Bird Roosting Hotel
Hi there Fraternity,
Woke up yesterday to the first signs of winter was upon us, a crisp white covering of virgin snow lying over our garden, a scene that would gladden any heart, a sign that Christmas was on its way, but not for yours truly, instead a vice like grip on my heart ensued. I knew when my wife noticed the change in weather, my fate would be sealed. As I stood with my first morning cup of tea, looking out of kitchen window, protected by my double glazing, my good wife appeared at my side. What are you doing she asked, thinking I replied. You know I donít like you thinking, she replied. Yes dear, I sighed.
As we stood side by side taking in the winters scene, I knew it was coming and I braced myself.
Why donít you go and build something she suggested. Itís freezing out there I countered. Layers she offered. Whatís layers I asked. Three jerseys, get going.
Yes, lads you have guessed it, hyperthermia alley.
Now because I had a more than inkling my wife was trying to make my retirement as short as possible, I took certain measures. When I built my workshop, I made sure it was fully insulated on all four walls, including the floor and ceiling. I also double glazed the windows, and finally my piece de resistance, a gas fired warm air heater (see photo) that takes about 5 minutes to heat the shop, (photo) and with the levels of insulation itís hardly ever on. I feel these measures should give my retirement some longevity.
Now while I stood there in my workshop staring out at the same scene I once enjoyed from my kitchen I noticed the activity on my bird feeder table, which was considerable. Now I had earlier in the year built a bug hotel much to the consternation of our American members who couldnít quite believe I was building a Hilton for something that wanted to kill them. This time it would be a winter bird roosting hotel.
Apparently, all you need is a one hole opening, roosting perches and a nest type bowl at the bottom.
As I started to sketch my upcoming bird project. I nearly jumped out of my skin, she is like a ninja. What are you going to make she enquired, and why is it so warm in here? I explained that I was working on something highly technical and as a woman she probably wouldnít understand. After I extracted my pozi drive, I set to work on my Hole in the wall hotel.
Managed to rake up a length of 6x1 inch red wood. Just the right amount of wood. All cut to length. Now I am not going into details on the build as the photos show all.
Disaster ensued half way through as after gluing up I clamped it to death and left it in my boiler room overnight, big mistake, although the box itself was ok the front came out with a severe belly on it. The clue should have been all 10 clamps lying on the boiler room floor, didnít click. Now I had no wood left so borrowed my wifeís steam oven and gave it half an hour on full steam at reg 200 degrees. Clamped it flat and left it overnight. Worked a treat, pancake flat. Took it out to me workshop and it fitted perfectly apart from the width which had shrunk by a good half inch.
Then proceeded to rout out all the checks/rabbits with my router table (photo). Before anyone comments, its work in progress. Started out life as a butcher chopping block. Itís rough and ready and tries to main me a couple of times a week but does the job, just.
Depression set in, and as I sat there, feeling sorry for myself, ninja appeared. Whatís wrong she enquired. Look whatís happened, and I showed her. Oh, she said, why donít you punish it she said.
Why. Well itís obviously shrunk deliberately just to annoy you, yes it has I agreed. How will I punish it I asked? Shove it through the band saw, thatíll teach it. Better still the table saw I countered and proceeded to slice it up with gusto, confidence fully restored I set about finding a replacement front as my Ninja Assassin left, her work done.
Struggling, couldnít find a bit of redwood anywhere, finally settled on a 600mm oak drawer front from an old kitchen I had ripped out. You can still see the decor routing which I left as it wouldnít be seen. Passed it through the planer a couple of times and it worked out perfectly.
The roof I did as imitation grey slates, just cutting pvc tar backed flashing into 30mm strips and gluing on with a primer and knife marking pattern on to them, bonded pattern
The front face is on a spring catch and clips off for cleaning etc.
The oak drawer front didnít match the redwood, so a coat of oak stain on the redwood and a couple of yacht varnish and up it went on the garage wall.
Itís not a piece of art, very minimalistic, but kept me busy and cheap to make and ran me though a plethora of emotions.