How to build a possum box

Errol, Team member
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Project Overview

Possums can be annoying when they move into your roof. We’ll show you how to give them a home of their own and keep them away from yours. Continue to step-by-step instructions
rubber band plank wood
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00:11
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How to unscrew a screw with a stripped head

If you need to remove a stripped screw with a damaged head from wood, try placing a rubber band on the screw head and then slowly use a screwdriver or drill to pull it out.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Slates of wood for possum box
2 Measure and mark for the sloping roof of the box
3 Measure and mark for the entrance
4 Cut out the entrance hole
5 Cut the two sides
6 Sand the timber
7 Assemble the box
8 Screw the box together
9 Measure and mark for the hinges
10 Attach the hinges
11 Attach the weather shield
12 Finishing the box
13 Fix the possum box to the tree
14 Your possum home is ready
  • Step 1. Slates of wood for possum box

    Cut the 17mm project ply panel into the following lengths:

    • 270mm x 420mm (front)
    • 270mm x 470mm x 3 (sides and back)
    • 270mm x 305mm (base)
    • 300mm x 450mm (lid)
    • 100mm x 300mm (lid return or weather shield)

  • Step 2. Measure and mark for the sloping roof of the box

    Using the front panel as a guide, measure and mark the two side panels 420mm up from the bottom. Then use your square to connect this mark to the opposite corner of the panel to make the 10 degree slope.
  • Step 3. Measure and mark for the entrance

    Now mark out the entrance hole on the front panel. First, mark a point 75mm in from both sides and down from the top. We marked out our entrance hole as 120mm x 120mm, but you can make yours whatever size you like.
  • Step 4. Cut out the entrance hole

    Clamp the ply to the work bench. Then use a 13mm drill bit to drill holes into the four corners of your marked up entrance. Used these holes as an entry point for the jigsaw and cut out the hole.
  • Step 5. Cut the two sides

    Put on your safety gear. Set the angle of the drop saw to 10 degrees and make the angle cut to both side pieces of ply.
  • Step 6. Sand the timber

    Once you have made the cuts, sand all the timber using an orbital sander and 120 grit sandpaper.
  • Step 7. Assemble the box

    Clamp the front piece of the possum box to the workbench. Apply glue to the edges of the base and the front. Secure the ply with the fixing gun to hold it in place. Complete the rest of the assembly by gluing and pinning the sides together, wiping off excess glue as you go.
  • Step 8. Screw the box together

    Drill two holes into the joins of the possum box using the 2mm drill bit. Then secure the joins with the 32mm outdoor screws.
  • Step 9. Measure and mark for the hinges

    For the roof of the possum box, you want an overhang at the front and the back. To determine where the hinges will go, transfer the inside dimensions of the box to the lid. Measure and mark the hinge positions on the lid. They should sit flush to the side of the lid. Make sure you leave enough room to accommodate the 20mm ply back.
  • Step 10. Attach the hinges

    Pre-drill the holes for the hinges in the lid and the box. Secure the lid to the box with the 15mm screws.
  • Step 11. Attach the weather shield

    The weather shield is designed to protect the hinges and stop water getting into the box. Apply glue to the top of the weather shield and then stick it to the back edge of the lid. Use the nail gun to attach it, then use the 15mm screws to secure it.
  • Step 12. Finishing the box

    Once the box is assembled, paint it with marine grade exterior varnish to seal and protect the timber from the weather. When it’s dry, you can attach some branches to the box to make it more possum friendly. You can pre-drill the larger branches with the 2mm drill and screw them into place with 30mm screws.
  • Step 13. Fix the possum box to the tree

    To fix the box to the tree, attach some garden hose to one side of the possum box with screws. Wrap it around the tree and secure it to the other side of the box with screws. Ideally, it should be 3–4 metres above the ground.
  • Step 14. Your possum home is ready

    To make the box more appealing you can put some fruit in the box, but remember to take it out before it goes off. You can also add few handfuls of dead leaves to provide comfort and insulation.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Builders square
  • Clamps
  • Cordless drill
  • 13mm drill bit
  • 2mm drill bit
  • Drop saw
  • Dust mask
  • Earmuffs
  • Fixing gun and 30mm brads
  • Hammer
  • Impact driver
  • Jigsaw
  • Measuring tape
  • Orbital sander and 120 grit sanding pad
  • Paint brush
  • Paint tin opener
  • Pencil
  • Safety glasses
  • Screwdriver
  • Stirrer
  • Utility knife
  • Work gloves

Materials

  • 2.4m x 1.2m x 17mm plywood
  • 85mm loose pin hinges x 2
  • 32mm outdoor screws
  • 30mm galvanised clout nails
  • 15mm zinc plated screws
  • Garden hose
  • Marine grade exterior varnish
  • PVA glue
  • Tree branches
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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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