Monday, June 15, 2015

Bird Feeder & Stand

Recently my mother made a very nice bird feeder for my house.  Unfortunately the branches on the trees in my back yard are a little too high for me to reach, so the lovely bird feeder was simply perched on my bar until I could figure out what to do with it.

Fast forward a few weeks later, and I had just finished making improvements to my table saw...

...and made a router table.

These 2 tables make everything a whole lot easier, and in my spare time I've enjoyed practicing with them using scrap wood.

In the image below I am practicing making a lap joint.

Cutting into 2 pieces of wood like this makes them fit together nicely.

I stared at the 2 pieces of wood above for a while and thought I could make a decent stand for the bird feeder my mother made for me.  So I worked a little, trying to make this scrap piece of wood look a little nice.  I plugged up the existing pocket holes...

...and added a little wood filler.

I also happened to have a fairly long piece of 2x4 leftover, so I took it to the router table and began making some nice edges on it.

I also had 4 smaller 2x4's.  These will be the feet of the stand.

And they too received some nice edges.

I then did the same for one more piece of 2x4, which will be the part that the bird feeder hangs from.

But for the piece I'll need a 45 degree cut, so I switched sleds on my table saw and cut a nice 45 degree angle.

Next, I had to make the joint for the longer post to fit onto the piece I had originally made.

I marked the post to the correct side and adjusted the saw height on my table saw.

I ran the post through my table saw and smoothed out the cut using a sharp chisel.

Then I routed the edges of the cuts.

Next I applied glue...

...attached the post to the top...

...and reinforced the joint with screws.

So far not too bad.

Next I took the piece that I cut at a 45 degree angle and drilled a hole for a hook...

...then I drilled some pocket holes.

I attached that part to the top with pocket screws.

Next it's time to attach the feet.  I took each foot and cut one side at a 45 degree angle.

Then using pocket holes/screws I attached the feet to the post.

And it seems to stand alright...

...but when I put the ceramic bird feeder on the hook, the whole thing wobbled.

So I removed the feet from the post and instead screwed all 4 feet together.

Then I made pocket holes in the post, on both sides.

...and I attached the post to the feet with pocket screws and glue.

Then I added more wood filler to parts that needed it.

When the filler dried I sanded.

I then added a 2x2- which also had some nice trim thanks to my router table - and I added it to the weaker sides of the feet.  I glued and screwed these to the feet and post.

Then after a little more sanding and cleaning, I applied stain.

When the stain dried I brought it outside.

It's not the prettiest thing, but it's a bit better looking than those black wire stands I see often in home improvement stores.

I also spent $0 on this project since it was all made from scrap material.

Now all I need is some bird seed for some small birds, or some sugar water for all the hummingbirds around.  Fast forward a few weeks and the strong winds knocked it over.  Luckily the bird feeder didn't break, but I decided to borrow a large ladder and hang the feeder in the trees so the birds can easily get at it.

I thought I had no other use for this stand, until I remembered a fake fire bowl I had bought for my fireplace.

Unfortunately this fire bowl was too large for my current fireplace (the fireplace I built in NY had a larger hearth).  I wound up buying light-up logs which I happen to love.

But the poor fire bowl sat in my closet until now. I cut some leftover chain and attached 3 pieces of chain together using a key ring and hook.

I then attached the chain to the bowl using zip ties.

Now it can hang!

I moved the stand to an area of my yard that gets less wind and hung the fire bowl from it.

It looks pretty good, but looks great at night!

Here's a quick video of it in action.

A few weeks after the video was taken it rained, and ruined the silk flames.  So I took the fire off the stand.  I wanted something to put there, but something not as fragile as the ceramic bird feeder my mother made me.  So I decided to build a simple bird house/feeder out of wood.  I searched online and found this pic.

I then drew out, printed and cut out a template for the sides.

Next I cut a piece of scrap plywood to the width of my template.

I then traced the template onto both ends of the cut plywood.

Then I cut 3 pieces on the table saw: both sides and the bottom.

Using my miter saw I cut the angled sides...

...and I cut the holes with a spade bit and my drill press.

Next I sanded the sides and bottom smooth.

Using glue and brad nails, I attached the sides to the bottom.

Then I cut some more plywood, sanded it and glued/nailed on sides.

Next came time to make the roof.  I cut 2 different widths of plywood.

The first piece was thinner (right) and the other piece was the same width as the first piece, plus the thickness of the wood (left).

The reason for the different sizes is this - I glued and nailed the shorter piece to the angled sides.  The edge of the roof is flush with the top point of the sides.

Then I glued and nailed the longer piece, this time flush with top of the shorter piece.  Now both pieces of the roof end at the same height from the bottom of the bird house.

Next I rounded all the edges with my mouse sander.

I then drilled a hole underneath the larger holes on the sides.

This will allow a dowel to pass right through the bird house.

Then I drilled another hole at the top of the sides and screwed in a large screw eyes.  These will later be attached to some chain or rope for hanging.

Next I removed the dowel and screw eyes and stained the whole piece with a light cherry stain.

Once the stain had sufficiently dried I began spraying on some clear coat.

While the clear coat dried I removed the chain from the fire pit to use for the bird house.

When the bird house was completely dry, I sanded it and reattached the dowel and the screw eyes.  I attached the chain to the screw eyes with some zip ties.

Then I hung it up to make sure it would hang properly centered - which it does.

Finally I hung it up on the stand.

So whether for ceramic/wood bird feeders or fire bowls or wind chimes or whatever, this is a nifty stand.  It was all made from leftover material meaning I spent no new money on it.
Thanks for reading!


  1. Nice house for the birds! I'm correct?

    Please can you share these pics at my blog at -

    1. ummm sure. you can share my pics on your blog.