How to Make a Squirrel Feeder

Though some avid bird-feeders consider squirrels a backyard pest, placing squirrel feeding stations in your yard often keeps the squirrels away from your bird feeders.
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Bruce Johnson demonstrates a quick and easy woodworking project: building this simple squirrel feeder. Place a few of these around your yard to keep your neighborhood squirrels happy -- and to help lure them away from your birdfeeders.

Building a squirrel feeder is one of the easiest woodworking projects. Learn how to build this one, designed to hold a whole ear of dried corn.

Materials and Tools:

Scrap lumber (pressure-treated or weather resistant)
Radial-arm or table saw, or hand-saw and chisel
Cordless drill
Galvanized screws

Steps:

This squirrel feeder can be made by using scrap lumber. Select a durable wood for constructing a feeder. Since it will be placed outside and will be exposed to the elements, you'll want to use either a pressure-treated wood or a wood such as cedar. Unless you plan to apply a protective exterior finish to your feeder, avoid using white pine or other woods more suited to interior projects as these will generally last only a year or so in the outdoors. For our demonstration, we used pieces of scrap cedar.

1. For our feeder, cut a 15" board into two pieces -- one about 11" long and one about 4" long. Position the shorter board perpendicular to the longer piece, about 3" from the end, to form the feeder platform. Mark the location of the shelf with a pencil.

2. You could simply attach the platform piece with screws using a butt-joint, but for greater stability cut a notch in the longer backing piece into which the platform can be snugly seated. Cut the notch by making a series of passes on a radial-arm saw. Set the saw blade to a fixed depth so that the blade would not cut all the way through the back board. (If you don't have this type of saw, you could also fashion the notch using a table-saw or a hand-saw and chisel.)

3. With the notch cut, check to make sure that the shelf fits snugly in place. Place the shelf piece in a vise, and apply a bead of wood-glue along the back edge. Position the back piece on the shelf, with the shelf resting in the notch, and fasten the shelf using two galvanized wood-screws.

4. With the shelf secured, predrill a hole through the middle of the shelf for inserting the screw that will be used to hold an ear of corn. Insert a long galvanized screw from the underside of the shelf so that it extends up through the shelf.

5. With the screw in place, predrill mounting holes in the back piece -- one near the top, and one near the bottom, below the shelf.

6. Twist an ear of dried corn onto the exposed screw to secure the corn to the feeder. The feeder can be mounted on a tree or other upright structure using screws or nails.

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