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Time
2h00

Bird House Make And Makeovers
Tudor-style houses were originally built as a wooden frame for the structure, with the gaps between filled in with wooden sticks and plaster. The style is still popular today, but the wooden beams are now fake pieces applied on top of the surface of the walls. The idea here is to try to recreate that look with pieces of wood applied to the surface of the walls. You can follow my design, or you can create your own version for other styles of Tudor beams. The beams are painted in a contrasting colour to give the building the effect of a Tudor house.

Making and applying the Tudor-style beams
Start the Tudor-style beams by adding the corner moulding to all four corners of the basic box. Cut the pieces to length and glue and nail them in place. I used the waterproof glue and the shorter 9⁄16in (15mm) pins in the nail gun. I made the beams the same length as the sides of the bird house, which creates a recess that the top will locate into. The next thing to do is to cut the ⅜in (10mm) wide strips that will cover the join between the roof and box. Mark and cut it to length between the corner angles, then place it on the front aligned with the top of the corner angle and draw a line across the box. Repeat this process on the back. This strip will be glued to the roof to hide the join between the roof and the box.

Posted by GMC Group Published See GMC Group's 298 projects » © 2019 Alan Goodsell / GMC Publications · Reproduced with permission.
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  • How to make a bird house. Tudor Style Beams Birdhouse - Step 1
    Step 1

    Wood strips and 90° corner angles are needed to create the Tudor effect.

  • How to make a bird house. Tudor Style Beams Birdhouse - Step 2
    Step 2

    Mark the corner angle at the height of the box side.

  • How to make a bird house. Tudor Style Beams Birdhouse - Step 3
    Step 3

    Cut and glue the corner angle then nail it in place flush with the box bottom and side top.

  • How to make a bird house. Tudor Style Beams Birdhouse - Step 4
    Step 4

    Glue and nail all the corner angle pieces.

  • How to make a bird house. Tudor Style Beams Birdhouse - Step 5
    Step 5

    Mark a strip of wood the distance between the corner angles.

  • How to make a bird house. Tudor Style Beams Birdhouse - Step 6
    Step 6

    Cut the strip and place it between the corner angles and flush with their top and draw a line across the box

    The first piece to apply is the ¼in (6mm) wide horizontal door frame piece. I made the inside of this 3¼in (85mm) high and the two vertical frame pieces 2in (50mm) apart in the centre of the wall. The doors are the same size, so the door you choose will just fit in place. Now cut three vertical pieces to fit between the door frame and the drawn line at the top of the box and glue them in place. Next, cut two short pieces with opposing 45° angles on their ends to fit diagonally between the corner moulding and the door frame at 45° and glue them in place. Lastly, cut and glue two pieces horizontally on top of the angle pieces and to the door frame.

  • How to make a bird house. Tudor Style Beams Birdhouse - Step 7
    Step 7

    Mark the height of the inside of the door frame at 3¼in (85mm) high…

  • How to make a bird house. Tudor Style Beams Birdhouse - Step 8
    Step 8

    …then 1in (25mm) apart in the centre of the wall. The door (to be made later) will be 3¼in (85mm) high x 2in (50mm) wide

  • How to make a bird house. Tudor Style Beams Birdhouse - Step 9
    Step 9

    Mark more lines, three vertically above the door and a couple either side of the door halfway up the frame. These are positions to place more frames

  • How to make a bird house. Tudor Style Beams Birdhouse - Step 10
    Step 10

    Mark then cut the frame so that it fits between the corner angles

  • How to make a bird house. Tudor Style Beams Birdhouse - Step 11
    Step 11

    Glue then stick it in place with its bottom edge on the pencil line

  • How to make a bird house. Tudor Style Beams Birdhouse - Step 12
    Step 12

    Mark, cut and glue three vertical pieces in place on the top row. Mark the length of the vertical 
door frames between the bottom edge of the top door frame and the bottom of the box. Glue them so their inside edges are on the vertical lines

  • How to make a bird house. Tudor Style Beams Birdhouse - Step 13
    Step 13

    Mark opposing 45° angles on either ends of a short strip. Cut them and glue the strip in place. Repeat on the other side

