In the further adventures of Mrs. Fickbonne Learns About Carpentry, I made a thing for my pupper!
Strider is getting on in years, and his hips and back are starting to hurt. Poor little guy. Apparently, leaning all the way down to the floor to eat and drink is hard on an old dog’s back.
It’s hard to get him veterinary care regularly because of his behavioral issues, so I’m all about the preventative measures. (Don’t worry, our vet makes house calls and he’s wonderful.)
So I decided to build a stand for his bowls. An elevated canine feeding station, if you will.
Cute, right? Here’s how I did it!
- A recycled wooden pallet (there are thousands on Craigslist)
- Assorted screws and nails
- Jigsaw (special thanks to Brock for loaning me his!)
- Drill with boring spade, hole saw, or dremel attachment (you just need something to make a big hole)
- Saw of your choice (I used a handheld circular saw but in hindsight a reciprocating saw might have been better)
- Dog bowls with rims (I just used the bowls we got for Strider at Petco years ago)
- Orbital sander
- First, build your basic platform. Remove boards from one side of the pallet and nail or screw them in between the boards at the other end of the pallet. If you look at the picture above, I chose the side that had sort of natural “feet” on the bottom of it. You’ll also noticed I used kind of grubby nails and screws from the Garage of Wonders. I wanted that DIY, industrial look… which wasn’t that hard given my carpentry skills.
- Next, flip the bowls upside down and use them to trace circles on the platform where you want them to go. Make sure you have enough room between them and on the sides for the pallet boards to hold together.
- Cut off the excess pallet with your circular or reciprocating saw. How much? Dunno! Eyeball it, fool. I certainly did.
- Put your hole-making attachment on the drill. I used a boring spade, which comes standard with most drill bit sets, and it worked fine. Drill a hole in the middle of each circle.
- Make sure to have your dog hold down the electrical cord while you’re working with power tools. For safety, of course. Exhibit A:
- Jigsaw time! Use your starter hole to… start the bigger hole you’ll be cutting with the jigsaw. DO NOT CUT ALONG THE LINE. Leave yourself about a quarter inch of space between the line you traced and the cut. Don’t worry if the holes are a little rough at first.
- Oh no, a piece of the middle board fell off because it was no longer attached to anything and also PHYSICS! Good thing you have a whole pallet of scrap wood to work with. Flip your platform over and use a bit of scrap wood to reattach the middle piece to the boards around it with some short screws. Good job. You’re doing great.
- Once your holes are cut, see if the bowls fit! They should fit fairly snugly, with their rims resting on the boards. If they don’t, use your jigsaw and sander to widen the holes gradually until the bowls fit. Don’t go overboard or you’ll have to start all over. And don’t worry if the holes are perfect, because the bowls will cover the edges of the holes.
- Once the holes are the right size, take your orbital sander and sand down the edges and surfaces of the boards. Don’t want your pup getting a splinter, do you? Don’t sand too much, as that will get rid of that old-timey pallet board aesthetic you’re going for.
Make sense? Really? Wow, because I had no idea what I was doing. Anyway, here’s how it turned out!
Strider was VERY resentful of me messing with his food bowls. They’re raised above the floor only a little bit right now. Soon, I’ll add bigger feet to them so they’re a more comfortable height for my old doggo. But in the meantime, I’ll let him just get used to the difference.
Still waiting for him to say thank you. What an ungrateful wretch.