How to make a D.I.Y. bird feeder

Errol, Team member
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How to make a D.I.Y. bird feeder

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Project Overview

Attract more birds to your backyard with this bird feeder. It’s easy and affordable, and looks great hanging from a tree. Plus, you can get to know the birds that live in your area and help them out with a snack when they’re feeling a bit peckish. Continue to step-by-step instructions
clear clogged spraycan
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How to unclog a spray can

Occasionally the nozzle on a used can of spray paint can get clogged and stop working. A quick and easy solution is to pour a small amount of mineral turpentine into a bucket, then remove the nozzle from the top of the can and place it in the bucket. After about three minutes, remove the nozzle, dry it off and reattach it to the spray can. Shake the can well then give it a spray, with the blockage gone your paint should come out no problem at all.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Cut the base tray
2 Cut the timber
3 Drill drainage holes
4 Drill the holes for the centre panel
5 Insert the base into the frame
6 Measure and mark the base tray
7 Measure, mark and cut the base piece
8 Sand the timber
9 Secure the frame
10 Measure and mark for the centre panel
11 Cut the centre panel
12 Make the roof panel
13 Trace around the stencil
14 Drill holes in the centre panel
15 Cut out the bird
16 Pre-drill holes in the roof
17 Attach the centre panel to the base
18 Drill a hole for the eyelet
19 Attach the roof
20 Paint the bird feeder
21 Attach the eyelet to the bird feeder
22 Drill holes for a skewer
23 Time to attract the birds
  • Step 1. Cut the base tray

    Use the drop saw to cut the timber for the base tray to size.
  • Step 2. Cut the timber

    To make this job easier, you can get your timber cut to size at your local Bunnings Warehouse. Cut the 1200mm x 596mm ply to the following lengths: 180mm x 300mm (roof) 230mm x 340mm (centre panel) Cut the 42mm x 19mm Tasmanian oak to the following lengths: 92mm x 2 (tray ends) 290mm x 2 (tray sides) Cut the 92mm x 19mm Tasmanian Oak to the following length: 252mm x 1 (tray base)
  • Step 3. Drill drainage holes

    Once the tray is finished, measure and mark for the drainage holes in the base of the tray. We put four on each side of the tray. Use a 5.5mm drill bit to make the holes.
  • Step 4. Drill the holes for the centre panel

    Measure and mark for the holes in the centre of the base, so you can attach the centre panel. Use the 5.5mm drill bit to pre-drill the holes. Be sure to take into account the width of the centre panel timber.
  • Step 5. Insert the base into the frame

    Place the base inside the frame, it should fit snugly. Then, secure the base with the nail gun.
  • Step 6. Measure and mark the base tray

    The base tray is made from Tasmanian oak hardwood, but you can use any hardwood you like. Measure and mark the timber. Our base tray measured 92mm x 2 for the tray ends and 290mm x 2 for the longer sides.
  • Step 7. Measure, mark and cut the base piece

    Then measure, mark and cut the base piece for the tray. Ours measured 252mmx 92mm.
  • Step 8. Sand the timber

    Lightly sand all of the cut timber to remove any sharp edges.
  • Step 9. Secure the frame

    Once the sides and base are cut, lay out the tray. Ensure the corners are square before securing with a fixing gun.
  • Step 10. Measure and mark for the centre panel

    Now it’s time to cut the centre panel to size. Firstly, cut a straight edge on the timber with the saw. Then, measure and mark out the size of your panel. Ours measured: 230mm x 340mm.
  • Step 11. Cut the centre panel

    Use the drop saw to cut the panel to the correct length. Then measure, mark and cut for the width. Once the straight cuts are completed, set up the drop saw to a 10-degree mitre cut for the top of the centre panel. This angle will allow for rain water run-off.
  • Step 12. Make the roof panel

    Now, measure, mark and cut the roof piece. Our roof measured 180mm x 300mm.
  • Step 13. Trace around the stencil

    You can get a template for the centre panel from the Bunnings website or you can create your own. Once you’ve got your template, make a stencil, from cardboard, and transfer it onto the centre panel. Position the stencil on the centre panel wherever you like. Ours was centred. Trace around the stencil with a pencil. Be sure the stencil is the right way up – the head of the bird needs to be closest to the mitre cut that’s the top of the centre panel.
  • Step 14. Drill holes in the centre panel

    Clamp the panel to the workbench. Use the 5.5mm drill bit to drill holes in the tighter corners around the picture on the panel. These holes ensure the jigsaw gets into the tight spots on the bird and also help to create a more accurate shape. Use as many drill holes as necessary, and use different size drill bits if necessary.
  • Step 15. Cut out the bird

    Use the jigsaw to cut out the bird shape in the centre panel. Sand off any rough edges. You can wrap a piece of sandpaper around a drill bit to sand in the corners and the feet.
  • Step 16. Pre-drill holes in the roof

    Measure, mark and pre-drill two pilot holes (with the 5mm bit) in the roof to attach the centre panel. These holes should be on an angle.
  • Step 17. Attach the centre panel to the base

    Place the centre panel in the middle of the base tray. Screw it into place with the 50mm screws. Make sure the centre panel is square, before screwing it firmly into place.
  • Step 18. Drill a hole for the eyelet

    Find the centre of the roof panel. The easy way to do this is by drawing diagonal lines from corner to corner. Use the 5mm bit to pre-drill a hole for the eyelet.
  • Step 19. Attach the roof

    Place the roof panel evenly on top of the centre panel. Secure the roof to the centre panel with 50mm screws.
  • Step 20. Paint the bird feeder

    Once assembled, fill the screw holes with putty, allow to dry before sanding and painting. Apply as many coats as necessary for good coverage. Allow to dry between coats and lightly sand with 120 grit sandpaper between coats.
  • Step 21. Attach the eyelet to the bird feeder

    Screw an eyelet into the pre-drilled hole in the roof. Use the pliers to open a link on the chain, thread it through the eyelet and close the link off again.
  • Step 22. Drill holes for a skewer

    As an added feature we’ve drilled a hole in each side of the bird feeder to put a skewer through. The birds will love feeding on fruit threaded on the skewer.
  • Step 23. Time to attract the birds

    Now your feeder is finished it’s time to hang it in your favourite tree, sit back and watch the local birdlife enjoy the fruits of your labour.
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