|The new headquarters of Beachton Blank Works, nearing completion.|
|Wren's nest in my rain gutter, pulled out from where it was lodged under the cap of the scupper.|
|I want to use my chop saw for all the cutting operations.|
|The 16 gauge finish nailer is the easiest way to assemble a birdhouse. |
It's basically to clamp it while the glue dries.
|Basic Wren Box from scrap flooring.|
My first prototype had a 7/8" hole because that's the sharpest spade bit I could find. Northern states recommend a 1 1/8" hole for House Wrens. I found out later than our wrens are Carolina Wrens and they need a 1 1/2" hole. My aunt says they eat mostly spiders, so I'm pleased to have the variety with the largest appetite possible.
|Beachton Wren Box v 1.0|
I found a wren's nest in my shed in an empty space in a jelly jar box. I decided to verify that it will fit in this birdhouse design.
|1 1/2" hole looks good.|
|This will fit in the diamond shaped box I'm making.|
|Hole is pretty much a circle.|
I went to town to use the sheet metal brake so I could try some other techniques. I stopped by Lowes to get a 1 1/2" drill bit and examined the bird houses they have for sale. They don't have much, but all the ones they had, the holes were too small. This one violated all the rules laid out by the bird websites. It's got a metal roof, is not natural wood, is painted white, the hole is too small, and there's a perch. They aren't supposed to have a perch. It just lets predators reach in and eat the babies.
|This hole is too small for our wrens.|
|It has a little door in the back. |
I guess so you can clean out the old nest using chopsticks?
|This box is made of thin pressed wood and has overspray from the paint process.|
This is to birdhouses what Kraft Singles are to cheese.
|Hardishingle roof with aluminum ridge cap|
|This requires an extra piece to be nailed at the top, which pushes the hole off-center.|
|I put vinyl flashing under the two roof boards and |
screwed them down with 1" Deckmate screws.
Stain/sealer is on all six sides of the boards.
I got a can of it from the damaged bin for $0.25.
|I made this one to hang on a wall.|
I think it's cute but the off-center hole offends some people.
I had another idea to use some leftover galvanized steel ridge roll from the 2010 mini-shed project. I used all 3/4" x 3 1/4" boards cut to 4" long for the sides.
|I had to chop the top boards at a 45° bevel so the entrance would be 1 1/2" wide.|
|I sliced off the corner of the front and back and glued in one of the triangle|
scraps from beveling the top pieces.
|I think it's cute. But it was pretty hard to cut|
the metal and get the holes to line up with the sides.
My aunt has been offering up opinions on these designs when I email pictures to her. So far she really doesn't like any of them. This is her idea of a proper birdhouse. The wood looked just like mine when it was new. But she didn't use any stain or sealant. Also her roof is going end grain out. I could try that.
|She likes it weathered.|
|The lichen on the box is kind of charming.|
The cotton clothesline cord didn't hold up though.
I could do more rustic birdhouses after I use up the scraps from my project. I have some old wormy wood in the shed. Or I could keep making them of pine and hang them out in the woods for a few years before I sell them. Is there a market for pre-weathered birdhouses?
After making 6 prototypes without any one of them jumping out at me as superior in aesthetics or manufacturability I decided it was time to do some science. I like the metal roof as a novelty, but is it going to be dangerous to the birds? Will it get too hot? I can't stop somebody putting it in full sun and I'd feel bad if they had dead baby birds. So I'm going to do thermal tests on these prototypes before I go on to the next versions. I should have gotten the weathered one from my aunt but I didn't think of it until too late.
|Next blog: Thermal tests on all 6 birdhouse prototypes.|