Fancy Bird Feeder Plans - Upscaled Version of Our Basic Hopper Feeder

simple hopper bird feeder plansWe were pleasantly surprised when we got an email from Bill from Maryland. Bill used our basic hopper bird feeder plans that some have jokingly called the MOAB feeder (Mother of All Bird Feeders) because it is large...

C'mon man. It's not that big! And turned those into what we now call the "fancy bird feeder plans" ;-).

I originally posted the plans to encourage people to build a simple, functional DIY birdfeeder (photo above right).

Bill has taken the simple plan, improved it and dressed it up. I don't think my version of the hopper feeder is an eyesore, but Bill's hopper feeder shows what a true craftsman can do.

fancy bird feeder plans

Bill built this feeder for his elderly parents and felt the process of filling the feeder by removing the top would be to cumbersome for them.

bird feeder plans with hinged roof

To make it easier, he added hinges to attach the roof to the hopper and to allow the roof to be opened without having to hold onto the roof with one hand and fill the hopper with the other hand.

He also attached a prop to hold the top open while the hopper is being filled with bird seed.

With the hinges attached, the weight of the roof stresses and torques the sides of the hopper, so a cross brace is needed for strength.

Bill's Changes and Additions to the Hopper Bird Feeder Plans

  • Splined (keyed) miter joints instead of screws
  • Glued "stops" in kerf instead of notching plexiglas
  • Stamped aluminum screen instead of screen mesh
  • Added brace between hopper end pieces - 10½ inches
  • Attached roof with hinges and added prop
  • Decorative cedar shingles - made from cedar shims
  • Decorative copper roof cap - copper from hobby shop
  • Coat of Spar Varnish to withstand the coastal climate

Splined or Keyed Miter Joint

Miter joints are really weak. Using the Spline or key technique not only creates very strong joints, but are also decorative. The technique is very easy and there are many videos available online that demonstrate how to do.

The cuts need to be made through the corners of the frame with a table saw or router which requires a jig to keep the cut square.

The decorative splines or keys are cut the same width as the blade that made the cuts and are simply glued into place.

splined miter joint on bird feeder

Bill sent several pictures showing the process on other projects. In the photo, the left side shows the spline cuts filled with the spline material which have been glued in place.

The right side of the photo shows splines after the glue had dried, the excess has been cut off and sanded smooth.

Use different colored wood for a decorative look or the same color wood for a strong joint.

Bird Feeder Hinge Installation

Drill pilot holes for all 8 screws and then fit the little 3/4" hinges on the top first. The angle between the top and the side supports prevents installation of the hinges if you screw them into the side/vertical supports first.

Also, you must place the plexiglass into the hinge side prior to screwing in the hinges. The screws interfere with the plexiglass kerf and ultimate "lock" the plexi in place. The other side comes out easily with the top open for cleaning (if required).

Note: The little hinges can be purchased at your local hardware store. However, they are "light duty" hinges and you cannot use the screws that come in the package.

They are tiny and will not hold the weight of the top. I purchased eight #4 by 3/4" round head screws to give them enough holding power. It remains to be seen how the hinges hold up to the weather.

Nice job Bill and thanks again for sharing it with us.

We know your parents will get hours of enjoyment watching the birds at the feeder. Not to mention how many times they get to tell their friends that their son made it for them...And the birds won't mind either!

We look forward to seeing pictures of birds feeding at the hopper feeder when it is installed.

Basic Bird Feeder Plans

View the original bird feeder plans and then you can make the changes and/or additions that are listed here on this page.

View All Bird Feeder Plans
Platform, Hopper, Tube, Suet, Hummingbird etc.

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