In a previous blog, we discussed different kinds of birdfeeders you might make using ordinary hand tools, woodworking tools and materials—anything from the tube feeder, hopper feeder and platform feeder. While each type of feeder has its own challenges, the easiest feeder to make, by far, is the platform feeder. A wooden platform feeder takes only a few simple Craft Tools, some plywood to create a floor surface the birds can feed on, and some patience for your first project.
Tools And Materials You Will Need
This ‘bare bones’ feeder will bring years of bird-watching enjoyment by using the following tools and materials:
- 2 X 4
- Zinc-plated screws
- Hand saw or electric saw
- Nylon cord
- Drill and small drill bit
Constructing Your Platform Feeder
Most platform feeders are 12 square inches in size. Using your hand or electric saw, cut the piece of plywood in a 12 X 12 size for the location you plan on hanging your feeder. Next take the 2 X 4 and cut it into small, thin strips with your electric saw, approximately ½ inch in width. The 2 inch height of the 2 X 4 is ideal for creating the lip you will attach around all 4 sides of the plywood to prevent the birdseed from spilling out.
Now you are ready to attach the edge pieces by driving the zinc-plated screws through the plywood. The reason zinc-plated screws are best since they won’t rust. While you can use conventional screws, zinc-plated screws will last longer and preserve the life of your feeder.
From your craft tools, take your drill and use the smallest drill bit to make holes at each of the 4 corners of the platform next to the edge pieces. These holes provide 2 important functions. One function is to provide a drainage system so the seed doesn’t get wet or spoiled. A second function is to allow you to thread water-resistant nylon cord to hang the feeder. Now cut 2 equal cord strands that will crisscross each other at opposite and diagonal ends of the feeder so that it will remain flat when hung. Thread the cord through the holes, tying a knot at the bottom ends to hold it. Hang your new platform feeder on a tree branch or post with the S hook. Add bird seed to taste and enjoy the show!
Platform Feeder Variation
If you live in a wet or rainy climate like the Pacific Northwest, you may want to forego the plywood bottom and use a thin wire mesh screen instead. Mesh screen will drain water from the birdseed so it lasts longer without spoilage. If you use mesh, simply cut it with wire cutters, stapling all sides of thinly cut strips from the 2 X 4 to create the platform. Thread nylon cord as above and hang with S hook.