By Shane Mitchell
Timber Biscuit Woodworks
This modern birdhouse project was a blast! I made this for my wife’s birthday, and she absolutely loves it. I made this using walnut and ash hardwood, but it can also be built using half-inch plywood.
This woodworking project was a bunch of fun! If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them in the comments. Enjoy the build!
Project Plans: https://etsy.me/3c3X0iY
- 4/4 Walnut and Ash (or lumber of your choice)
- Table Saw
- Wood Glue
Start by jointing the edge on some 4/4 lumber. I used walnut and ash for this birdhouse. Next, resaw the pieces at the bandsaw into 1/2” planks. Clean up the saw marks from the bandsaw using a sander.
MAKE THE PANELS FOR THE BIRDHOUSE
FRONT AND BACK PANELS
Next, take your sanded pieces and glue the jointed edges together to make the panels. Once the glue is dry, sand the panels again. Then at your table saw, use a crosscut sled to add a clean edge to the panels. And then cut the panels down to their final length and width.
To give those birds a space to go in and out of, mark out your hole location. Using a drill press, use a 1.5” forstner bit to drill out the hole.
To add the decorative siding, at the table saw, add an 1/8” groove every 1/2”.
Cut the panels to size using a table saw and crosscut sled – square off one side first and then registering on that side to make the rest of the cuts.
ASSEMBLE THE BIRDHOUSE BOX
Using a table saw, add rabbet joints by attaching a sacrificial board to the fence and sneak up on the cut. Then set your miter gauge to 72 degrees. Cut the front and back panel. Don’t cut them like shown in the picture as you will have to recut the grooves. One board should be face up and one should be face down when making the cut.
To match the angle from the front and back panel, cut the top of the side panels to 72 degrees.
Now it’s time to glue up the box with some wood glue and painters tape. Add some clamping squares to make sure the birdhouse box stays square. Once the glue has dried, sand the box.
MAKE THE BIRDHOUSE ROOF AND BOTTOM
Cut the roof panel to it’s final length and width. Use glue to attach the roof. To make sure the house sits square, I used a pocket rule and a square.
Cut the base to it’s final dimension using a table saw. Next, using the drill press, drill out a 2” hole for a planter to sit in. Then follow the same procedure as the roof to attach the base to the birdhouse.
I made the planter box out of walnut test pieces. If you don’t have any, follow the same procedure above for making the grooves into a 1/2” piece of lumber. Then trim the walnut down to size and add a 45 degree miter into both sides. To get the height of 1”, set up a stop block on a crosscut sled. Then cut out the 4 sides of the planter box.
Use the blue tape method to blue the planter box together. Add glue and use the blue tape to clamp the piece together.
Glue the box around the hole for the planter.
MAKE THE DECORATIVE POSTS
Using a bandsaw, cut out the decorative posts for the porch. Then tape the pieces together and cut them down to their final length.
Set up some stops on the birdhouse to hold the posts in place while you glue them in. I did this with some scrap and blue painters tape. Glue the posts to the birdhouse.
APPLY FINISH AND POST OUTSIDE
Once the glue has dried, apply the finish of your choice. I used tongue oil so it will hold up better to the elements. I applied 4 coats of oil to build up the finish.
Drill out holes on a square of ash for the floor flange. Glue the square piece to the base of the birdhouse. Let the glue dry, and then attach the flange.
Apply more finish to the bottom of the birdhouse.
Attach the portal protector around the birdhouse hole.
Set out the birdhouse and start birdwatching!
There is a complete build video on my YouTube channel (Timber Biscuit Woodworks), so you can follow along.
The approximate cost for building the birdhouse as designed with all of the bells & whistles is ~$40 (this will, of course, vary for everyone)
Tag me on Furnitology and Instagram (@timberbiscuitwoodworks). On Instagram, use the hashtag #BiscuitBuild – Happy building!