Wooden Dog Bowl Holder

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In this tutorial, I will show you how I made my dog's bowl holder. This is my first tutorial and was written for contest, but I missed the deadline due to translations - not a native speaker. Anyways I enjoyed making this holder, and I would not win any contest so here is my contribution.

I was struggling with all the noise my dog provided when eating - pushing a bowl around a room...
First I bought a bowl, that had a wide stand and a rubber on the bottom, so the dog wouldn`t push it around. And it worked! For about 6 months... then the rubber was so damaged, that it fell off and I was right at the beginning...

So a decision has been made... I need to make my dog a new bowl stand, that would fit into house I was moving in. It had to be modern and eye-friendly while still being easy to clean and maintain. I investigated plenty of DIY stands and made plans for a stand that was completely innovative - unique and made of massive wood.

Step 1: List of Tools / Materials

Here is the list of tools I used.

Tools:
-Band saw (you can use chainsaw and a steady hand instead)
-Drill press
-Fortsner drill
-Router
-Chainsaw
-Circular saw *optional*
-Random sander *optional*
-Planner *optional*
-Router circle jig *optional*

Materials:
-Straight pine log
-Clear epoxy resin
-Sanding paper
-Stainless steel dog bowls (I bought mine here: https://www.zooplus.de/shop/hunde/fressnapf/edelstahl/edelstahlnapf/137079)

Step 2: From Log to Flattened Base

First, I have to apologise, I did not take photos of this step. However, here is my approach.

I had some pine trees laying around my house which were cut about 2 years ago. Since my house look is wooden - pine - it should go well there. First I used a chainsaw to cut a piece, approximately 50 cm in length. The thickness of the log that I chose was about 5 cm more than the diameter of the bowls. My first wish was to keep the bark, but it later turned out to be a bad idea.

I used industrial bend saw to get two parallel cuts on the log. I set the base at the machine and used a 5x7x50cm straight piece of wood - which was used as a piece base. I used two screws to fix this wooden base down to a log - this base was pressed down the bend saw's base to make a straight cut. I made my first cut, which is now the bottom side (marked as cut 1 on picture). Then I removed the bolts, and used a fresh cut to machine base to make a second cut, parallel to first. I was quite happy with the cuts, as they were quite straight and parallel. I used a joiner to provide an even better and straighter surface, but this step can easily be skipped. You can proceed straight to sanding.

Step 3: Cut Holes

I've used a router and a circle jig that I made (similar to this one) to cut the outer diameter of the holes. I've cut about 5 mm deep - I needed a few runs to cut it (otherwise I would risk burning the wood). This carved circles will now be our guiding lines for drilling.

I've used Fresnel drill and the drill press was set up so it could go only to a certain depth. This way I removed most of the material for the holes quite easily. I first tried the 55 mm drill but it was too much so I switched to a 35 mm which did the job as expected. The bits that were left came down easily with the chisel. Now you're left with rough holes for bowls. Because I also wanted to put some epoxy resin for sealing the wood, a further sanding was needed to make the surface smoother. It is quite hard to apply epoxy over rough areas.


For this project I made some quick drill press tool. The tool did its job but I would advise caution - too much pressure can bend your tool or even damage it! I used a circular saw to cut the log to the appropriate size - it was larger before so I could guide the router easier.


The rough shape of the bowl is now done!

Step 4: Sanding and Applying Finish

The bark already came off and revealed some beautiful saturation of the wood. I sanded it a bit, but wanted to retain some texture. I've sanded the wood to 320 grit paper. Some time has passed since the beginning of he project and the wood cracked

By so far it has been some time and the wood cracked and bent a bit. There was no other solution then to put both sides to planner and I was back to the start.

That got me a piece of wood which was straight but contained few cracks, where water could easily do more damage. In the past i filled such cracks with epoxy and got desirable result. I used clear epoxy, so i can see the crack, but others prefer black one. You can buy a clear epoxy and taint it with ink black colour.
So about those cracks... Spend as much time investigating where this cracks go and make sure you put a duck tape to all sources of the cracks otherwise epoxy will pour out of those. After all those cracks are filled and epoxy is cured take a sander and make sure that surface is even so we can make a coat for next step.

I've mixed the epoxy again and applied it to the wood. The wood must be levelled so you could just pour the resin onto it and it will produce an even - about 0.5mm thick finish - it pours on the sides as well. First you must put some duck tape on the sides, to pour the epoxy to bottom. The resin should not pour onto sides in this step! If it does... sand it down to wood surface! Then move wood around and raise it a bit - so epoxy can pour to the floor (make sure to put some paper on floor!). There will be some air bubbles... you can put them out via heat gun! If this is done carefully this is your last step and it will produce an even finish on all wood surface.

Step 5: Final Thoughts

I'm really glad I used epoxy as a sealer. It is been regularly used every day and it didn't crack or show other bad signs of water, like it would with polyurethane. And there is literally water everywhere - when I replace the water, when my 15 months old son turns it over... There is more or less every time some water standing at the bottom of the wooden holes. The resin did it's job real well!

There is an improvement that would be vise.Some felt could be put in the hole that contains food bowl. It should take some more noise out - of dry food.

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