51 Fun, Fast and Fascinating Birdhouses
When it comes to building birdhouses, there are just a few rules to follow: The projects should be simple, fun and quick to build. And the finished result should easily attract your flying friends. Birdhouses You Can Build in a Day is filled with 51 complete plans for projects that meet all of these requirements--a rare find in the crowded world of birdhouse books.
Meticulously researched, Birdhouses You Can Build in a Day is written for people who really like both building and watching birds. Each project is designed to attract a particular species (though some of them will attract several species). But that doesn't mean the projects are boring. The 12 authors of this book came up with clever and playful designs that are both a delight to build and effective shelters for birds, bats and butterflies.
The plans for the adobe house are designed to attract the ash-throated flycatcher, a bird that frequents mesquite and cactus thickets. The project--which is surprisingly easy to build--is also easy to finish with sawdust and paint. Instant adobe!
Or take a look at the pagoda designed for the Japanese white-eye, a Hawaiian bird with an Asian name. Even if you don't live in Hawaii, you'll find the project an interesting afternoon of work.
The format of Birdhouses You Can Build in a Day is excellent. Many birdhouse-building experiences begin with our children, who want some time in the shop and to work with their hands. You (or the kids) can page through the book and choose a house or bird that suits your fancy --almost every project includes a picture of the bird it is designed for, plus some interesting facts about its behavior or habitat.
Then, with a project selected, you're ready to go to work. A complete cutting list tells you the exact size of all the parts needed to build the project, and the construction drawings show you how it will go together. If there are any tricky construction steps, the author includes photos that will walk you through that phase of the project.
There are also instructions on finishing the project, how to place the house and information on if you need to provide nesting material (usually the sawdust you just made!) to give the bird a head start.
While some woodworkers will roll their eyes at the prospect of building a birdhouse, that's not going to happen with Birdhouses You Can Build in a Day. The authors have cleverly inserted some interesting lessons for beginning and intermediate woodworkers. Some of these projects offer a great opportunity to try out a new skill with very little risk of failure.
For example, some of the projects have roofs that involve compound miters. You can learn clever and accurate ways to cut and assemble them using basic tools (a miter saw) and even more basic clamping methods (masking tape). Make a couple of these assemblies and you'll start adding compound miters to your next furniture project.
Or have you ever wondered how to make a bowl without a lathe' One birdfeeder project shows you how to make a nice shallow birdbath or feeder using some basic power tools and clamps. It's a great trick.
Of course, the greatest reward with this book is the final result: A big smile on the face of your partner in the shop, a nice place for some birds to live and the years of enjoyment your loved ones will get from watching the birds use your project.