How to Build a Wooden Bird Cage

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Building a wooden bird cage
Building a wooden bird cage (Image: lutino cockatiel image by Nicky Jacobs from Fotolia.com)

It is relaxing to listen to the chirping and fluttering of a cage full of finches, a pair of lovebirds or a couple of parrots. Wooden bird cages need to be large enough for the birds to move around the cage comfortably and stretch their wings to their full length without touching the cage sides or top. The cage should be at least four times your bird’s height, to encourage climbing, and should have at least one perch across the width of the cage. There should also be room for toys, as well as food and watering basins.

Things You'll Need

  • 33 feet of 1-inch by 1-inch by 24-inch stock wood for frame
  • Miter box and back saw
  • Carpenter’s square
  • 24-inch by 24-inch by 1/2-inch plywood board for top
  • 24-inch by 24-inch by 1/2-inch square wire mesh
  • 96-inch by 24-inch by 1/2-inch square wire mesh
  • Staple gun
  • 1 box 1 1/2-inch long brass Phillip’s head screws
  • 44 inches of 1/2-inch diameter dowel rod
  • 2 feed troughs and 2 watering troughs
  • Brass eye bolt with 1 lock washer, 2 fender washers and 1 hex nut
  • Power drill, 1/8-inch drill bit
  • Countersink bit
  • 1/4-inch drill bit
  • Sanding blocks
  • Coarse, medium, fine and extra fine sandpaper
  • Clear acrylic wood sealant
  • 12 inch by 4 inch by 1/4-inch piece of plywood for cage door
  • 2 brass hinges with hardware
  • Brass hook style door latch

Start on the cage frame. Use a carpenter’s square, miter box and back saw to cut the 1-inch by 1-inch stock wood into six pieces 24 inches long, six pieces 22 inches long, and 10 pieces 12 inches long, making sure the cuts are at 90-degree angles. Make sure that all angles of the 24-inch by 24 inch plywood have been cut to 90 degrees as well.

Make three squares from the 1-inch by 1-inch stock wood by placing two of the 22-inch lengths inside two of the 24-inch lengths. Drill 1/8-inch pilot holes at each end of each of the longer sides of each square. Countersink all the holes. Screw each square frame together using 1-1/2 inch brass Phillip’s head screws. Sand all wood pieces using coarse, medium, fine and extra fine sandpaper, including the plywood top and the cage door. Round all sharp corners. Seal all the wood pieces, including the cage top and cage door, with clear acrylic wood treatment.

Apply carpenter’s glue to each of the square ends of four of the 1-foot long pieces and position them at the corners of one of the 24-inch squares, making sure the corners are flush. Top with a second 24-inch square. Decide which side of the cage will be the front. Apply glue to each end of two additional 1-foot long pieces. Center the pieces about 4 inches apart to make the door frame. Allow glue to dry for one hour. Drill 1/8-inch pilot holes through the top and bottom squares, into the uprights of the cage. Countersink all holes. Screw frame together using 1-1/2 inch brass Phillip’s head screws.

Apply carpenter’s glue to each of the ends of four of the 1-foot long pieces and position them at the corners of the top square of the partial bird cage frame, making sure the pieces are flush with the corners of the frame. Top with the third frame square and allow glue to dry. Drill 1/8-inch diameter pilot holes at a 45-degree angle, through the uprights and into each of the three frame squares. Secure with 1-1/2 inch long brass Phillip’s head wood screws.

Attach the wire mesh using a staple gun, beginning at one corner of the inside of the cage. Overlap the mesh slightly once you have stapled all the way around the inside, then staple along the overlap, against one of the corner rails. Attach mesh to the bottom of the cage using the staple gun. Screw two dowel rods between the front and back of the cage, through the center frame square, for perches. Hang water and food troughs from the sides of the cage.

Top the cage with the 24-inch by 24-inch by 1/2-inch plywood sheet, then attach using 1-1/2 inch long brass Phillip’s head wood screws. Find the center point of the top of the cage. Drill a 1/4-inch diameter hole for the eye bolt. Put one brass fender washer on the eye bolt, then stick the bolt through the hole in the cage top. Place the second fender washer, lock washer and hex nut on the eye bolt and tighten completely. Attach the cage door using two brass hinges. Attach a hook style door latch so the door will stay closed. Hang your cage from the ceiling or a cage stand. You can also hang it outside from a tree in pleasant weather.

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