If you have recently replaced or rebuilt a fence, it commonly happens that you are left with byproducts from the old one such as individual panels and posts. Rather than get rid of these extra pieces or take up storage space with them, you can turn them into something useful such as a bird feeder. Turning an old fence post into a bird feeder or bird house is a do-it-yourself project that requires creativity and desire but not a tremendous amount of carpentry skills. If you have the tools, you can do it with relative ease in a weekend and be rewarded with a nice visiting place for local birds.
Step 1 - Prep the hole
Determine where on your property you want to set the post for the birdhouse. Once you have decided, set about digging the hole. The way to dig the most secure hole is to use a posthole digger. If the 4x4 fence post is eight feet long, plan to set it about 12 to 18 inches in the ground. Make sure the hole is wide enough for the post and for cement to surround it and secure it in the ground.
Step 2 - Cut the plywood base to size
You will eventually attach a small square of plywood to the top of the post upon which the birdhouse will sit. Depending on the size of the house, measure and cut the plywood into a square with the skill saw. It should be about one foot square.
Step 3 - Paint the pieces
Put the post in the ground and make sure it is deep and wide enough to work effectively. Remove the post and paint it the color of your choice. At the same time paint the plywood base. If the birdhouse is already prepared, perhaps match the color to it. Be creative with your color choices. Paint a pattern or a solid color. Let them dry overnight in an aerated location such as your porch.
Step 4 - Attach the base to the post
Center the plywood base atop the post and make a few markings underneath to denote it. Preset three or four one-inch wood screws in the top of the base. All of them should be centered enough to accurately screw into the top of the post. Consider setting them in a triangular formation around the very center of the base. Set them deep enough so the tip just barely pokes out. Carefully hold the base in place, centered atop the post. Set the first screw. Once you are sure the base is centered, hold it while you set the second screw to keep it from spinning. Set the third screw.
Step 5 - Set the post in the ground
Set the post in the hole with a plumb line attached to the underside of the base. Either that or have a level handy. Pour the bag of dry concrete into the wheelbarrow and slowly add water, mixing it up with the hoe until it is of the proper consistency. Have a helper shovel in wet cement around the post as you adjust it to make it perfectly plumb. If you use a level, hold it vertically against the post and make sure it is dead on. Fill in the hole completely with concrete. Tamp it down and smooth it out. When it’s wet, the post is still adjustable. Get it plumb then let the cement harden a bit. Come back in a half an hour and check its level. If it needs adjusting, do so. As the cement hardens, make sure the post is perfectly straight.
Step 6 - Affix the birdhouse or feeder
When the post is set and the cement is dry, climb a ladder and set the birdhouse atop and secure it to the base with screws or wood glue. Fill it with bird seed and enjoy the addition to your yard.
In just a few steps you can turn an old fence post into a stand for a birdhouse. After it’s done and filled with seed, birds of all kinds will flock to the house and make it a temporary home.