I find that typical dog kennels are not very fashion conscious and don't really blend in to the interior decor. Having a dog is a good enough reminder that you have a dog. And since we have a dog (who must sleep in a kennel due to her insatiable appetite for poopy diapers and garbage), why not make a multi-functioning kennel? Since I couldn't think of a single reason not to, I embarked on this fun build.
I've actually been planning this build for a few months. I was thinking of making it out of pallets, but my wife convinced me to go for a little nicer wood (though I still think it could have looked really great).
I found a few examples of different dog kennel end tables on line and borrowed from some of their designs.
Step 1: Materials
This was a fun project for me because I got to put a lot of my tools (and those of my awesome friends and neighbors) to use. It was also great because I got to collaborate on a project with my wife.
• 1 - 8' 2x4
• 3 - 8' 1x4
• 1 - 6' 1x12
• 1 - 4' 1x24 pine laminate
• Wood Glue
• 3/4" x 25' steel hanger straps
• 100 - 1/2" screws
• Locking mechanism
• Salvaged Horse Fence (got it at IFA for $15 because it was badly damaged)
• Wood Conditioner
• Dark Walnut Stain
• Table Saw
• Circular Saw
• Chop Saw
• Hand Saw
• Nail gun (borrowed)
• Power Drill
• Angle Grinder
Step 2: Figure Out Design
Because I drew this up more on the fly and did a rough blueprint, I don't have a lot of the design in any written plan form. Mostly I just took notes on the papers I was accumulating and improvised as I went along. The overall size of the table/kennel is 24" tall, 30" long and 20" wide. This put the top of the table just a couple inches below the armrest of the couch. This would be optimal for setting down drinks and the like while watching TV (though that might be cruel torture for the pooch just beneath).
Step 3: Cut Lumber
Next I used my chop saw to cut 45s on the 2x4s again to make more of a frame (more appealing and professional looking). Its pretty important to get these as exact as possible as a crooked base does not a good build start.
Then, using my 1x4s, I followed a similar pattern. However, knowing that I wanted these to be 2 1/4" wide I also had to cut some off the back side. I saved that back cut too for the trim at the bottom.
Step 4: Build Base and Posts
With all that done I was ready to put the posts in place. I had decided to use the 1x4s on an angle like this for a few reasons. 1) cut down on the overall weight of the kennel/table, 2) maximize the amount of space in the kennel, and 3) I don't really like the look of overlapping wood and I wanted a cleaner look overall. Hence, the design. Putting it together was a little more challenging this way though. Luckily, I have a handy wife with an extra set of hands (for some reason I only have 2) and we were able to hold them in place while nailing them into the base and each other. This worked really well and I am pleased with how it turned out. There were some small gaps, but I will get to how that was fixed later.
Next came the base board. I needed something for it to rest on. Luckily, I saved some of the scraps from the 1x4 cuts and this worked perfectly. I drew a level line around the whole inside of the base and then just nailed the support in place. Then, I grabbed a scrap of MDF board left over from a different project and cut it to shape. Then I just slid it down into place and nailed it in.
Step 5: Build Walls and Add Caging
Then, I laid the caging on the wood and drew marks for where I would need to carve out to have the cage rest inside the wood. Using my dremel tool I carved out the wood so the cage would rest just under the surface of the wood. Then using the steel hanger strips (aka plumber's tape) I screwed the caging into place.
Once finished with each of the walls, I put them into place on the frame and nailed them in. (side note: It is important to measure the bottom of where the wall sits to get the total measurement as the top will not be exact due to warping of the wood or things not being perfectly square. This all gets evened out once the walls are nailed in place.)
Step 6: Make Door
In order for the door to work smoothly, there needs to be some gaps between the door and the frame. I allowed 1/8" on all sides for this. This meant I subtracted 1/4" from each of the measurements. That done, I cut out the frame for the door. I used the 1x4 for this cut down to 1.5" width. I didn't feel comfortable using the nail gun for this, so I used the wood glue and clamped it all together overnight. Once dry and sanded, I used the same process with the caging for the walls on the opening of the door.
Then, knowing that I didn't want the door to swing inside the kennel, I put in a little door stop at the bottom to keep it from stressing the hinges.
Step 7: Add Top & Bottom Trim
Step 8: Install Door & Lock
Then I placed the locking mechanism in place centered on the other side.
Step 9: Put Your Top On
This is an important piece to make sure is secured firmly in place. Get the wood glue out and get some good coverage around the whole edge. Then, set the top wood down and make sure it is nice and centered before nailing it in place. This is where it really starts to come together and look awesome.
Step 10: Putty Nail Holes & Sand
Once the putty has dried, make sure to sand it down well. Left over putty (or wood glue for that matter) will really change the look of the stain.
Step 11: Wood Condition & Stain
Then get staining. The dark walnut stain looked really great on this. The pine absorbed it really well too and so we only had to do one coat to achieve the darkness we were going for. We did end up staining the inside as well which will be obvious in other pictures.
Step 12: Coat of Poly
Step 13: Put Your Animals Inside
Now that it's done, time to introduce the dog to it's new home. She is a little anxious when it comes to change, so it may take her some time to get used to it. It turned out well and I'm please with how close it was to my initial brainstorming.
My 2 year old loved watching the build. He is quite convinced that it is a kennel for him and is quite excited about it. Throughout the process he was always asking if he could get in it, and then would ask me to lock it once in.
I hope you like it. If you do, I would appreciate a vote in the Animals Contest.