Birdhouse Instructions

Birdhouse instructions for a rustic, double decker Home Tweet Home, made with pallet wood.



Age: Adult

Difficulty: Medium

Time scale: 3 out of 5


birdhouse-instructions

Supplies:

  • 2 weathered wood pallets 1 - 5.25 inch wide boards 1 - 3.5 inches wide
  • 2 hinges with short screws
  • Small piece of driftwood
  • Wood burner or brown paint and liner brush
  • 2 cedar shakes (shingles)
  • Nails 1.5 inch
  • Finishing nails
  • Large clamp
  • Hammer or brad nail gun
  • Measuring tape
  • Picture hanging wire with 2 small nails
  • Wood glue
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill
  • 1 1/8th inch drill bit
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Small square
  • Medium grit sandpaper


Working with pallets can be a bit challenging, but this project doesn't require any prying at nails to get the boards off. Use a jigsaw to cut along the inside crosspieces, just in from the nails. No prying, hammering or cursing is necessary!


dismantling-pallets

Birdhouse Instructions

Cut two 5 1/4 inch wide boards from the one pallet and two from the one that is 3 1/2 inches. This should give you pieces that are at least 17 inches long.

cut-an-angle

Use a pencil to mark the centre of the width on two of the wide pallet boards. These will be the pieces for the front and back of the birdhouse. Measure down from the top 3 inches and mark a horizontal line across. Hold the ruler at an angle and draw a line from the top center line down to the outer edge of the horizontal line. Cut on this diagonal line using a jigsaw. This will make the peak.

If you have a mitre saw, you will only need to mark your center line and set your saw to 45 degrees. Much easier! If you don't have one, you can still manage, with a jigsaw.

Angle-matches-roof-angle

Cut an angle on the ends of the two smaller boards to match the roof angle. These are the sides.

Okay, hopefully these birdhouse instructions are sufficient. Stay with me here. You may be wondering why I haven't been at all specific about the length the boards should be. Yes, I know, saying "at least" a certain length, when you cut the boards off the pallet, may sound a little vague. I haven't become so senile (yet), that I have forgotten. There is a method to my madness. I have found that it is easier to cut the angles first and then square and even up the other end of the boards. When the angles are done, line up the side pieces, the front and back, to check to see if everything is even. They won't be at this point, I know. The side pieces will need to be much shorter because you don't include the length up to the peak. Try for a finished length on the front and back boards of 16 inches. Now, cut the bottoms to adjust them. Okay, so maybe this isn't how the big boys do it, but I’m not very big and I'm not a boy. I say go ahead, cut like a girl. It works for me!

If these birdhouse instructions are a bit too vague for you, the tutorial for the key chain holder may be helpful. It is similar but a bit more detailed.

sneaky-way-to-cut-door-opening

Wait until you hear my next trick! Woodworkers around the world will be appalled! There is going to be a door cut from the front board. It is going to seem like these birdhouse instructions are a bit wonky. This is easy and the door is going to fit, just right.

Use a pencil to mark the door. Make sure it is in from the sides, at least the thickness of the boards. It should be 9 1/2 inches long x 3 1/2 inches wide and start 2 inches up from the bottom. Slightly rounded corners will be easier to cut with the jigsaw.

Cut straight up from the bottom of the board with the jigsaw. Follow the line all the way around, until the opening is cut out.

Glue the piece of wood together, that isn't part of the door opening. Clamp it until it has dried. If you are using weathered pallet wood, this cut won't even show, once it has been glued back together. This is a whole lot easier than the traditional method which involves drilling a small starter hole, for the saw blade.

Now you will need to sand down the back left inside of the door, at an angle. Only sand the back edge of the board at an angle, leaving the front untouched. The door will jam if you skip this step.

Add two hinges to the front, right side of the door. You should have a fairly snug fit. The door only will need to be opened for cleaning. If it is loose, you may want to either put a magnetic latch on the inside or a hook on the outside, to hold the door closed.

Glue-pieces-together

Add wood glue to the edge of each side piece. Place the back on the edge of these pieces. Nail the back to each side piece. The angle on the side should match up with the angle on the front peak. Okay, so I cheated and used an air nail gun.

Measure your inside measurement. This should be 3 inches but will depend on the thickness of the pallets you are using. Cut three pieces of the narrow pallet wood to fit. One should be for the top (before the peak starts), another for the center and one for the bottom. Glue and nail in place. Don't add the front yet!

drill-holes-in-bird-house

If you looked closely at the one picture, you may notice that the order of my birdhouse instructions are a tad bit different than the story the picture tells. If you didn't notice, maybe you are looking more closely now? Sometimes the order gets changed, to make it easier, for you. New and improved. Don't you feel special? I hope so!

Use a 1 1/8th inch spade bit to drill two holes in the front of the door. Make one hole that is 2 3/4 inches up, from the bottom of the door. The other, 2 1/2 inches down, from the top.

Now, line up the front piece and glue and nail it in place.

roof-assembly

Time for a roof. Did you think I forgot this part of the birdhouse instructions? Almost.

Measure from the peak of the roof, down to the bottom edge. Cut a cedar shingle 5 3/4 inches wide and 6 3/4 inches long. Cut the other one the same width but longer, by the thickness of the shingle. Line up the shorter one, even with the top edge of the peak and overlap the longer one. Put the overhang at the front and make it even on the back. Use wood glue and small finishing nails to attach the roof pieces.

Check your measurements. These birdhouse instructions hopefully help, but they still require you to check up on me. NO, I didn't mean that. Check the wood, check your cuts, check your measurements. Checking up on me is not required. REALLY.

There should be a couple inches of overhang at the bottom, on each side and on the front of the roof. It is always better to check as you go, to make sure an 1/8th inch didn't somehow vanish into thin air. It can happen to me. Maybe it happens to me because I assume each piece of pallet wood is the same width. Surprise! It's not! I should rewind and tell you something I forgot. When you cut your pieces off the pallet, check that they are the same width. It saves a lot of  headaches, when it comes time to assemble the pieces.

Crooked sends me up the wall! That is what you get, if the pieces don't match. Crooked and possibly crazy! You can always spend a bunch of time sanding , but it's better if you don't have to.


wire-for-hanging

Use a wire and two small nails from a picture hanging kit, on the back. Now, it can hang on the wall.

Glue a small piece of driftwood to the left side of the door for the door handle.


home-tweet-home

Use a wood burner to add “Home Tweet Home” just above the door. If you don't have a wood burner, use a liner brush and paint.

I hope these birdhouse instructions will help you to build your own Home Tweet Home. Remember... it's okay to build like a girl.

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