My 1st project - Dog Crate Furniture

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Project by OldDogNewTricks posted 01-08-2021 02:31 PM 1157 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
My 1st project - Dog Crate Furniture
My 1st project - Dog Crate Furniture No picture No picture No picture No picture No picture
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So I made the plunge to get into woodworking over the Christmas break. My son is getting a dog, and I thought I would make a furniture dog crate (something a little nicer than 2×4’s). It’s my first project, and I hoped the dog wouldn’t mind if I messed it up a bit.

I did a walnut top and oak frame. My wife let me buy a table saw (Dewalt 7491RS) and a dewalt planer. My plan was to do a basic frame with a laminated walnut top glued on. I wanted to do mitered half-lap joinery (because I had neither the time nor equipment nor skill for anything else), and I would create mortised slots for steel tubes for the bars.

Here is the finished piece

Here is a closeup of the joinery:

When I read up on the tablesaw reviews I saw a lot of people talking about how poor the miter gauge was for the Dewalt table saw. I thought how bad can it be. I can tell you that when you need to cut precise miters it is pretty bad. I understand now the difference between a cabinet saw and a jobsite saw (stumpy numbs was right :-(

Unfortunately I don’t have the room for something better.

I did the mortises for the bars using dados (I got a dado blade set for the saw).

I made the mistake of precisely measuring and not leaving enough slack, so I spent 3 hours sanding by hand because I didn’t want to mess up and re-do the dados bigger. When I did the doors, I fixed that and made them slightly larger.

I laminated a board on the back to close off the dado’s and make them appear to be a sold mortise. Way easier than drilling out the mortise by hand or with a drill press (which I don’t have).

Doors were traditional half-lap joinery:

I don’t own a router.

i did the table top as a standard laminated table top, but I screwed up one of the biscuits (yes I broke down and bought a cheap Ryobi biscuit joiner. The joiner is okay, but the dust collection is horrible. Even though I had the wood planed at the lumber yard it warped by the time I got around to using it in the shop (just a few days). I had to build a sled to flatten the boards with the planer.

So I had this seam in the top. I sanded forever but didn’t quite get rid of all of the glue. So it isn’t the best:

All in all I think it was a great learning project.

I started the project December 28th, and finished it up on January 6th. I used 2 boards of Walnut that I had planed and joined at the lumber yard, and I used 4 boards of rough oak (4/4 by 6 by 8 foot). About 200 dollars in lumber. I used 1/2 inch tubular steel that I painted with a walnut colored spray paint, and I used 1/2 inch plywood for the back and top (both screwed and not glued so it could be replaced at some point in the future. Especially the floor if there are accidents enough to soil the wood.

I had to build myself a sled to join the oak on the table saw and router, but it worked pretty good. But it is a time suck. It can be done, but a joiner has to be a lot easier.

Here’s what the cat thought of it:

And the final picture with the dog:

Any feedback or suggestions on something I should have done differently?


10 comments so far

View EugdOT's profile


332 posts in 1764 days

#1 posted 01-08-2021 02:53 PM

Really nice work. Love the top

View Angelo13's profile


22 posts in 307 days

#2 posted 01-08-2021 03:17 PM

nicely done.

-- oops, I just learned something.

View JD77's profile


136 posts in 898 days

#3 posted 01-08-2021 04:24 PM

Nice project, welcome to the club. Every project has flaws and mistakes, you will always see yours, and nobody else ever will, even after you point them out.

View Bobsboxes's profile


1673 posts in 3872 days

#4 posted 01-08-2021 05:04 PM

Great looking dog house, nice work. Learn from each mistake and move on. Your pictures are right side up, welcome to lumberjocks.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View LesB's profile


3058 posts in 4652 days

#5 posted 01-09-2021 01:05 AM

Good job. Something tells me you are not exactly “new” to wood working.

Dog crates are handy for puppies to keep them out of mischief while everyone is sleeping. I made one to fit across a corner of the bedroom with the front forming a triangle between two walls. My dog seem to realize is was for her before we even put her in. Now 9 years later she still prefers to go sleep in it most of the time and the door was taken off a long time ago. That her in the pict.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Jamie's profile


103 posts in 1750 days

#6 posted 01-09-2021 03:26 AM

Excellent job on your first project. You will be hooked for sure after that success. I feel like I am now an intermediate after about 10 years of messing around. If I did it again, I would avoid buying a whole shop full of tools and first get a subscription to Finewoodworking online. You will learn so much and avoid so many mistakes and unnecessary purchases. Watch the project video series. Even if you don’t want to build that project you will learn a lot.

-- Jamie, Red Deer

View OldDogNewTricks's profile


17 posts in 252 days

#7 posted 01-09-2021 03:27 AM

Great looking dog house, nice work. Learn from each mistake and move on. Your pictures are right side up, welcome to lumberjocks.

- Bobsboxes

The biggest issue I had (other than working in the 30 degree garage) was trying to get 90 degree miters perfect enough not to show the gaps.

I also ended up doing the frame glue-up twice. The first time in the garage the glue didn’t take. I ended up taking the whole thing into the kitchen and gluing it up on my kitchen table (my wife was unhappy :-)


View splinterpicker's profile


74 posts in 1361 days

#8 posted 01-09-2021 02:26 PM

Nice work! I’d never have guessed that this was your first project if you didn’t mention it.

View Oldtool's profile


3309 posts in 3399 days

#9 posted 01-09-2021 09:46 PM

Very nice work, looks great, first project or not. Don’t get discouraged with the table saw, making a sled and using that in lieu of a miter gauge is going to be more accurate.
Have fun with the new toys, that’s what woodworking is all about.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View murrayintokyo's profile


54 posts in 1895 days

#10 posted 01-22-2021 10:43 PM

I wish my first project looked as good! well done!

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