Friday, December 19

Puppy Pad

I threatened to make a doghouse for Johnders way back when we first got him for a couple of reasons. I thought it would be fun to try, not having much in the way of carpentry training, and also because he used the cheap plastic one we bought as a toy and never went inside it.

I started with the idea of a green roof but as summer progressed I saw that he had a favorite spot in the shade and a green roof wouldn't work if I put it nearby. My next idea was to spend as little money as possible. I didn't know if he would actually use it and wood is expensive. So I went to our neighborhood listserv and asked for wood pallets, thinking I could break a few apart and use the parts. Somebody offered 2 right away, I picked them up, put them in the garage and there they stayed until a month or so ago. Tara was nesting by cooking. This was my way of nesting, I guess.

Anyway, its all but finished and Johnders loves it. I did some things out of sequence so it didn't work out exactly like I'd hoped but I think he is very happy.

I ended up putting a pallet on the bottom and a pallet on the top and support posts on the corners. I'm not good at geometry so my diagonal cuts on the support posts don't match the slope of the roof. I intended - to a degree, succeeded - to stuff the pallets with hay. I should have done that before I attached the plywood.
It was fun to see Johnders take right to this thing. Look at the pictures, he came right over and sat down before I put in the floor.
So its a roof, a floor, 2" of wheatstraw in the roof and floor, and a pile of hay in and around it. My next step is to use some plexiglass for sides. I decided plexi b/c Johnders loves to see the action. He's interested in anthing that moves. If I use plexi I can create a windbreak and he can see what's going on. I hope I can make it work.

What have I learned?
  • I need a circular saw, I've done all cutting with a standard hand saw and that sucks, especially when cutting plywood sheets!
  • Johnders loves to be in the middle and he loves wood. He would take every piece I dropped and walk of with it, gnaw on it until I dropped another piece at which point he would come take that piece and go gnaw on it.
  • Gather all materials before you start. Not having parts made me finish things in a bad sequence.
    If I had had the hay I would have remembered to stuff the pallets before I put the floor down.
  • Reevaluate at each step. Since I didn't have a complete plan, since I'm not a carpenter, since my geometry sucks, I really needed to take a step back at each point to see what I should or could do next.
  • Get some geometry tutoring.
Next project, bookcase for my office...
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