Bucktooth Birdhouse

Patterns & Projects

Bucktooth Birdhouse

Create the perfect home for this grinning avian

By Bruce Ankeny 

After carving my sassy feathered friend, make him a home that he can flock to. Follow the instructions below or add your own style to make a house that matches your grinning friend’s big personality! Find the bucktooth bird on page 41 in the spring issue. 

Getting Started

Photocopy the pattern and attach it to the wood blank, making sure that the grain runs vertically. Cut out the pattern on the band saw. Make stop cuts all the way around to cut the roofline. The roofline should hang over 1/8″ (3mm).

Adding Details

Carve horizontal lines on the shingles with a 3/16″ (5mm) 60° V-tool.  Use a woodburner to add the siding lines and vertical lines on the shingles. Then use the carving knife, 1/4″ (6mm) 60° V-tool, 1/8″ (3mm) 60° V-tool, and a 1/4″ (6mm) gouge to shape the post and base of the birdhouse. Drill a 5/16″ (7.9mm)-dia. hole for the birdhouse opening, and then a 3/16″ (4.8mm)-dia. hole just below it for the perch.

Painting and Finishing

Prepare the carving for paint. Spray the entire carving lightly with water to raise the grain. Then prepare your paint station. Paint the post white, and paint the birdhouse brown or a color of your choice. Dip the carving in a mixture of three parts boiled linseed oil (BLO) and one part turpentine. Set the carving on a newspaper to dry. Note: Dispose of the newspaper appropriately; BLO-soaked newspapers and rags can spontaneously combust.


  • Basswood, 1 7/8″ (4.8cm) square: birdhouse, 8 3/4″ (22.2cm) high 
  • Wooden dowel, 3/16″ (4.8mm)-dia.:, perch 1 1/2″ (3.8cm) long
  • Acrylic paints, such as Jo Sonja’s®: brown, white
  • Boiled linseed oil (BLO)
  • Turpentine
  • Newspaper


  • Carving knife
  • Band saw
  • V-tools: 1/8″ (3mm), 3/16″ (5mm), 1/4″ (6mm) 60°
  • Gouge: 1/4″ (6mm)
  • Woodburner
  • Drill with bits: 3/16″ (4.8mm), 5/16″ (7.9mm)-dia.
  • Paintbrushes: assorted


About the Author

Bruce Ankeny lives in Blue Earth, Minn., with his loving wife of 45 years, Bonnie. Bruce attended a local woodcarvers’ exhibition in 1982 and was immediately impressed with a hillbilly chess set carved by John Sabin. Bruce dove right in, becoming the youngest member of the Blue Earth Royal Chiselers and eventually finding his niche in caricature carving. See more of Bruce’s work on facebook.com/bruce.ankeny and Instagram @ankenybruce, or email him at bruce.ankenywoodcarver@gmail.com. 


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