How to explore your inner woodworker — so you can pamper your pet

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(BPT) - If you enjoy building with wood, why not put your talents to work to spoil your four-legged friend? It’s easier than you think to make something special that will get your favorite pet purring — or their tail wagging!

Need ideas? HGTV personality and skilled carpenter Darren Keefe uses supplies from 84 Lumber to create a combination window seat/daybed with a pull-out doggy trundle bed, transforming an underused space into a fun, cozy nook.

“My client’s canines are part of their family,” said Keefe. “Their dogs are usually at their feet after a long workday, so they gave me a challenge: create a dog bed that’s easily accessible but doesn’t sacrifice interior design. Luckily, there were spaces to the left and right of the fireplace perfect for window seats, a lower bookshelf and concealed dog beds. However, you can easily tackle a standalone version with a couple of tweaks.”

Watch Keefe’s video to see his entire process, from initial sketch through the finished project.

Materials List:

Birch plywood
1” X 2” poplar
18-gauge brad nails
Wood glue
Wood filler
Sanding pads
Pocket screws
2” directional casters
Caulk
Paint

Tools:

Pencil
Measuring tape
Circular saw
Miter saw (optional)
Speed square
Palm sander or sanding block

Step 1: Use pocket screws to join 3/4” birch plywood, milled down to dimensions with a circular saw. Match the existing baseboard at 10” and use 1.5” poplar for the face frame and trim work.

Pro Tip: If you don’t have a large table to work on, purchase a piece of 4’X8’ foam board insulation, lay flat and use as cutting surface. The plywood will have an even surface to rest on, mitigating any pinch of the saw blade in the milling process. Set the plunge depth on the circular saw slightly past 3/4” and the blade will pass through seamlessly without bottoming out.

Step 2: Plywood on its own will naturally sag past 36”, especially with weight on it, so add column-like supports as part of the design. These act as separators for the bookshelf. Then double the plywood at the sides of the structure and top. The face frame will also help with rigidity. If possible, anchor the piece on the existing wall.

Step 3: Use an 18-gauge cordless nail gun and glue to attach the popular face frame, following with wood filler to conceal nail holes.

Step 4: For the doggy bed platform, mill a simple rectangle from 3/4” birch plywood (the dog’s size will inform the overall day bed size). Attach fixed directional wheels to the bottom, allowing the bed to move in and out of its pocket (if you have a smaller dog, drawer slides will work).

Step 5: Frame sides with poplar and use the 10” baseboard as the face of the doggy day bed, allowing it to camouflage itself as part of the existing baseboard. Fill nail holes, then sand, caulk all seams and paint. Finally, add vertical kick-down door stops to anchor the bed so Fido can’t use it as a skateboard.

“After the client picked a fabric, I had a seamstress sew cushions for the window seats and dog beds,” Keefe noted.

If you don’t have space for a doggy trundle bed, here are additional fun project ideas:

Your best friend's house

Whether you get a kit, follow a template or create your own design, there are many different ways to build your own doghouse. Make sure your doghouse has a floor, and that the structure is raised off the ground to keep it snug and dry. Treated wood is best for the base and floor, as it helps resist moisture. Also, provide more ventilation aside from just the door to keep air flowing in hot weather and to prevent mold.

A perch with a view

Every feline loves to sit and look out the window. Creating a shelf or tray at or just below your windowsill for kitty's daily birdwatching session is a very simple project. All you need is a flat piece of wood and shelf mounting brackets. Make sure the wood is big enough for your pet to stretch out.

Ready to get started? Visit 84Lumber.com or your nearest location so their experts can help you select materials you'll need for your project.

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