Martin House build along

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Gun
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:26 pm
Location: Turner Valley, AB
Martin Colony History: 2016 - 1 pair - 4 fledged
2017 - 4 pair - 16 fledged
2018 - 7 pair - 24 fledged
Moved and starting over in 2019

I’ve been away from this site for a while as we sold our acreage a year and a half ago. At that time I was forced into early retirement because of a work related injury, but that’s another story.

We now live closer to the mountains and away from prime Martin habitat and flyways. Hopefully someday we can get back near our old neighborhood. We moved so my wife could take better care of her mother who will be 90 next month and is in a care facility.

To relieve the boredom of our cold winters I thot I would build another Martin House. It’s a fun project. Nothing too technical. I’m not talented enough for furniture making but have enough tools for rough carpentry.

Anyway I’m using plans developed by Bob Buskas. I will not be giving out details of how to do it. Buy his plans! He’s spent the time and effort to put them together.

I will add some things I do different and hopefully he will chime in and answer some of my questions. He has left out a few details that I will edit and send him later to adjust.

This will not be day by day as you will see. I need to get out in the Bush from time to time and family may halt things as well.

This is my fourth house. Two are double level and at our former acreage. That colony was started five years ago and has doubled in population every year. I am still in touch w the current owner and he is enjoying his summers as landlord. The third was just recently sent to a friend in Kansas whose neighbor has a rickety “can” house the Martins suffer in. “Doc” enjoys birds and is an accomplished birder and photographer. He also writes a weekly column on wildlife for the local paper.
I welcome all comments and input.
Thanks
Gun
Last edited by Gun on Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Gun
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:26 pm
Location: Turner Valley, AB
Martin Colony History: 2016 - 1 pair - 4 fledged
2017 - 4 pair - 16 fledged
2018 - 7 pair - 24 fledged
Moved and starting over in 2019

Where I’m at now.
Attachments
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Gun
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:26 pm
Location: Turner Valley, AB
Martin Colony History: 2016 - 1 pair - 4 fledged
2017 - 4 pair - 16 fledged
2018 - 7 pair - 24 fledged
Moved and starting over in 2019

Not sure why that’s sideways?!
Attachments
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rrmartins
Posts: 1413
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 8:04 am
Location: Round Rock, TX

Nice looking house so far. May I ask what kind of winch system you will be using? Keep up the good work!!!
2019
T14
7 pair
25 fledged
Fuzzmeister
Posts: 178
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:02 pm
Location: Saskatchewan Canada

Gun
Looks good keep up the good work! and keep posting pictures as you move along. I love looking at pictures on this forum.
Gun
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:26 pm
Location: Turner Valley, AB
Martin Colony History: 2016 - 1 pair - 4 fledged
2017 - 4 pair - 16 fledged
2018 - 7 pair - 24 fledged
Moved and starting over in 2019

I think this one will be donated for a raffle. I have used just a hand crank winch available from a hardware store. If I’m lucky enough to get back into a Landlord position I would probably try an electric version.

Primer on the bottom.
Attachments
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Dave Duit
Posts: 1664
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 2:02 pm
Location: Iowa / Nevada
Martin Colony History: In 2019, 54 pair with 218 fledged youngsters. 83 total compartments available, 58 Troyer Horizontal gourds and 4 modified trio metal house units, owl cages around all units. Martin educator and speaker. President of the Iowa Purple Martin Organization. Please visit www.iamartin.org and join.

Nice work Gun. We made a public site T-14 here in Iowa and it has worked out great. Happy martining.
Mite control, heat venting, predator protection and additional feeding during bad weather add up to success.
daveh
Posts: 650
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:40 am
Location: Kingsville Mo.

Gun, I'm just east of Kansas City Mo. and have built two, three level North Star houses. The birds really like them. The plans as you know are pretty easy to understand. The one thing I don't like about them is that 1/2 inch plywood isused to build the house. Because of the plywood and paint not sticking real good, both houses developed rotten areas on the porches and the roofs. The second house was a replacement for the first house. I decided this fall to replace the porches and doors on the second house with cedar and cover the existing roof with hardie board, a manufactured wood that is very hard and resistant to weather if painted. The new parts seem to be doing well. I think the cedar porches and doors will be a lot better than plywood because that wood is almost rot resistant. We will see. I have an all cedar T-14 I built in 2005 and have done very little upkeep to it. Cedar is wonderful.

One of these years I would like to redo Buskas plans a little and build an all cedar house and use this hardie board for the roof. That would be cool.

But for now, I have two regular North Stars, one in the shed and one on the post, both refurbished. When the outside one needs work, I'll take off the post in the fall and replace with the other one. That gives me the luxury of working on them in my heated workshop.

Dave
PMCA member
Gun
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:26 pm
Location: Turner Valley, AB
Martin Colony History: 2016 - 1 pair - 4 fledged
2017 - 4 pair - 16 fledged
2018 - 7 pair - 24 fledged
Moved and starting over in 2019

Using cedar is a great idea. I’ll have to see if I have any laying around. I put tongue & groove cedar on our ceiling. I have some plywood porches cut already but I’ll use them for something else. I’m planning on some roll roofing on top. Or possibly some vinyl flooring upside down. Nice to give the birds some grip. I put aluminum flashing on my first one and painted it w stove pipe paint so it wasn’t so bright.

