Bird Table With Planters

by Clint
2 Materials
8 Hours
My sister's birthday was a couple of weeks ago and she wanted a bird table, so this weekend I finally got round to it! I made this mostly on the fly so I'm afraid I don't have any plans but I'll take you through some of the steps so you can get an idea of how I made it. There's a video on my YouTube channel as always documenting the build as I made it.
I started with 2 planks of pallet wood that were 100cm long and 14cm wide. I used these planks to make the table, the roof and the planter boxes.
After planing down the planks I cut two pieces off to around 25cm long each and glued them together with some outdoor wood glue. I made it a triangular shape just to give it more of an interesting look. Once that was made I then attached it to the main post of the bird table with dowels and glue. I then made an angled brace to hold it up with two 45 degree angles on either end.
The easiest way to get the 45 degree cuts as accurate as possible on the brace is to use a mitre box. Probably an even more accurate way is to use a table saw with a jig or a chop saw. As I only use hand tools though, I went with the mitre box.
I had to make a small truss piece to screw onto the post which I then screwed two of the roof pieces too. The pitch you use for the roof is entirely up to you, I didn't really have a measurement in mind I just made what looked right. I then cut another truss shape for the front of the roof and screwed the roof pieces to that also. After that I made a beam to attach the roof to the table to make it more rigid.
With the beam screwed onto the table I then made a piece for the top of the roof from a scrap piece of pallet wood. To give it an angle to help it shed water I planed the face at two angles with a high point running down the centre. It was then just a case of screwing it into the truss pieces. I used a long 10cm screw for the front as this made it possible to screw the top roof piece into the truss and then into the beam.
The placing of the planters is really up to you, I'm sure many people wouldn't want them, maybe some would want more than two! I put the first one quite close to the bird table as I thought a nice flowing grass would shield the birds a little when they're feeding. These two pieces are connected with dowels and glue, I then just cut two more pieces and screwed them onto these pieces to make a square shaped planter.
Once the planter was attached and screwed together I had to think about the bottom. I decided to screw some 4cm screws into the inside walls of the planter, about 1cm up from the bottom. I only screwed them in half way so they would act as a kind of shelf or support for the bottom piece to fit onto. You can see this in more detail in the video.
The two planters were finished and so now the feet needed to be made. I cut a piece of pallet wood that was 100cm long in half. I then found the centre points on the pieces of wood and laid them over each other to trace where they would overlap.
I sawed and chipped out the waste with a chisel on each piece until they fit snugly.
Turning the table upside down was the easiest way to get the feet in place and screw them in. I put 5 X 10cm screws from the feet into the post. Once I stood it up it was much more rigid than I was expecting and so I didn't bother to make angled braces from the post to the feet. It may need them in the future but for now we'll see how it goes.
I painted the whole thing with some water based exterior stain. I have been informed that water based stain is wildlife friendly so that was my reason for using it. After that I got some landscape fabric and lined the planters with it, this means that the soil for the plants will fit in there nicely and the water will drain though the fabric easily. Hopefully that will improve the longevity of the wood.
I took it to my sisters and planted it up, grass in the top planter and a kind of trailing plant in the bottom planter. So far the only bird to visit it is a pigeon unfortunately but I'm sure some little birds will head there soon.
Thank you for checking out that tutorial, if you enjoyed it and you'd like to follow my projects and just generally support me then please give my Facebook page a like. If you have any questions or comments I'd love to hear them!
Suggested materials:
  • Pallet wood   (Free)
  • Screws   (Hardware shop)
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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  2 questions
  • Kathryn Nuttall Kathryn Nuttall on Jul 10, 2017
    Do you plan to do anything to keep the squirrels off? One little squirrel could sit on that platform and stay until there was nothing left for the least they do around here.

  • Jacquelyne May Jacquelyne May on Jul 10, 2017
    Curious.. We have big crows, and neighbors have been cutting down all of our mature trees. I used to love the sound of all the birds chirping. I'd love to attract more birds, but will the crows just make a lunch of them?? Anyone know?

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