Turned Log Bird House

Ever wonder what to do with nice logs that you come by when someone cuts down a tree or you find in the woods? How about hollowing it out and making a nice home for our feathered friends? Here’s how this project proceeded from start to finish.

Logs selected for turning

These logs were very dry. Different diameters were selected for the top and bottom so the birdhouse would have an overhanging roof.


Drilling for screw chuck

Drilling the top for mounting on a screw chuck


Screw held by chuck

The screw is held by the chuck ready for timber to be mounted


Top mounted in chuck

Here the top is mounted and ready for turning


Truing the blank

I wanted this top to be completely round so I took off all traces of the weathered exterior of the log


Shaping the top

Shaping the top


Refining the shape

Refining the shape


Tenon for mounting

A tenon was formed to provide a place for the chuck to grab during the hollowing process


Top hollowed

The top was hollowed and a lip was formed to fit the bottom


Lets take a look

This looks like it will work


Bottom blank mounted

The bottom piece of the birdhouse was mounted between centers


Turning a tenon

A tenon was turned so the piece could be chucked


Drilling for hollowing

With the blank held by the chuck, the hollowing process begins with drilling as much material as possible using twist drills and Forstner bits


Fitting for top

The cap will fit on the diameter just turned


More drilling

Forstner bits up to 2-1/8″ were used to minimize hollowing with scrapers


Inside hollowed

The hollowing was completed using scrapers. It was then turned around and a finial decoration was added to the bottom.


Some finished bird houses

Completed bird houses with little finials turned on the bottom

The bottom was cross drilled with a 1-1/8″ Forstner bit and a perch was glued in place below it. The bottom has a small hole drilled in it to drain water. It will be fun seeing our new tenants in the early spring!