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Self-refilling bird feeder

As soon as Christmas time is over, winter is entering the country and wraps everything in its white winter coat. At these cold temperatures we can cuddle comfortably in front of the fireplace, while our domestic birds often have a hard time finding food and shelter. Let's give our little songbirds a treat by building them a self-refilling bird feeder! With this easy how-to guide you will build it in no time at all and at next to no costs.

Material Tools
Plywood plate 6mm Band saw / circular saw / table saw
Plastic bottle Orbital sander / rotating sander / belt sander
Glue Abrasive paper
Colour Stapler / cordless screwdriver

Step 1: Cutting out the bottom plate and the side plates

First, we cut out the bottom plate, which has a size of 200 x 200mm.

Then we need three side plates with a size of 200 mm x 50 mm each. Later we will attach them around our base plate.

Step 2: Preparing the plastic bottle

Our plastic bottle will serve as a food container. In order to be able to fill the bottle regularly, we cut the bottle into two pieces. We separate the bottom of the bottle from the rest in order to use it as a flexible lid. Thanks to this cover, the birdseed will be additionally protected against bad weather.

Therefore, we cut off the lower third of the bottle with a saw and then cut slots into the designated lid so that we can put it back over the rest of the bottle once the birdfeed is in there. I cut in 3 slots.

Step 3: Cutting out the back panel

Afterwards we put the bottle on our remaining piece of plywood and place our bottle with the bottle head about 10 mm away from the bottom edge of the plate. This board will later become our back wall and to guess the height we take the bottle as a measure. In addition, we use two pieces of residual wood to simulate the roof.

When we are satisfied with the arrangement, we draw the roof and cut it out.

Step 4: Grinding the components and assembling them

Now we grind all the items. It´s up to you how long you´ll want to sand the pieces.

We now glue the back panel together with the bottom plate. I used my self-made 90-degree device for that.

Subsequently, I stapled the whole construction together. You can, however, simply screw the plates together as well.

Then we mount the side walls to the bottom plate. However, the front wall needs to be cut in advance, otherwise it would not fit between the other two side panels. My self-made sliding table for the band saw is hereby very helpful.

Step 5: Constructing the roof

Next we cut out both roof halves. In my case, the roof top halves measured 200 x 300 mm each. 

For the assembly of the halves you have two options: If you want to work with overlapping halves, make sure that one half is 6mm shorter than the other. This corresponds to the width of the material. Alternatively, you can cut a 45 degree mitre at the tips, then both roof halves must have identical lengths. I opted for the overlap-method, because it is less time-consuming and the components can easily be assembled together with staples.

Now we glue and staple / screw the roof halves together. I did this again with the help of my 90-degree device.

Then we put the roof on our already existing construction (rear wall, base plate, sidewalls), glue and fasten it as usual.

Next we build the holder for the bottle. For this I took a small piece of plywood and used the narrow area in the middle of the bottle as a measure of the width. The holder will later stabilize the bottle in the middle.

Finally, glued and fixed together, everything should look like this:

Step 6: Building the strut

Since the roof is 100 mm longer as the rest of our house, we now build a strut as a pillar to stabilize our project. For this I used residual wood.

Step 7: The finish

Now we paint our house with a weather-resistant colour.

Now our feathered friends can look forward to always having something to eat.

The bird feeder has only been hanging outside for a few days and is already used well by all kinds of birds.

I hope I could inspire you a little bit again

Your Einhell Harry

AuthorHarry Früchtl
Reading time8 minutes

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