Editor’s note: In the March 2020 magazine, we published the winners of a birdhouse building contest. Each entry was to be a “Learning By Doing” lesson. Torrence was one of the winners.
In June of 2022, Torrence was suddenly killed as the result of a tragic accident. As I looked for a “Learning By Doing” lesson for this issue, I again came across his submission. It was very well done and illustrated. His family has kindly given permission for us to run his lesson, and we thank them.
If you build this birdhouse, we invite you to send a photo of it to us. We will enjoy seeing your project.
Nature Friend, 4253 Woodcock Ln, Dayton, VA 22821
E-mail: wrenhouse at naturefriendmagazine dot com.
Here is an excellent project to build with Dad, Granddad, an uncle, or another adult for the sake of both building relationships and safety while using tools.
Collect sticks 1¼”-1½” in diameter. Flatten top and bottom to 1” thick. For the floor, I used old barn siding 1” x 6” x 11”.
Straighten the inside edge of one 6” log and two 12½” logs. Use these to cover three edges of the floor. Fasten with exterior wood glue and trim nails.
All longer logs in walls are 9½”. The shorter in-between logs vary depending on width of the long logs, and whether a door or window is in the wall. Measure and fit.
Stack logs using glue and trim nails. Use a square to keep end of logs straight.
Put the door on the floor (Fig. 3), and put the window on the first log above the floor on whichever side you want it. The fifth layer of logs caps the door and window.
The sixth layer has two 12½” logs to come out over porch posts. (See Fig. 8 for posts and rails.)
Place saw blade on 45° angle. Turn house upside down and shave off the corner of the long top pieces so the roof fits tightly. Continue nipping gable end logs on 45° angle all the way to the peak. (See Fig. 6.)
Cut the porch posts and rails to the proper length. Drill holes in the cabin and posts for the rails. Fasten the posts from the top down and from the bottom up.
The angled framework in the porch gable is made from 1” square pieces. Cut the bottom piece to the exact length with a 45° on the ends. Screw three pieces in place, leave them longer than needed. They will be cut in one motion.
Cut the long ends of the assembled framework with a miter saw to fit the roof.
Screw the framework to the top log as shown.
For the roof, cut one board 8” x 13” and another 7” x 13”. The narrower one will fit underneath the first board. Fasten the long board and hinge the second board.