Outdoor Dog Platform With Water Fountain

I wanted to make a platform for my dog similar to one that she loves to play on when she goes to daycare. I also wanted to include a water fountain because she loves to drink out of running water when outside.This is a very simple structure that I built with a very quick-and-dirty mindset. I'm pretty novice at woodworking, so I used this as an opportunity to try a few different techniques, and use some tools that I've been accumulating from birthdays and Christmases.

Supplies:

Lumber:

  • One 4x4x12
  • Three 2x4x8
  • Four 1x6x10

Tools & Supplies:

  • Miter Saw and/or Circular Saw
  • Drill
  • Jig Saw
  • Measuring Tape
  • Level
  • 2 in Nails
  • 3 in Deck Screws
  • One Large Planter Pot (~$5 at Walmart)
  • One Small Planter Pot (~$1 at Walmart)
  • Solar Fountain Pump ($10 on Amazon)
  • Tubing to fit Your Pump
  • Rocks
  • Bucket Lid (~$2 at Home Depot)
  • 100% Silicon Caulk

Optional:

  • Stepper Bit
  • Kreg Jig
  • Chalk Line
  • Router
  • Chicken Wire
  • Speed Square

Step 1: Assemble the Frame

First cut up your 4x4 into four 1-foot lengths, and four 2-foot lengths.

Then cut your 2x4s into ten 17 inch lengths. I then took my Kreg jig and drilled pocket holes into the 2x4s. This was my first time using the Kreg jig and I made the mistake on the first couple by drilling too far (using most of the Kreg bit), you don't need to go too far in. If you don't have a pocket hole jig, you can use normal drill bit, or use another way to attach the boards. From there all you have to do is connect to tops of the 4x4s with four of the 17 inch 2x4s. Screw 2x4s flush with the tops of the smaller 4x4s, and use a level to find where to attach the other end to the longer 4x4s.

Next, cut your 1x6 boards into lengths about 26 inches long. I cut mine to 24 inches and then wished I had left some extra room. You can always cut more off later!

Use two nails in each side of the boards and attach them to each step of the structure as well as the two shorter "walls". Feel free to snap a chalk line and trim your boards to your desired overhang at this point.

Step 2: Water Fountain

Now put your large planter pot on the ground next to one of your steps and figure out the level of the wood. Measure the inner diameter of your pot at that height.

Next, find the center of your step, and drive a nail halfway in at that point. Loop some string around the nail and mark the radius of your pot on the string. Use a pencil or sharpie and trace the circumference of the pot using the string and the nail.

Use your jig saw to cut out that circle and place your pot inside to make sure it fits.

Use your stepper bit and cut out an appropriate hole in your large pot for your pump cord, and in your smaller pot for your pump hose. Caulk around these holes.

I put some chicken wire in the bottom of the larger pot as filler, but this is optional. Then drill some holes in your bucket lid and jam it down into the pot to make a shelf.

Run your fountain pump hose up through the bucket lid, and into your smaller pot.

Step 3:

After your caulk dries, fill the bucket with rocks, fill with water, and connect the solar panel to the pump.

My solar panel came with two little tabs that are meant to angle it on but the actually fit perfectly in the terrible gaps I left between the boards.

And that's it! From here you can customize it however you like. I recommend sanding and painting or staining and then applying the weatherproof finish of your choice (dog safe if they chew it). I routed some of the sharper edges on mine, but you don't have to.

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