- Ideas & How-Tos
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Treat your pup to a raised doghouse dish holder that places everything within easy reach.
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We sized and built our project to hold two Lowe's stainless-steel dog bowls, but you could easily customize this to fit your own bowls. When shopping for wood, choose straight boards—especially the 4' 1x6". This will make the seam in the middle of the project less noticeable. To build your own customized dog dish holder, follow these easy steps.
Using a miter saw, cut your 4' 1x6" into two 2' pieces. Align the two pieces along their long side and measure the combined width. Cut the 6' 1x2" into three pieces of that length. Lay the 1x6s on a flat surface to see which edges together produce the smallest gap at the seam. Then decide which surfaces look best and use painter's tape to hold the halves together with the ends flush. Flip them upside down and mark a line ¾" from each end.
Lay a 1x2 spanning two of the edge marks and trace lines marking its location. Then do the same for the other end. Mark both outside edges at the middle (12") and center a 1x2 on those marks with the help of a square. Trace both edges along the 1x2 to mark its location.
Measure the diameter of your dog bowls at the inside top (not including any lip around the top) and divide that number in half for the radius to set your compass. (No compass handy? A search through the storage container drawer in your kitchen may turn up a lid or container with roughly the diameter you need.) Center the point of the compass halfway between the cross-brace marks along the seam and draw two circles. Then remove the tape to separate the two 1x6s.
Clamp one 1x6" so that your jigsaw blade clears the surface beneath as you cut the half-circles. Repeat for the other 1x6" and sand the circles smooth.
Lay the two 1x6" pieces on your work surface with the marks for the 1x2s aligned and facing up. Lightly clamp the halves together. Predrill with a 3/32" drill bit and countersink each 1x2" to place two screws about 1" in from the outside edges and connected edges of the two 1x6" pieces. Then use the angle braces -- placed flush with the ends of the outside 1x2" boards -- as a guide to mark and drill pilot holes with an 11/64" drill bit.
Number the 1x2s at one end and place a corresponding number on one of the 1x6s where you traced the lines. Clamp the 1x2s to the 1x6s as you use the pilot holes as a guide to drill 3/8" into the 1x6s.
To avoid drilling too deep, measure the thickness of the 1x2", add 3/8", and wrap tape around the bit that distance from the tip. Stop drilling just as the tape reaches the surface.
Sand each part with 120-grit sandpaper except the face of the 1x2s with your identifying numbers and the two edges of the 1x6s that meet. Vacuum and wipe the surfaces clean. Then spray several light coats of Minwax spar urethane and allow to dry.
Lay the 1x6s side by side with the half-circles aligned and use #6x1" screws to screw (but not glue) the three 1x2s in place. Then attach the angle brackets to the outside 1x2s using #12x3/4" screws.
Work with a helper to support the dish holder against the doghouse at a height that's comfortable for your dog and mark the mounting hole locations on the doghouse. For short dogs, you may need to use a hacksaw to cut up to half off the length of the vertical legs of the brackets. At each mark, drill a 1/4" hole through the doghouse. From the outside, push ¼x1½" bolts through the angle bracket holes and the matching holes in the doghouse. Secure each bolt with a washer and nut. Then top off your best friend's dishes with food and drink. (And grab a treat for yourself as a reward for a job well done.)