Bird Houses

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Project by Von posted 03-28-2013 09:27 PM 1444 views 6 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These designs are something I came up with on my own after gawking at similar designs other people have built. What sets these apart are the methods I use to assemble them, and the size of the materials I guess. I start out with a rough sawn MN native pine board 14’ x 5.25” x 1.75” (jack, Norway, white, and red pines)

Assembly is done with 4” dowels that I cut a 3/4” slot on the ends, and a shim or wedge is slipped into that slot. The dowel is then hammered into 3/8” holes with the wedge end down. Imagein the way you ram a wedge into a hammer or axe handle, but put that end and the wedge down the hole. Now tap it couple of times with a mallet and….. permanent wooden nail. Each dowel hole is offset by a small amount in the same way one would do a draw-board M&T joint. There are 2 holes per board / side; some of them are visible in the photos. I learned this method years ago from a furniture maker who built stuff without glue or nails or screws. I loved the look and I have to say, his technique has rubbed off on me a bit. Neither of these bird houses use screws, glue, paint, or stain of any kind. *except for the roof on the larger box…. heh. obvious abuse of screws on that press-fit block.

The large one is a bluebird box and clean-out is possible by taking the roof off. The roof on this one uses a press-fit block to keep the top on, even in high winds. But it pops off easy with your bare hands when you need to get into it. I left the perch for this one inside the box… as not all blue bird boxes work out for the blue birds themselves if you leave the front porch ( aka, perch stick) open, so to speak. (can invite robber birds that like to make mayhem). Some people don’t have to deal with such unwelcome guests though, so there is a perch included for those occasions.

The smaller diamond one has two pegs you pull out of the roof to get it open. You could hang this one from the roof itself and it won’t come apart, thanks to the 2 pins in the roof. The same ones you would use to open it. Gotta love gravity and physics! This type is meant for finches, sparrows, chickadees & nuthatches.

5 comments so far

View Harmony's profile


8 posts in 2062 days

#1 posted 03-29-2013 06:09 AM

Love this design. I am for no screws or nails.

-- Dave, North woods,

View ghost5's profile


302 posts in 2101 days

#2 posted 03-29-2013 11:04 AM

I like those. I did what you did and designed my bluebird house years ago and still make it.

-- Tommy,

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2345 days

#3 posted 04-01-2013 03:44 PM

Great design for birdhouses. I am sure the bluebirds will love them.

View Joe's profile


80 posts in 2111 days

#4 posted 04-02-2013 12:03 AM

I like the design with no screws or nails. I am going to have to try that.

-- It's better to have a tool and not need it than to need a tool and not have it.

View Von's profile


238 posts in 2382 days

#5 posted 04-02-2013 01:18 AM

go for it Joe, it’s a neat challenge. if you do the wedge thing, try to position the slot-&-wedge at a 90 degree angle to the length of the grain. going with the grain risks a nasty split in the boards. the holes don’t have to perfectly identical in depth, angle or position as each other. they seem to actually work better when slightly out of sync from each other. pairing them in / \ or \ / patterns works too. just keep from a / / / or | | | or \ \ \ kinda thing. you might not even need to go with the wedges in some cases

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