Home > Family, Woodworking > The Bluebird (Houses) of Happiness

The Bluebird (Houses) of Happiness

Greetings and welcome to the new year 2014!

I really have been goofing off, practicing guitar and doing family things over the last two weeks so things have been a bit of a blur. Basically I went on many 5 mile walks with my wife and daughters, visited my kin and practiced a lot of guitar which I had been somewhat neglecting over the last month.

Now that Christmas is over, I can safely share with you my woodworking gift idea, bluebird houses! I used this plan for my build but I must warn you, there are mistakes in them so do not cut your stock based on the drawings.

Eastern Bluebird House Plan

Eastern Bluebird House Plan

Living in Florida and having a local cypress lumber mill, I decided cypress would be the perfect choice for this outdoor project. I decided that 6 would be a reasonable number to build without stressing me out too much so after spending $96 at the lumber yard I got to work cutting the stock. You will note that I don’t have dust collection figured out yet for my miter saw, that’s on my list for 2014.

Cypress Sawdust

I after cutting to rough lengths, I scratched my head over the rather inadequate plans and making corrections on the fly, pieced together the first house which I would use as templates. The templates aided me in cutting and fitting but mostly they greatly speed-ed the pre-drilling of  holes. Cut stock was sorted into houses, matching grain and textures that suited me.

Stock Cut and Matched

I also decided to add a functional yet decorative touch, the “predator guard”. These small pieces extend the length of the entrance tunnel which is fine for birds but (hopefully) frustrates predators.

Predator Guard

Assembling the first house was the toughest and I changed my glue-up techniques on the second one.

Prototype Birdhouse

Prototype Birdhouse

After building numbers 2 and 3, I had the assembly process down and in as little as 30-40 minutes each house went together relatively smoothly.

Bluebird House Assembly

I relieved the edges with my spoke-shave and chisels and applied 6 coats of a wiping spar varnish but to the outside only. I made no attempt to smooth the stock as birds prefer to have some traction for purchase.

The best part was giving one to each of my immediate family and seeing their appreciation of a handmade gift idea. Not only that, this gift gives back and by next spring we should have a whole bunch of new bluebirds on the planet and that is priceless!

Christmas 2014 - Bluebird House

You have been reading an excerpt from the shop journal of the Turtlecovebrewer.

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Categories: Family, Woodworking Tags: ,
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  1. March 11, 2014 at 9:06 am

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