Truthfully,... I don't ever expect to sell many ( or any :-) of these. The reason I have it listed on my website is to pass along the idea for those of you who might like something like this in your back yard. (and the facial expression on the squirrel fits in very well with the text, describing individual personalties I have come to know with my fur buddies :-)
Making these is certainly an easy enough project for most anyone having just a little bit of handyness,...and have the time to do it. For moms or dads with small children,....it could also be a great teaching project for the youngsters! :-)
So OK,...I came up with this design after searching on the net for Squirrel or Bird feeders made from PVC Pipe, but found nothing. Maybe I just missed it, but in my view it's an affordable and worthwhile home project if you love taking care of your backyard visitors as I do.
The 25 or so Gray Squirrels that come to my yard throughout each day have been using three of these feeders extensively, and they have become quite popular for ALL of my Fur Buddies!
Dozens of Bluejays love them TOO, and on up to a medium size almond they can usually swallow several down WHOLE, one after the other! Who knew... :-) An occasional Woodpecker will also take one, position it within a crevice in the bark of a tree,...and proceed to peck it apart. :-)
I needed something that would keep the food dry, allow the squirrels to readily feed, and be easy to close OFF at night so the raccoons, possums, and skunks couldn't get at it. Don't worry about the "night crew" around here, they get plenty already! :-)
These feeders allow me to attach them into smaller trees, with larger evergreens blocking the sky view from the occasional hawks that cruise around at times.
They are made in affordable 2" PVC pipe and fittings, and take about 1.2 hours to make and pack for shipping. I figure the parts used average out to about $15 in cost, and prorating $1 for glue used and $1.25 for the shipping boxes I'll be ordring if I get regular orders, wil bring my actual costs up to a bit over $17.00 The $28.00 I sell them for means I'll make just $11.00 for that 1.2 hours expended.
That $9.16 per hour "net" is less than minimum wage in most places,.... but I'll work cheap if it means I can help a group of fur balls somewhere else in the USA :-)
I will outline the parts list in the Info Section to the RIGHT, so that those of you who wish to can make your own feeders. For those of you not wanting to try or unable to,.... I will make them available according to demand.
Both the top and bottom openings have a threaded adaptor to seal it all up at night. I fill mine once it gets dark, and cap top and bottom. This way when I get up in the morning I just have to unscrew the bottom plugs,.. and the (usually) waiting squirrels go to town!
The top cap is left on all the time to keep rain out, except for when you need to fill it.
When filling, if the feeder is completely empty or very near so, you can hold the removed top fill cap over the bottom opening until you get a few handfuls of nuts or seed put in. I place the square cap end "in" to keep it from sliding around as much.
I carry my squirrel grub in a shoulder bag, so I always have a free hand to hold the plug against the bottom opening for the first few handluls. But if you don't have a free hand you can simply screw the removed top plug in a few threads at the bottom until you fill the unit, and then transfer the cap back up the top to keep it rainproof.
You need to create a slight "blockage" at the bottom so that what you pour in the top doesn't just slide right on through. After a few handfuls of Nuts or Seeds like Black Oil Sunflower are in, you can continue filling with the bottom plug removed without issue.
I add a small 1/8" HOLE at the bottom of the 22-1/2 degree clean out adaptor (at the "lowest" point in the pipe curve), so that any rain that gets in through the bottom opening while in use will drain right out. (see photo)
I mounted two of my feeders temporarily with paracord onto the trees for now, because I already had it on hand, and was anxious to see the squirrels use them. Within 5 minutes they were "on board", ...literally!
On one feeder I used bailing wire (see photos of a squirrel doing a "split"), but at some point I plan to pick up some cedar planks, cut to appropriate length, and drill some holes to feed the baling wire around the tube in 2 places, OR use 3 or 4 heavy zip ties through and strap each feeder onto the board. Then I can simply screw each feeder onto a tree by using a few holes drilled through the wood.
I've heard that carburetor cleaner will easily take the original printed info off the PVC pipe if you choose to do so, but I'm planning to paint mine with a safe water based brown color, and maybe even a camo paint pattern using brown, green, and black colors.
This will lengthen their useful lifespans, as UV degradation is possible if regularly exposed to direct sunlight. Mine are somewhat protected under trees, but they do get some sun now in the fall. So best to get a few coats of paint on them I think but I'll leave that to you.
Either way, painted or original white, the squirrels won't care just as long as you FILL it regularly! :-)
Shipping by USPS Priority Mail for $7.20 additional, and UP to 2 feeders for the same shipping charge! I will pick up the shipping overage,.... just "say hello to my little friends" :-)
Squirrel Feeder From 2" PVC Pipe
For those of you wishing to make your own PVC feeders, here is the list of parts I picked up at my local Home Depot. All parts listed are enough to make ONE feeder, except for the 2" x 2 foot pipe which I cut in half and can be used for a second feeder later. Prices shown are before sales tax.
(1) 2 inch x 2 foot section PVC Pipe. UPC # 611942109463 $4.96
($2.48 for just 1/2 pipe used)
Cut the pipe in HALF to keep the overall height managable to be able to easily fill the top, and look inside top to see what's left. It will hold about one pound of almonds when completed.
