Dog agility gear can be expensive, but home-made alternatives can be quite functional, much cheaper and fun to build as well. I wanted to make a chute obstacle as inexpensively as possible, consistent with my other dog agility apparatus instructables. The chute consists essentially of a short, rigid tube followed by a long fabric tunnel. The dog runs into the open tube and continues through the fabric tunnel, forcing it open until he/she pops out the end.
55-gallon plastic drum, 1
Plastic wheel chocks, 2
Pool noodle, 1
10-24 x 3/4" machine screws (6) with matching nuts (6), lock washers (6) and flat washers (12)
File and/or angle grinder
The 55-gallon drum I bought ($10) had the lid firmly affixed to the top. I laid the barrel down on its side and, using the lid as a guide, cut the top of the barrel off, lid and all, by rolling the barrel along the floor toward me and the cutting edge of the circular saw blade. If I ever make another, I might try first cutting around the inside of the top, perhaps with a jigsaw, to leave the rim intact. This method would add more structural rigidity to the resulting tube, which ends up a bit floppy using the current design.
You should find out the previous contents of your barrel before purchase and reject any that had contained toxic or highly corrosive materials. My barrel had contained floor wax. I drained off the excess into a 2-liter bottle for disposal.
There is no lid on the bottom, so I free-handed that cut. If I had to do it again, I would try placing the end of the barrel against a long wall and using the wall as a guide. I was not able to quite match up the end of the cut with the beginning, so I smoothed out the bump with an angle grinder.
I pressure washed the inside to remove the rest of the wax. Pressure-washing also cleaned up the exterior quite a bit, removing grease, dirt and paper labels. Now I had a nice, clean tube.