My primary education really fell short when it came to history. That’s why I follow Heather Cox Richardson (Professor of History at Boston College). Once again, she schools me:
Why build a roost box? We’ve had a sparrow roosting above our electrical box at night and, frankly, making a big mess. It gave me an idea. Our birds need a place to perch at night, out of the wind.
I went to the local lumber store and picked up a 1″ x 8″ (real dimensions 3/4″ x 7 3/8″) 8′ foot long piece of cedar (smooth on one side and rough on the other). Here’s a step by step.
I use pocket screws to put the pieces together. You can also insert screws from the back.
Make sure you put the hole in the door at this point. Lee Valley sells birdhouse portal protectors so the squirrels etc. can’t enlarge the hole. They are offered in four diameters to match the preferences of specific cavity-nesting birds: Eastern bluebird (1 1/2″), nuthatch (1 1/4″), chickadee (1 1/8″) and wren (1″). I used their guide to size my entrance hole.
Drill the hole for the door dowel through the side and into the door. Make sure you drill them as straight as possible so the door functions. You can also use a long screw for this.
Here’s what I found in my internet research that might be helpful.
We started with beautiful strips of cherry that had dadoed grooves for the bottom, lip of the box and a groove for kumiko (the largest groove in the picture). Spray glue was used to attach the paper to the bottom and edges eased. Shellac was applied to the grooved side of the cherry board.
Then we used Mike’s clever jig shown here to cut the miters on the box sides.
Box sides were lined up against a straight edge, glued and clamped using blue tape.
Above are a few photos of the kumiko process and some inspirational photos – all these photos were taken by Daniel Pittsford
Hope you enjoyed the post.
I used the formula of white oak, walnut stain, ebonizing vinegar / steel wool solution (thanks @fine_woodworking March 2019 edition), ting oil and a final coat of shellac!
Why ebonize? It allows more of the wood show through.