How to build an XXL dog house

Building a dog house seems to be an easy job at the first sight, but it isn’t. If we are talking about a medium to large size doghouse, the process can be quite complex because you have to build a frame to sustain the structure.

The request for this project came from one of my work colleague who asked me to build a doghouse for his “xxl” dog. After measuring the dog and anticipating his future dimensions, it turned out that the house has to be big:  90 cm (width) x 130 cm (length) x 115 cm (height).

The construction process is split in three parts. In the first part the focus is to build the frame, the second part is dedicated to the paneling, while the last part is about polishing and painting.

Frame structure

To build the frame I’ve followed a standard wood house plan. First I’ve created the bottom frame followed by the top one, joined them together and then finishing with the roof. The timber I’ve used was 4.5 cm x 3.5 cm thick, there is nothing special about it, this is what I had available. For joining the frame pieces I’ve used some simple wood screws, it’s quick and easy. I personally don’t like too much screws or other metal in the wood construction, so as you will see later, I’ll do my best to hide them as much as possible.

Here is the frame. The execution time is about ~1 – 1.5 hour.

wood dog house framedog house frame


Before start paneling the frame, I had to process all the lumbers and create a tongue and groove joint. To achieve this, I’ve used my router table with a tongue and groove knife.

tongue and groove jointtongue and groove joint

I was not satisfied with result, so I’ve tried to do some tricks in order to make the joint line more visible. I haven’t had any special knife dedicated to this job, so I had to improvise. After I’ve finished the tongue and groove joint I’ve switched to a V-groove router bit and processed  all the timbers again.

Once I’ve finished with the joints, I’ve cut all the pieces carefully to the same lengths ( to achieve this I’ve  mounted a stopper to the circular saw).

2015-09-05 15.37.392015-09-05 15.38.19

Paneling the frame

To panel the frame I’ve used some wood screws, but I’ve tried to put the screws the closest possible to the end because the edges will be covered so hopefully they won’t be visible.

Painting & Staining

Before start painting, I took all apart (except the frame), this way it’s easier to paint and you can apply uniform paint on both sides.

wood dog house2015-09-09 20.13.55

In order to hide the corner joints, I’ve decided to cut a piece of wood to cover the corner. This way I could hide the screws used to fix the panel wood.

2015-09-06 16.39.49 2015-09-06 16.40.02

I’m pretty sure that everybody knows how to cut a  corner covers wood, but if not, here is a picture which tells everything. Basically, you have to adjust the circular saw to the desired height and apply two cuts which will remove the unneeded materials. If you use a square material, like I did, you have to calibrate the circular saw height and thickness just once, otherwise you have to do it twice.

wood corner cover

I decided to use two colors, so I stained the corner cover wood using a light oak stain.

staining the wood

After painting, I’ve finished with the roof and mounted a classic red shingless (~ 1.8 m/2 needed).

xxl dog house wood dog house

Name inscription

For the name inscription I had two choices.

  • Option1: to carve the name using a hand router
  • Option 2: to cut out each letter individually.

My choice was option1. I was already familiar with this process so I could do it relatively easy. You can find more details about the inscription process in my next post.

After putting all together  here is the final result!

dog house

How to build a Lattice Fence for Gazebo

Hi All ! This post is about the process of building a lattice fence for a gazebo. I’ll show you in a few steps how I’ve built the lattice fence for my gazebo from my yard.

I assume that everybody has seen a lattice fence already, but it’s important to remark that they are different. Some of them has an overlapping wood structure, while others can be a bit more complex and have an interleaving wood  structure like the one from the below  picture.

Interleaving structure
lattice fence
Overlapping structure
 Building the jig

The goal of the project is clear now, so let’s get to work!

In order to  make the interleaving wood structure I had to build a jig first. The purpose of this jig is to ensure  that I’m able to do some perpendicular and equidistant cuts with the hand router in a repeatable manner. The distance between the cuts (grove) must be eqaul otherwise everything will fall off.

The jig is made of polywood and has a fix and a mobile part. The bottom limiter is fixed while the top limiter is mobile so you can slide up or down to secure the timber before start cutting.

