Bird Table - Free Plans and Build Video - 2x4 Timber
How to Build a Bird Table
Bird tables are a wonderful way to feed the birds and add a decorative item to your garden at the same time. There are many ways to create a bird table; it all depends on how much effort you want to put into building it.
Simple wooden bird table
Choose the pieces of wood.You can use recycled or new wood, provided the pieces are good for outdoor use and are not painted with anything that might be toxic to birds. Decide on the size of the table top; this shouldn't be too small, or the birds might squabble to get to the food. For this simple wooden bird table, you'll need:
- 1 piece of wood about 30 x 50cm (12 x 20 inches) (just a suggested size), approximately 0.5 to 1cm/ 1/2 inch thick (table top piece)
- Four slim pieces of wood about 1cm/2 inches high to form a rim on the table top piece
- One thick long piece of wood for the post (the height should be determined by the height you can reach comfortably for adding birdseed)
- Four pieces of wood for the base, all of the same length, width and height
- Four wooden support pieces that go from the base pieces and attach to the post piece
- Four metal angle brackets to attach the table top to the post
- See "Things You'll Need" below for a complete list.
Sand the wood smooth.This is vital for the table top piece and the ridges added to it as it will prevent any build-up of old food in crevices, which could also harbor disease.
- Do not coat the wood on the feeding part of this table unless you know the product is absolutely safe for birds. It is better to reattach new tabletops after weathering than to poison your feathered friends.
Nail or glue the four rim pieces to the top side of the table top.Leave a small gap between each end or at two opposite ends, so that sweeping out old birdseed is made easier and rainwater can drip out with ease.
- If using glue, ensure that it is not toxic and will survive outdoors.
Attach the base pieces to the post piece.Nail or glue the four base pieces to the bottom of the post; each one should be facing outward to form a cross shape around the post base, creating a stand.
- These base pieces need to be long enough to support the weight of the bird table. They should also be substantial, so that they sit solidly.
Attach support pieces to the base pieces.Nail or glue short wooden support pieces to both the base pieces and the post, at an angle.
Attach the table top to the pole.Do this using the brackets, nailing both the post and the tabletop where the bracket holes indicate. As you're adding the brackets, keep checking the levelness and sturdiness of the tabletop and make adjustments as needed.
Place the finished wooden bird table in the garden.The base can be affixed safely to the ground by using wooden wedges each side of a base piece, held in place by a strong rubber strap.
Make sure it is sitting firmly and won't fall over when the birds land on it.If you would like, you can add a birdhouse to the top, or screw in hooks for hanging bird feeder chains from the sides of the table (just be sure to balance these evenly).
No base bird table
This version is a little less fiddly than the previous version but you will need to dig an adequate hole in the ground to hold the wooden post.
Choose the wood pieces for the project.You'll need:
- 1 piece of marine plywood measuring 300mm x 300mm x 12mm (11.8 inches x 11.8 inches x 0.472 inches) thickness for the tabletop
- Four strips of wood measuring 50mm x 275mm x 12mm (1.9 inches x 10.8 inches x 0.472 inches) thickness for the tabletop edge pieces
- 1 post or pole approximately 1.5m (4.92 feet) long
- See the "Things You'll Need" list for the remaining items.
If not already done, cut the pieces of wood.Sand the tabletop and edge pieces to ensure that there are no crevices in the wood that might harbor uneaten food that can encourage bacteria.
Nail the edge pieces to the top side of the tabletop piece.Leave small gaps at each end to make it easy to sweep out uneaten birdseed and to allow for water run-off.
Attach the post to the tabletop.Use the angle brackets to screw the post and tabletop together, following the guidance of the angle bracket holes. As you add the brackets, keep checking that the tabletop is level and that the brackets are sitting properly.
If using hooks to hang feeders from, attach these to the side of the tabletop.Be sure to place them for even hanging.
Dig a small hole into the ground.Push the post in firmly. The bird table is now ready for use.
Add birdseed to the bird table.Watch the birds as they come to eat.
Teacup bird table
This isn't really a "table" as such but it still works as a great single pole feeder.
Find a teacup and saucer you like but no longer need.You'll also need a post or a spindle from a chair or other furniture item (or purchase one from the hardware store).
Glue the teacup and saucer together.Use caulking to do this. Allow to set properly before proceeding.
Knock the pole or spindle into the ground.You won't be able to do this once the cup and saucer are attached, although the alternative is to dig the hole first, then simply insert the pole or spindle (which you'll need to do if you want to move this object around).
Glue the saucer base to the top of the pole or spindle.Do this so as to center the teacup and saucer evenly on the pole or spindle. Allow to dry completely.
Fill with birdseed.Let the birds come.
- Note: When it rains, this item will fill up with rainwater. That will make a nice bath for the birds but you should remove soggy birdseed from it.
Old glass dishes bird table
Find some beautiful old glass dishes that can be transformed into a bird table.This is a great opportunity to hunt through the thrift or antique stores, or flea markets and car boot sales, looking for old dishes. For this tutorial, you'll need two old glass cake stands and a middle piece, such as a strong vase or a high-sided small bowl.
- Be sure to wash and thoroughly dry the pieces before gluing together.
Try the pieces together before gluing in place.Turn one cake stand downward, so that the plate section is flat on the work surface. Balance the centerpiece (vase or bowl) on the stand base of this upturned cake stand. It should sit fairly firmly. Then place the other glass cake stand carefully on top of the vase or bowl, keeping a good hold on it in case it wobbles and falls. If the whole display appears balanced and firm, then it's good to glue. If not, try with a different centerpiece until you find a good fit.
Glue the pieces together in the order outlined in the previous step.Allow the glue to dry firmly between each glued object before proceeding to the next gluing stage.
Place the bird feeder on an outdoor table or other object lifted up off the ground.Sprinkle birdseed on top.
Wait for the birds.The feeder will soon attract their interest.
- Choose a quiet location, away from pets, to place the bird table.
- Keep bird tables clean. They should be cleaned daily, disinfected weekly and moved every now and then to prevent a build-up of bird droppings in the same spot.
- A roof can be added to a bird table for extra shelter. Be aware though, that while this might not bother some birds, it can cause shyer birds to stay away.
- Over time, you'll learn how much food to leave out for the birds, gauging this from what is left uneaten or how quickly the birds feed.
- If you use any sealant, paint or varnish on the bird table, be one hundred percent certain it is bird safe. Many of the common stains, paints, polishes, glues, etc. that humans can tolerate are poisonous to birds.
- Once you start feeding birds, many birds will come to rely on this source of food. If you want to cease feeding birds, do not do so until the warmer months, when finding food is much easier for the birds and they can safely wean themselves off your supply.
- Take care not to hammer or nail your hand. All tools should be used with appropriate caution.
Video: How to build a bird table | Wooden bird feeder
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