|I recently had the pleasure of spending a couple hours with one
of the manufacturers that has provided our shop with bird and squirrel feeders, bird
feeder and bird house kits, bird calls, bird houses, and other items for over ten years.
It was amazing to see first hand the steps it takes to create an object out of a raw piece
of wood, and in this case, reclaimed junk lumber destined for a landfill yet saved and
turned into something useful!
The owner of GoodPlanet™
products was in the middle of the final assembly of his Peanut Butter Feeder. I asked
him how many steps it takes to make one of these feeders, and after brushing off the saw
dust, he handed me a note pad and stubby pencil from his workbench so I could take notes
on what he had to say as he began talking me through the process.
He said “the lumber starts out in a variety of lengths and widths and first it must
be planed and ripped (cut lengthwise) to the proper width and thickness, then cross cut to
length; preliminary chop-saw cuts remove the bottom corners before the final rounding of
the corners that I do at a bench sander. The feeder is then fed through a router to give
both sides of the piece a decorative edge, and then all edges and surfaces are sanded on a
These feeders have either two, three, or four holes that accommodate PVC pipe inserts
that he had already cut-to-length and sanded, and the next step was at the drill press
drilling out these holes; another drill press operation - drilling out ½” holes that
allow wood perches made out of dowels to be inserted through the body. Each wood dowel had
been cut-to-length and ends rounded on the sander.
He took the feeders to a bench clamp where he hammered the PVC and dowels through the
body of the feeder. The PVC pipe inserts were secured with a screw which had to have a
pre-drilled countersunk hole first to accommodate the screw. “You sink the screw through
just until you can feel a little bump on the inside of the PVC pipe, that way I know it is
secured,” he said.
With the perches in place, he pre-drilled a pilot hole, and then sent a small thin nail
in to secure the perches. All the while this was going on, we have been wearing ear
protection muffs to deaden the workshop noise. After dusting the piece off with a large
soft-bristled brush, the body of the feeder was now complete.
The day before, he had already cut, assembled, and painted a first coat on the feeder’s
little red roof. It was now time to add the roof with two rust-resistant wood screws. Each
roof had been edge routed, sanded, glued, and nailed, and now they were being screwed into
the top of the feeder. “I save the second coat of paint after the final assembly, that
way I know they’ll be flawless,” he said. He also screws in a zinc-coated eye hook for
The feeder was finished, and if my scribbling on the note pad was correct, it took approximately
39 steps to complete each Peanut Butter Feeder. I enjoyed the time spent with him
in his workshop while learning about the extent of care, concentration, planning, set up,
and the precision he practices working with wood. I also liked looking over the 4-foot
shelf lined with upright wooden “jigs,” thing-a-ma-dos that he has made to help him
ensure each item he makes is uniform.
Now I have a better understanding why something may cost $17.95, and realize it may not
be nearly enough, but after watching this craftsperson and his orchestration I saw his
recompense is not always monetary, his joy is in the doing.
on behalf of the the Naturalists at J.J. Cardinal’s
"The best gift is the one that includes a part
PS: GoodPlanet's Peanut Butter Feeder is ideal for
offering your own concoction (peanut butter, suet, seed, fruit) or cylinder-shaped suet
logs like the Log Jammers from Pinetree Farms. More info »»
PSS: Spoiler Alert don’t read
any further if you don’t want to know who “he” is.
Uncomfortable with being praised for his work, he requested I not reveal his identity in
the above article. However I am so very proud to say the manufacturer of Goodplanet™
products is none-other than my wonderful husband, Mike!
He prefers our guests assume his woodworking projects were crafted by Keebler