As every year Halloween is approaching, and if we don’t prepare it time will pass in a heartbeat and we will be left without making the pumpkin lantern. Although this year the Halloween Jack O’Lantern will be simpler than in previous years, as I decided to spend the work on the making of a prison ugly bird cage, one of those that are hung in scary movies with the condemned inside, to put inside the Halloween lantern. I think it will be a nice item to serve as a Halloween decoration.
In the garage at home there are a lot of things stored “in a messy way”, things that are kept just in case, so making a project where we give them some use helps to justify that little “hoarder spirit” that we all have. Although it may only serve to feed that bad.
Since I wanted the bird cage to look ugly, gloomy, sloppy and poorly made, I used the most battered and dirty boards I had in the workshop. It was not going to be very scary if I used new boards. I needed something to match the Halloween Jack O’Lantern pumpkins I wanted to carve this year. Best of all, this is a do-it-yourself project that requires almost no effort of sanding and painting. The worse it looks the better it will serve as a Halloween decoration.
I cut, on the table saw, three square section strips from a 2.5 cm thick wooden board. And from two other wooden boards of the same thickness, these are some cleaner, I cut another two square-section strips plus two narrower slats for the cage door. And before cutting them to the lengths I needed, I cut in each workpiece two slots all along on two sides at 90º of each workpiece. Well, I made just one slot in the slats for the door.
But in order to size up the length to which I needed to cut the workpieces, first I cut the welded mesh into 12-square pieces. I measured and cut the strips to the needed length as shown in the video, getting eight pieces of about 30cm long and four pieces of about 35cm long.
Putting all the pieces of the bird cage structure together while fitting the wire mesh into the slots was a bit complicated. The problems were because of a small mistake I made when measuring the length of the wood strips. Due to that mistake I had to trim the electro-welded mesh on some of the faces that form the ugly bird cage. And I wasn’t quite sure what order to follow for the making, but finally I ended up making a couple of squares, each with two short and two long pieces of strip. Then I joined both squares with the other four short pieces of strip I had left. Like this I could make the cube shape of this ugly cage.
And to hold the pieces together, I drove a nail into the end of two faces of each of the long strips to the end grain of each of the short strips with which the long ones form a corner. By before driving each nail I drilled a guide hole to prevent the wood from splitting. Also, like that the nails go in easily and right where we want them to be. For the door I sized up the length to which I had to cut the narrow slats to make them fit into the face of the cage that I left open without welded mesh. And since this door has only one mesh, it is very easy to make.
An old hinge, some bent nails with a carabiner as a door lock and an old rusty dog chain to hang it … and I have the ugly old looking bird cage ready for Halloween decorations waiting for the convict, who I think will come in with a bad face. It turned out pretty sturdy despite having made it by improvising a lot while making it, and the door even looks secure, but just in case I won’t make hands to the Jack O’Lantern. If he wants to go out the cage he will have to come up with some trick or treat, or else strike a deal.