Nest Boxes for Wild Birds

Many small birds, such as robins, sparrows, starlings and tits, take kindly to nesting places provided for them in convenient positions. A robin may even be attracted by an old kettle or teapot fixed up on its side.

Tits like a box with a hole in it near the top. The latter, or part of one side, may be made removable, so that the nest may be examined. When sitting has begun, the bird will not resent

BThe boxes should be placed where cats cannot get at them, and near enough to the ground to be examined with the help of a chair or step-ladder. A perch on which the bird may alight before entering will be appreciated.

PAINTING

HPO cover wood with layers of paint is A an extremely simple business. But to carry out the work in such a way that the results shall be pleasing to the eye and durable, requires care and understanding. As regards inside woodwork generally, the painter aims at producing a surface freo from roughness and smeariness. However many coats be applied to an imperfectly finished surface, the inequalities will show through. Knots loft unstopped will ooze resin and stain the paint. Dust, painted over, or dirt in the paint, produces myriads of tiny lumps. Finally, badly mixed paint and brushes of poor quality make it practically impossible to get a Bmooth finish.

BRUSHES A BROAD duster, for brushing wood- work clean before painting, is an important itom of the outfit. It should be kept dry, be reserved strictly for its proper purposo, and be cleaned with turpentine should it accidentally pick up paint.

A round brush called a sash tool is needed for painting narrow surfaces. When new it has a square end, but use will wear this down to more or less of a point.

Broad surfaces are painted with a flat ground brush, which may have a width of 1 or 1 ½ inch. The beginner at any rate should not select a wide brush for indoor work, though for the painting of outhouses, fences, etc., a wider brush may be required to get through the work quickly.

The bristles of new brushes are too long and springy for neat work. They should therefore be bridled or tied round with string for part of their length. The proper way of tying-up is as follows: a piece of twine, 4 feet or more long, is bent in a U loop a foot from one end, and the bend is laid up against the bottom of the bristles. The short end is then carried through the loop, and the long end wound round and round the bristles and the short end, which is arranged in the direction of the bristles, and, in the case of a flat brush, up one of the edges.

When the winding has proceeded far enough, the long end is bent back on itself to form a loop, carried round in opposite direction to that used in winding, and passed through the loop, which is pulled up tight on the opposite side to the short end.

Both ends are then bent downward, secured to the handle by tacks, and cut off. As the bristles wear down, the binding is shortened by unwinding a turn or two and securing again.

A paint brush becomes more valuable as use wears it down to a good shape. At the end of a days work n brush should be scraped on the paint pot to rid it of paint as far as possible and stood – or, better, suspended – in water covering the bristles, so that the paint left may not harden.

One that is to be stored away should be washed thoroughly in turpentine, and then in hot soap and water, dried, and wrapped in paper.

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