How to make a bat box

Gardeners' World - - Contents -

This easy-to-make project will house a range of dif­fer­ent bat species. It has an en­try slot against the back board on the lower edge, and the rest of the joints are neat to pre­vent drafts – some­thing bats are fussy about! The roof is held in place with a short sec­tion of tim­ber on its un­der­side and an an­gle slot cut in the back board, mak­ing it easy to take off and clean. Your plank might have dif­fer­ent mea­sure­ments to ours, so roughly as­sem­ble the box as you go, to check ev­ery­thing lines up be­fore you start drilling or screw­ing. Don’t buy treated tim­ber or ap­ply any preser­va­tive as it will de­ter bats.

YOU WILL NEED

Soft­wood, planed tim­ber plank, ap­prox. 18 x 144 x 1500mm

20 x 25mm (No.6) cross head wood­screws

Tenon or other fine-toothed hand saw Screw­driver Elec­tric drill

No.6 wood drill bit and coun­ter­sink Work bench Tape mea­sure Pen­cil 1 Mea­sure and mark out your plank; leave the front till last, so you can hold the saw at about 30 de­grees from the ver­ti­cal when cut­ting to en­sure the lid fits snug­gly. Cut out the in­di­vid­ual pieces and sand the edges. 2 Use the saw to cut shal­low, hor­i­zon­tal grooves in the back sec­tion of tim­ber to form a ‘bat lad­der’. Grooves can also be cut on the in­side sur­faces of the whole box for the bats to cling onto. 3 Cut a wedge out of the back sec­tion, around 60mm down from the top edge. This will lo­cate the lid in po­si­tion. Han­dle the saw with care, hold­ing the plank firmly and cut away from your­self. 4 As­sem­ble the box; pre-drilling holes for the screws to pre­vent the wood split­ting. Drill holes at the top and bot­tom of the back panel to at­tach the box to its sup­port. At­tach the ‘holder’ to the un­der­side of the roof and slot in place.

Fe­bru­ary 2018

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