Birdhouse interior sealant - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 04-18-2020, 06:41 AM Thread Starter
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Birdhouse interior sealant

I wanted to get some suggestions on what to seal/coat the inside of a birdhouse with to protect from moisture rot and mold.
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post #2 of 13 Old 04-18-2020, 07:38 AM
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I've built a few "animal habitats" and never did anything
to the insides. if the outside is finished properly, there is
little chance water or moisture will get inside and the entry hole
provides adequate ventilation.
(I say "animal habitat" because most of the time other critters
besides birds get in there and chew the place up).
looking forward to seeing your projects ~ it's that time of year again.
(that is just my way - there are 27,846 other ways also).

.

I am a painter: that's what I do, I like to paint things.

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post #3 of 13 Old 04-18-2020, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Smith_inFL View Post
...looking forward to seeing your projects ~ it's that time of year again.
(that is just my way - there are 27,846 other ways also).
.
I've been doing this shtick for several years now where I hollow out old bowling pins and turn them into birdhouses. I've worked out the best outdoor coating/sealant: marine grade epoxy. I made my mom a birdhouse made of eastern red cedar, applied 2 coats of MAS epoxy, and it still hasn't lost the color at all! It's quite expensive for the stuff though. I noticed a few black spots (mold? mildew?) inside my other bowling pin birdhouses that were hung up outside and wanted to use something other than the expensive epoxy to keep the insides from rotting over time. I'm thinking that some good, natural, tung oil would do the trick.

The bottom photo shows a pin with the black stuff in the inside of the pin. Here's an idea - maybe just scrubbing the inside with soap and water would clean it out? It was one of my older models; made by cutting the pin in half and using a router with a small circle guide to hollow it out and re-glue it back together. I broke down and got a nice lathe now.



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post #4 of 13 Old 04-18-2020, 03:02 PM
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wow - that is a first for me ! bowling pins for a bird house ?
really cool idea.

Tung Oil is often used for inhibiting microbial growth.
I would go a step further and thin it with Pure Gum Turpentine
as it is an anti-fungal product. so the two together should help
solve your problem.
there are articles on the net about turpentine and black mold.
https://homesteady.com/12442488/how-...-exterior-wood
but - the lingering smell alone may not be conducive to nesting birds. (your call).

are there drain holes in the bottoms of those pins ??

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post #5 of 13 Old 04-18-2020, 04:30 PM
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Many years ago I made a bird house that was used for years. I just cleaned it out each Fall. I remember that the inside was to be left unfinished. I seem to recall the reason was that when it got hot in the summer a finish could give off fumes. Also unfinished wood is natural like a cavity in a tree trunk.
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-19-2020, 07:52 AM Thread Starter
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...are there drain holes in the bottoms of those pins ??

.
Yes, there are holes in the bottom for ventilation. The birds haven't complained yet. I have had to chase a few rat snakes off with a garden hose in the past; they have that Jacobson gland that acts like a radar for warm blooded creatures. Zero fatalities that I know of.

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post #7 of 13 Old 04-19-2020, 08:46 AM
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LOL - yep, those rat snakes will never starve to death.
I watched a 3 footer very slowly climb up a tall oak tree with
all kinds of birds dive bombing him relentlessly. still under attack,
he slowly crawled out onto a limb. this went on for about an hour.
I watched him as he fell to the ground with a big lump in his belly.
so apparently he ate a bird out of a nest that I could not see from
the ground. how in the world he knew it was up there, I have no idea.
(I just flicked him into a palmetto clump and let the Balance of Nature continue).
you have a nice product, I wish you well in all your endeavors.
thanks for sharing !!

.

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post #8 of 13 Old 04-19-2020, 09:01 AM
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We used to have a member on here that built giant birdhouses. More like an extra large condo. Heavy machinery was necessary to mount on very substancial poles. Most of his houses were in hundreds of rooms category and sold in the many thousands of dollars category. Maybe he still monitors this site and will show up to help

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Retired woodworker, amongst other things, Sold full time cruising boat and now full time cruising in RV. Currently in Somerville, Tx
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post #9 of 13 Old 04-19-2020, 09:13 AM
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I think this is his, they look familiar.
Just key in Giant Bird Houses Images

If anyone knows how to clean a bird house - he does.

BTW, @Thorn495 Looking forward to seeing more of your work
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post #10 of 13 Old 04-19-2020, 01:26 PM
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best sealant for most any building is a good roof. not sure i'd want to seal the inside of a bird house with anything

i have a wood birdfeeder that is going on 30 years old now that is just now losing it's integrity. i probably stained it to match my house at the time and no maintenance since. i've also made bird, duck and owl boxes that are still in use 20 yrs later.

now how you put a roof on a bowling pin? try a metal cone at least a foot in diameter
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post #11 of 13 Old 04-19-2020, 03:38 PM
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There is a wealth of good information on building bird houses online that includes suitable material and finishes, reading much of this there are a lot of ideas out there that are actually harmful to the health of the inhabitants.

One example here:
https://www.woodmagazine.com/woodwor...house-projects

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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http://woodworkerglossary.com
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post #12 of 13 Old 04-19-2020, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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now how you put a roof on a bowling pin? try a metal cone at least a foot in diameter
Several ways. I think it's best if they are under a porch or carport. The glues used to make the pins won't hold up if the pins are hung in direct sunlight all day.
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post #13 of 13 Old 05-22-2020, 07:54 AM Thread Starter
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I just tried soaking the inside with some cedar oil. Hope that helps a bit and doesn't hurt the birds. I think it will help keep wasps and hornets from nesting inside of them. I'll see how it goes.
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