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Project by TopamaxSurvivor posted 1554 days ago 1759 views 4 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I set these birdhouse kits up for the grandkids, but dad had time to get them up when they weren’t home so he put them together. Oh, well, maybe next time. He wanted to get them up before it got too late. There have been too many family gatherings and activities for me to get the kids to put them together in the last month. They picked them up on their way by one afternoon.

There is a red acrylic window in the back to see what is happening with the bird family. I got that idea here on LJ. Not sure exactly who started it. They have long backboards to be hung in front of a window. The top is removable for clean out. The back board has a dado to catch the top instead of a hinge. I hate hinges. There is usually a better way. The top has nails to engage the sides to secure the top.

The size is determined by the size of scrap 8” cedar fencing boards without having to make any rips ;-)

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

16 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


14621 posts in 2281 days

#1 posted 1554 days ago

The nails have never done that on my deck or railing. I didn’t know that could happen. BTW, welcome to LJ!!

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View OutPutter's profile


1194 posts in 2595 days

#2 posted 1554 days ago

I love this idea for kids too. I picked up several kits and gave them to my daughter for Christmas and she loved them she got to glue and hammer the nails. We actually have our first family in residence now. Good luck to you too.


-- Jim

View janice's profile


1082 posts in 2030 days

#3 posted 1554 days ago

That’s a clever design for over the sliding window. I like it!
I’ve made alot of birdhouse’s and sometimes they fall apart after a year or so and sometimes they last several years. Doesn’t seem to matter what wood I use, so I thought maybe it was the nails. What is a good nail for outdoor projects? Does anyone know?
Dad is right about getting them up before it gets to late or you will end up with wasp instead of birds. Been there, done that. I like it though!

-- Janice

View Abbott's profile


2570 posts in 1908 days

#4 posted 1554 days ago

Galvanized nails Janice.

-- Ohh mann...pancakes and boobies...I'll bet that's what Heaven is like! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


14621 posts in 2281 days

#5 posted 1554 days ago

I was worried about them getting them up before it was too late too. I don’t know about nails popping out. I have see a few losen up , not pop out! Maybe it’s the midwest humidity cycles??

The red window is just nailed on. The top is the only removable part.

These aren’t store bought kits, they are scrap fence lumber kits I made up for the kids.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


14621 posts in 2281 days

#6 posted 1554 days ago

That’s what I used. Galvanized roofing nails because I havd a bunch of them left over.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Rick's profile


6455 posts in 1638 days

#7 posted 1554 days ago

HHUUMMMM Let me see. What’s the BEST Wood for Outdoor Projects? Well, everyone uses CEDAR, if they don’t want to use Pressure Treated and I don’t, so CEDAR must be it! PHEW!

OH! Nails …. I got it! Galvanized because they won’t Rust AND they have a Rough Surface and HOLD better and some of them are even ARDOX (Twisted) which holds even better!

Thanks Abbott!!

Topamax: Hope you get a chance to put some of these GREAT KITS together with your Grandchildren. That’s one of the reasons they invented Grandfathers. ;-}

Rick S

-- COMMON SENSE Is Like Deodorant. The People Who need It Most, Never Use It.

View stefang's profile


12605 posts in 1939 days

#8 posted 1554 days ago

Those birdhouses are great Bob and I bet the kids will love them. I really like the idea of the plastic back.

I have been making some decorative birdhouses in the past. You can see a small version in my project gallery. These have lasted for 10 years and still going strong. They were made from Elm. I think they lasted a long time because I used epoxy glue to hold them together. They have a roof that is a larger diameter than the sides which offers some protection from the elements, and they open from the bottom with wood screws for cleaning. The outside finish is epoxy with a coat of poly containing UV screening on top. Marine varnish would probably be even better. I never thought they would last so long and the finishes haven’t even been renewed and they still look great. They have been attached on a wall under the eaves of the roof which probably helps a lot too. They have been is use every year.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Woodfix's profile


323 posts in 1905 days

#9 posted 1554 days ago

I have built a few of these too, but I love the idea of the window. I will definitely give that a go, especially for my boy (he is only two). One thing I did on mine though is I put some small holes in the bottom, about 3/8 to 1/2’. If you get louse in the box, you simply stick a hose in there until everything comes out. Haven’t had to do it yet but I really, really, really dont want to put my hand in a louse riddle box, I would probably just burn it where it is.

I like the idea of using the project to encourage the kids too.

Cheers Doug

-- Living is a constant gamble, life is about working the odds in your favour

View Mary Anne's profile

Mary Anne

1057 posts in 1813 days

#10 posted 1554 days ago

Pretty neat idea. Is the acrylic red for a reason?

View lumberdustjohn's profile


1247 posts in 1771 days

#11 posted 1553 days ago

Nice job.
Happiness to the blue bird of paradise!

Thanks for posting.

-- Safety first because someone needs you.

View Cozmo35's profile


2198 posts in 1641 days

#12 posted 1553 days ago

I like it! I have a few around my house. The first thing I thought of was a video I saw. Take a look!

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View sharad's profile


1063 posts in 2409 days

#13 posted 1553 days ago

A very nice birdhouse Topomax and the idea of using the red acrylic.


-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View Stevinmarin's profile


837 posts in 1680 days

#14 posted 1553 days ago

Very nice. Yeah, I was wondering about the red, too. Or is that just a color you happened to have?

-- Entertainment for mere mortal woodworkers.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


14621 posts in 2281 days

#15 posted 1553 days ago

The red is because the birds can’t see through it, but we can. If the back were clear, they would be intimidated or scared and probably not occupy. That is what I was told in my discussions with the bird experts. I have one in my favorites, but I am sure it is not the originator of this idea. Sorry, I can’t remember who I got it from.

I have drain holes in some of them. I started chamfering the back edge of the bottom for ventilation and drainage. I’ll post another picture. You should be able to see the drain hole in the bottom, the chamfered back of the bottom and the ventilation holes in the sides.

I did a little reading about birdhouses. I found that the more natural they are, the more likely they are to be occupied. I chose the scrap cedar because it is natural and will last without any finish. I used the big headed galvanized roofing nails to aid the kids in hitting them ;-) It didn’t matter much. My son told me one the grandkids could care less about putting it together. They didn’t have time for the other one before hanging time.

Thanks for the comments.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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