We have two platform bird feeder plans for you to build. One is a fairly simple design, the other a little more complex with added perches.
The first one is a very simple plan for a large (two feet square) platform bird feeder. We have had such good results from using screening material for the substrate of our hopper birdfeeder design, we also built a platform feeder using the same screen for the platform base. The screen material allows the bird seed, chaff and bird droppings to dry quickly after rain or snow. It also allows for easy cleaning by simply thumping the screen from below and blowing away the chaff when necessary.
Cuts made from the 1 X 8s
That's all you need to get started.
1. Mark and Cut 4 frame pieces and 2 support pieces (24 inches each).
2. Mark and Cut 2 pieces to attach the platform feeder to the post (6½ inches each).
3. Assemble the frame for the platform birdfeeder.
4. Lay the screen material over the completed frame of the platform feeder.
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5. Mark the frame and screen supports for attachment of post attachment pieces.
6. Attach the frame and screen supports to post attachment pieces.
7. Attach support pieces to the Post and to the Platform Feeder
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The completed platform bird feeder can be seen in the photo below. You may have noticed that the wooden 4x4 post is attached to one of the wire fence T-posts with "zip ties" or cable ties. This is so we can test several places before deciding where to permanently fix the post and feeder. Zip ties will last at least a year exposed to the sun before they deteriorate. So if you use this idea, you will need to inspect and replace zip ties as needed or your feeder may fall over.
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Below are platform bird feeder plans from Bird Watching Bliss visitor, Ken Ablett of Chesapeake, Virginia. He says, "I have been using a platform feeder of my design for years. It is unlike any other I have ever seen. I would like to share it with others who enjoy back yard birds." Thanks Ken!
*Note that this design does not have a mesh bottom to allow for drainage so be sure to clean often and exchange the seed if it becomes wet (more of an issue in rainy, humid climates), otherwise you may have problems with mold which is not good for the birds. We would recommend altering this plan to have a mesh screen for easier cleaning. You should also spray down the top to keep it clean, especially if bird feces accumulates.
What I do is to mark the 8' piece at 8" intervals, then draw the centerline
(3/4") to facilitate locating the drill holes and the segments to be notched.
I saw to the mid line at the top and bottom of the notches. After the pieces are cut from the long piece, I use a chisel to pop out the notches. The notches should fit snugly over the 1'1/4 inches of the platform and edge pieces.
Cut the 8 low lander dowels, each 8"
Place braces at the edges of the marked box, then mark where the screw holes will go. With a nail, make indentation in the platform base to facilitate starting the screws to attach the shelf braces. Attach the shelf braces leaving just a little slack in the screw tightness to ensure that the four braces will fit snugly over the 4" x 4"
Low Lander/Perch support pieces
On edge boards mark locations of where low lander uprights will be positioned later. Make a mark 4" in from each corner. The outside low lander uprights will be positioned there. Each low lander is 8" long so that will leave 8" between the landers on each side.
Low Landers Preparation
Place 8" pieces of dowel in lander uprights. (Helps to sand leading edge a little.)
For this step you already have shelf braces on the bottom side of the platform. You can place the plywood base on a couple of TV trays with space between them for the attached shelf braces.
Attach braces with 4" up on the base of the 2" x 2"
Place 20" pieces of dowel in the two high holes and 12" pieces in the two low holes. Position dowels so that the slip-guard holes are vertical.
Insert slip-guard nails into dowels on each side of 2 x 2
Center and attach high lander to base using scribed lines for reference.
Attach platform to the 4" x 4" post. Tighten screws as needed.
Slide the squirrel guard pipe up against the bottom of the platform and place a nail under the base of the pipe to hold it in position.
Low lander assembly
Place lander uprights in designated places
Attach through back of the upright notch to the base with using 1'1/2" thin nails. One nail into the ½" plywood and one nail into the 1" x 2" edge pieces.
Cut the 2" x 2" piece for the high lander at the 2' length.
Drill 1/4" pilot holes, then ½' holes as follows
On one side 1-1/2" from top and 12-1/2" from bottom
On facing side 3" from top and 11" from bottom
This will give you high landers and mid landers on each side of the 2" x 2" upright.
High lander dowels
2 @ 20" each
2 @ 12" each
drill very small hole for slip-guard nails at:
9-1/4" from each end of 20" dowels
5-1/4"from each end of 12" dowels
When assembled, the slip-guard brads will keep the lander dowels from shifting position - and they will if not checked.
Place 4" x 4" post two feet into the ground a tamp dirt firmly around edges. Suggest adding water to help settle the dirt. Let ground dry and proceed when post is secure. Place squirrel guard pipe over the post prior to adding the platform on top of the post.
On platform base (top side) mark mid points each side (16" in this case) and connect with pencil line. From those center lines scribe lines 3/4" on each side of both lines. This will form a box 1-1/2" square where the 2" x 2" upright will be positioned.
On platform base (bottom side) mark mid points each side and connect with pencil line. From those center lines scribe lines 1-3/4" on each side of both lines. This will form a box 3-1/2" square to fit on the 4" x 4" post.
On platform base (bottom side) attach 32 sides and 29" ends, nailing from top side of platform.
Post connect box
On bottom side:
The shelf braces will be attached to the bottom of the platform and the 6" sides will fit down over the 4" x 4" when it is in the ground.
"On our feeder we get blue jays, cardinals, titmouse, nuthatch, chickadee, red headed woodpecker, downy woodpecker, doves, black birds, red-winged blackbirds, juncos, and an occasional sparrow. It is not unusual, in fact it is common, to have three different kinds on the feeder at the same time."
Good luck building your feeder. We hope you attract as many birds as Ken has. If you do use these platform bird feeder plans to build your feeder, be sure to come back and let us know about your results. Send pictures!
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