Octagonal Birdhouse

Octagonal Birdhouses

From the vertical siding to the pitched roof and detailed trim pieces, this eight-sided birdhouse has many of the features you'd expect to find on a real house.

decker," see photo on opposite page.

WOOD. Choosing the wood for an outdoor project is important If you're planning to use an outdoor oil finish, make sure to select a wood that has some resistance to decay, like cedar or redwood. But if you want to paint the birdhouse, as we did, you could also use Douglas fir.

One wood that should really be avoided is pressure-treated (Wol-manized) lumber. Thafs because the chemicals used in the processing of pressure-treated lumber can often be harmful to birds.

GLUE. Just as important as the wood is the type of adhesive you select to glue everything up. Make sure and choose a good water-resistant adhesive. (I used Titebond II, but you could also use a polyurethane glue or a water-proof epoxy.)

FOR THE BIRDS. One other consideration is what kind of bird you want to build the house for. This will determine the size of the hole openings. Purple martins, for example, like a fairly large hole (2" dia.), while wrens and woodpeckers prefer something smaller (1" to l'/i"). You might want to check with the forestry service or natural resources department in your area beforehand. (Check the government listings section in the front of your telephone book.)

I was never a star pupil in geometry class. So when I first saw the plans for this eight-sided birdhouse, all I could do was wonder how I would ever calculate all the angles and lengths. But Kevin, who designed the birdhouse, assured me it wouldn't be all that difficult As it turns out, he was right. Figuring out the angles for the octagonal roof and main body of the bird-house is pretty easy. (I found the information on a chart) The tricky part is fitting all the pieces together.

To help you out, we've included a separate article on this type of joinery (known as "stave" construction). It starts on page 32.

LIFT-OFF TOP. One of the nice features of this birdhouse is that the whole house lifts off the base for cleaning. This allows you to clear out any old nesting material each year. (I was surprised to learn that most birds won't do this on their own.)

MODULAR DESIGN. Not attaching the birdhouse to the base also allowed us to make the birdhouse "modular." By building an additional level, you can turn the birdhouse into a "double

Construction Details

^ OVERALL DIMENSIONS: 173/4"Hx 151/4"Wx 15V4"D

finial

Cupola sits atop of main house

•er Vece finial

Cupola sits atop of main house

Scroll Saw Woodpecker

Dividers partition birdhouse into compartments

Rabbets in bottom create a ledge for sides to sit in

Post is made from 4x4 dimensional lumber a By building a second story, you can easily turn the birdhouse into a "double-decker," see page 31.

Dividers partition birdhouse into compartments

Rabbets in bottom create a ledge for sides to sit in a By building a second story, you can easily turn the birdhouse into a "double-decker," see page 31.

Post is made from 4x4 dimensional lumber

SIDE VIEW

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will vary depending on species of bird

Octagonal Birdhouse

will vary depending on species of bird

Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

Wood Working for Amateur Craftsman

THIS book is one of the series of Handbooks on industrial subjects being published by the Popular Mechanics Company. Like Popular Mechanics Magazine, and like the other books in this series, it is written so you can understand it. The purpose of Popular Mechanics Handbooks is to supply a growing demand for high-class, up-to-date and accurate text-books, suitable for home study as well as for class use, on all mechanical subjects. The textand illustrations, in each instance, have been prepared expressly for this series by well known experts, and revised by the editor of Popular Mechanics.

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