Dog Dish Holder - white oak & black walnut

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Project by woodchips posted 12-07-2007 06:24 AM 3529 views 3 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, the other day my wife said to me, “dear we need something to keep Micah youngest) out of the dog food, since it is currently his favorite culinary delight. But she’s not too keen on the idea of him potentially chowing horse meat. So, i headed downstairs to my basement shop and looked around till i found some wood that seemed suitable, this was originally going to to be made from rock maple and walnut but there’s a long, and probably amusing for some of ya’ll, story there, which maybe I’ll get into later. Anyway, after I’d spent some time creating ideas of what the box would look like (chicken scratch on paper) and getting the wood milled to the right sizes, my wife said something to the effect of, “aren’t you done yet?” Of course I replied with what is probably the most common woodworkers reply, “yeah almost”, while in reality I was nothing of the sort. But it was this moment that she saw through the reply and graciously informed me that, “you better not be doing anything fancy” or something like that. I must have had an epiphany of sorts at that moment because I realized I could no longer just slap a plywood box together, it’s just not in me to do that sort of woodworking any longer. Please no one misunderstand me here, there is nothing wrong with slapping plywood together for a box, we all probably did that at one point in our woodworking experience but at some point each of us realized it was something we just couldn’t be satisfied with, especially if it’s for something important like the family dog. This was my first attempt at the box joint and before anybody starts praising it :) let me say that wood-filler/putty covers a multitude of sins. And heres a shot or two of the feet which can’t be seen too clearly but they are basically upside down pyramids with flat tops. I laminated a 5/8 piece of white oak inbetween two pieces of similarly sized walnut and got the look I was after.

Katie had been with us going on 8 years so in dog time that is middle aged, and I thought she could use something nice to eat from. Plus it does have the added benefit of keeping Micah out, which pleases my wife. After truth be told after the box was completed, she did rather like it and I’m sure that once Micah has grown out of his dogfood diet days, we will re-purpose the box for something else.

I’m going to include a few more shots of the box here to give ya’ll a couple of better glimpses of it.

and some beautiful grain up close

both the white oak and the walnut were reclaimed from a dumpster, both were awesome finds

All in all it was fun to build and I’ll defintely be doing more box jointed…well…boxes, I just gotta work on a way to do them with more precision on the ol tablesaw.

-- "Repetition is a leading cause of carelessness, and carelessness usually leads to injury"

19 comments so far

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 5282 days

#1 posted 12-07-2007 08:07 AM

That’s a good looking box Isaac! What method did you use to cut the box joints on the table saw?

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 5242 days

#2 posted 12-07-2007 02:29 PM

Thats nice. My dog would slobber all over it though! Just a heads up…your inserted photos are dead links…can’t see anything but a red “x”.


View DustyNewt's profile


690 posts in 5147 days

#3 posted 12-07-2007 02:51 PM

Excellent box. I love to do projects without pressure. Without expectations. I can no longer just slap wood together, either. I have to try stuff. Can your dog open and close it?

-- Peace in Wood ~

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5503 days

#4 posted 12-07-2007 04:27 PM

Really nice box, and story too. I want to see the photos that did not come through. Please post again!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View woodchips's profile


238 posts in 5249 days

#5 posted 12-07-2007 04:29 PM

David, sorry about the photos but everytime I checked they seemed to be up and doing fine, however the small size surprised me because i thought i had linked full size images. i’ll have to try that one again.

Dusty, yeah projects without pressure are the woodworkers ultimate dream, too bad they don’t come to us as often as we’d like them to. unfortunately my dog is not that talented, so we have to open it when Micahs not around and close it when he’s got that hungry gleem in his eyes that only dogfood seems to satisfy.

Dorje, unfortunately my “method” if it could even be called a method was lacking in any sort of sophistication, hence the need for a better method next time, one that produces results with slightly more accuracy. what i did was to make my marks for the joints with pencil, then i screwed a straight piece of 1/2×4 x 15 inch oak to my miter sled? (not even sure what its called, but that miter capable thing that comes with all stock tablesaws) anyway then i just visually lined up the marks on my wood and held it in place and ran it through the saw until i had the right cut out dimensions, at least pretty close since i finished dimensioning the slots with my chisels. and that was my method. and i’ve also just demonstrated my lack of woodworking knowledge, but i spose that’s how we grow right?

-- "Repetition is a leading cause of carelessness, and carelessness usually leads to injury"

View woodchips's profile


238 posts in 5249 days

#6 posted 12-07-2007 04:35 PM

sorry to everyone if the photos aren’t coming through, they are fine everytime i check the page but i will repost anyway with larger image sizes just as soon as i get some time. i’m finishing up the semester so dealing with final exams and research projects, etc. so as soon as all this is over i’ll repost with better pics.

thank you all for the compliments, i really enjoyed making it and i love the way it turned out.

-- "Repetition is a leading cause of carelessness, and carelessness usually leads to injury"

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 5247 days

#7 posted 12-07-2007 04:38 PM

Neat dog food dish. LOL I wonder what you’d build if you had horses? very well done.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5445 days

#8 posted 12-07-2007 06:51 PM

I was laughing as I read that you went to find the right wood … in my head I’m picturing a plywood box ;)
gotta love woodworkers!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View odie's profile


1692 posts in 5125 days

#9 posted 12-08-2007 04:31 AM

This story sounds very familar. Debbie was laughing, but she doesn’t see what we see when we want to please the little woman (and add some style). You most of captured the best side because I see a beautiful box. And I know boxes. If you are unhappy with this one….keep making boxes until you are happy with them.

-- Odie, Confucius say, "He who laughs at one's self is BUTT of joke". (my funny blog)

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 5377 days

#10 posted 12-08-2007 04:31 AM

Wonderful piece Isaac. Thanks for letting us get a peek.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 5351 days

#11 posted 12-08-2007 10:34 AM

That’s one Lucky Dog. Very nice looking box.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5445 days

#12 posted 12-08-2007 03:40 PM

Odie.. you reminded me of the shelves I had Rick put in the wall of my living room… I just wanted a recessed space (taking up room under the stairs that couldn’t be accessed from the other room)... just some shelves.. but they were done with lots of thought and time and they are so beautiful. My family, when they first say them said, “I don’t remember this being here…” – it looks like it was part of the original old house. Thanks Rick for the extra effort.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14192 posts in 5268 days

#13 posted 12-08-2007 06:23 PM

I like the way you centered the grain detail on the walnut above the handle. nice touch.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View woodchips's profile


238 posts in 5249 days

#14 posted 12-09-2007 04:22 AM

i’m not sure what the deal is with the picture links. the first one i linked to is a full size image and yet it still comes out very small and i’m not sure if anyone can see it at all. someone let me if you see this, thanks.

-- "Repetition is a leading cause of carelessness, and carelessness usually leads to injury"

View woodchips's profile


238 posts in 5249 days

#15 posted 12-09-2007 04:23 AM

dan, as much as i’d like to take credit for that little attention to detail “nice touch”, i really can’t as it was quite by accident, but i still appreciate your compliments.

-- "Repetition is a leading cause of carelessness, and carelessness usually leads to injury"

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