Resurrected bird table
Hi there Forum Friends,
Well I have just completed my latest project, which in truth started approx twenty five years ago when I was teaching as a plumbing lecturer at a Scottish technical college as they were called in these days. I always enjoyed watching birds and thought why not build a bird table to encourage a few winged species into our garden. Now in these days there was very little knowledge to access, the World Wide Web was watching a spider go about its business and Sky was something you stepped outside to look at. Therefore ideas and inspiration had to be within you, which for me was a struggle as you can see from the design and shape of the table, Iíll just say I was going for functuality over creativity and leave it at that.
Now you might be saying to yourself at this point why am I looking at something that was build twenty five years ago, well it did not look like this all these years ago. I built it in a garage with no power tools and the endeavour took forever, and being a plumber and not a carpenter did not help the situation. It had a 360 degree table that was larger than the roof and was built from 18mm ply board. It travelled with us as we progressed through our lives and various houses and eventually ended up discarded in a corner of our garden to rot away.
About two years ago my son and family bought a house in the country with about half an acre of garden. The first thing I noticed was the amount of birds they had and would you have guessed it no bird table, well you can guess the rest.
My god what a mess it was in. I didnít know whether to resurrect it or give it the last rights. The table had completely delaminated. It looked like a sandwich that had been left on a picnic table for about a week. I decided to just keep cutting back until I hit solid wood and eventually I did. Most of the natural wood structure survived under the copper roof and I think that was due to me originally coating it with Creosote, not the new substitute formula, but the old one that was banned to due to carcinogenic properties which I didnít know about at the time of lashing it on with gusto. Eventually I was left with a roof and an up stand, therefore everything you see from the roof down is new. My sons mother in law was throwing out an old wardrobe come chest of drawers and asked if was any use to me and as I checked it over I noticed it was almost all solid mahogany over a hundred years old, thatíll do nicely for a bird table I thought and as a result almost all the work is from that bit of furniture. I know that some of you serious wood workers will be rolling over on your work benches at the thought of me using this lovely stable wood for such a project, but please remember I am just a plumber and donít know any better.
I will not bother you with the construction process but just explain some of the techniques I used.
The table itself is a solid piece of mahogany with a curved front with I inserted a number of raised walls which I routed into the table approx 15mm. They are solely to stop the bird seed etc. from blowing off the table with openings for water run-off. The bird perches around the table are just 10mm central heating copper tubing which I bent with my tube bender and inserted into the table with Gorilla glue. Now the table itself can get pretty messy with droppings etc. so I routed the back edge to create a stop and fitted two pegs the turn 360 degrees, therefore the table can be removed for cleaning. I drilled a few holes on the table support for the birds being able to access the table from the rear and fitted a hanging hook underneath, again 10mm copper bend through to 180 degrees. I also build a seed dispenser directly under the roof running the full length of the table which can be filled from above through a chute. That just about covers the table, as for the roof it is the original I fitted all these years ago and although now looking a bit bashed around the edges is still fit for the job. I installed the copper using the usual double lock welt upstand then folded over. Same process for the capping piece. I also fitted a water tight sleeve to the base of the post using the same techniques but soldered all joints to make them watertight, and all fixings are copper nails.
A well wood worker thatís the tale of the bird table build and you might be thinking at this point that the garden it is in does not look to be about half an acre. Well you are right. My son is emigrating to America and the table would be seriously affecting the 20kilos luggage limit and would definitely not fit in the overhead storage lockers so it has come full circle, something that might not have otherwise happened, and it lived happily ever after.
Enjoy the pics