If you have basic woodworking skills, you can build a platform bird feeder in just a couple of hours. Here's how.
Gather the tools and materials you'll need before beginning. Use weather resistant woods like cedar, cypress, or oak, as they will last longer. Cedar is the easiest and least expensive weather-resistant wood to work with. The feeder may be mounted on a post, nailed to a deck rail or even set out on a table or other flat surface.
Step 1 - Assemble and Dry Fit Pieces
Once you have all your pieces cut, dry fit them by placing them on the platform without glue or screws, to make sure the rails don't hang over the sides of the platform. The rails should all fit flush with the edge of the platform. Trim the sides if needed after dry fitting.
Step 2 - Glue Rails to the Platform
Glue the 1 x 2-inch side rails to the edges of the 2-foot x 2-foot platform, making sure the two-inch side lies flat against the platform. Secure the rails to the platform with two one-inch screws.
Step 3 - Drill and Assemble Corner Pieces
Once your rails have been attached to the platform, pre-drill two holes in each corner of the plywood base for your 1 1/2-inch screws. Set one of your 16-inch pieces vertically over the hole. Using your pre-drilled platform holes, drill holes in the vertical rail as well. This will keep the wood from splitting when you screw it to the platform. Repeat this for all four corners. Glue each post and screw it to the platform.
Step 4 - Attach the Top of the Feeder
Center the 2 1/2-foot top piece of plywood on the four vertical posts you just attached to your base. Drill two holes in each corner, making sure the holes go into the vertical corners. Secure with glue and 1 1/2-inch wood screws. Your platform feeder is now finished. You can seal, stain, or paint the wood, or allow it to weather naturally.
Step 5 - Secure Your Feeder to Post or Rail
Secure the feeder to a 4x4 pressure treated wood post. Other options include nailing it to a deck railing on your deck or attaching it to a fence rail or level tree limb.
If you've decided to secure the feeder to a post, use four 1 1/2-inch wood screws to attach it to the 4x4 post. Dig a hole for your post. Make sure the hole extends at least a foot below the frost line. Set the post in the ground, making sure it's plumb and level. Secure it with a piece of scrap lumber so the post remains plumb while you mix your cement. Mix cement and pour it into the hole around the post. Allow the cement to set for 24-hours before removing your stabilizing piece.
Birds are messy eaters, so plan on using a paint scraper and whisk broom to clean old seed off of the feeder at least twice a month.