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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
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Default Just a Bird House?

A few years ago, we fell in love with Bluebirds. Bluebirds will happily nest in a box that any 6th grader can knock together with hammer and nails. However, I just couldn't bring myself to give someone such a rudimentary bluebird house. I decided on an octagon house with a cone-shaped octagon roof.

Many of us can put together an octagon, but a cone taxed my trigonometry skills to the max. A while back, I built a spreadsheet to calculate the compound angles involved in a tapered bucket. That same spreadsheet will calculate a cone if you set the small end diameter to zero.

My Wixey tablesaw angle gauge was just the ticket to accurately set the angle of the taper jig.

The challenges aren't over when you get the pie-shaped pieces cut. I had endless frustration the first time I tried to hold a cone together for gluing. Finally, I saw a video where someone used masking tape to hold pieces together. It worked like a charm. Even my strap clamps wouldn't hold on a cone. So I wrapped the whole thing in a spiral of electrical tape to add some pressure.
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“We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it and stop there lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove lid again and that is well but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.” - Mark Twain
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 06:28 PM
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That's nice. Just hope the hole is the proper size. I found out some years back that some birds are very particular about the hole size in bird houses. Somewhere there is even a list of what size holes for what birds. Who would have thought?

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.....Call me a craftsman, artisan, or artistic, and I will accept that. Call me an artist and you will likely get a quite rude comment in return. I am not a @#$%ing artist.
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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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That's nice. Just hope the hole is the proper size. I found out some years back that some birds are very particular about the hole size in bird houses. Somewhere there is even a list of what size holes for what birds. Who would have thought?
Why of course the hole size is right! It's 1 1/2 inches diameter, which is recommended for Eastern Bluebirds. Western Bluebirds are slightly larger, and prefer a 1 9/16 inch hole.
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“We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it and stop there lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove lid again and that is well but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.” - Mark Twain
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 06:40 PM
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Hi Andy, that is a very nice nest box you've made.Hope you don't mind me poking my nose in with a bit of advice that you already know,but if the birds don't seem to want to live in it you could paint it a more natural colour.We don't have Bluebirds where I live so I cant suggest what would be the best colour but the less conspicuous the better.
Best wishes, James.

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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 06:50 PM
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I wouldn't care if the birds moved in or not, they would make splendid yard ornaments, Make a whole bunch different sizes. A wonderful exercise in mathematics. Thanks for posting.
It even has a door in the front with hinges and hasp.
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 06:52 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Andy, that is a very nice nest box you've made.Hope you don't mind me poking my nose in with a bit of advice that you already know,but if the birds don't seem to want to live in it you could paint it a more natural colour.We don't have Bluebirds where I live so I cant suggest what would be the best colour but the less conspicuous the better.
Best wishes, James.
The experts say you're right. But this new birdhouse is a copy, including the color, of one I have had in my yard for 3 years. We have had 3 to 4 clutches of babies raised in the painted house each year.
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“We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it and stop there lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove lid again and that is well but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.” - Mark Twain
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 06:56 PM
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Why of course the hole size is right! It's 1 1/2 inches diameter, which is recommended for Eastern Bluebirds. Western Bluebirds are slightly larger, and prefer a 1 9/16 inch hole.
Well, I figured you had it right, just had to check. Really, 1/16" difference? Who checks this kind of stuff? We have southern bluebirds around here, wonder what size hole they would want?
Out of curiosity, how long did it take you to make that?

What amazes me is that people will pay good money for a birdhouse, then keep it in the house as decoration. Makes a lot more sense to me to put one outside so you can watch the birds.

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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 07:15 PM
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I'm preaching to the choir here I know, but the houses should have an easily removed bottom, and the houses should be thoroughly cleaned at the end of the nesting season...parasites winter over in the nesting material if you don't.
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I figured you had it right, just had to check. Really, 1/16" difference? Who checks this kind of stuff? We have southern bluebirds around here, wonder what size hole they would want?
Out of curiosity, how long did it take you to make that?

What amazes me is that people will pay good money for a birdhouse, then keep it in the house as decoration. Makes a lot more sense to me to put one outside so you can watch the birds.
I believe the Bluebirds of the Carolinas are also Eastern Bluebirds. They would also like a 1 1/2 inch entrance hole, I'm sure.

I built this house in a couple of evenings, probably 3 hours total, not counting the painting. But I had the advantage of already having built one a few years ago. The first one took many experiments and scrap wood. I'm fairly good at spatial relations, but those tapers and compound angles really vexed me at first.

“We should be careful to get out of an experience only the wisdom that is in it and stop there lest we be like the cat that sits down on a hot stove lid. She will never sit down on a hot stove lid again and that is well but also she will never sit down on a cold one anymore.” - Mark Twain
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 02-05-2018, 07:22 PM
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