Intro: Goat Stand
My wife needed a goat milking stand.
This was a simple project - it took 2..3 hours. I used scrap material for everything.
Step 1: Plans
All dimensions on the plan are nominal. She wanted the base to be lower to make it easy for the goats to get onto the stand, and she was willing to sit lower.
The opening for the goat's neck depends on your goats. We will handle how to figure out where to put it when we get there.
The important things to measure for your goats are how long their torsos are, and add 6..12 inches. This will give them a base long enough to stand on.
The width should be as wide as the goats, but not much more. Most goats feel comfortable if they can touch the sides.
Step 2: Building the Base
First step is building the base.
The first thing to decide is do you want a mitre joint (both cut at 45 degrees), or a butt joint (easier). I used a gusset for strength; it does not matter if you cut the gusset into a triangle or a square. They both work.
The most important thing (in general) is to make the base square - a rectangle, not a trapezoid. (I know - it is only a goat milking stand, but it always pays to do a good job.) One reason is the base will have a top of plywood or OSB, and easiest to cut it as a rectangle....
The easiest way to make sure the base is square is to use a workbench with square (90-degree) corners. Use the table corners as a guide. (We use solid core tables on a good base.) The best way to check if something is square (assuming the opposite sides are the same length) is to measure the two diagonals. If the diagonals are the same length, the thing is square.
On the gusset: you need a minimum of two screws into each 2x4. You should also put two screws into the butt joint itself. I prefer screws because they are easier than nails to both put in and remove. YMMV
Step 3: Finished Base
You will use the base with the gussets on the bottom.
The notches in the 2x4 don't matter. This was the way the scrap was. There is enough "meat" left in the 2x4s at the notch they did not concern me. The goats weight less than what the 2x4s will hold. (Now if it were a cow.....)
Step 4: Attaching the Legs
Attaching the legs is straight-forward. Mark on the legs where they will be on the base, to set the height of the completed base.
In my case, I wanted the bottom of the base to be 12 inches. The base height 2x4 is 3.5 inches, so I added them to get (12 + 3.5 = 15.5 inches). I put a line 15.5 inches from the end of each leg.
Put two legs on the workbench with the marked height lines up, then the base. The top of the base should be at the line on the leg. The legs are at the front and back of the base (eg at the goats head and tail). Make sure the leg is 90 degrees from the base. Screw through the base corner into the leg. Use 2.5" screws. Three (3) screws. Do both legs.
Repeat the process for the other two legs and the other side of the base.
Always put the three (3) screws in a triangle for greatest strength.
Put three (3) screws through the legs into the base from the "outside" of the legs. This way, you have screws going from the base into the legs, and from the legs into the base.
If you want to make the legs really beefy, use two 3/8" carriage bolts instead. If this was for a cow....
If you compare the picture of the base with the four legs (on this page) to the completed picture, you will notice the two legs (picture on this page) on one side are the same, but different to the other side. I ended up swapping legs on one side to the front legs matched, and the back legs matched. See next page....
Step 5: The Neck Jig
The goat's neck needs to be gently held while milking.
I took a 1x4 and put it on the ground next to a goat. It helps to have someone hold the goat still. Mark the top and the bottom of the goat's neck. Remember the goat will be raising and lowering her head, so you need a longer notch.
You need two 1x4's about 12" longer from the bottom of the base to the top of the legs.
The markings on the 1x4 are in the wrong place, because the bottom of the 1x4 will be 4 inches lower than when you had it resting on the ground. The 1x4 is even with the bottom of the base (3.5") and the base will have a "deck" of 1/2" OSB or plywood. (3/4" plywood works too, but this is not a critical measurement.) Move your marks on the 1x4 (3.5 + 0.5 = 4") up. Draw a line length-ways on the 1x4 between your marks. Repeat for the other 1x4. They will be mirror-images. Round the corners of the drawn notch, cut the notches, then sand the edges round.
Put a 2x4 across the top of the legs in the front (or between the legs - does not matter). Find the center-line of the end of the base and the 2x4 you just added. Put one of the 1x4's, bottom even with the base, notch side on the center-line, and screw into the base and top 2x4. Look at the pictures. This would be the "plain" (not black) 1x4.
Attach another 1x4 (or a 2x4) across, from one leg to the other, below the notch. You will need to use 1x4 scrap as a "spacer" on both ends to hold it out. It does not hurt to put a screw from the vertical neck-notch 1x4 into the horizontal board.
Drill a hole in the end of the other notch board. First, draw a line (3.5 / 2 = 1.75") up from the bottom and in the center of the 1x4. Second, draw a quarter circle on the notched side with the center of the quarter circle at the cross-point (see the drawing). Cut out the arc.
Put the notch board next to the fixed notched board. Drill a 1/4" hole through the cross-point through the 1x4 and base 2x4. Use a bolt with washers on both ends and a vibration nut or two nuts tightened to each other. The 1x4 should be able to move back and forth (against the fixed notch 1x4). See the pictures.
Step 6: Finished Stand
The only step left out is cutting a piece of OSB or plywood the dimensions of the base. A couple of screws are good, but don't go overboard. The board may need to be take off and washed.
The black plastic box is for feed. A goat will be calm(er) if you give her something to eat. Attach it to the cross-bar.
You may need a loop of rope to hold the neck jig closed.
Notice that the plans call for OSB or plywood on the sides. They are optional. Add them if the goat appears to be uncomfortable. The rear legs on the stand are useful to the goat to help her know where to go.
Remember sanitary practices when milking.