Feeder on a Dime
Save time and money with this simple feeder that songbirds will love!
Platform feeders are one of the most popular options for attracting backyard birds. You could easily spend $50, $75 or more to buy one, but don't waste your money! Instead, build your own for less than $10!
What You Will Need
- 4 pieces of rough cedar, cut to 15/16 x 2 x 9-1/16 inches
- 4 pieces of molding strips, cut to 1/2 x 3/4 x 9-1/4 inches
- 1 10 x 10-inch piece of aluminum screen
- 8 1-1/2-inch panel nails
- 16 1-inch panel nails
- 4 8mm or 1/2-inch eye screws
- 4 10-inch-long pieces of No. 16 jack chain (chain for hanging plants)
- 1 link of chain about 1-1/4 inch long (larger chain for hanging plants)
- Exterior wood glue
- Needle-nose pliers
- Duct tape
- 1/16-inch drill bit
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- Once the wood and screen are cut to size, assembly is pretty simple. The finished feeder will be 10 inches wide, 10 inches long and 2-3/4 inches high. The first step is to glue the four pieces of cedar together to make a square box (see diagram). Wipe off any glue that may have oozed out the sides, then allow to dry.
- Hammer in two 1-1/2-inch panel nails at each intersection to help reinforce the glue.
- Determine which side you would like to be the top. Place the frame bottom-side-up on your work surface, then center the aluminum screen on top of it. You can use a staple gun to attach the screen to make it easier to handle, but it is not necessary.
- Place the molding strips on top of the screen, again forming a box, overlapping the joints of the feeder to add strength.
- Hammer four of the 1-inch panel nails, evenly spaced, along each side to secure the molding and screen to the base of the feeder.
- Turn the feeder over so the screen is closest to your work surface. With a ruler, determine the center of each side and mark it with a pencil or by making an indentation with an eye screw.
- Using a 1/16-inch drill bit, drill a pilot hole no deeper than 1/4 inch in the center of each side. This hole will help prevent the wood from splitting when you attach the eye screw.
- Screw in the eye screw to each side using the pilot holes. You may need to use a pair of needle-nose pliers to help you turn the eye screw. Put a piece of duct tape on the end of the pliers if you find it is scratching the metal.
- Attach one 10-inch length of chain to each eye screw, using the pliers to open and close the links.
- Attach the end of each 10-inch chain to the larger link to make the hanger. Then hang and wait for your feathered friends to arrive!