Build an effective, durable cot for your dog for around $10
Step 1: Materials and Supplies
· PVC pipe 1-inch (inside diameter determines the size) schedule 40 (thick wall). Can be purchased at Home Depot for about $2.48 for a 10-foot stick.
· Three way corner pieces (1 inch) item # F100W3W. Can be purchased at C & S Plastics 1550 5th. Street SW, Winter Haven, Florida 33880. Phone number 863-299-6639. Cost about .99 cents each if purchasing 240 count. This is a furniture grade specialty item that cannot be found at many places.
· Open weave plastic mesh marine upholstery fabric (similar to Phifertex) is the best choice to use. Awning fabric (similar to Sunbrella) can also be used, but it is not as easy to disinfect or dry. If only doing a few beds ask your local boating upholstery shops for scrap pieces. If needing fabric in bulk search the Internet for best prices.
· Buildex Teks Lath Screws #8 X 1/2" can be purchased at Home Depot for about $5.49 a box with 260 count. If needing screws in bulk contact Fastenal located at 295 Lewis Street, Fort Walton Beach, Florida or call at 850-302-0285 can be purchased for about $1.53 per 100 count. Ask for part number 32142.
- Cordless drill with variable clutch settings
- Screwdriver Bit
- Screwdriver Magnetizer (optional but very helpful if doing this alone)
- Rubber mallet
- Ratchet type PVC cutters
- Safety Glasses
- Tailor's chalk for marking fabric
- Fine Tip Sharpie for marking PVC
- Heavy Duty Scissors
- Stiff ruler
Step 2: Cutting Instructions
· Small Cot
o Cloth size needed 36" X 29"
o Cut two pieces of PVC at 18.5 inches long
o Cut two pieces of PVC at 25.5 inches long
o Cut four pieces of PVC at 4 inches long
o Finished dimension is 22" X 29
o One stick (120”) of PVC = one small cot with 12 inches of scrap.
· Medium Cot
o Cloth size needed 34.5” x 38.5”
o Cut two 24” pieces of PVC
o Cut two 28” pieces of PVC
o Cut four 4” pieces of PVC
o Finished Dimensions is 27.5” x 31.5”
o 1 stick (120”) of PVC= 1 medium cot with no scrap. This Size is most efficient use of your PVC.
· Large Cot
o Cloth size needed 36” x 45”
o Cut two 25.5” pieces of PVC
o Cut two 34.5” pieces of PVC
o Cut four 4” pieces of PVC
o Finished Dimensions is 29” X 38”
o One 10 foot stick + 20” of PVC= 1 large cot
Step 3: Assembly Instructions
Assemble the main frame. Make sure there are equal lengths of PVC on opposite sides to produce a frame that measures finished dimensions.
Step 4: Continued.
2. Now, take a rubber mallet and pound each corner piece joint with medium force to secure them in place. If you find the joints are loose and turn easily, reinforce with a small piece of duct tape placed on the end of each piece to make the connection tighter.
Step 5: And More
Center the frame on the cut fabric. Use a ruler to measure around
the outside edges making sure the frame is centered on the fabric
Fold each corner and slip the folded corner under the edge of the
frame with out moving the frame out of center.
On the long side of the frame fold the cloth edge over about ½ inch and then fold a second time (double fold). The fabric should line up in the center line of the PVC on the bottom side of frame
Attach one screw through the fabric at the mid point of the PVC
making sure that the screw penetrates all layers of fabric.
WARNING: STOP DRILLING AS SOON AS THE SCREWS ARE FLUSH WITH THE FABRIC TO PREVENT STRIPPING THE PVC!
IMPORTANT: IT IS EXTREAMLY IMPORTANT THAT YOU PLACE SCREW HEADS NEXT TO THE EDGE OF FABRIC. THIS PREVENTS A FABRIC LIP THAT A DOG CAN GRIP AND CHEW WITH HIS TEETH.
HINT: A MAGNITIZED DRILL BIT HELPS WITH ONE MAN ASSEMBLY.
Add a total of about 7 to 9 screws (depending on the size of the
cot you are making) on this one side to secure fabric to PVC.
On opposite side of cot stretch fabric by pulling tightly. Add first screw at midpoint, then add the final screws evenly spaced.
Repeat steps 6 through 9 on the short sides of cot.
Set the frame on a level surface. If the frame is not square(wobbles) lay the frame on its’ side and face the bottom. Twist the frame until it is square.
Add an additional screw on the back side to lock the corners to the rails as shown. This prevents the frame rail from turning which will cause the fabric to bottom out like a hammock and drag the ground.
Set the cot frame upright. Follow this method to get corner piece screws evenly spaced.
(Step 1) Add the first corner screws dead center of each corner top.
(Step 2) Now turn cot on its’ side and place a screw on each side of the corner pieces.
(Step 3) Now add 1 more screw evenly spaced between the first top screw and the side screw. You should end up with a total of 5 screws holding the fabric to each corner piece. See illustration for 3-step process. NOTE: IT IS EXTREAMLY IMPORTANT THAT YOU NOT LEAVE A FABRIC EDGE THAT A DOG CAN GET A GRIP ON WITH HIS TEETH. THE CORNERS ARE THE MOST LIKELY PLACE A DOG WILL BEGIN TO CHEW. PLACE SCREW HEADS NEXT TO THE EDGE OF FABRIC. DO NOT LEAVE A LIP OF FABRIC ON THE EDGE.
Step 15: Finished Product
Here's where all your hard work pays off!