When TJ and I began dating we had two big dogs that had two separate cages as they were still being crate trained. As they grew, each of their cages became too small and we stopped putting them in there.
So, one day while we were complaining about the fact that we never use the kitchen table for anything but setting up our array of plants to sit in the sun. Other than plants, the only things that seemed to collect on it were junk mail and things we took away from Solomon.
So, with 200 pounds of dog in mind, we thought maybe we could combine the two, because if you remember we currently live in a trailer so space is a constant issue.
But I am truly grateful that our lack of storage space has caused us to be more efficient in our storage and gave us a more of a push to downsize.
We got rid of the behemoth of a kitchen table that we previously used and began constructing a new one.
We had acquired free lumber, which as just a bit of plywood and 2 x 4, and began measuring.
We found that 36″ – 40″gave our dogs adequate standing space without TJ having to stand on her tippy-toes to cut vegetables.
We measured the bed to I believe 5′ x 3′, which gave both pups the ability to lay with each other and cuddle up together, while not being forced to due to size restrictions.
To begin, we cut out 2 pieces plywood to the 5′ x 3′ specifications. Then, we cut these directly in half longways. The reason is so we could build this bed to be split due to the size and weight. We figured if we made the table/bed able to be split in half, it would be much easier to fit through doors and cut the weight in half
Months later, I am so glad we did that thing weighs a ton.
Then we cut 36″ planks of 2 x 4 for the sides. There were I believe 15 in total, but this only depends on what size gap you need between them, and ours could be decent sized, about 4 – 6″ since our dogs are a larger size.
Next, we layed the two halves of what would be the bottom. Then, we stood the plank up and made sure that the dogs wouldn’t be able to slip through, and fastened the 2 x 4’s along the edge of the plywood.
So this is what we had:
You can see the top and bottom are to the left and right of the structure in this photo, and that this is only the one half of the bed. Specifically, the backside that we have against the wall, opposite of the front side with the door.
So we did the exact same thing again but left a wide open hole for our door.
For the door, I just measured the height, width, and length of the hole had left in the front and built a square out of 2 x 4 the would fit into the box.
Then, I put 2 x 4 planks through the middle so it would stop the dogs from slipping out.
One issue that we ran into with building the door is the fact we ran out of our good 3″ screws and had made the impatient decision of just continuing with some nails.
Please don’t make this mistake, the hardware store is within 3 minutes driving distance from us and a pound of those screws are $2.99. We could have finished it properly.
So, we had the back finished, and the front built, and the door separate.
To attach it, we used some $1.00 hinges from Walmart.
- So now we had two large halves of a dog bed. To connect the two halves, we used small latches that we purchased for around $2.00. They are simple latches that hold the two halves together at Four points
The two bottom sides, and the two top sides.
This allowed us to unlatch these four points, and carry only half of the structure. Which really saves our backs, this thing would seriously not have been able to have been moved out of the house or from the location in the kitchen in which it now sits. This was a move I am proud of.
So, the last purchase was a small sliding lock, which we mounted to the door and the plywood on the top base. This allows us to shut the door and secure it.
Issues we had:
The only real issue we had was the door. However, we did end up building another door. One day Diesel was a little extra alert and snapped some of the nails straight through the wood, leaving a dangerous dangling monstrosity of 2 x 4 and nails.
So the new door is just a bit bigger, and it has been a huge improvement because it closes smoother, and is bigger so it is sturdier than the last one.
We were lucky enough to have acquired our lumber for free. So, fortunately, we had no cost there but I imagine buying it from a Rehome store or even a retail store couldn’t be undoable for most people, and would definitely be cheaper than purchasing some large breed dog beds.
So all around, we have a large and functional table and dog bed, for a total of around $10.
We could not have done this any other way, as our puppies grew the alternatives would have been a tremendous amount more than this, so we proved to ourselves that with a couple sloppy drawings and brainstorming sessions, we can save ourselves so much money just by building what we need by ourselves.
And I will be the first to admit some of it isn’t the prettiest, in fact, some of what I have created has been terrible, but it has either been functional or led to lessons in building for the future. But you shouldn’t care about aesthetics anyways.
This is practical for any of you who own multiple dogs, or large dogs. It allows them plenty of space to move and not feel cramped, and gave us a larger area to lay out our plants, which is always a benefit for us.
Plants make us pretty happy
Another useful mention is to use untreated lumber. We didn’t but like I mentioned it was free lumber, and beggars can’t be choosers.
Also, we ran into another issue in the coming months.
The fact our dogs will eat anything…
But we discovered a useful mixture that we sprayed on the wood, that was safe for the pups, had a pleasant smell, and deterred them from chewing on the wood. We will write a separate article about this, and I will link it here.