router jig
lattice jig
2015-08-21 20.10.46
lattice jig with router
How to use the jig
The first step is to introduce the timber (~1.8-20 mm thick) into the jig from left to rigth, than adjust the upper limiter and tighten the screws. Once the timber is secured, use your hand router and make the first perpendicular grove. The grove depth has to be set to the half thickness of the timber. For the second grove you have to loose the screws and move the timber from left to right until first grove overlaps with the grove on the jig (see the red line). You can use a small piece of wood (must fit the grove) and put it in the jig grove, this way you can ensure that the distance between the groves will be equal.  My jig is built to have an 8 cm distance between the groves which will result in a 8x8cm square after assemblying the parts.
Repease this steps over and over again until you run through the entire timber. Once you are done you should get something like this:
When you’ve completed all the timbers you have to cut some slices on the circular saw. Very important that the thickness of each slice has to be eqal with the size of the grove, otherwise your joint won’t fitt. I recommend to have a couple of test custs before cutting the proper timber to ensure that you are cutting the right size.
Assembling the lattice fence
This part is quite easy, you have to take all the pieces, a wood hammer and join the pieces together. In order to have a 45 degree lattice you have to twist a bit structure and then cut it properly.
lattice fence
Lattice fence with interleaving structures

Once the assmebling is finished you can either use some glue or samll nails to fix structure. My jonts were already thight so I’ve used some small nails to fix the structure.


Well, I’m not proud of this part, I still have a lot to learn about painting. If I would do next time I definitely do it different.

The mistake I did is that I’ve painted the structure after it was assembled. This way the joints will get more finishing paing and will be darker.

In order to avoid this I think you have to paint all the pieces first, let them dry and to assemble all togheter at the end.

Here is the final product. Except the painting part I’m quite happy with the result.

lattice fencelattice fence

How to build a rustic outdoor chair

Yellow! This is small project (roughly 2 afternoons) describing the steps of making a rustic outdoor chair.

Stock materials:

  • for the chair seating I’ve used just a 3,5 cm thick and 150 cm long pine lumber
  • for the legs selected a 4 piece of hornbeam wood (~ 5 cm thick) left over from my rustic swing project

Although this is a small project I’d like to split in two part. First one is dedicated to chair seating construction made of pine wood, while the second part is about the legs, mounting and finishing.

Chair seating

I started off with selecting three 50 cm long, 15cm wide and 3,5  cm thick pine lumber. The chair seating will be a 35cm diameter circle, so I had to glue together three pieced in order to get the right width. To have a tight and strong joint I’ve used the router table to  make the below joint ( I not sure if there is a name for this type of joint,but if you know the name please let me know):


After a couple of hours when the glue dried, I cut the circle on the bandsaw and then used the lathe to round the edge. I’ve also did some sanding while I had this the circle mounted on the lathe, it’s quite easy at this stage and you will get a nice and smooth surface.


Chair legs

The chair will have 3 legs (~ 50 cm) and 3 additional piece which will reinforce the legs. Once the pieces are selected based on thickness, I’ve used the lathe to round down the ends.

IMG_0820Photo 12.08.2015, 20 18 55

Note: the length of the legs have to be longer than the desired height of the chair. I’ll show you later how to cut them equal size.

Once I’ve finished with the legs I drilled some 25mm holes in the seating and assembled the legs. The angel between the leg and chair seating is 10 degree.

Photo 12.08.2015, 20 39 41Photo 12.08.2015, 20 54 42

Now I move to the final part when I cut the legs to have equal size.  The trick here is to manage cut the legs to be perfectly parallel with the seating. In order to achieve this I fixed my hand circular saw in the vice and adjusted to be parallel with some sort of table. This way when I rotate the chair upside down on the ‘table’ the legs will be cut off one by one to the exact size. I saw this technique when I visited a furniture factory a few months ago, so I’ve tried to adapt this idea to my needs.

Photo 14.08.2015, 18 10 45

And here we go, we have a rustic outdoor chair build in a few steps.

Photo 14.08.2015, 18 22 40

How to make a rustic swing

Hi Guys, this post it’s about building a rustic swing. The execution is quite simple, everybody can do it, you need just a couple of tools and in a couple of days you are done.

The request for this project comes from my wife, she was desperate to  have a swing in our yard. At the first glance I had in my mind a big rustic swing with a single seat so all the family could sit next to each other, BUT my wife had a different picture in her mind :). She wanted to have a swing with two separate seats, one seat for each kid.

Ok, let’s get to work.

stock materials – I had no idea what type of wood I should use so I’ve asked a couple of friends and I’ve ended up using a hornbeam wood ( I hope I’ve managed to get the right translation, it not check out this here)

rustic swing – green carpinus wood

Next thing I had to do is to pile off the wood (the wood has to be green!) followed by some sanding until I’ll get a nice and smooth texture.  After painting you will get an amazing surface.

After selecting the right pieces I’ve made the two sides (“legs”), basically this are some simple triangles fixed with some screws (12mm minimum). The height is 2.5 m.

rustic swing leg

The next paragraph is focused on building the seat.

I had the option to build the seat based on metal frame or to use a rustic wood for the frame. I’ve chosen  the second option and I’ve reused the remaining rustic wood to create a frame for the seat.

rustic swing – single seat

After the paint dried I’ve assembled all pieces together and here we go !

rustic swing with two seats