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World's Largest Self-filling Hummingbird Feeder
At Lost Stirrup Lodge we have hundreds of humming birds enjoying our feeders during the summer.  They consume six 48 oz. feeders per day!  That's great, but we discovered that when we want to leave for a few days and the feeders don't get refilled, they leave and most of them don't come back until the next summer.


The Solution - a 3 gallon hummingbird feeder!


Now, with these large feeders, we can safely leave our hummers for up to 5 days. 

 Please Email us if you find this helpful.

 

How to build a 3 gallon large hummingbird feeder

Start with a 3 gallon Little Giant plastic poultry waterer.  They already look surprisingly like a hummingbird feeder.
Tools and materials you will need:
  • .220 Plexiglass (about 1/4" thick)
  • Red AWG 10 wire
  • 1 wire coupler
  • 12 #8 zink plated screw eyes
  • 1 hot galv spiral thread screw
  • Wide red tape
  • A marker
  • Scissors
  • Wire cutters
  • 1/2" drill bit
  • 3/16" drill bit
  • 5/64' drill bit
  • Saber saw
  • Drill

Cutting Out the Feeder Ring

 

Don't remove the protective plastic film on the pelxiglass.

Using the bottom trough, mark out the outside edge of the feeder ring on the plexiglass.

Now, using the tank, mark out the inside of the feeder ring.  Make sure you are perfectly centered.
Using the drill and the 1/2" drill bit, place the plexiglass on a board and drill a hole for your saber saw blade to fit through when cutting along the inside edge of the feeder ring.

IMPORTANT!!  To keep from shattering the plexiglass, it's a good idea to drill most of the way through and then flip the plexiglass over and finish the hole from the opposite side.

Cut along the outside of your line when making this cut.  Take your time and go slowly so you can do as nice a job as possible.
Now, cut along the inside of the line as closely and accurately as possible.
Test the fit.  It should be just barely snug because of the 4 vertical ridges the ring has to slip over.
You can smooth the edge of the ring by using a block with sandpaper or a belt sander as shown here.
Use sandpaper or a file to finish the inside of the ring and all the sharp edges along the inside and outside of the ring.

Making the Feeder Holes

 

Mark a dot in the middle of the ring at each of the 4 connecting tabs.

Measure 2 additional dots 2 3/4" apart between the 4 dots you just made to make a total of 12 dots.
Using the 3/16" drill bit, drill 12 feeding holes at each dot around the middle of the feeder ring.
Now you can remove the protective plastic film from the plexiglass.  All your marks will be gone.

Making The Perch

 

Using the 5/64" drill bit, drill holes into the edge of the feeder ring at each feeder hole a bit deeper than of the thread length of the #8 screw eyes.

Super Important!!!
DO NOT stop your drill when drilling these holes.  The plexiglass will instantly cool and set on the drill bit and it will be impossible to remove the bit.  If this happens, break the bit and drill another hole close by.

Drilled holes and a screw eye.
Screw installed.

Important! - be careful not to break the eye by using a tool  like a screwdriver through the eye to turn it.  They should go in by hand.  If you have one that won't start, drill a tiny bit to clear the top of the hole.

Screw eyes installed.
Cut a long enough piece of AWG 10 red wire to run through all the screw eyes to create a perch for the hummingbirds.
Run the wire through the screw eyes.
Cut off the excess wire.  Leave a 1/8" gap.
A wire coupler.
Insert the wire into both ends of the coupler.  There is no need to crimp the coupler.

Important!
Be careful not to bend or break a screw eye.

Wire perch finished!

Adding "Flowers"

We just used wide red tape and cut the corners off of square pieces to create "flowers" but you could either paint flowers on the ring or use flower stickers.

Applying a "flower".
Using the same 3/16" drill, drill through the tape at each flower hole.

Adding a Feeder Ring Lock

You don't want the feeder to fall apart and waste all that sugar water, so we devised a simple lock for the feeder ring using a 8d hot galv spiral thread patio/deck nail.  You could probably use just a plain 8d nail, but the spiral adds an element of security because it won't pull out easily.

Drill a hole through both the trough tab and the tank tab the same diameter as your nail at a slight angle.
Insert the nail.
The nail will protrude past the bottom and will need to be cut off.
Cut off the nail a little above the bottom of the feeder.
Slide the feeder ring onto the tank.

All Done!

Happy Hummers!