The timber used in the ‘natural wood’ bird houses is all recycled; most from old pallets but also from house demolitions, scrap piles, rubbish, you name it and we’ll use it. The only exceptions are treated pine (treated anything actually) and wood that is rotten beyond redemption.
We will happily use Tasmanian speciality timbers but usually for custom orders; no problem with milled timber but we like character in wood and, unfortunately, quite a lot of milled timber is quite boring to look at.
All the natural timber bird houses and dovecotes are designed to look ‘rustic’. They’ll develop a grey patina; this is completely normal and, in fact, is the look most people are after. They are finished with boiled linseed oil and our own natural beeswax polish. If kept under cover the original look can be retained by simply re-applying some wax polish or oil. Avoid using vegetable oil though; there is the possibility that it will go rancid under certain conditions – which is not so great.
The houses are jointed using exterior PVA glue, occasionally we’ll use nails or screws but mostly just glue and, sometimes, dowels.
Timber will expand and contract to varying degrees depending on the moisture content of the wood. This will cause cracking in the timber over time and is also quite normal. If you feel the integrity of the house is under threat just contact us and we’ll see what we can do to fix it up.
The painted versions are constructed from 9mm or 12mm Structural Ply; this is a solid and rigid material that doesn’t suffer from any issues related to wood grain, knots, cracks, etc. It does lack one important component though – character. This is why all our plywood houses are painted and embellished in some way or other.
All are sprayed with quality undercoat and finished with outdoor acrylic paint; the same paint used on the exterior of most houses these days. The paint will fade and deteriorate over time – just like house paint. A light sand and re-painting will bring it back to normal and if you want that original artwork back to the way it was – well, you’ll have to contact us and we’ll see what our artist can do.
One unavoidable issue with plywood is that it will de-laminate; the timber sheets used in plywood production swell and contact just like any other wood. Over time this leads to cracking, especially along exposed edges, this then allows moisture to penetrate the layers and breaks the glue down. The paint coating will slow the process but once out in the weather as the paint breaks down so too will the ply. It has many benefits, but like everything, it has its drawbacks.