Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Purple Martin House on Swivel Pole

Scripture to Live By:
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,  yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

Gardening Post:
Well it is that time of year when the garden in calling me.  I am so glad to see the weather warming up and the spring flowers in bloom.  I am so excited to see the eagle flying over the river in front of our house and seeing the birds building their nest in the our grill.  I love this time of the year.  Today was an absolutely beautiful day.  

Several years ago I bought my husband a Purple Martin house, but he never got it put up.  He was waiting for us to retire and move to our present house.  So the time is right and today was the day to put it up.

Thought I would share with you what we decided to do to make it easier to take down our bird house  and clean out.

Materials needed:
1- 8 foot long  4" x 4"
1-12 foot  long 4" x 4"
1 (80 pound bag of concrete

Frame work for bird house
1 pc  (1/2" x 16" x 18" plywood)
2 pcs.( 2" x 4" 13 by inches long)
2 pcs. (2" x 4" by 18 inches long)
2 (3/8 x 8 inch long, carriage bolts with nuts and flat washers.)
The above parts are to match our bird house, yours may be different according to the dimensions of your bird house.

Our grand sons were at our home when we decided to put the bird house up. So we enlisted their help in digging the hole, setting the pole in the ground,  mixing and pouring the concrete and leveling the pole..  They did a great job.  We are so thankful for each of them.

Here is how they did it.  They dug the hole a minimum 3 feet deep.  Mix concrete with water according to the directions on the bag.  Set the  8 foot long, 4" x 4" pole in the hole and pour the concrete in around the pole.  They made sure the pole was straight by using a level. Then we let concrete set up until it had hardened.  

Using a  7/16" drill bit, we drilled a hole, 6 inches from bottom,  in the 12 foot long  4" x 4", (This is the pole we were attaching to the 8 foot pole we concreted into the ground)   

Now we drilled a 7/16" hole,  8 inches up from ground in the pole that is concreted in the ground.


We used a 3/8" x 8 inch long carriage bolt and bolted the two 4" x 4" poles together. 
The purpose for this is to be able to swivel the twelve foot pole with the bird house on it down, when you need to clean out the bird house each year.  

Next we built the platform base for the birdhouse and attached it to the top of the  12 foot pole that swivels, as seen below.  

I drilled 6 holes in plywood to match holes in bird house.

Attach birdhouse to the framework.

Next we mounted bird house to frame work.

Attached the roof of the birdhouse back on house.

Now the house was ready to swivel the bird house vertically into the air.  

Once  the house was vertically in line with the pole that is in the ground,we C-clamp the poles together as shown in the picture, and drilled a hole through the two poles and use an 8 inch carriage bolt to attach them together. 

Now the house is ready for the Purple Martins to start nesting.  
This house will hold up to 12 families.

Our bird house was made to mount on a round pole so you can lower it and clean it out every year, but we thought this would be easier to do without any climbing.  All we would need to do is loosen bolts and swivel the pole down and clean it out.  

Funny thing, a bird  went to the bird house before we finished bolting it together.

I am so glad we have got it up and the birds are starting to make it their home.  
We put it where we can sit in our sun room and watch them build their nest and care for their young.  We enjoy birds and so we have provided many nesting places for them.  Go here to see other Nesting Homes for Birds we have made.


Parties I Link Up To: 









  1. What a beautiful bird house! If you get a chance, please link this to my Sunday linky party (starts Sat 6pm) http://suburbsmama.blogspot.com/

  2. What a neat project! We love bird watching and have a feeder outside our window. It is fun to watch them come and go. Is there a certain time of year they aren't nesting in the house that you clean it out?
    Thanks so much for linking up at the Real Family Fun link party! Hope to see you next week.

  3. Jo Ann, the swivel system is ingenious! I've never seen that before! That would be a great system for bird feeders as well- especially for those of us who are vertically challenged. Great tutorial and I love your beautiful martin house! Enjoy!

    Linda at The French Hens Nest

  4. I am very much pleased with the contents you have mentioned. I wanted to thank you for this great article.

  5. Hi,Lots of useful information. Thanks for sharing.



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