Backyard DIY: Squirrel Feeder

Making a squirrel feeder for the backyard is a simple weekend project that requires just a fence board from your local hardware store.

Step 1 - Cutting the Frame

Use your ruler and pencil to measure and mark off the following sizes:
1 Mounting Board (A): 16" long
1 Base (B): Approximately 16" (this will vary with the size of the jar)
2 Sides (C): Total length of both sides will be 17.25" from this length you will cut an approximately 30 degree angled line so that it will make a angled roof. The short side should be 8" and the high side 9.25"
1 Front (D): 8" long
1 Roof (E): 8" long
1 Jar Support (F): Make the jar support by tracing the curve of the jar onto the wood. The lowest point of the curve should be 1 inch from the bottom of the board. The curved piece remaining from this will become the End Piece (G).

Note: All board widths are 5.5".

Now that you have your pieces measured it's a good idea to make a mark in the center of each one so it is easy to see which is which.

Step 2 - Adding The Holes

Cut entrance holes in both side pieces (c). Mark a spot about 3.5" inches from the highest corner of each board and center the hole from side to side. Draw a 3" diameter circle with a compass, then cut out the holes with a saber saw. Smooth any rough edges with sandpaper.

Make a hole in the front of the feeder to hold the neck of the jar. This is a tricky step because jars vary in size. Start by determining the radius of the jar's mouth. Then lay the jar on its side and measure from the tabletop to the bottom of the mouth. Add these two measurements plus 1.0". Mark this distance from the bottom of the front board and center. From this point, draw a circle .5" inch larger than the diameter of the mouth. Cut the hole with a saber saw.

Step 3 - Assembling

Assemble the front and sides of the squirrel feeder, then attach the assembled pieces to the base. These joints, and all others, will be fastened with 1.625" (1-5/8 inch) galvanized deck screws. Depending on the type of wood you are working with it could split easily, so be sure to pre drill holes in each piece before driving in the screws. Attach the jar support (f) about 3.0" from the far end of the base. Then position the rounded end piece, which keeps the jar from sliding out of the feeder, at the edge of the base. It is important that you make sure there is enough clearance for you to tip the jar out for filling. If it is too tight, use a piece of sandpaper to round the inside curved edge of this end piece until the jar can easily be removed. If the jar is too loose, move the rounded end farther up the base before attaching it. You want it just snug enough.

Step 4 - Finishing Touches

You may paint and add custom touches to your feeder as you like as long as it does not impede the squirrel from getting to its tasty treats.

Step 5 – Hanging

Mount the feeder on a tree with 2.5" deck screws (this will be a heavy feeder, you will need large screws) and fill it.


Related: Backyard Critters: Squirrels

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07.10.13  12:00PM    KAREN B

Categories: backyard habitat,gardening

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