* I’m experimenting with different ways of presenting projects, so if the flickr slideshow doesn’t show up on the feed, you’ll have to click through to the website.
Last year, I had to throw away one of our little plastic bird feeders; it just couldn’t stand the test of time and weather. I figured rather than replacing it, I’d eventually build one. A few weeks ago, while going through all my news in Google Reader, I came across an article from Chris Baylor at about.com woodworking showing plans for a bird feeder like I was imagining, but the plans weren’t very useful and they were broken up into 16 different web pages. Liking the concept, I search the web until I found a better plan at Wayne of the Woods.
I didn’t follow his plans to the letter mainly because I had already purchased the 1/8″ Plexiglas and it was only 11×14″ which meant my feeder would have to be a little narrower. Since the plans were so good, I’ll only mention where I improvised.
I made the entire project out of one 8′ piece of 1×8 cedar (with some extra left over). Since I couldn’t get two 14×6″ pieces of Plexiglas out of my 11×14″ sheet, I based my calculations on a 11×6″ piece of Plexiglas. That meant with 3/4″ sides with 3/8″ deep grooves for the Plexiglas, the bottom piece would be 11-3/4″ instead of 14-1/2″.
Keeping all the other feeder dimensions the same, I started by ripping a 24″ piece of cedar into 2-1/4″ strips to make the frame for the bottom. The instructions where to mark the holes for the dowel perch were incorrect, so I located it 7/8″ from the top edge and 7/8″ from the end. Then I nailed the frame together with 1-1/2″ stainless steel 16ga nails.
To make the bottom panel, I resawed a 14″ piece cedar to 3/8″ thick and cut the two planks to 13-1/2 x 4-1/4″. I wanted water to drain from the bottom of the bird feeder so I drilled weep holes into the planks, then to make sure that the seed would stay put I cut out a piece of landscape fabric to cover the entire bottom. I sandwiched the fabric between the bottom and the frame and nailed them together. At this point I noticed that I nailed the frame upside down so the perch was lower than I had planned. I guess it’ll just make it easier for the Blue Jays to feed.
Rather than use wood filler to make stops for the Plexiglas, I cut thin strip from the waste triangles. The 15° angle of the scrap was easy to line up on the 3/4″ line on the side, ensuring the Plexiglas would sit at the right height. Another person made the same bird feeder with a copper seed diverter. Rather than hitting the flat bottom, the diverter pushes the seeds to the side so they don’t get stale. But cedar destroys copper so I made a diverter out of some leftover cedar. Finally, instead of mounting eyelets to hang the feeder, I mounted a pipe flange on the bottom and screwed it into a pole that I sunk into the garden.