Introduction: Dog Washing Station
Give your dog the attention it deserves with a dedicated dog washing station! With a few off-the-shelf hardware store parts and a classy fixture by Moen, you can keep your dog clean and add a nice accent to your home.
I made this project with some basic woodworking tools, some plumbing fittings, and garden hoses for water supply and drainage. It has the added bonus of using the drain water to keep your plants healthy while you’re under state-imposed water restrictions!
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Step 1: Tools & Materials
- Weymouth brushed nickel two-handle tub filler with hand shower by Moen. This fixture fits the project stylistically, and the hand shower attachment makes washing a dog an easy task.
- Table saw (or circular saw)
- Hand drill
- Band saw (or jigsaw)
- Nail gun (or hammer and finishing nails)
- Wood glue + clamps
- E-6000 Construction adhesive
- Teflon tape
- Pliers & crescent wrench
- 3/4” plywood (about 4’X4’)
- 1X6 redwood boards (about 27 linear feet)
- 2X4 lumber (about 24” total)
- 1 1/2" X 1 1/2" hardwood posts (four at 8" long)
- 30” Galvanized steel wash tub
- Strainer drain1” PVC elbow
- Male 1" to female 3/4" PVC adaptor
- 3" long 3/4" PVC pipe segment
- Female 3/4" to 3/4" male threaded PVC adaptor
- Female to female faucet thread to hose thread adaptor
- Male to male faucet thread to hose thread adaptor
- 3/4" threaded pipe cap
- Galvanized plumbing tape
- Two garden hoses
Step 2: Design
The design is pretty simple for this project. It consists of a plywood box with an open bottom (32 1/2" X 32 1/2" X 5 1/4") that's covered with redwood boards. There's a washtub in the center, and the fixture is placed at an angle in one of the corners.
The platform the wash tub sits on has wooden feet that give it about 3" of clear space underneath. This allows room to route the hoses. The Moen fixture I used for the project is a floor mounted tub filler with a hand shower attachment. The floor mounted feature allowed me to keep the piece low-profile since the tub filler and washtub can both be attached to a raised deck, and the hand shower attachment is essential for dog washing.
Step 3: Building the Platform
The platform is made of 3/4" plywood, and the dimensions are laid out on the PDF attached in this step. The drain hole is drilled in the center of the deck, and the two holes for the tub filler pipes are placed in the corner. The placement described in the PDF aims the faucet towards the center of the tub.
First, I cut the plywood pieces as shown in the PDF. With all the plywood pieces cut, I glued, clamped, and nailed the panels together. Once the nails are in, there's really no need to keep the clamps on.
With the box built, I measured and marked the hole centers on the top piece. Before drilling these holes, it's important to double-check the dimensions of your parts (the strainer drain and the fixture pipes). I used hole saws for the holes- With these, it's easy to get flush holes with a hand drill as opposed to paddle bits.
Step 4: Making a Wooden Clamp
The tub filler pipes need to be securely attached to the platform. The package comes with some heavy duty adjustable wall framing hardware, but it's overkill for a project this small. In the tight space I left for myself in the corner of the platform, I designed a wooden clamp to be attached to the underside.
The template provided in this step includes holes for the pipes and a 1/4" gap between the two parts of the clamp. The piece with the angled ends is screwed and glued to the underside of the platform, and the other two pieces are attached to it with screws. The screws hold the clamps in place, and when the pipes are inserted they can be tightened to keep the pipes securely in place.
I made this clamp out of a spare piece of 2X6 lumber. I used the template to drill the holes on the table saw, then used the chop saw and a jigsaw to make the other cuts. I made the clamps independent, but this could also be done without the perpendicular gap in the middle.
You can see in the 3rd photo in this step that there are two intersecting holes in my clamp. This is because I didn't measure properly when I drilled the holes the first time. The clamp still works fine, it only needs semicircular grooves that line up with the holes in the platform.
Step 5: Finishing the Deck
When the clamp was finished, I attached it to the underside of the deck so that all the holes lined up.
Next, I cut my finish boards down to size. These dimensions will differ depending on the size of the boards used to finish the plywood box. The important thing to remember is that the edges of the finish boards on top need to overlap the edges of the box so that they end up being flush with the faces of the finish boards on the sides.
For example, if my plywood box is 30" wide and my finish boards are 1/2" thick, my finish boards on top will need to be 31" long so that they overhang by 1/2" on each side.
With my boards cut to size, I glued the ugliest side of the boards, lined them up on the box, and used the nail gun to fix them to the box.
With all the boards glued and nailed. I flipped the box over and drilled the holes through the finish board- this part is easy because the holes in the plywood box are already there to align the drill.
Lastly, I attached the 1 1/2" square posts at the corners.
Step 6: Attach the Wash Tub
The next step was to attach the wash tub. First, I used a hole saw to drill a hole in its center the same size as my strainer drain. Next, I used a lot of silicone caulk around the hole in the center of the platform for an extra layer of protection against water.
With the wash tub in place, I used more caulk around the strainer drain gasket and around the hole in the washtub. Having applied all the caulk I would need, I inserted the strainer drain and tightened the nut on the underside of the platform.
Pro tip: WATER ALWAYS WINS. If you want to keep a project like this in good shape for years, best practice would be to remove the drain and reapply caulk about once a year to make sure no water was leaking out and rotting the wood.
Step 7: Assembling the Drain
I designed the project so that the drain would attach to a garden hose. That way, I could use the waste water to water my plants ( a big bonus in a drought!).
First, I applied a healthy dose of E-6000 to the metal nipple that comes with the strainer drain. E-6000 is waterproof and bonds to just about anything, so it seemed like a good choice for this application.
This nipple inserts into the 1" PVC elbow. The open end of the elbow gets the 1"-3/4" adaptor and the 3" long 3/4" PVC pipe inserts into this adaptor. The open end of the 3/4" PVC pipe then attaches to the threaded adaptor, and this adaptor later attaches to the hose adapter, and finally the garden hose.
This seems like an awful lot of parts to hook up a drain to a garden hose, but I had three guys at the hardware store brainstorming with me, and this seemed to be the best solution based on their inventory. In any case, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and this worked like a charm!
With my Frankenstein hose adaptor assembled, I put some Teflon tape around the threaded end of the drain nipple and screwed it securely into the end of the strainer drain with some channel locks.
When this was in place, I used some plumbing tape to keep the adaptor securely fastened to the underside of the platform. This is very important because any stress put on it by the garden hose could break the E-6000 seals I'm relying on to keep my floor dry!
Step 8: Assembling and Attaching the Tub Filler
The Moen Weymouth tub filler comes with everything you need to assemble it in the box and includes clear instructions. I assembled the entire fixture before inserting it into the pre-drilled holes in the corner of my platform. Thankfully, I properly measured everything before I drilled the holes, so the water pipes on the fixture fit perfectly.
Making sure the pipes were in the same location to ensure a level finished fixture, I tightened the screws on my wooden clamp to keep the fixture in place. This made for a very secure fit, so I had no worries about the fixture being stable.
I was planning on hooking up the water line to the kitchen faucet, so I only needed to use one of the water pipes for supply. I attached a female - female hose thread adaptor to the cold water pipe on the underside of the platform and added a cap to the end of the hot water pipe. This is an important step! If I hadn't added that cap, water would be coming pouring out of the pipe if I ever turned the hot water valve lever.
With all the plumbing fittings attached, I finished assembling the Moen Weymouth's hand shower attachment.
Step 9: Water in / Water Out
Finally, I attached the supply hose to my kitchen faucet, and routed the drain hose over the balcony to the plants downstairs. It's important to make sure that the supply faucet is securely attached to avoid spraying. It's also important to make sure that the end of the drain line is lower than its opening, because water flows down hill!
Step 10: A Clean Dog Is a Happy Dog
Finally, I played outside with Elsie and let her get as dirty as she wanted. The Dog Washing Station worked like a charm, Elsie didn't seem to mind a good wash too much, and the hand shower attachment made this chore a lot easier.
I'd love to hear if anyone has good ideas for a more elegant way to attach the drain to the garden hose, I have a feeling there's a much simpler way to do this part.