|Project by Jonathan||posted 07-31-2011 09:39 PM||2284 views||1 time favorited||26 comments|
This is my submission for the birdhouse contest. I decided to do something different and miniaturize it. I had been thinking about trying to build a miniature bandsaw box around the same size, and also wanted to build a birdhouse for the contest. The bandsaw box fell by the wayside, but I decided to make the birdhouse as small as I could and still include certain details, like mitered joints and miter keys. It is too small to actually be inhabited by any birds, as the smallest bird in the world is the Bee Hummingbird, which is much larger than this birdhouse.
With that being said, I built this as if it were going to actually be used. I did not finish the inside. I put a drain hole in the bottom to allow any errant water to drain out. I made a removeable, but secure top, so that the inside can be cleaned out.
Before this project, I had not used any miter joints on projects. So, I decided to use miter joints to hold the box together, and then also used a coping saw to create the kerfs for the miter keys, another new technique for me. Believe it, or not, I actually ripped the miters on a strip to use for the carcass on the tablesaw, then sanded the stock progressively thinner. It was somewhere around 1/8” thick when I ripped it.
Wood: Edge grain hard maple for the carcass, walnut for the miter keys, ebony for the top and bottom, cork attached to the top with a maple toothpick dowel (the toothpick was too big, so I sanded it even thinner) to secure it all.
Glue: Titebond III to hold the miter keys in place, CA glue used on all other joints.
Finish: Several coats of rattle can Bullseye shellac (outside only), maple dowel not finished so it does not bind in the hole
Total Height: 49/64”-tall
Outer Width: 23/64”-wide
Outer Depth: 11/32”-deep
Inner Dimensions: 1/4”, by 1/4”-square, 9/16”-tall, from floor to bottom of cork lock (living space is .0351-cubic inches)
Ebony Floor/Bottom: 3/32”-thick
Roof: 11/128”-tall at the center (registers slightly taller than the floor), by 9/16”-wide, by 1/2”-deep
Maple Dowel: 1/16”-wide, by 9/16”-long
Wall Thickness: varies slightly, but all walls are under 1/16” thick
Entry Hole: 3/32”-wide
Dowel Lock Holes 1/16”-wide
Miter Keys: 1/32”, ripped strips on tablesaw, then cut individual pieces on bandsaw
Carcass sanded up to 320-grit, then burnished with steel wool. Top and bottom sanded up to 600-grit, then burnished with steel wool.
I will come back and add more details, but I waited until the last possible minute to post this for the contest, so I have to get it submitted! I need to get a picture of the roof off so you can see how it is secured. I basically glued a small piece of cork to the ebony, then put the lid in place and drilled a hole through the cork and sides for the maple dowel to slide into, locking it all together.
Here’s the Miniature Birdhouse Build blog, with numerous in-progress pictures, and all the “little” details.
Photo 1: Birdhouse next to a penny
Photo 2: Birdhouse on an Incra ruler
Photo 3: Birdhouse on my iPhone
Photo 4: Miter key glue-up (The maple sides are much thinner than this now, after sanding everything down.)
Photo 5: Birdhouse with a 0.5mm pencil
Photo 6: Birdhouse taken apart, showing drain hole on bottom, plus cork “lock” that secures the roof to the house. (That is cork dust on the maple dowel from removing it from it’s slot. The dowel was sanded to 320-grit and is nice and smooth.)
-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."