Introduction: RACCOON-THEMED BIRD HOUSE
Raccoons are prevalent throughout North America and have a bad reputation as scavengers. Their one redeeming quality, however, is cuteness. This bird house resembles a whimsical cartoon version of the animal.
1 piece of 1” x 6” x 6’ knotty pine board. (Actual dimension= 3/4”thick x 5.5”wide)
3 round objects, 2@1” diameter-eyes and 1@3/4”-nose. I used black rubber floor protectors
2 heavy duty picture hangers
7- 1.5” wood screws
1- small drawer pull
brad, or finishing nails
sandpaper- various grades
dark and light wood stains
outdoor varnish (optional)
Tools will be mentioned in each step
Step 1: CUT THE BOX PARTS
Mark these sizes with a square and use either a portable saw, or a mitre saw to cut:
2 sides= 8” ( I ripped these to a 5” width)
A loose fitting bottom= 3,5/8” x 4,3/4”
Step 2: CUT THE FEATURE PARTS
For this step you will need a scroll saw. First, download the pdf’s of the templates and print them. (NOTE: you may have to enlarge each page to fit a sheet of 8.5” X 11” paper in order to achieve the perfect size.
Draw a line with a square, 8” from the top of the rear-14.5” piece. Centre the tail template at the middle of the line pointing toward the bottom. Trace and cut.
Centre the ears at the top of the front- 13” piece- trace and cut.
Roughly cut the rest of the wood so that each of the other features fit loosely on each piece. Trace and cut. Mark the eye and nose locations. I had to drill small holes to accommodate mine and I did that before cutting.
Step 3: DRILL THE HOLES
Drill: Measure 4,1/4” from the bottom of the front piece (centred). Drill a 1/8” hole at that mark for the perch. 6, 1/4” from the bottom of the front piece, (centred) drill either a 1” hole (wren), 1,1/8” hole (chickadee) or 1,1/4” hole (nuthatch) depending on the type of bird you are trying to attract. Drill 2 - 1/16” holes in the bottom of each side piece, about 1/4” from the bottom edge to secure the removable bottom.
Step 4: BOX CONSTRUCTION
Use finishing or brad nails and wood glue to attach the side pieces to the front. They should line up with the bottom of the front piece and fit inside. Glue and screw the perch in place. Nail and glue the back piece over the 2 side pieces with the top edge lining up with the top of each side and the tail extending from the bottom. Nail and glue the top in place to close off the roof. At this point, sand everything paying particular attention to the edges of the scroll- cut features.
Position the face. It will line up with the curve of the ears. Nail and glue it in place.
Step 5: FINAL FINISHING
After a final sanding, stain the box (body) with the lighter stain. Stain the mask, nose and feet with the dark stain. I used dark on the tail as well.
Glue the 1”eyes and 3/4”nose piece in position. Position and nail the mask and feet then glue and nail in place. Attach the removable bottom with screws. Attach the two picture hangers to the top rear with screws. I installed the drawer pull in the centre of the removable bottom to make it easier to remove for cleaning.
I also gave everything a topcoat of outdoor matte varnish to protect it from the elements.
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