Dave's Big Birdhouse

Large scale building on a shoestring.

SHOP OWNER: Dave Tulluck

    I am a maintenance engineer at our local hospital. I enjoy woodworking and build just about anything I can imagine. I try to use recycled materials as much as I can, as my budget is much smaller than my aspirations. I started out building kitchen cabinets and office/library furniture while in high school. Later on, I was fortunate enough to go through a Mill Workers Apprenticeship Course. I never became a Journeyman, as I joined the military shortly after. While stationed overseas, my brother acquired all my shop tools and moved out of state. Since then, I have been purchasing tools as I need or can afford them.
Gouldian Finches

    A co-worker gave my daughter a pair of Gouldian Finches as a gift. The birds were thought to be beyond their breeding years. We soon had seven birds and found out that my daughter is allergic to them. Since they couldn't stay indoors, I started combing the Internet for outdoor birdhouses. It was about mid summer of 2004 when I started and I am about 90% completed as of today. I salvaged, recycled, and asked for donations from friends, employers, and people having yard sales with items that I could use for it. I did have to buy some things, mostly nails, screws, and some corrugated panels I used for a skylight. I never intended it to be this big; it just came out that way.
Just Me and a Skill Saw... and Beer

    There was an apple tree in the yard, which I intended to cut down before beginning. I ended up building it into the free flight area and trimming it to fit. There is a 5' x 6' skylight above the tree to provide sunlight. Last year it had two apples on it! The total dimensions are 6' wide by 10' high by 16' long. It is divided into two sides; an open-air free flight space with apple tree and an indoor winter side that is insulated and heated, has lights and music that are on a timer, and windows facing the East and West for sunlight.
Taking Shape

    A double door entrance system prevents the birds from escaping when you come or go. The two sides can be used individually or together via a fly-through portal that is about 8" x 16". The squirrels have given up trying to get in, and I think the neighbor’s cat has too.
Part of the Roofing Finished

    All of the siding is cedar fence board, left over from a couple of fence jobs. I did the board and batten to compensate for crooked boards, but it looks nice too. I enclosed the open flight space with 1/2" wire cloth, which my employer donated. The flooring is 5/8" plywood planked over with 1 x 8's once used as concrete forms. The roofing is a 50-year architectural shingle (yard sale donation), and the paint is some mis-tinted 20-year Sears WeatherBeater I got for $3.00/gal.

. . . Dave Tulluck



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P.O. Box 493
Springtown, PA 18081