Using a ground burr to bevel edges of SREH inside and out.
Attachments
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Gun
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:26 pm
Location: Turner Valley, AB
Martin Colony History: 2016 - 1 pair - 4 fledged
2017 - 4 pair - 16 fledged
2018 - 7 pair - 24 fledged
Moved and starting over in 2019

Gable ends and soffit installed. Squaring up the roof to Lay-out the center hole.
Attachments
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tor
Posts: 220
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 4:35 pm
Location: Marlboro County, SC
Martin Colony History: Capacity: 72 Troyers on 3 X Super-24 racks

Looks good. The only house we have build is a T14. Great fun. We retired it last year after years of service, and donated the aluminum pole to a new Super 24 rack :-)
Location: Marlboro County, SC

2020: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts: 2/11 - 71 pair - 298 hatched as of last nest check.
2019: Capacity: 72 - First Scouts: 2/22 - 70 pair - 315 fledged
2018: Capacity: 70 - First Scouts: 2/18 - 60 pair - 270 fledged
2017: Capacity: 42 - First Scouts: 2/25 - 39 pair
2016: Capacity: 42 - First Scouts: 3/10 - 32 pair
2015: Capacity: 24 - First Scouts: 3/23 - 4 pair

Purple Martins Of South Carolina
2020 Season
Gun
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:26 pm
Location: Turner Valley, AB
Martin Colony History: 2016 - 1 pair - 4 fledged
2017 - 4 pair - 16 fledged
2018 - 7 pair - 24 fledged
Moved and starting over in 2019

Not liking this next part, painting. :^(
Attachments
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Gun
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:26 pm
Location: Turner Valley, AB
Martin Colony History: 2016 - 1 pair - 4 fledged
2017 - 4 pair - 16 fledged
2018 - 7 pair - 24 fledged
Moved and starting over in 2019

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phldave
Posts: 513
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 2:44 pm
Location: Iowa/Pleasant Hill
Martin Colony History: Started trying in 2012 and still trying

Gun,
This design is very similar to the one I designed myself and build.

Dave
Attachments
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(179.26 KiB) Not downloaded yet
2012 late start
2013 nothing yet, lots a lookers
2014 Bust again
2015 Bust again
2016 Bust again
2017 Bust again
2018 April 14 a group joined me, but moved on after a week
2019 Had SY male seriously check me out but didn't stay
Gun
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:26 pm
Location: Turner Valley, AB
Martin Colony History: 2016 - 1 pair - 4 fledged
2017 - 4 pair - 16 fledged
2018 - 7 pair - 24 fledged
Moved and starting over in 2019

Wow Dave, that’s a beauty. Please show some more pictures. Is it heavy? I see it will be used w a winch as well. I wish I would have remembered those entrances.
Will you paint/stain it?
I’m still painting a bit and need to cut some trim.
Will post a few pix in a bit.
Thanks for sharing.
Gun
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:26 pm
Location: Turner Valley, AB
Martin Colony History: 2016 - 1 pair - 4 fledged
2017 - 4 pair - 16 fledged
2018 - 7 pair - 24 fledged
Moved and starting over in 2019

Roof attached. Porches and sides painted. Starting to assemble.
Attachments
D26286CF-C87D-4E44-A667-F8F67BD04C83.jpeg
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Gun
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:26 pm
Location: Turner Valley, AB
Martin Colony History: 2016 - 1 pair - 4 fledged
2017 - 4 pair - 16 fledged
2018 - 7 pair - 24 fledged
Moved and starting over in 2019

Attaching porches to doors
Attachments
785A2654-A8AB-477B-9D94-D8145E8ED8F6.jpeg
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Gun
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:26 pm
Location: Turner Valley, AB
Martin Colony History: 2016 - 1 pair - 4 fledged
2017 - 4 pair - 16 fledged
2018 - 7 pair - 24 fledged
Moved and starting over in 2019

Fitting trim on roof edge
Attachments
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Curtis Reil
Posts: 118
Joined: Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:51 pm
Location: Alberta/Tofield
Martin Colony History: I inherited this colony when I purchased the property from my Great Uncle. To the best of my knowledge, he had hosted Martins since 1977. Housing consisted of three twelve compartment units that he had built. Small compartments, round holes and no way to lower for managing. There were maybe 6-8 pairs here when we moved in. Through reading up on information provided by the PMCA and that provided to me by Bob Buskas, the decision was made to upgrade the housing. We are now fully switched over to North Star houses and hosted 58 pairs this season(2017). 60 compartments open for business and being so close to 100% occupancy, I believe we may expand housing offered next season. Expansion will continue contingent to high occupancy, being able to keep up on management and or until it starts to feel like work.

Looks great my good man! With my own, I’ve often wondered how much an acrylic or poly roof would add to longevity of a house. Regardless, your offering is shaping up nicely.
Gun
Posts: 78
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:26 pm
Location: Turner Valley, AB
Martin Colony History: 2016 - 1 pair - 4 fledged
2017 - 4 pair - 16 fledged
2018 - 7 pair - 24 fledged
Moved and starting over in 2019

While paint is drying, getting some of the other items going. Cutting the star.
Attachments
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