cutting notches for a parrot perch - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 05-17-2019, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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cutting notches for a parrot perch

I need to make some new perches for my parrots. I have done this before but always hit and miss. I know there must be a better way to cut the notches and was hoping someone could point me in the right direction. Drilling holes that are parallel to one another is in the same category and I need to do that as well. I have many tools at my disposal including circular saw, jig saw, radial arm saw. compound miter saw, table saw, hand power tools, small drill press, and so on.
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-17-2019, 09:10 AM
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I am not entirely clear on what you are trying to do but if I have this right then:

1. Two dowels of the same diameter, for example 1/2"
2. Drill two 1/2 inch holes very close togther on two pieces of stacked 3/4" plywood.
3. Insert the two dowels parallel to each other in the two pieces of plywood.
4. Clamp to drill press table.
5. Use 1/2" diameter drill to drill between the two dowels making the notches.

A Forstner bit would probably be the easiest to control.

I have not tried this approach and it might turn into a disaster (yours, not mine).

Good luck.

Or use one of these and press into the dowels at marked intervals:

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post #3 of 14 Old 05-17-2019, 09:43 AM
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Drilling notches...?

How do you know that drilling is the best way? How do we know what you are talking about from that post? Notches in what section of material? How big? How many? A router may be a better approach, but I can't determine what you want to do .....
This?

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 05-17-2019 at 12:00 PM.
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-17-2019, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkk Helmet View Post
I need to make some new perches for my parrots. I have done this before but always hit and miss. I know there must be a better way to cut the notches and was hoping someone could point me in the right direction. Drilling holes that are parallel to one another is in the same category and I need to do that as well. I have many tools at my disposal including circular saw, jig saw, radial arm saw. compound miter saw, table saw, hand power tools, small drill press, and so on.
It seems like you have the tools that you need, but I am trying to understand what you want to do.

Are you trying to cut notches (dados) in round dowels to form overlapping "lap joints" where they cross?

Are you trying to drill holes in dowels to put smaller dowels through bigger dowels, or maybe for screw holes? If you are drilling holes, are you drilling in the side of the dowel, lengthwise, or both?

Is glue involved? What will you be gluing?

Tell us more about how the project is supposed to go together, and we can help more.
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post #5 of 14 Old 05-17-2019, 02:08 PM
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I am reminded of playing with Lincoln Logs when I was a child. A little glue and and dowels joined like Lincoln Logs would assemble to a strong structure. It is all face grain to face grain so the glue will hold well.

https://scubasanmateo.com/images/log...-linkin-12.jpg

To do this I would pin a dozen or so dowels to a board and cut the notches with my dado head on my radial arm saw. You can probably do the same with a router or on the table saw.

To add some craftsmanship, cross pin the links with an 1/8" dowel and trim.

Last edited by Packard; 05-17-2019 at 02:12 PM.
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post #6 of 14 Old 05-17-2019, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
It seems like you have the tools that you need, but I am trying to understand what you want to do.

Are you trying to cut notches (dados) in round dowels to form overlapping "lap joints" where they cross?

Are you trying to drill holes in dowels to put smaller dowels through bigger dowels, or maybe for screw holes? If you are drilling holes, are you drilling in the side of the dowel, lengthwise, or both?

Is glue involved? What will you be gluing?

Tell us more about how the project is supposed to go together, and we can help more.

You are correct. More info needed.


George
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post #7 of 14 Old 05-18-2019, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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Apparently I have not made myself clear, sorry. What I am trying to do is, I believe, simpler than the great suggestions posted here. The notches I am referring to are the slits on either side of the new perch that slide through the existing cage bars. The slits need to be parallel to each other. The reference to the holes is the same principle but drilled to accept food bowls.
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post #8 of 14 Old 05-18-2019, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
I know there must be a better way to cut the notches
please explain how you are cutting the notches now.

I remember as a kid, we had a large parakeet cage and
my mother would takes sticks off of an orange tree and
cut the slots with a regular carpenters hand saw.
when I had chickens, I used my hand held Skil circular saw
to cut slots in larger branches and bamboo for roosting sticks.
if you have a hand saw, pull saw, etc and a vice or something
to hold it steady, you can do it.
if you want to drill holes to accept other dowels, one dowel must be
larger to accept the hole - if they are the same diameter, you must
do the half-lap technique (as mentioned above).
you may be overthinking this a little.
[what do you do with that laundry list of tools you have access to?]

