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How to Build a Birdhouse

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How to Build a Birdhouse
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BLACK+DECKER B+D Contributor 188 Projects

Building the perfect gift for your favorite birdwatcher has never been easier. A simple birdhouse is a great way to utilize scrap wood from other projects and can be completed in just a few hours using the BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* 4-Tool Combo Kit, along with a jigsaw and sander. Have the kids help you piece together this simple project, and paint it as a family to give as a personalized present.

Below are the TOOLS + MATERIALS you will need to Build a Birdhouse:
Things You Will Need

How to Build a Birdhouse

  1. Cut the Pieces

    Using a carpenter's square and pencil, mark cutting lines for the walls and base of the birdhouse on the 1/2" plywood. An easy way to draw the triangular top ends of the front and back pieces is to start with a  5-1/4 x 5-1/4" square, then mark the center of the square's top edge, at 2-5/8" from either side. Mark each side of the square 2-5/8" from the bottom edge, and then draw a diagonal line between each of the side marks and the top center mark. This will create a 90° angle at the peak of the roof; confirm your accuracy with your carpenter's square.

    Cut all of the plywood pieces with your BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Cordless Lithium Jigsaw and a blade for fine wood cuts. Using the 1/2 x 2" pine trim, cut each of the roofing pieces to a length of 5- 1/4", with a downward, 45° angle cut at one end and a straight cut on the other end. Make the angle cut by pivoting the shoe on your BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* 5-1/2 in. Circular Saw from your BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* 4-Tool Combo Kit, and clamp the wood trim piece in place before cutting.

    Here's a full list of the pieces you'll need:

    • (8) pieces of 1/2 x 2" pine trim, 5-1/4" long for the roof
    • (2) pieces of 1/2" plywood, 2-5/8 x 3" for the sides 
    • (2) pieces of 1/2" plywood, 5-1/4 x 5-1/4" for the front and back
    • (1) piece of 1/2" plywood, 5 x 6-1/4" for the base
    • (1) piece of  5/16" dowel, 1-1/4" long for the perch

  2. Create the Birdhouse Entryway

    Draw a vertical line down the center of the front wall piece. Mark a point 2" up from the bottom edge, indicating the center of the entry hole. Use a 1-1/2" hole saw bit and your BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX* Lithium 2-Speed Drill/Driver to cut a hole that’s large enough for birds to enter the house. Using a 5/16" drill bit, bore a centered hole 1/2" below the entryway to insert the dowel perch.

  3. Sand all the Components

    Sand each of the birdhouse parts with 120-grit sandpaper to remove splintered edges. Your BLACK+DECKER MOUSE® Detail Sander is perfect for these small wood parts and for reaching inside the entryway hole.

  4. Assemble the Walls and Base

    Stand the two 2-5/8 x 3" side wall pieces inside of the front and back pieces of the house. Apply a strip of adhesive to each joint and clamp the parts together with C-clamps, ensuring the edges are flush and form right angles to one another. Add a small amount of adhesive to one end of the dowel perch and twist into its hole. Wipe away any excess adhesive with a damp cloth.

    Apply adhesive to the bottom edges of the walls and place the assembly on the 5 x 6-1/4" base piece so it is centered 1/2" from each edge of the base. Clamp the base to the wall assembly and allow the entire unit to dry as directed by the manufacturer.

  5. Assemble the Roof

    Each side of the birdhouse roof is made up of four 5-1/4" slats glued together. Arrange four slats together with the 45° angled cuts facing the same direction. Glue the pieces along their lengthwise edges and clamp them together. Repeat with the remaining four slats, and let both assemblies dry as directed. Join the two roof sections together by gluing along the angled edges and taping them tightly together with masking or painter's tape to form a right angle. Let the adhesive dry completely before removing the tape.

  6. Stain and Finish All the Pieces

    Lightly sand all uneven edges or adhesive residue, and wipe off all dust with a clean cloth to prep the wood for staining. Brush on your choice of stain with a clean paintbrush and wipe off any excess with a cloth rag (don't forget the inside of the birdhouse). Follow the manufacturer's drying instructions before applying additional coats. Protect the interior and exterior of the house from weather and wear by sealing it with a few coats of spray varnish.

  7. Add a Hanging Rope

    Drill two centered holes 2-1/2" down from each side of the roof, using a 3/8 " drill bit. Twist the ends of the rope through the holes and staple each end to one of the top edges of the side walls of the birdhouse. The roof should be able to slide up and down the rope freely but rest flush on top of the house walls while hanging. Having a removable "lid" roof makes it easy to clean out the house interior.

  8. Hang the House in a Tree

    Hang the house from a low branch with an S-hook. Encourage birds to nest in your new birdhouse by placing it in a quiet spot with plenty of surrounding foliage. Periodically check the birdhouse for abandoned nests and debris. Clear out any debris and clean the interior with soap and water, as needed.

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