This is a relatively easy bird/squirrel feeder to build. It
is designed to hold either a one gallon or five quart ice cream pail. You can use this as
a feeder or a water bowl. It is made out of a 1"x 8"x 8' piece of
number 2 or better pine. A small piece of 1/4" plywood for the
bottom. You will also need some 3d and 4d finish nails, #0 plate biscuits,
woodworkers glue, 3/8" staples, a set of 1" butt hinges, a suitcase latch.
Start by setting your table saw to a 22 1/2 degree angle. Rip a 5' length of pine down one side. Set your fence so you get a 4 1/4" top face.
Cross cut 8 pieces to 6 3/4" for a 5 quart pail or 5 1/2" for a
gallon pail. Then set your saw to cut a 3/8" by 1/4" dado on the
bottom of each piece. On each of the beveled edges, cut two slots each
approximately one inch from the top and bottom edge with your biscuit
joiner. Dry fit all eight pieces, measure and layout the 9 1/2" plywood
floor. When you are satisfied with the fit, glue the assembly
together. You can use a "web clamp" to hold the top edge in place
while the glue dries.
The roof sections are 11 1/2" by 6". Rip these with a
30 degree bevel on both sides. The roof support's are 3 1/2" by 7 1/2
high, and you'll need two. Mark the top center, and cut a 30 degree angle in
both directions. I used the scroll saw to cut a heart shape on these uprights. This is a
not required, and a personal choice. Glue and assemble the roof
sections. Place the upright supports 1/2" in from the edge, glue and nail
Set the completed roof assembly onto the base. Attach them with
the butt hinges. Then install the suitcase clasp on the opposite side.
An alternative to this hinged method is to install 1/4" metal dowel pins in the top edge of the base. Using a doweling jig, drill two 1/4" holes approximately 1 1/2" apart. Then transfer these marked holes to the base. Put a little glue into the base holes, to hold the dowels in place. This method works well when mounted in tight or confined spaces.
Shingling the roof is a simple matter. From a 2 x 4, cut a piece 12", 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, or use a feather board, since these strips can fly back or jam around the blade. You will need a total of 16, but it would be a good idea to cut some extras for started and trim strips.
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
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. If you use it for water, keep the pail full. This will keep the birds from using it as a bath.
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