How to Make Squirrel Boxes

By Edwin Thomas

While some people prefer chirping, colorful birds, others prefer to watch the antics of busy squirrels in their backyards. Just as installing a birdhouse or birdbath ensures a stable bird population, putting up a squirrel box guarantees the constant comings and goings of those furry rodents. What is more, building a squirrel box requires only basic carpentry skills and a modest set of tools, making it a logical project for a novice woodworker.

List of Items Needed

  • Marker
  • Exterior plywood sheet
  • Tape measure
  • Miter gauge (optional)
  • Handheld power cutting tool with flush cut wheel and miter guide attachment
  • Hammer
  • Penny nails
  • Handheld rotary tool with cut-off wheel and circle cutter attachment
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Latch kit
  • Hinge kit with two hinges
  • Safety goggles
  1. Mark the dimensions for the box's side panels with a marker on the plywood sheet with the aid of a tape measure. The dimensions need to be at least 6 inches wide, with the back of the panel at least 20 inches tall. The top of the side panels must be cut at an angle to accommodate the slope of the box's roof, so establish the angle with a miter gauge and mark accordingly.

  2. Cut the side panels along the lines as marked with a handheld power cutting tool, fitted with a flush cut wheel. If you own a miter guide accessory for your power cutter, you may be able to do without the miter gauge described above.

  3. Cut a back panel for the box from the plywood, using the dimensions of the side panels as a guide. If you cut 6-inch-wide, 20-inch-tall side panels, your back panel should also be 6 inches wide and 20 inches tall, but with no angled cuts.

  4. Cut floor and roof panels from the plywood, matching the chosen dimensions. For this model, these panels should be squares 6 inches long and wide, plus the thickness of the exterior plywood you have chosen.

  5. Assemble the box parts you currently have. Fit the side and back panels together, and fasten each side panel to the back panel by driving a pair of penny nails through the back panel. Fit the floor and roof into position, driving in a pair of penny nails for each of the four sides of the panel.

  6. Measure the dimensions of the open front of the box, subtract 1/8 inch from the height and width of that measurement, and mark and cut a box door from the plywood with your handheld power cutting tool.

  7. Cut a circular entry hole at least 3 inches wide into the box door using a handheld rotary tool fitted with the circle cutter attachment.

  8. Drill screw holes into the door and side panels for a pair of hinges and a latch. Fasten the hinges and latch onto the door and side panels with wood screws and a screwdriver.

Tips and Warnings

  • Applying two or three coats of water sealant to the plywood squirrel box will help protect it from moisture and rot.
  • Always wear safety goggles when using power cutting tools.

© Demand Media 2011