The HC - dovecote, part 1

by brae  

There's a lovely space in the Three Gables House that is perfect for a built-in dovecote (just ask Sheila).  I did some scouting around online, and found this great site for inspiration and instruction.  I started by measuring the entire space available.  The popholes need to be scaled from 4" by 6" (approximately 21/64" x 1/2" in 1:12 scale) and roughly 1/2" apart (in scale).  This gives me room for nine birds.  :]  I drew this template in Word.

Originally, I was going to cut a triangle and then cut the popholes, but I wasn't getting good results.  So, I re-engineered my approach.  I cut 24/32" wide strips of 3/32" thick basswood and cut them to fit.  I used strips of 1/16" thick basswood to make each floor's landing platforms.  It also works well as a design element separating the levels.  This might seem like a bit of over-engineering, but it just seemed the best way to get cleaner cuts without pulling my hair out.  :D

I marked then cut one pophole with my Proxxon scroll saw.  I used that pophole as a template for the rest.

I didn't get as good a result as I wanted.  The holes varied too much for my liking.  (Yes, I know...time for a laser cutter.) I edited an arch in Illustrator, imported it into Cricut Design Space and then used my Cricut to cut out cardstock trim for the popholes.

Now the holes are more uniform, and fancy to boot!  :D

I marked the landing platform locations onto the floor boards and then cut those.  I could have left the floors intact all the way across, but I wanted some pizzazz.  :D

Time for construction.  You can see I sanded the platform corners into curves.

I added vertical insert boards to make the interior compartments, but mainly for stability.

The upper compartment has small braces for the front wall.

I used spackling to even out any gaps.

I had to trim and slide the middle section over to line up the sections properly, but the final trims on the outer edges will disguise these issues.


Comment from: Debora L. [Visitor]
Bravo! I love it and it looks great! Such a nice detail.
11/01/18 @ 19:10
Comment from: Jodi [Visitor]
Clever girl! It looks like the start of something amazing!
11/01/18 @ 20:51
Comment from: Sheila [Visitor]
Wow! Fancy! I love how it came out. Mine is much more primitive but it suits. I can't wait to see how yours fits with the rest of the house!
11/02/18 @ 07:08
Comment from: Jeanne [Visitor]
Nicely done! I really appreciate, too, your telling us how you tweak things -- your ideas, your materials -- I think it helps me in turn to be more creative and/or adaptive in finding solutions.
11/02/18 @ 09:23
Comment from: Wendy [Visitor]
Lovely work! Now I need to see where it will go!
11/02/18 @ 14:42
Comment from: Elizabeth S [Visitor]
11/03/18 @ 14:12
Comment from: Avery M [Visitor]
I love your ideas! I hope you include lots of good bird droppings all over it in the end!
11/03/18 @ 14:29
Comment from: ann [Visitor]
A pretty amazing project and fete of engineering and design work. I don't know if I would go to that much work for pigeons--um doves. My husband redesigned the hen house to accommodate a pair of homing pigeons. Your's likes nicer. (And the hens quit laying). Anxious to see it installed.
11/03/18 @ 21:25
Comment from: brae [Member]
Thanks so much! :>>

Bird droppings...hmm...I've put bugs in light fixtures, but I might have to draw the line at bird droppings. :)) Maybe it's newly installed and the birds haven't had the chance to make a mess.
11/05/18 @ 10:07

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