Please note that my blog articles are related to the German red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris). As there are many different species in other countries, the information I share here might not apply to all of them.

Conversion of a squirrel feeding box

16. Feb 2015

Not every squirrel feeder offered on the market is really optimal. In particular, a front window that is too high poses a risk of injury to the little friends. Here we show you how you can make the box safer with a little craftsmanship. In addition, the gap between the lid and the pane allows moisture to evaporate better.

Here are also the links to the previous articles, how a good food box should look like and which food is suitable for the squirrels.

But first watch out for your own safety, follow the safety instructions for the machines you use and be sure to use safety glasses when sawing and drilling!!!!

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Here is our original box: the front window goes up to the lid and this is too heavy from our point of view. If a squirrel jumps on the lid while another one is bending halfway in to get a nut, it can get crushed by the narrow top edge of the pane. To prevent this, we have shortened the disc and additionally widened the contact surface (crushing surface) with a strip in order to distribute the occurring forces over a larger area. In addition, the solid wooden lid was replaced with a plastic plate.

Here we go: First, the lid is unscrewed and the disk removed.

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By the way, a cup of tea from the squirrel cup tastes great with this 🙂.

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Then the disc is shortened by about 2.5cm with the jigsaw. Use a fine saw blade or a special saw blade for Plexiglas, because especially the brittle acrylic glass quickly splinters. The cut edge should then be defused with sandpaper.

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The next step is to saw off a square strip (approx.10x10mm) in such a way that it can ideally be placed behind the pane with a slight clamping action. The strip should be flush with the top edge of the pane. To fix the strip, a screw is screwed through the side wall into the strip from both sides. Pre-drilling (about half the screw diameter) is absolutely necessary here, otherwise the strip will burst. So the exact point of the hole must be measured and marked. Then drill through the side wall into the strip and then screw in the screw. Then the other side is drilled.

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Perhaps the molding can also be glued in place with a waterproof adhesive. We have not tried it.

The next step is to replace the heavy wooden lid with a lighter one made of plastic. We used a 3mm thick PVC rigid foam board from the hardware store. This is splinter-free, waterproof and easy to work with.

First, transfer the appropriate size from the lid, saw out and sand the edges. We rounded off the corners nicely.

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Then we mounted the hinge to the new plate: The plate is too thin for wood screws, though, so metal screws with washers and nuts must be used here. To do this, mark the drill holes and then predrilled in the appropriate screw diameter + 1-2mm. We used M3x10 brass screws here and provided them with nuts on the opposite side. So that the connection does not loosen you can use a spring washer or a second nut (counter). Due to the thinner lid, the hinge with the new plate must be attached to the rear wall correspondingly lower.

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With this, the feeding box suitable for squirrels is ready to be rebuilt. Our box came to the meanwhile here in the blog already often described outside place and was accepted immediately. We can not haul as many nuts as disappear there….

16. Feb 2015

We are Heike Adam, designer and painter and Rainer Kauffelt, system administrator and photographer and live in Sulzbach/Taunus near Frankfurt. In the Eichhoernchenblog we would like to share our knowledge about squirrels as well as show the photos we take almost daily of our Sulzbach squirrels.

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