usually have 3-4 times the number of birds that others in the area have. The trees as shelter help too but I think its mostly due to the water. You also want to plant a variety of flowering/fruiting trees and shrubs. The birds will thank you.

-- Bob

View Buckskin's profile


486 posts in 4015 days

#10 posted 08-11-2007 03:46 AM

Great feeder! Certainly find out what your local fence companies are using to build privacy fences and use that for your lumber. Like the others said check out Lowes and Home Depot for cedar fence pickets. They usually run a couple bucks a piece currently and I have seen them as cheap as a buck.

View snowdog's profile


1164 posts in 4010 days

#11 posted 08-11-2007 01:27 PM

Homedepot had some cedar 1×8 x 6” for $15 seems a bit expensive, I’ll have to look at the fencing :)

We have a tinny stream in the back yard maybe 200+ feet from the feeders. Is that ok or should I but water closer to the food?? I am pretty sure it freezes up in the winter so I may have to find a way to get water out there for them.

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1809 posts in 4113 days

#12 posted 08-15-2007 10:24 AM

They sell small heaters for bird baths. Low wattage…..just enough to keep the water open.

-- Bob

View James Frederick's profile

James Frederick

175 posts in 3748 days

#13 posted 04-28-2017 05:03 PM

Looks great, I really like the roof detail.

I love to make bird feeders for friends and family. I have one in the backyard made in 2006, and it’s still going strong millions of birds and squirrels served. These a real quick and easy gifts that give years of service.

-- Change begins somewhere may as well be with me.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics