In this Instructable I will show you how I made an elevated dog feeding station using black walnut wood. The bowls have flat bottoms and no flange around the top so I couldn’t “drop” them into holes in the main surface board like you would if you have the other kind of bowls. This means my bowls simply sit on top of the main board. Still gets the job done and is easier to make!
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Step 1: Selecting Materials
In this project I used black walnut wood. It looks great and I have a lot of it right now! But any wood could be substituted for the build. I wouldn’t use MDF because this project will get wet and the MDF will disintegrate eventually.
The bowls I used don’t have a flange around the top and are tapered bigger at the bottom as opposed to the top so the bowls actually just sit on the board instead of dropping through a hole. More on that later!
Step 2: Tools Needed
1. Table saw
2. Circular saw
3. Bench sander or belt sander
4. Palm sander
5. Various sand papers
6. Electric drill w/bits and drivers
7. 2 1/2 inch #10 wood screws (4)
8. Mineral oil
Step 3: Cutting the Pieces
To make the legs I used the table saw to trim the bark off the walnut slab while making sure to keep the new edges parallel to each other to make an 8 inch wide, 1 1/2 inch thick board. Both legs are different lengths due to the irregular shape of the live edge slab top piece (that the bowls will sit on). I also cut the front edge of these legs at about an 80 degree angle just to give them some visual interest.
I also cut two pieces from the same board at 1 1/2 inches square and about 6 inches long that will screw into the top board from underneath. The legs will then be screwed to these pieces.
The top board I just trimmed a little to make it somewhat rectangular.
Step 4: Preparing for Assembly
Now it’s time to sand like crazy! I started with the bench sander using 80 grit to remove all the rough stuff and also to round over all the sharp corners and edges.
At this time I also chose which sides of the pieces had the nicest look and made small pencil marks to denote them so when it all gets put together the nicest sides are facing out.
Then sand through the grits to wherever your ready go stop. I stopped at 120 grit using the palm sander. This is enough to reveal the grain quite a bit but won’t be mirror like. Now the pieces are ready to have the screw holes predrilled into them.
Step 5: Assembly
Predrilling for screws protects the wood from splitting. I used a 1/8 drill bit to make the holes.
Drill two holes all the way through both of the leg support pieces. Then position them on the bottom of the big main piece where you want the legs to go. Keep in mind the legs will attach to these supports from the outside so leave enough room for the legs. Basically you want the supports to be on the inside so the all you see when looking at the feeding station is the “nice” side of the legs.
I used 2 1/2 inch wood screws. This length allowed the screw to pass through the entire support piece and into the main piece by about 1/2 inch.
Before screwing it all together spread wood glue generously on all surfaces to be attached. Glue combined with the screws will ensure a tight strong connection.
Step 6: Finishing the Project
After the drilling and gluing and everything is done, go over the whole project with your highest grit sandpaper again to clean it up and remove any last imperfections. The final step is to apply mineral oil to the entire project top and bottom inside and outside. The mineral oil is safe to injest so the dog can lick it (or eat the entire thing lol) and not be hurt from doing so. It’s the same finish I’d use for a cutting board. Food safe!
Well that’s it! Enjoy making this easy project as much as your dog will enjoy eating and drinking from it!
Thanks for checking out my Instructable! See you next time!
This short video shows everything I did to make this project. Enjoy!