Hunter’s Cabin Birdhouse
Spring is just around the corner, and here is a ‘just-in-time’ project for your backyard feathered friends’ nesting season!
The Hunter’s Cabin Birdhouse features a log cabin style complete with a gently curved ‘shingle’ roof, plus a simple nail-hinged side panel for easy cleaning. The crooked wooden stovepipe chimney is an optional item you can create from scrap dowels to add an additional touch of charm to this rustic cabin birdhouse. The project requires no special bits and uses just the 2 standard bits that came with your machine.
The overall finished dimensions of the assembled Hunter’s Cabin Birdhouse are about 7″ wide x 9 ” tall x 10″ long.
STEP 1 – Upload Project
Open the Designer software and open the included project file(s). You can then simply compile (upload) the project(s) to your memory card.
When you compile, you may or may not get a pop-up window with an “Auto-Jig” warning message. If you do see the message, you may safely click on “Ignore” because our actual boards will be large enough that it won’t be an issue.
After the project is compiled, select “Normal or Best” for the File Quality setting. Click “OK” to upload to your memory card.
NOTE: Carve times are as follows:
- Good – 4 hours 45 min.
- Best – 10 hours
- Good – 2 hours 45 mins
- Best – 5 hours 45 mins
Take and insert the card into your machine and load the project board.
Turn your machine on and proceed with Step 2…
STEP 2 – Carving
You will see “Project Menu” on your LCD display. Press “1”, then scroll to the desired project and press the green ENTER button to select it.
Once the carving is finished, remove it from the machine and vacuum or blow off any excess sawdust.
STEP 3 – Separate Parts from Material
Separate all the pieces from the boards with a utility knife or hobby saw.
Use a Dremel-type tool to sand off the tabs and sand all the components to remove any fuzzies and undesirable tool marks.
Cut a 30° miter at the top edge of each roof half, using your table saw (save the miter scraps).
Cut out the bottom piece to fit inside the four panels. It will be approximately from scrap wood 5.5 ” x 5.5 “, but you may want to tape the four panels together to trace the inside dimensions on the board for an exact fit.
Drill four ¼” drainage holes near the corners of the bottom piece.
Glue the front, back, bottom and ONE side together. Do NOT glue one of the sides. The unattached side will become the hinged access door. You can use it as a spacer when clamping the box together while the glue dries.
Glue roof halves together. Use masking tape to hold together the cabin assembly until dry. I also glued the miter scraps (cut to just shy of 5.5 long and centered inside the roof miter crevice) to reinforce the joint and provide a convenient positioning reference for the roof to be attached later.
After allowing glue to dry overnight, remove the roof assembly but leave the clamps on the cabin structure. Mark the center of the “top logs” front and back where the unglued side panel meets the front and back panels.
Drill small holes slightly less than your finish nail diameter, but a little deeper than the nails are long at these marks. This forms your nail hinge pivot. Insert two finish nails part way, remove your clamps, then test the hinge action. You may need to remove the nails and sand the sides of the side panel slightly so it swings open and closed easily. When satisfied, re-nail and countersink, then fill with wood putty.
Glue four popsicle sticks inside the front panel under the entrance hole. Space them apart the width of each stick. This provides a “ladder” for baby birds to easily exit the nest when the time comes.
STEP 4 – Finishing
Apply stain/paint and clearcoat of your choice to the exterior only before final assembly. Avoid applying any finishing materials on the inside. This is according to
information I found regarding birdhouse building. Apparently, most finishes are toxic to birds. It might be alright to use a “food-safe” clear finish on the interior. However, I did not try that myself and I left the inside completely unfinished. Here’s what I used on my Hunter’s Cabin Birdhouse made from Select Pine:
- Minwax Express Color water-based Emerald (tube) on roof
- Minwax Vermont Maple water-based stain (can) on cabin
- Minwax Dark Walnut #2716 on “stovepipe”
- Several coats of Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic spray
STEP 5 – Final Assembly
Drill a countersunk hole in the bottom center of the swinging side panel and insert the brass screw.
Glue and nail the roof assembly to the cabin assembly. If you wish, you can fashion a “stovepipe chimney” using scrap dowels to add to your cabin roof. I made a chimney cone by rotating a 1¼” diameter dowel against my belt sander to form the cone shape. I clamped a miter gauge set at 45° to the sanding belt table to get a more accurate result. Then I cut off the cone from the dowel using my bandsaw (you could use a fine-toothed hobby saw instead). An alternative is to simply carve a cone from a chunk of basswood available from any craft store, or even make a metal one from some scrap tin roof flashing or copper sheeting!
I made the stovepipe from scrap 5/8″ diameter dowel. I cut a short length in the middle and one end at a random angle, then glued the pieces back together, rotating them slightly offset from each other to yield the “crooked” pipe effect. Then I glued the cone on top of the assembly.
Drill a 1/8″ diameter hole in the base of the stovepipe then glue a short length of 1/8″ dowel into the hole.
Drill a 1/8″ diameter hole (not all the way through) in the roof at the desired location, then glue the stovepipe in place.
This completes the construction of your birdhouse. The type of birds you want to attract in your area will determine where and how you need to mount your birdhouse. Many “birders” recommend mounting birdhouses on poles rather than hanging from tree branches. Pole mounted bird houses generally offer more protection from predators and prevent the birdhouse from swinging on windy days, although some kinds of birds don’t mind that too much (wrens).
You may change the size of the entrance hole to suit a particular bird species before carving the project. It is preset at 1½.
In the Designer software, you will notice a small divot marking the center of where the hole is to be located on the Cabin_Birdhouse_Panels.mpc. After resizing the existing hole, you can use the divot as a guide to relocate the new hole by zooming in a little as you move it into position.
Why can’t I purchase this project?
I hit buy this project and it takes me to another project.
Sorry about that. We just updated the buttons to go to the correct place.