-- Failure is proof that you at least tried ~ now, go do it again, and again, until you get it right --

Last edited by John Smith_inFL; 05-18-2019 at 10:52 AM.
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post #9 of 14 Old 05-18-2019, 10:40 AM
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Cross drilling dowels ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkk Helmet View Post
Apparently I have not made myself clear, sorry. What I am trying to do is, I believe, simpler than the great suggestions posted here. The notches I am referring to are the slits on either side of the new perch that slide through the existing cage bars. The slits need to be parallel to each other. The reference to the holes is the same principle but drilled to accept food bowls.

If you need to drill a dowel across it's length, the you need a jig of some sort to center the hole over the round surface of the dowel.
like this:
https://www.harborfreight.com/self-c...jig-41345.html


Or shop made:
Quickstep
I am (was) trying to center it in the side of the dowel.

I ended up contrapting the jig in the picture. I Carefully centered holes in the side and top of a well jointed 2x4.

Along the way though, I noticed that my Forster bit had developed a rim around the cutting edge that probably was steering it crooked. It must have hit something hard that caused the edge to splay out. I ground that off and all seems well.
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #10 of 14 Old 05-18-2019, 10:53 AM
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Make a jig like this to hold the perch. Once clamped into the jig, make the cut on each end of the perch using the jig referenced on the band saw/drill press table. then unclamp from the jig.
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post #11 of 14 Old 05-18-2019, 11:10 AM
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if you want the cuts to be exactly parallel with each other,
as they need to be, it would be most simple if you had access
to a band saw.
take a board - and a nail that will fit in the slot - drive the nail
into the board just shorter than the dowel you need to notch.
the nail must be straight up and down.
cut one notch - reverse the dowel and put the notch on the nail
and cut the other end. that way, they "should" match.

rudimentary drawing, but you get the idea. this may work to
hold the dowel still while you drill holes in it with the drill press.
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post #12 of 14 Old 05-18-2019, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkk Helmet View Post
Apparently I have not made myself clear, sorry. What I am trying to do is, I believe, simpler than the great suggestions posted here. The notches I am referring to are the slits on either side of the new perch that slide through the existing cage bars. The slits need to be parallel to each other. The reference to the holes is the same principle but drilled to accept food bowls.

I used to sell parrots/conures/parakeets/etc so have make many, many of those cuts. Very simple job. All you need is a saw, a dowel and a vise to hold the dowel while you cut.

I found that in general eyeballing was sufficiently accurate to get the cuts on each end lined up. However, if you feel that you need more than that, get a straight edge and draw a line down the length of the dowel. I preferred to make the cut just a hair smaller than the diameter of the wire the perch was going to be used on. On the other hand, offsetting the cuts(making them not in same plane) slightly can provide the same snug fit. Just do not get fit so snug that you split the dowel.

Used a hand saw to make the cuts. I happened to have a wide bladed back saw that was a perfect size for most. Otherwise a Japanese style pull saw guided by my fingers did the job. You can always sand wider if needed for very large cage wire.


George

Last edited by GeorgeC; 05-18-2019 at 01:37 PM.
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post #13 of 14 Old 05-19-2019, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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I think I have enough ideas and suggestions to do the job now, thanks. One of the tools I do not have is a band saw as I never had projects that warranted the investment. Making a small perch or two is not enough reason. A hand saw and home made or purchased jig to make the alignment hole seems like the way to go. Once I have the dowel supported I can use one of my saws to make the slits or the drill press for holes.

John Smith, I purchased many of the tools I mentioned for jobs around the house. A couple of years ago I replaced the steps inside and figured I would rather learn how to do that with good tools than pay someone for probably more than the tools cost me. New closet doors, staining, and other projects make use of the tools. I got tremendous help from this site for the steps and also have the tools for other jobs. Some tools were handed down from my father-in-law many years ago like a Sears radial arm saw and professional circular saw.

I have the philosophy that it's better to teach a man to fish than simply make him dinner. :)

Thank you everybody for the help for this project.
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post #14 of 14 Old 05-20-2019, 10:03 AM
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To cut slots in a dowel, a pull saw or a good back saw will work fine.

The pull saw might make too narrow of a slot. I would use a back saw. It is only a few strokes to do.
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