Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bird houses done and installed

I did mention that I could not find any good easy plans on the internet for our bird houses?  I guessed and using the minimum amount of wood possible tried to create a bird house.  Every one came out different!  I kept forgetting the order in which I assembled them.  Some I overlapped, some I put on edge.  Didn't get a single matching pair.  Of course the child was critiquing my work as I assembled them.  I offered to let her help but she said it "would be boring" I told her it wasn't boring and her response was "not for you".  She was antsy and wanting to get out of the house.  So we went to the Post Office, Bank, dropped off some containers at Grandma's house (she was out) and then picked up more homework at the school.  She wasn't that impressed but we did get out of the house. They all work and they all have the hole in the right spot.  They all have one side that hinges so they can be cleaned out every year.  I had one that had to have some extra pieces attached to make it work.  When I went to install it the extra pieces got in the way of its neighbor so I had to junk that one.  So I only installed five houses.  I even drilled and placed perches for the birds to sit on just below their house entrances.  I used 5/16 hardwood peg so I am hoping the big birds cannot use the perches.  The weather improved late in the afternoon so I was able to get outside.  I had to wear a coat, gloves and my Winter hat, the one with the pull down ears, just to work outside.
On the whole construction part I love my power tools!  I have only had a pneumatic nailer for the last three years and I am here to tell you that everyone should have one of these.  It makes things incredibly easy.  I even managed to not nail my hand.  One set of plans called for grooves to be cut on the inside of the piece of wood with the entrance hole in it.  This would have required me to go outside and use the table saw.  Not necessary, I just set my pneumatic stapler on its lowest setting so the staples stuck out about 1/32 inch so the birds would have something to push against and then went mad with the stapler on the inside.  It worked great.
Inside of a bird house
 You will notice that I cut some drainage tracks in the floor.  Since I did them with the radial arm saw they only go through the bottom on the leading 1/2 inch.  This is so any moisture can drain out if it gets inside the nest.  Some plans wanted me to cut the corners off the floor, but my erratic assembly order kept messing this up.
Bird houses for inside the outhouse/trash can holder
Sarah informed me, as we are taking the houses out to the trash can holder, that I needed to put the lift flap on the wall opposite the entrance hole.  I told her it was a little late for that as I was done and did not think of that myself until I was assembling the fifth one.  I could have just drilled in through the preexisting hole instead of marking the hole and then drilling it out and matching the hole with the bird house entrance.  The child accused me of always doing things the hard way.  I told her I usually only do it really hard the first time and then learn from my mistakes.  So next time I will get it right.  Also, make them hinge on the bottom otherwise the hinge gets in the way of the entrance hole.  The one I did assemble right had this problem and I still had to mark the hole.  Now I know.  Trash day is tomorrow.  I moved the trash can to its new home and pulled it out so the trash guys will see it when they drive up.  Hopefully, they see it.  It is across the driveway from its old location.  The driver should see it as it is now on his side.  I hope...
Five bird houses installed on near the roof.