  • How to make a bird house. Tudor Style Beams Birdhouse - Step 14
    Step 14

    Mark and cut the horizontal pieces between the corner angle and the outside of the door frame. Glue it in place and repeat on the other side

    Tudor house building was not a precise science, so any unevenness in positioning of the beams will give the bird house some period charm. The side walls have a horizontal beam at the same height as the front’s door header beam and three vertical pieces above it, with a wide 9⁄16in (15mm) strip horizontally placed above them. The lower part of the wall has a narrow horizontal beam at the same height as the front’s mid-door piece, 2in (50mm) away from the top beam, and two vertical beams centred on the wall and at 2¼in (55mm) apart. As with the door, these are the dimensions of the windows described in the following chapter.

    The last wall to treat is the back wall, and this has the horizontal beam placed at the same height as the front’s door header beam and three short pieces placed vertically above it. These three pieces are cut ⅛in (3mm) short of the top of the wall to allow for the horizontal beam of the roof to butt up to them. A vertical beam is placed in the centre of the wall from the ground up to the horizontal beam. Two pieces are then cut with 45° ends and are placed diagonally either side of the central vertical beam.

  • How to make a bird house. Tudor Style Beams Birdhouse - Step 15
    Step 15

    Cut, glue and place two frame pieces: one 1½in (38mm) up and the other 2in (50mm) away from it

  • How to make a bird house. Tudor Style Beams Birdhouse - Step 16
    Step 16

    Cut and glue the two vertical frame pieces in place centrally on the wall at 2in (50mm) apart. 
The window is 2in (50mm) square and will fit inside the frame

  • How to make a bird house. Tudor Style Beams Birdhouse - Step 17
    Step 17

    Cut and glue three short strips to go vertically above the window

  • How to make a bird house. Tudor Style Beams Birdhouse - Step 18
    Step 18

    Next, cut and glue a horizontal strip on top of the three vertical strips. This lines up with the one on the front and back. Repeat the framing process on the other side of the box

  • How to make a bird house. Tudor Style Beams Birdhouse - Step 19
    Step 19

    The back of the box is similar to the front but without the door frame. I added a vertical strip in the centre flanked by strips at 45° on either side

  • How to make a bird house. Tudor Style Beams Birdhouse - Step 20
    Step 20

    Place the roof on top of the box and run a line of glue along the top of the previously cut strip. This will ensure it only adheres to the roof piece

    The roof I chose for the Tudor house is the pitch roof with a thatch finish as this is more in keeping with the Tudor style than the other roofs. Glue and fit the horizontal beam; its length is cut at the distance between the corner pieces on the base box and it is glued on the gable end of the roof, protruding down to the line on the box to cover the join between the roof and box. On top of this, two diagonal beams will be placed, so cut a 45° angle on one end and a 90° on the other end. These beams will clear the hole on the gable end and look like roof supports. Finally, cut 45° angles on each end or a short beam that goes over the hole and glue that in place. Repeat this beam pattern on the rear gable, too.

    When the roof is completed, you can drill holes in the front and rear corners so that the top can be fixed to the base with screws. These screws are easily removed again at the end of the season for cleaning, or even for a change of roof style.

  • How to make a bird house. Tudor Style Beams Birdhouse - Step 21
    Step 21

    Place the strip on the roof piece and set down to the vertical strips on the box

  • How to make a bird house. Tudor Style Beams Birdhouse - Step 22
    Step 22

    Mark and cut 45° strips to go either side of the hole, then glue them in place

  • How to make a bird house. Tudor Style Beams Birdhouse - Step 23
    Step 23

    Cut one more strip to go above the hole. It has opposing 45° angles on either end. Glue and stick the strip in place

  • How to make a bird house. Tudor Style Beams Birdhouse - Step 24
    Step 24

    Repeat the process on the back

  • How to make a bird house. Tudor Style Beams Birdhouse - Step 25
    Step 25

    The drill holes where screws will hold the two pieces of the bird house together

  • How to make a bird house. Tudor Style Beams Birdhouse - Step 26
    Step 26

    The Tudor-style bird house is ready for painting

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