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In this morning’s post, I encouraged you to guess on what we were up to based on a few sample photos from our weekend project.
Did you guess correctly? It was a dog bowl stand for Colby!
For the last few years, Colby has been using two cute ceramic dog bowls that we’ve placed directly on the floor. As you can see in this photo, it’s seen better days. And one is also missing.
Ceramic has a tendency to break.
Enter our newest project. We picked up some stainless bowls from the pet store along with some pieces of wood from Lowe’s. I fell in love with both the grain and the hint of green in the wood (I’m blanking on the type), so we picked up a 24-inch plank along with a 36-inch long post for the legs.
Scott measured each leg to nine inches, then used the table saw to cut.
|Yes, that’s a tree in the background. Scott’s been after me for weeks to take the last evidence of the holidays down. I’m being lazy, mmkay?|
Next, it was time to precisely measure where each dog bowl would fit into the plank of wood. This was pretty simple. First, we turned the bowls upside down and set them on the plank to get a general idea of how it would look.
Then, Scott measured equal margins on all sides to ensure that both bowls would sit in the exact middle of the plank, along with an even gap in between.
Then, trace the outline of each bowl in the spot where it will go (we did this on the bottom side of the plank so as to not get pencil marks all over the top). But do not cut on this line!
Instead, draw a circle inside the first one so that the lip will have something to sit on (we eyeballed it). If you cut on the first line, the bowl will go right through the plank instead of hanging from it, which means a messy floor instead of a dog food stand.
Now that you’ve made room for the lip, it’s time to cut the hole for both bowls. Scott drilled a pilot hole to give our jigsaw a starting point.
Then, follow the inside circle that you drew with the jigsaw. It’s ok if the circle isn’t perfectly round; the bowl’s lip will cover it up.
Once you’ve finished your cuts, do a dry run by placing the bowls right side up in the holes. When we did ours, I realized that the holes were not as perfect as I’d like them to be. While they wouldn’t fall through the wood plank, they would shift around as Colby gets his grub on, which means the bowl’s movement will eventually expose a small bit of the hole underneath if pushed far enough. Not ideal, but I think I have a solution for it. We also did some light sanding on the holes to get rid of any splintering from the jigsaw blade.
Next, it’s time to screw the legs on. While I wanted to use liquid nails, Scott insisted on screws to fully secure the legs for many years to come… even with a big, hungry dog pushing against it. The only problem was that I wanted to keep the natural wood exposed rather than paint it, which meant no wood putty. No wood putty meant that we couldn’t just use long screws from the top plank downward. We would have to find another solution.
These double-ended screws (aka dowel screws) fit our needs. First, David helped us out by pre-drilling a pilot hole into each leg. He then removed the drill bit and replaced it with the screw, securing the screw into the leg. Easy.
To attach the leg to the wooden plank that would hold the bowls, we drilled more pilot holes into the plank. The idea here is to drill just far enough into the wood to help the leg screw into place, but not all the way through the plank so the joint appears seamless.
Scott got a little overzealous on one particular side. Oops. I think I have a plan to patch it up without making it too obvious.
As the legs were screwed into the top of the stand, we used a level to make sure that they would all be straight and prevent any wobbling later on.
Since this is our first time making, well, anything with legs, I’d be lying if I said that everything matched up perfectly flush and even. It didn’t, but I again have a plan to get things to look a little more smooth.
If you’re keeping track at home, that’s three different fixes I have to figure out before this project is over. Sure, I could hide all of these small imperfections from the blog if I wanted, but I think it’s important to show you both what works and what doesn’t. It’s a learning process for you and for me. But that didn’t stop us from giving our project a trial run with our pooch. I think he’s really going to enjoy all of Scott’s hard work.
Next for this dog stand: sanding, fixing, and finishing with a coat of poly to bring out the beauty of the wood grain. The poly will also protect the wood from the beating it will surely take as it functions as Colby’s dinner table. But that’s for another post. Until then, I’ll leave you with one more shot of our stopping point.