Scout's Palace
March 24, 2013

So, Scout has used a little cat carrier for years as her kennel and loved it. But her back is not great and she was starting to balk at having to duck into it to go in. (She could stand inside, but the doorway was short.)

The real problem ... is that kennels are ugly ... and this needed to go in the living room. I've seen some kennel-tables for sale, but they seem to be $200-$300 and they really don't match our decor at ALL. So I decided to make my own. I didn't think about doing a step-by-step originally, so I don't have a ton of pictures, but several folks on Twitter asked, so I'll do my best to describe it.

First off, I snagged this kennel from Amazon. (Not an affiliate link.) So that's about $30. Then I picked up 2 packs of 4' wainscoting from Lowes and 2 square lengths of poplar.

Materials

I measured the exterior of the kennel longwise, making sure to find the longest spot. This kennel has some small protrusions and if this was going to work, I had to make sure I took that into account as well. To make sure I'd made this with enough clearance, I added another 1/4" to length. I measured the back of the kennel the same way.

I measured the height the same way as well. I wanted those poles to be a tad taller than the kennel itself. The idea is that you'll have four square poles on the inside of the structure, boards on the outside creating the wall and then a "ceiling" or tabletop that rests on top of the poles with the sideboards covering up its edge.

So, after measuring the kennel height, I cut the square poplar poles. The next step was to cut at least 4 of the long side pieces and two of the short side (the back). Don't think about the table top just yet.

If you've not worked with wood much, this next part is tricky and requires patience and probably a little help to keep things balanced as you work.

On a level surface, lay two of the poles down. Take one of the pieces of wainscoting, square it up carefully with the edge of the pole and the bottom of the pole and drill a pilot hole through wainscoting and into the pole. You MUST drill a pilot hole first or your wainscoting piece will split and crack. Then screw the wainscoting into the pole. It's probably moved now, so square it up again ... and then square up the other side with the other pole. Drill a pilot hole and screw that side into that pole. 

Repeat with another long wainscoting piece and the other two poles.

Now it's tricky. Stand both of those structures up - if you have a friend who can hold them steady, that's even better. Take one of the back pieces and square it up with one of the structures. Drill a pilot hole and then screw that piece in. Do the same with the other side and the other structure. At this point, it's VERY unstable as it will pivot around those screws. The next step will stabilize things.

Now, the wainscoting I bought is tongue-in-groove which means that I slid the next piece into the first piece. Drill pilot holes (just like before, just one screw on each end) and screw that in. Do the same on the second long side and then the same on the back. 

The structure is mostly stable at this point.

Partial Structure

Now, for the third level, I did not screw in one long side and the back piece. Depending on how you cut the boards, you can slide this piece in and out, creating a "window" that can be opened or closed for ventilation (see the last picture below). Or, you can continue with the pilot holes and screwing in the wainscoting. For the fourth board on each side, I screwed those boards in.

At this point, I got a large piece of kraft paper and made a pattern of the top, paying special care to keep the back of the table as accurate as I could. Then I traced that pattern onto a piece of 1" thick plywood that I had in the garage. 

Next, I placed the plywood on the structure and squared it up, drilled a pilot hole through the plywood and into the poplar pole in each corner, screwed it in, countersinking the screw. (If you're not a woodworker, that just means getting the screw's head part way down so it's not raised above the plywood.)

After that, I cut two more long sides and one back side. I slid each one into place, then took a pencil and drew a line to see where to cut. I wanted the plywood dropped down into the sides of the table rather than on top. After that was cut, again with the pilot holes and screwing those planks in.

Sand it until it's nice and smooth, fill in any gaps with a stainable wood putty and then, last up - a couple of coats of stain. And voila! Kennel table!

Scout seems quite happy with it. It cost about $60 - half of that wood and half of that the new kennel itself. The table is stained to match our decor and the wainscoting is a nice match to our style as well. (The pictures don't show it well - bad lighting, but the colour of the stain matches that bit of wood on the wall to the left - it's just got some more gloss on it than the wall and reflected light enough to make it look white instead of stained.)

kennel table
kennel table

Posted by Red Monkey at March 24, 2013 6:46 PM | hobbies | | StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble |

 

Tara R. said:

That's very nice. You could start your own cottage (or kennel) industry if you ever decided to quit the rat race and work from home.

March 25, 2013 8:14 AM

 

Jodi said:

OH WOW! I LOVE!!!!!!! Very creative, and its perfect!! With our guys having a crate was and is like having another room. I am thankful they dont use them anymore. I couldnt imagine.
BRAVO!!!!!

!!!!(a few extras to express myself ya know)

March 25, 2013 5:02 PM
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