First I make the gables with the chain saw:
These are from an outside slab of oak. There is bark and sapwood on there, I reckon this will encourage insect life for the birds. There’s plenty of heartwood to take the mortices. Then the table itself, this one is beech, again from a slab, but there is no sappy wood on beech. I make the 1 inch mortices with an auger.
These augers are excellent, ex War Department with the distinguishing arrow marked on the shank. They must have been stockpiled for tens of years as they come fully wrapped and protected with a waxy film that the instructions tell you to remove with a pointed stick. Mine are 1953 vintage – the year of my birth. I turn the handles myself in a variety of lengths, longer ones giving more leverage, and short ones for confined spaces.
Next the pillars to support the gables and roof are cut to length and tenoned. I’ve used silver birch on this one. I think they should last OK as they are kept dry under the roof. I first get them down to near 1 inch with the draw knife, and then use the rounder plane.
I’d normally do this with the Veritas 1 inch tenon cutter, but I’d neglected to recharge the drill batteries so I just finished then off with the tenoner by hand – it leaves neater shoulders than the rounder.
Start assembly now, in with the columns.
On with riven oak roof shingles, pre-drilled and nailed with galvanised nails.
Then I split some round wood for edgings, having first nailed through into the tenons. Drill through the table to fix onto the 6 foot pole with 4 inch coach screws (not forgetting to washer them). That’s about the bird table finished, do try this at home. All you need is to make a couple of shepherd’s chairs to produce the waste for materials 😉
Sorry about the dull pictures, the weather was dull too!