• One-day project: Bird feeder

    One-day project: Bird feeder
    Date:1 September 2011 Tags:

    1. Gather the gear

    My bird feeders lure sunbirds and white-eyes, but I can’t stand to see rodents raid the seeds. So I devised a fortified feeder. Hang a modifi ed 2-litre soft drink bottle between two trees spaced 5 to 8 metres apart, using 1 mm galvanised steel wire, two 50 mm No 6 screw eyes and one 6 mm x 50 mm eyebolt with nuts. Ten 30-cm lengths of 12 mm PVC spin on the wire, stopping squirrels as birds perch on pieces of a 500 ml bottle.

    2. Cut a jug

    At 40 mm above the 2-litre-bottle bottom, use a utility knife to cut the seed ports: four triangles with 20 mm sides. Cut a 20 mm horizontal slit about 10 mm below each port. Use snips to cut 20 mm x 75 mm L-shaped strips from a 500 ml bottle bottom. Fit the strips in the slits, concave side up. Drill a few 5 mm drainage holes in the bottom of the bigger bottle. Illustration by Vic Kulihin

    3. Hang it up

    Twist a screw eye into both trees about 2,5 metres from the ground, then thread the wire through one eye. Wrap the wire around itself about 10 times to secure it. Fit the 10 lengths of pipe over the wire, pull it taut to the second screw eye, then wrap it tightly. Drill a hole through the 2-litre bottle cap and attach the eyebolt with two nuts. Hang a short length of wire from the horizontal wire midway between the pipes, then tie that length to the eyebolt, twisting the wire around itself to make the connections. Pour seeds through a funnel to fill the bottle.

    4. Bird watch

    Birds love it. Squirrels and rats (yuck!) either stay at the tree or spin off the pipes. They dive but can’t grip the bottle. Suckers!

    More to do in September

    Blast stinkin’ trash

    Freshen up empty outdoor rubbish containers using a detergent blend shot from a 70-bar pressure washer with a 40-degree nozzle, pro washer Jon Hoch says. Soak 2 minutes, empty, then spray the bottom.

    Unblock gutters

    If you live in a summer-rainfall region, now’s the time to get out your stepladder and check the gutters for leaves and other debris that could block the fl ow of water. While you’re in DIY mode, service the lawnmower.

    Preserve your wood

    If you have a wooden deck, extend its life with regular treatments of wood preservative. Quarterly applications of raw linseed oil mixed with turpentine (in a 50:50 ratio) have kept our meranti deck looking like new.

    For more one-day DIY projects, visit www.popularmechanics.co.za

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