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Portable Perch



Once in a while our Amazon (Rasta) will fall off of his play gym (I think intentionally) and will stroll over to one of the dining room chairs, climb up it and perch on the back of the chair. Even though there is a rope going from the floor to his play gym he still prefers to climb up the chairs. After doing this over a period of time, his claws have started to wear through the finish on the chair where he perches. I decided to make this perch assembly in an attempt to better accommodate Rasta’s desire to sit at the dining room table.

It was originally meant to be just a perch where he sits there and is happy. Well, it turns out that the dowels and rope are a lot of fun to climb up and down. When Rasta was provided the option of a chair with the perch or one without the perch, he chooses the chair with the perch. It could be that he knows the right answer.

In the next section, I will discuss how I fabricated the assembly. What I will present to you is the rudimentary assembly for a perch to handle up to a medium sized bird, such as an Amazon or Cockatoo. If you should decide to make one then cut, sand, file, etc. to meet your need.

Assembly Directions:

1. Take a 1” dowel and cut to suitable length (~18”).

2. Mark the center of the Dowel. Make a mark 3” from each side of the center mark. These final two marks (~ 6” apart) are where you will drill your holes. If it looks good for you then drill two 1/2” holes all the way through the 1” dowel at the two marks.

3. Cut two 1/2” oak dowels to 15” length. I recommend using oak since this will provide a lot of strength to the structure.

4. Check fit-up of the 1/2” dowels into the 1” dowel. If the two 1/2” dowels are not parallel then file as necessary. Glue 1/2” dowel s in place and lay on a flat surface to dry. Make sure the dowels are fairly perpendicular to the 1” dowel and there is sufficient protrusion through the 1” dowel to allow a flush surface after sanding.

5. From 3/4” thick oak board, cut four 2” square blocks. Take two of these blocks and drill 1/2” holes down the center of their 2” length perpendicular to the wood grain. See Figure 1.

6. Before proceeding with fabrication of the piece that rests on top of the chair, you need to measure the thickness of the chair(s) where you intend to install this assembly. There are several approach es that can be taken in making this piece. It can be just two holes as I have done and will describe. It can be three or more holes in series. It can be three or more off-center holes. The second pair of dowels are removable specifically for multi-hole application. See Figure 2 for the latter two options.

7. My application was for a 3/4” thick chair. Therefore, from 3/4” thick oak board I cut two blocks 2 3/4” x 1 1/4”. Into each block I drilled a 1/2” hole and a 3/4” hole as shown in Figure 3.

8. Cut two pieces of 3/4” dowel to 5” Length. At one end of these dowels install a size 10 screw eye at the other end a screw with a 1” washer.

9. After the glue has cured on the 1” dowel, sand the extruding dowels smooth with the perch.

10. Next, before gluing any further check the fit-up and locations of the two different types of blocks to the chair(s) where the perch will be installed. I glued my upper blocks 1 1/4” below the perch and the bottom blocks all the way at the bottom. When satisfied with fit -up then glue the two upper blocks and two lower blocks in place on the 1/2” dowels.

11. Cut two ~ 4.5 ft lengths of 1/2” cotton rope. Insert the cotton rope through the screw eye of the removable dowels and weave it back onto itself. You can also wrap the weave with some heavy duty string for added strength and to deter curious minds. Whatever knot you use it will need to fit through the 3/4” hole.

12. After the glue has cured for the blocks, mark the center of the 2” square lower blocks (on the 2” X 2” face) and drill a 1/4” hole into each. Also, do this to the unglued 2” squares. On the chair side of this block chisel out a recess for the 1/4-20 bolt hex head.

13. Install 1/4-20 x 2 1/4” long hex head bolts through both pairs of blocks. Install a 5/8” washer and wingnut to each.

14. Your perch is now ready for any final sanding and assembly.