Do you want to encourage birds to visit your garden?
Do you delight in the sound of their pleasant chirping and birdsong? Does the sight of them flitting through the air please you? Then, how about making a hanging bird table? Of course, you could put together a simple platform. But with just a little extra effort you can create a more functional table that is also a pleasure to the eye. Here’s how:
(1) Using half-inch exterior grade plywood, cut out a 17-inch square. Find the center of the square by drawing diagonal lines from each corner.
(2) With the aid of a compass, draw a circle on the plywood square, with an eight-inch radius. Then mark out a seven and a half-inch square just inside this first one.
(3) Mark off a third circle with a six and three quarter inch diameter. This is where you will place the screw hooks for the chains to hang from. To determine where to place the screws around this circle, set the compass to the same radius as the last circle, then mark off six equally spaced points around the circle. Now mark alternate points for the three screw hooks to be affixed.
(4) Within the smaller circle mark out equally spaced holes for the feeder cups. You can use any small plastic pots for feeders, such as the ones that KFC potato and gravy comes in. The idea here is to allow the pots to be suspended by their rims. In one of the feeder, pots make a small drainage hole.
(5) Use a power jigsaw to cut the outer circle of the plywood. Smooth off the edges with sandpaper. Now cut out the holes for the feeder cups.
(6) Drill pilot holes for the screw hooks at the three points you have marked.
(7) To make a woven fence that prevents food scraps being blown off the edge, drill holes to a diameter of a quarter-inch at five equally spaced positions around your outer circle – the one to a seven and a half-inch diameter. Make these holes three-eighths of an inch deep.
(8) Cut pieces of quarter-inch dowelling for the fence posts that are one and a half inches long. After sanding, glue them into place in the five holes around your outer circle.
(9) Treat the board with an acrylic wood stain, applying two coats.
(10) To make the fence, weave straight hazel or willow twigs between the posts. Glue the twigs where they make contact with the posts.
(11) Insert brass screw hooks into the pilot holes for the chain. Hang the chain from three lightweight chains to the required length.
(12) Suspend the table from a tree or other support, linking the ends with an S hook. Drop the feeder cups into place and your table is complete.