My daughter kept harassing our dog and as I didn't have anything else to do at that time I decided to build an indoor shelter for that poor dog. The idea was to create something that could be quickly dismantled and rebuilt if the space was needed for something else. Also I did not want to use any fastening solutions like adhesives or screws/bolts. The structure stands and stays intact because of the friction caused by the swelling of the wood plugs.
Step 1: Planning
As I mentioned in the previous step, I wanted the structure to stand without the help of screws or glue. I thought of some traditional woodworking joints but finally chose to design one of my own and made a quick sketch of it which can be seen on the picture above. The "unique" thing of this joint is that there is a small cut on the lower side of the joint that locks the standing bars in place and prevents their rotation. The actual lock of this joint is a wooden plug that is handmade of rowan tree and causes the friction when some water is applied on it.
The base of this house is 400 x 500 mm and the height without the roof is 350 mm. The roof ads about 200 mm to the total height. The reason why I say "about" is because I never used any measures after the initial measurements.
Step 2: Material and Tools
a few meters of Pinewood timber
a few square meters of birch plywood of 4 mm thickness
a few square meters of white oak veneer
Glue (for the veneer)
Planer and thickness planer (for the frame parts)
Chisel & hammer (for the joint details)
Scissors (for the veneer)
Knife (for all the rest)
Step 3: Building the Frame
For the start I made around 30 2x2x50cm planed bars out of pine. The frame of the house is made of those. Then I sawed a slot (or a channel, sorry my english) of 6 mm on 2 sides of almost every bar. The slot is there to hold the 4 mm plywood plates (+ 2 mm of veneer) in place. I made a jig for accurate drilling of the holes and drilled the corner holes for the rowan plugs. Then I hand made the joint details at the ends of the bars with a chisel.
At the point of carving the joints I marked each corner with unique mark as each joint became unique in some way (because it was too difficult for me to create exactly similar joints on every corner by hand :/ ) Later I stamped those markings to be better looking. Those markings are essential each time I dismantle and rebuild the frame.
Step 4: Building the Walls
Building the walls is one of the easier parts of this build. I just sawed plates that with barely inside frame and sink inside the slots in the bars. The rafter and the roof piece are built in similar manner as the frame itself, though I had to use some glue there to make them rigid enough. The roof itself is not connected to the house by anything, it just sits on a socket that is made for it on the rafter.
I cut the hole of the doorway only after I had glued the veneer on the plywood.
Step 5: Gluing the Veneer
I chose to use white oak veneer just because I happened to have a small amount of it at hand at that time. I tried to be as efficient as possible on cutting the veneer and because I did not have any excess veneer really I could not cut that white part away. That is why I chose to put it straight in the middle of every board and it actually doesn't look that bad at all in my opinion :)
Step 6: Finishing Touch
For the frame I decided to use wood wax (Osmocolor - white oak). One layer was enough.
For the walls&roof I used paint sprayer to add several layers of high-gloss lacquer after I had sanded them carefully. I dismantled and took all of the plywood parts off and sprayed them separately on both sides.
Step 7: Testing
As the house does not have any bottom I just put an old pillow there to make the dog feel home. The hole of the door is barely wide enough for the small dog to enter the house and keeps our daughter outside. The roof can be taken away just by lifting it - though our dog doesn't really appreciate disturbing her privacy by taking it off.