Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Follow up on the bird feeder

On June 21, 2009 I wrote about a bird feeder that I painted. It was a premade one with acrylic windows and painted up quite cute. What I didn't know at that time, but has certainly been confirmed by now, is that it was assembled using a glue that does not withstand water. I'm thinking plain old white glue was used! Well, who buys a bird feeder to put inside?

Here you can read my past post about my first discovery that there is a problem with the construction. Recently I went out to fill the feeder and found that the bottom was soaking wet and remnants of bird seed was a wet mushy mess from the rain the night before. I grabbed a few paper towels in attempt to wipe out the mush to add fresh seed. Well, when I put pressure on the sides the entire thing pretty much fell apart! Only a few pieces remained attached to each other, which I figure were the pieces that I'd previously fixed and put together with wood glue. My theory to why it hadn't simply fell apart before is this: When the white glue got wet it returned to liquid form, but since no pressure was put on it the pieces simply held together - then the glued dried and it was like "new" again. I'm pretty sure this cycle would have eventually ended and the whole thing would have fallen apart while being hung. Oh my!

"Well, crud." I thought. I do like the feeder so I proceeded to completely disassemble the thing - windows, sashes and all! I cleaned them up with a little soap and water and let them dry for a long time in the basement. Ok, so I forgot about it down there and in the meantime I hung one of my Bird Bedding Baskets and put a store bought suet cake in it. The birds liked the suet and didn't seem to have any difficulty eating the entire thing. My basket looks well oiled now, but that's ok, the birds won't mind taking scrap yarn from it.

Yesterday I began re-assembling the poor broken feeder with WOOD GLUE! Yes, this is very important to use a glue that will not dissolve when it gets wet. While it was disassembled I figured I'd give it some new paint especially on the bottom where the birds cling on with their talons it was looking rather worn. I broke out the acrylic paint and had at it. I didn't repaint the top since for one it still looked good and plus that was a custom color paint that I made by mixing other paints. I used a deeper yellow and the green matched up pretty well. After it dried I cut out paper to fit over the windows and sprayed several coats of matte acrylic sealer both inside and out and all around paying special attention to the bottom and sides of the feeder as well as the bottom of the seed holder part since these get and stay wet with any rain.

So as much as I do love this little feeder and adore its bright colors, I have to give the product it's self a big red F! Something as simple as assembling it with exterior glue would have given it a much better grade. So if you've been looking at these at JoAnn's or Michael's, be warned that they are not exterior quality!

When I purchased a gazebo style bird feeder to make my "Toto in a Cage", I needed to remove one of the uprights and discovered that they actually used small furniture staples to put it together. So maybe the manufacturer has changed the construction of it. (pic of Toto in a Cage can be seen here... a new blog on how to make it will be eventually coming!).

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