Wednesday 23 May 2018

Swift boxes under very broad open eaves

Margaret & Ian Hobson of Beer in Devon asked us what would go best under broad open eaves, nearly 50cm wide, with about 33cm between the joists.

Beautiful view of the English Channel
Click to enlarge
The first idea was to have 2 boxes between each pair of joists with the entrances near the wall or near the outer edge. However, as we have no idea which the Swifts may prefer, we came up with a design for a double box between each pair of joists with one entrance near the wall and another near the outer edge.

We chose to give the entrance near the wall a landing platform, for no better reason than, in our experience, we have had more success with entrances near the wall with a landing platform than those without, but not enough evidence to be definitive. The landing platforms are grooved by making shallow horizontal cuts with a mitre saw.

The outer entrances face down at 45°. There are plenty of examples of success with sloping entrances e.g. the Zeist and Model 30 boxes.

As this was a new idea, we decided to have a go at it ourselves, and we then shipped the boxes flat-packed to their destination in Devon, where they were competently reassembled.

The boxes are installed by removing the bottom, screwing the sides to the joists, then replacing the bottom.

Preassembled box - landing platform on the right.
The bottom is configured so it is easily removed for installation.
It also provides a small step for the Swifts.

View prom above - 2 nice-sized chambers

Boxes reassembled, painted, concave glued down and feathered, ready for installation
4 double boxes installed


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