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Cuckoo Clock Birdhouse

This simple birdhouse made from easy-to-cut wood reinterprets the distinctive look of kids' Lincoln Logs projects.

Birdhouse patterned after cuckoo clock

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 weekend

Estimated Cost


Tools and Materials


  • Table saw, miter saw, or miter box and handsaw
  • Clamps
  • Tape measure
  • Carpenter's square
  • Sanding pad and 120-grit sandpaper


  • 9 3/8-in. square poplar, 36-in. long (#27594)
  • Titebond Original wood glue (#86091)
  • Minwax spray polyurethane, satin (#45863)

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Step 1

Square the ends of each dowel and cut parts A through K to length (Cuckoo Birdhouse Project Diagram and Cutting List). Set aside one front/back piece (A) to use later as the pendulum.

Good to Know

When cutting more than one part, clamp a block to your saw table or miter box to suit the part length. Then slide the end of the wood to be cut up to the block to make parts of identical lengths. Blow off any sawdust around the block between cuts.

Step 2

Squaring base assembly

Lay a carpenter's square on a flat work surface and place two side pieces (B) with the edge of one piece against a leg of the square and the ends of both against the other leg of the square. Then glue and lay seven front/back pieces (A) and one bottom filler (D) along the two side pieces.

Step 3

Glue two side pieces (B) to the seven front/back pieces (A), apply weight, and let dry (Birdhouse Base). While you're waiting, glue and clamp three opening block pieces (C) centered on three front/back pieces (A) (Front Subassembly) to form a square where you'll cut the opening.

Step 4

Alternate front/back pieces (A), side pieces (B) and add the front subassembly (Wall Assembly). As the front and back taper to fit the roof shape, use the peak pieces and blocks (E-H) to create a stair-step pattern (Roof Peak Assemblies).

Good to Know

To create a narrow, flat surface where you can glue and clamp the smaller roof peak pieces, clamp an 18-in. scrap of 2-in.x4-in. to your work table with one end sticking about 10-in. over the edge ( Clamp-On Work Surface). Wrap the free end with plastic kitchen wrap to keep glue from accidentally sticking to the surface, and rest the inside faces of the birdhouse on the 2-in.x4-in.

Step 5

With the front inside face of the birdhouse clamped against your 2-in.x4-in. work surface, draw diagonal lines to find the center of the block where you'll drill the opening (Preparations for Drilling Hole). Using a 1-3/4-in. hole saw in an electric drill, make the opening and sand it smooth. Sand the round cutout (L) as well and glue it to a 5-1/2-in. part (A) to make the pendulum.

Step 6

To make the roof, first glue and clamp two roof pieces (I) to two filler pieces (J) with one pair of ends flush on each (Roof Assembly). Glue and clamp the roof pieces to the roof corner piece (B), checking to make sure they're square. Alternate from side to side until you finish the roof.

Step 7

Glue the perch (K) and center it in an opening between the front/back pieces (A) beneath the round hole (Pendulum and Perch). Then glue and insert the pendulum between the two front pieces forming the floor of the birdhouse.

Step 8

After the glue dries, spray two coats of clear finish inside and out. To hang the birdhouse, drive two 4d common nails (the ones with heads) about 3-1/2-in. apart on the wall, making sure they're level with each other. Leave about 1/2-in. extending from the wall.