DIY Dog Crate/Standing Desk – Winter Break 2014

So, here’s the deal.

I didn’t fall off the planet, nor did I give up on the DIY stuff.

School started…and that’s all.  I basically had to decide to either spend time blogging or spend time planning, grading, and tutoring.  Since those things actually generate money, the blog had to be put on the back burner.

My New Year’s resolution is to make one post a week.  These will probably come out on Friday, since Friday’s are mine to do with what I wish.

Anyway…here’s what I built over Winter Break:


In order for Demi to fit into the crates that are available, I would have had to have a pony arena in my office.  She’s all legs, and it is recommended that a crate be large enough for a dog to turn around in comfortably.  So, we chose a corner in the office, and I began building.

Here is a very quick run down of the process along with some “note to self” commentary for those of you that like to laugh:

Step one:  Create the sliding doors and side panel.

I used the bars that were part of a gate system that we used when she was a puppy.  My grinder made quick cuts to make them the size I needed, and after some cutting, routing and lots and lots of measuring (measure five times, cut once), I ended up with this:


I used these clamp things  to wrap around the edges, along with some glue and some nails from my nail gun .  I let them sit for 24 hours before I took the clamp things (yes…that is my official term).

Note to self:  Make sure the surface that the object you are clamping and gluing together is level…cause you might end up with some wonky objects.

Step Two:  Assemble/Paint the walls and floor of crate

I used plywood for the walls against the original wall.  I thought about using the walls themselves, but the image of coming home with large holes in the sheetrock, dust everywhere and another trip to the emergency vet was not really appealing.  The floor is red oak tongue-and-groove that I had just enough of from my $150 BRILLIANT STEAL from Clark’s Hardwood this past summer.  I routed out grooves in the floor for the doors to slide back and forth on.


At this point in the process, I was able to talk John into actually helping me paint.  So, yes, John did almost all the painting (Benjamin Moore – La Paloma Gray).  Go back and read that again…cause that is probably the ONLY TIME he will ever help.  Why this time?  “It’s for Demi, so I will help.”

Note to self:  Projects go SO MUCH FASTER when you have a helper.  Consider finding an “intern” this summer to help me.

Step Three:  Figure out how the doors will slide back and forth

I decided to make sliding doors for this crate for a few reasons.  First of all, can you image the size hinges I would have had to install?  Second of all, I wanted the crate to be a place that Demi could go chill in (instead of using the sofa) when I’m home.  If the door is closed…she can’t really get inside.  Third of all, sliding doors don’t take up any real estate.  They both needed to slide to make cleaning the crate easier.  I basically could write three very long, painful posts on this process. I finally ended up with rails made of mahogany (very, very hard wood) from my BRILLIANT STEAL referenced above.


Step Four:  Level stuff out

With the slate floor that is anything but level, and some craftmanship issues, I began using scrap wood to make a level base for the countertop.  Again, another painful, long problem-solving extravaganza ensued.


Step Five:  Countertop and Shelves

I had the vision of floating shelves that went all the way to the ceiling to mirror the shelves I had built and installed on the other side of my office.  However, once I made the countertop and had it sitting on the crate, I realized I would not be able to reach the shelves.   The countertop is 52″ wide and 41″ deep with a height of 40″.   So shelves to the ceiling were nixed and I ended up with this:


After I made sure everything fit, I used this process to create a “concrete countertop.” I used the sealer that Ray (tile/countertop guy) recommends.


Step Six:  Figure out a place for the electrical cords.

I didn’t intend for the power outlet to be above the shelves, so I had to modify.  I cut a hole in the shelf near the outlet so I could use a power strip for more outlets. I had this GENIUS idea to make these “hooks” for the cords to wrap around.  Yes, more scrap wood used in this process.


Now to hide the cords and the power strip, I made a panel that fits nicely in the corner and you hardly notice it.


So there you have it!  A dog crate/standing desk!  I’ve decided to use this desk exclusively for my DIY projects, so I’m sure it will be covered in stuff soon.  But, here is one more look at my completed, finished dog crate/standing desk…minus the dog that will use it.


Last thing…yes the kitchen is complete.  I just haven’t had enough sunlight to take pictures that do it justice.  Perhaps next Friday…

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One comment on “DIY Dog Crate/Standing Desk – Winter Break 2014
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