Suet Feeder Temporary Fix

The neighborhood raccoons made off with our steel-cage suet feeder, leaving a┬ádangling┬áchain, several puzzled woodpeckers, and a potential gap in Mary’s FeederWatch data. A quick Thingiverse search turned up a likely candidate and a few hours of 3D printing produced a replacement:

3D printed suet feeder

3D printed suet feeder

The cheerful party colors just sort of happened after I realized orange wasn’t the new steel.

I bandsawed the top plate from an acrylic sheet, rather than devote several hours to printing a simple disk with two slots. Said slots came from a bit of freehand work with the drill press, a step drill bit, and a nasty carbide milling bur(r).

The loops holding the chains won’t last for long, as hairy and red-bellied woodpeckers land with thump.

It hangs from the stub of a former ski pole, loosely secured to the bracket holding the former feeder, and extending another two feet over the abyss beyond the patio. I doubt the raccoons will remain daunted for long, but maybe they’ll catch a heart attack when it collapses.


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  1. #1 by RCPete on 2018-02-17 - 11:09

    Hot pepper suet cakes are available; the birds love it (as they do most any other flavor). I don’t know its effect on squirrels; our critter-proofing has been working. Racoons never got interested in the bird feeder; it was grey and pine squirrels that were the chief invaders.

    Our scrub jays have figured out how to cling to the basket to get suet; the local woodpeckers are amall enough so they can do the same thing when they show up. The Steller’s Jays are trying the cling approach, but usually last a few seconds. Pigeons can’t get to the basket, but they’re happy with the seed. Anything that gets dropped is eaten by the resident quail flock, at least this time of year. Ground squirrel season is a month or two away..

    • #2 by madbodger on 2018-02-17 - 15:59

      We’ve used the hot pepper ones. The first time, a squirrel took a bite, turned and glared directly at us, and scampered away.

    • #3 by Ed on 2018-02-18 - 10:27

      Apparently Adams’ butcher shop goes through enough beef to let them hand out FREE! suet on request. When suet day comes around, we haul off several pounds of the stuff, hack it into feeder-sized chunks, drop the bag in the chest freezer, and keep the woodpeckers off the house siding for months at a time. I am so not going the DIY suet-with-seeds-and-seasoning route! [grin]

  2. #4 by Mitch Berkson on 2018-02-17 - 13:33

    The original wasn’t metal for a functional reason? Like it is harder for varmints to chew through?

    • #5 by Ed on 2018-02-18 - 10:32

      Absolutely! I even added cute stainless steel cables to reinforce the hatch against prying paws.

      A plastic cage on a long pole should suffice for the rest of the feeder season. Who knows? Maybe I’ll find the cage while mowing a far corner of what passes for a lawn.

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