Introduction: Sasha's Steps
Runner Up in the
Animal Innovations Contest
Hi everyone! Have you ever had a small dog? Have they ever wanted to look out the window? Are they too short to see over the windowsill? Fret not! I have the solution.
I myself have a Siberian husky (possibly mixed with something else) named Sasha. The name Sasha is a pet form of Alexander meaning "Defender Of Mankind", and has a Russian origin. She is about 2 to 2 ½ feet tall. She LOVES to look out the window at everything. Sometimes when you pull up the drive you can see her in the window, but she has to stand on the couch.
When I am in the office she loves to look out the window, and she can still be near me, yet, she is much too short. My dad made a step-stool years ago that I found and put under the window so she could see. She loves it, but I wanted to make it better, to add something. So I decided to kill 2 birds with 1 stone.
In my design, there are 3 steps which your dog can stand on, but on either side (you can choose) there is a cut out for 8” dog bowls. This way your dog can eat but look out the window at the same time. There is also an option (depending on size) to put a box of toys on the platform if you want to keep everything in one place.
Underneath the bowls you can put some shelves and a “door” where you can store food, toys, treats, etc. for your pet. This is a good way to keep everything for your dog in one place and use the space effectively. My dog LOVES this design and I think yours will too.
Look below for the steps on how to build "Sasha's Steps"
Step 1: What Do You Want?
First, you will need to decide the basic parameters of what you want.
-Do you want steps on the left or right side?
-Do you want a shelving unit?
-Do you want a close-able door on this unit?
-Do you want a toy holder by the food and water?
-How big of bowls will you need?
These are all good questions to ask yourself before you begin construction. I will be showing you how to make the design I have chosen but you can always tweak, change, or add more. I have decided to have my steps on the right side, I have not added a toy holder, and I have decided to have a compartment with a lockable door.
Step 2: Here's What You Need to Make MY Design
- 1 sheet of Plywood
- Nails or Screws
- Hole Filler
- 2 Hinges
- 1 Lock
- 1 Handle
Estimated Cost - $85
Step 3: Drawing
Next, it would not be a bad idea to draw out your plans on paper or on the computer. I was able to draw my sketch on a program called Google SketchUp, but paper will work just fine.
There is a lot you can find out by drawing, one of the BIG things is measurements.
Step 4: Getting Your Measurements
Now that you have made your drawing you are ready to figure out measurements. My design was 2' tall, 2' 3" wide, and 2' long. This was good to find out first because then I could figure out what all of the inside measurements should be.
You should only need 1 piece of plywood to complete this entire project, if you use your space as conservatively as possible.
These are the measurements I had down for a 1/2" piece of plywood. These measurements can be adjusted accordingly.
Step 5: Cutting
Now, you need to get your circular saw or handsaw and begin cutting along your lines. Be careful because you want these cut-lines to be as straight as possible. You can also make them a little bit bigger than they need to be. Then, if you have one, you can use a table saw to square your pieces of wood. This is going to make sure everything is perfectly straight (pretty much) and that way your finished product will look better. You may need to refer back to step 3 and get more measurements as you complete them.
Step 6: Assembly
Now that you have completed cutting you can begin assembly. I did this while I was cutting, and put it together as I made the pieces, but you can do it all at once, or you can do it like I did. To put everything together, it is easiest to use a nail-gun. You can use whatever nails you would like that will suit the type of wood you are using. After you complete shooting all the nails you believe that you will need, you can get some filler and fill in the spots where you shot the nails, and where you have boards that don't exactly match up. You can have some excess because it will be sanded afterwards. This is also a good time to put caulk in the corners where you could not get filler.
Step 7: Aesthetics
After you put in filler in all the places you need you can get out your sander and begin sanding the whole thing. Avoid sanding corners unless you want to do them all. After you have completed sanding you should get some flat, white paint, and then put 2 coats of this paint on your steps to act as a primer. Once completed, you can choose any color you desire and customize your steps however you like. I decided to leave mine white. That way I can change it in the future if I want to. I also made the door open to the side which is different from my drawing, but this will keep it out of your way. All you need for the door are 2 small hinges, a lock, and a small handle. Also, I did not put a shelf inside of the compartment with the door.
Step 8: Enjoy
Now that you are finished, all you need to do is let your dog (or cat) have at it!
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Please be positive and constructive.