A Bird Proof Squirrel Feeder

Feeder 3

This is another relatively easy squirrel feeder to build.    It is designed to keep those pesky birds away. If you ever had a hundred or so Starlings invade your yard, and then empty a two quart feeder in a matter of minutes, you're going to like this one.

It is made out of a 1"x 8"x 8' piece of number 2 or better pine. An 8" by 18" piece of Plexiglas, some 4d finish nails, woodworkers glue, a set of 1" butt hinges, a small cabinet latch is also required.

Cut a piece 7 1/4" by 16" long for the floor. You'll need to layout the hole cut, by measuring in from the end 2 3/4", then find the center of the board. This should be 3 5/8" from the side edge. Mark this spot and using a 2 1/2" hole saw cut the entrance. The divider board keeps the seeds or nuts from spilling out the hole. It is a piece of pine 3" high by 5 3/4" wide. It should be place in the center of the floor as shown below. Glue and nail it in place.


Drawing

Cut the two ends 7 1/4" by 8". You will need four pieces for the sides, they should be 14 1/2" long. The bottom two should be ripped to 3" wide. The top two should be ripped to 1 1/2" wide.

The two roof halves are 16" long. Set your saw to a 45 degree angle, and rip one edge on each piece. Set your fence from the bottom of the blade 6 1/2" to the right. Turn the board over, so the cuts are parallel and rip to width. Glue and nail the two roof halves together.



Drawing

You can cut the groove for the Plexiglas windows by setting your table saw blade to 3/8" deep. Your fence should be set to 3/8" from the center of the blade. Its best to use a carbide tipped blade with a standard kerf, to get a 1/8" shot. Be sure that all the pieces are cut from the outside edge. Cut the slot in both upper and lower sides, full length. The end board should be slotted from top to bottom. You may want to skip ahead to the roof shingles. These are 1/8" by 1 1/2" wide. I usually save the test pieces that I cut the roof shingles from, and use these for the splines. You will need 8 of these to attach the sides to the ends.

You'll need to cut the 1/8" Plexiglas windows, 3 3/4" by 15 1/8". Have them ready to dry fit the sides. When all the pieces fit properly, glue and nail the box together.



Drawing

The front and rear gables of the roof can be made several different ways. I cut these from the scrapes, 1 1/2" wide and then cross cut one 45 degree miter. The top two pieces are 4 1/2" with 45 degree angles cut at each end. The bottom should be 8 inches wide with partial angles cut. Its best to fit these to your roof section. After the are fitted and cut, cut a slot in the inside edge, as you did for the sides. Measure and cut a triangle shaped window from your scrap Plexiglas, and fit it to the grooves. Glue and nail these together. Then nail these through the face into the ends of the roof section.

Drawing

Once the box and roof sections are complete, install the hinges as shown above. You should place them one inch in from either end. On the opposite side of the box, install a cabinet latch. This will help keep the roof down in windy conditions.

Shingling the roof is a simple matter.  From a 2 x 4, cut a piece 18" long, mark off 1/2" increments.  Set your table saw to cut a 5/8" deep channel.  Cut these channels on center as shown below. Reset your saw to rip this board into 1/8" slices.  Be sure to have your anti-kick guard in place, since these can be fly back or jam around the blade.  You will need a total of 18, but it would be a good idea to cut some extras for started and trim strips.


Drawing

To install the shingles, take a scrap piece and measure down 1/2" and draw a line full length.  Using a utility knife cut off this piece.  Starting from the bottom edge glue and staple this 1/2" strip even with the roof edge.  Cut a shingle strip to length, glue a staple it on top of the starter strip.  Move the next shingle strip over 1/2" and align it with the top of the previous slots, glue and nail in place.  Repeat this pattern until you reach the peak. Cut another 1/2" strip to form a cap on each side to the peak.  Glue this down, and if necessary hold it in place with several wire brads.

Sand all the edges, and check for slivers.  Then finish the entire feeder with several coats of sanding sealer or varnish.  Once its dry, fill it with dried corn, seeds, or nuts. Then sit back and enjoy the fun.

One note on mounting this feeder...try to keep the entrance hole as close to a solid object as possible. Birds must use the wings to fly up. In this position they cannot fit through the hole. But they can jump several inches so its important not to have any horizontal objects they could use as a perch.

If you have any questions, or comments, send a message to:dennis@squirrels.org


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