Do-it-yourself nesting box: Upcycling from a wooden clock
- Cost17-25 £
- Duration4-5 h
A small nesting box for various species of birds will make a great addition to your garden. And building it on your own is a simple task. It gets even easier if you reuse an old wooden mantel clock – that’s sustainable living in practice. Our guide will show you all the necessary steps.
Have you heard about our 18V system yet? It offers a huge variety of devices for many different applications. The thing that makes the project below so special is that you can use the same rechargeable battery for every part of this project. Simply swap out the battery pack, insert it into a different device that’s part of the 18V system and move on to the next step.
It should go without saying that your safety is paramount at every stage of the project. Make sure you take the necessary precautions to protect yourself. You can find everything you need to know about the protective clothing required for each type of task in our overview.
- pocket rule
- small pliers
- wood glue
- paint brush
- Old wooden mantel clock
- Round wooden rods (with a diameter that matches the holes for the clock’s hands)
- Plywood board (larger than the clock housing)
- M6 screws with nuts
- Wood paint
Let's go - step by step
Removing the clockwork and sawing a ‘door’
Before you get started with the project, you must naturally first remove the clockwork. This will differ depending on the model. However, armed with a screwdriver, pliers and a small hammer, you should be able to remove it.
Once completed, your clock should be without the clockwork and hands, so that three small holes should be visible on the front near the dial.
Now use a drill with a 30-mm hole saw frill bit and drill an access hole in the upper area of the dial. Consider the type of bird you want to live in your box later on when you decide on the size of the hole. So inform yourself about the size of the future winged tenants you want to attract to the nesting box.
After drilling, you should use sandpaper to sufficiently chamfer and smooth the inside of the hole.
Closing the openings for the clockwork
The small holes of the removed hands are now sealed. Small pieces of round wooden rods are ideal for the job. Make sure that the thickness of the rods matches the diameter of the holes. In our example, we used 10-mm rods.
Cut several small pieces to length and briefly sand the cutting edges.
Then use a little wood glue (sparingly) and a hammer to seal off the holes with the wood pieces.
Drilling ventilation and weep holes
In the next step, drill a total of ten small holes on the bottom of the clock. These will serve as ventilation and weep holes for the nesting box.
Use a 5-mm wood drill bit for this and distribute the holes evenly, including on all four corners.
Sawing out the dome
A proper nesting box also needs to be protected from rain and predators. You can do so by taking a plywood board and cutting it into a small roof. Use a board for this that is quite a bit larger than your clock.
To get the shape of the roof right, place the clock face up on the board and trace the shape of the clock on the plywood board with a pencil (image 1).
Then clamp the plywood board to the workbench and use a jigsaw to cut out the silhouette of the clock (image 2).
After cutting, carefully sand down the edges.
Mounting the roof to the housing
You need: Cordless combi drill, Brad Point Drill Bit Set 8 Pieces, Suitable bit set, g-clamps, pencil, pocket rule, paint brush, Wooden clock housing, Sawn plywood board from step 4, M6 screws with nuts, Wood paint
The thin plywood board is flexible, which allows you to adjust it to the wavy shape of the clock. Using screw clamps, first fix the roof in place so that it rests across the entire upper part of the clock.
Then mark a drill hole on the right and left side – symmetrically and centred.
Use a 6-mm wood drill bit to pre-drill the holes for the screws.
Complete the step by firmly attaching the roof with two flat M6 screws and nuts. A word of caution: Do not use sharp wood screws as this type of screw may injure the birds.
If you wish, you can now paint your nesting box with wood paint.
To attach the box to a tree, you may need to screw two square timbers to the back. This largely depends on the shape of your clock and the tree, however.