I don't have a dog, but I like dogs. I have friends with dogs, with whom I occasionally interact. There have even been a few instances of dog sitting and/or dog walking, which was more like Bales walking really because the dog wasn't the poster pouch for obedience. I can't really hold the dog(s) at fault because I'd probably turn into a total spaz if taken to a lumber yard .. running down the aisles with no plan and pulling on my leash.
I decided to try my hand at a dog walking station ... something to hold a few leashes and a supply of plastic shopping bags for land mine retrieval. Bags are important ... learned that one the hard way. Maybe I'll get a dog in time, or maybe I'll gift this to my neighbors who own a dog daycare ... perhaps get some paying customers out of my folly.
Materials of choice are of course plywood and poplar, with the addition of a PVC pipe cut off, some ordinary coat hooks, and a few washers.
Step 1: Fabricating the Parts
I started by cutting the plywood panel to size (dimensions at the end) and ripping some 3/4" poplar scrap into 1/4" strips, which will be used as edge banding.
On another scrap of poplar, which happened to be 4" wide, I made a mark 2" in from each side and end. This will be the center mark for the 3" PVC pipe. I don't have a Forstner bit this large (yet), so I used the largest bit I had and then enlarge the diameter with a rabbeting bit set. By switching out the top bearing, you can achieve different depths. In my case, I used a 1/2" depth rabbet to enlarge half of the depth, switched to the flush bearing to enlarge the other half, and finished off with a 1/4" depth rabbet to create the shoulder for the pipe.
To eliminate the sharp corners, I used my bearing container lid to draw an arch, trimmed the bulk of the waste using the bandsaw, and then sanded to the line using the oscillating spindle sander.
The final length was cut at the table saw using a small crosscut sled.
Step 2: The Edge Banding
I decided to the drill the holes for attaching the top and bottom prior to sanding for whatever reason. I just measured 3/8" in from the top and bottom and used a countersink bit on the drill press. I temporarily clamped the top and bottom in place so I could predrill those parts as well.
The poplar edge banding was attached using glue and pin nails. I started with the tops and sides. Once dry, I cut off the excess, sanded flush using the OSS, and then attached the bottom with glue and pin nails. This method adds a gluing step, but I find it less tedious than trying to get all the parts cut to exact lengths. I personally get better results this way.
Step 3: Sanding, Hooks, and Oiling
The front and back of the panel was sanded using an orbital sander. This took care of any minimal leveling issues between the plywood and edging, as well as removed any glue residue. After that, I sanded by hand up to 220 grit.
I decided on rough hook placement by eye. Once I had a location I liked, I broke out the combination square to make sure the hooks were straight and at the same height. Holes were started with my shop made awl and finished at the drill press.
For finish, I used 50/50 boiled linseed oil/mineral spirits
Step 4: The PVC Pipe Prep
The PVC pipe was cut to fit using the miter saw. I scuffed the surface a bit using the OSS, sprayed two coats of plastic primer, and finished with several coats black spray paint. Several light coats is always better than getting greedy and ending up with spray paint runs. The scuffing of the PVC might not be necessary since I used plastic primer, but I've had that fail before on PVC sheet goods and didn't want to take the chance.
Step 5: The Washer Keyhole Hanger
Up until this point, I wasn't sure how I wasn't going to hang this on a wall. Screwing it directly to the wall would leave exposed screw heads, which isn't ideal. Picture hangers wouldn't allow it to sit totally flush to the wall. I wanted something recessed to allow for that flush fit. Keyhole hangers came to mind, but those aren't available at my local big box store. Also, they are pretty expensive and if I wanted them recessed, I'd have to get fancy with a router and/or chisels. It was at that very moment I thought to myself, "Self ... why don't we try turning an ordinary washer into a keyhole."
Admittedly, my first attempt wasn't a perfect success. I had placed the center of my hole equidistant from the inner and outer edges, which didn't quite work. The better positioning was 1/3 of the distance from the inner edge. However, the size of the washer is really the dictating parameter for this hole placement.
First, I drilled a 3/32" hole in my desired location. Then I used a step bit to enlarge that hole enough for the head of a screw. The two sharp points between the holes are quickly removed with a file ... I used a round file, but you can use whatever. The step bit left a burr on the back, but that was easily removed using the OSS.
Installation is quick and easy. Use a Forstner bit the same diameter as the washer to drill a hole just deep enough to recess the washer. Continue that hole with a smaller Forstner bit .. deep enough for the screw head, but not so deep that blast though the other side of your work. The depth stop is your friend in this case. I used superglue since my project is very light. Epoxy would work well. If I was dealing with something heavier and had enough board thickness, I'd recess the washer a little more, drill a hole in the top section of the washer and screw it to my project.
1. Hold the washer with vice grips or a drill press vice. Unless you are He-Man, the drill bit will rip it from your hands.
2. Keep your bit lubricated with oil. I still got some smoking, but the bit was cheap.
3. This hole doesn't have to be exactly located because it's the center hole that controls the final placement.
Step 6: Assembly
Prior to assembly, I applied a coat of paste wax. Rub it on, let it sit a bit, buff it off.
Assembly is easy since all of our holes have already been drilled. I used the aid of a clamp to keep a tight fit when attaching the top and bottom pipe holders.
Attach the bottom, insert the PVC pipe, fit and attach the top, attach the two hooks, apply your brand with a stencil and spray paint, then fill the pipe with plastic bags.
Step 7: Hanging Tip
This isn't a new trick, but it's a good one. Photocopy the back of your project so you can use for easy and accurate placement of your mounting screws.
Step 8: Glamour Shots
The top right quadrant could be left as is or used for a variety of things. A few ideas that come to mind are as follows:
1. Some kind of holder for treats.
2. Additional hooks.
3. Some kind of name plate for the dog. Maybe get fancy and cut it out in the shape of a dog bone.
As always, this could be scaled up for more dogs. Make it wider and/or shorter. Instead of the PVC pipe, you could use a mason jar or other container that catches your eye. Instead of plywood, use hardwood or pallet wood, or cheap wood with a cool paint technique. Instead of a rectangle, go with an oval or the outline of an actual dog ... a Dachshund shaped board would be fun.
If anyone makes a variation, post a picture in the comments ... I'd like to see them.
Plywood Panel: 3/4" x 9 1/2" x 11 1/2"
Poplar Edge Banding: 3/4" x 1/4" x Cut to Fit
Top and Bottom: 3/4" x 4" x 4"
Washers: 1 1/4" Diameter with a 5/16" Center Hole
PVC: 3" diameter x 10 3/4" - 11"