(1) 2" 22-1/2 Degree Elbow. UPC # 039923214669 $2.35
(1) 2" 90 Degree Elbow. UPC # 039923215727 $1.54
NOTE: These two elbows of 90 and 22-1/2 degrees total up to 112.5 degrees, giving the slight upswept angle at the feeding opening to keep the seeds and nuts from pouring out. However. sometimes the lesser used 22-1/2 elbow is out of stock, but you can substitute a 60 degree elbow and a 45 degree elbow and it will work. The total angle is a little less at 105 degrees, but there is still enough upward angle to stop the flow.
(2) 2" Clean Out Plugs. UPC # 039923218049 $1.09 ea x 2 = $2.18
(1) 2" Clean Out Adapter. UPC # 039923213402 $1.89
(1) 2" Female Clean Out Adapter. UPC # 039923213563 $2.39
I already had clear PVC cement on hand, and if you don't it will cost you about $8.00 for a small container but is enough to make 10 - 12 feeders probably. Best to avoid breathing a strong concentration of the fumes, try to avoid getting it on skin and eyes, and it's flamable so best used in a well ventilated area or outside AWAY from flames!
Have plenty of paper towels handy to wipe away glue squeeze out on the outside of the joints, and any you can on the inside. I also try to pick out exceess glue on the inside using a bamboo kabob stick, wiping any you get into a paper towel a few times to get as much out as possible.
Taking all the trouble to get as much glue squeeze out removed as possible will greatly hasten the glue odor removal, and allow you to use the feeder much sooner.
Once you have cut the 2 foot PVC pipe in half, sand the outside sharp edge a little to remove the bur, so that the other parts go on ALL the way when gluing. I lightly sand, or scrape the inside edges with a knife also, so the slivers can't ever fall off and possibly be eaten.
Adding glue to both pieces softens the PVC it a little, so the parts will press together deeper than they will when the glue is not there. No need to go heavy on the glue either, as it will only squeeze out and make cleaning it all out a chore. Get the CLEAR version of PVC Glue, and no need for a PVC "cleaner" prep for this use.
(A): The first piece I glue onto the pipe is the 2" Female Clean Out Adapter, UPC # 039923213563 This has the female opening to accept the pipe, and the threads to later close off the TOP with a plug cap after Filling. Check out the LOOSE parts photo, and this is the part in the MIDDLE, riding on top of the 1 foot long pipe.
You have to work quickly to be able to slide on the parts, so look at the photos to be sure you're gluing the right part. The clear PVC glue comes with a ball applicator that I wipe about 1/2 off on the lip of the can, and roll it twice on the inside of the Female clean out adaptor.
Quickly put the adapter on a piece of newspaper on the table, and apply another light layer of glue to the OUTSIDE of the pipe, ....place applicator in the can,... and pick up both pieces and push and slightly twist the pipe and cap until it bottoms out. It should go in about 1/2 inch, and fuse together in seconds so you CAN'T waste time here! Wipe any excess squeezed out glue away with paper towels.
(B): Next I glue the 2" 90 Degree Elbow, UPC # 039923215727 , onto the other end of the pipe, ....using the same care and quickness as before. This is the piece shown just over the pipe in the loose parts photo, at the far RIGHT. This 90 degree elbow has BOTH a Male and Female end,... which IS what you want. (NOTE: there is also a 90 degree ebow having two female ends available at the store, and is NOT used here, so be sure to pick up the one shown in the parts photo)
(C) The third pice to glue on is the short 22-1/2 degree elbow UPC # 039923214669, shown at the TOP in the parts photo,....in the MIDDLE position. Both ends are the same so it doesn't matter which end you use, and glue this to the 90 degee elbow already in place. This will give the bottom a little "hook" up to stop the food free flow.
*NOTE: Try to position this short elbow piece lining up the molding seams! This will create a little hook upward to stop the nuts from continuous flowing, but is still a good angle for smooth feeding of nuts and seeds such as Black oil sunflower as the squirrels pick the food out.
I also use the bamboo stick again to get as much glue out of the inside of the tube at this point, as the more you get out, the less time you will have fumes noticed inside the tube and be safest for your fur buddies.
(D): The last glue joint is adding the clean out adaptor, UPC # 039923213402 , to the end of the short 22-1/2 degree elbow you last installed. This will give you an easy way to seal off the feeder at night. Again I use the bamboo stick to pick out any excess glue inside the tube, besides the usual wipe of excess glue on the outside joint with paper towels.
Your feeder is almost done now, but I drill a small 1/8" or so hole in the bottom to act as a drain (see photo), should any rain get into the feeder opening. (or possibly "squirrel drool" from all the goodies they see! :-)
This drilled hole photo also shows the molding seams lined up while gluing the small 22-1/2 degree elbow onto the 90 degree one for best upward angle.
The last things I do is wash out the insides with dish detergent soapy water, using a tooth brush where you can reach. Then I set the feeders up over my hot air furnace vents for a few hours, using the forced hot air heat to remove any glue smell. During the summer, when the heater isn't running, "time" will work and left a day or two all glue smell should be gone.
Other info is mentioned in the listing description on how I mounted mine to a tree for now, so I won't repeat it here,...but I suspect even the old standby "Duck Tape" would "get-er-done" :-)