Introduction

little girl petting a dog in a pet crate that doubles as a side table
Photo: Laura Moss
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Though your grown-up pup might still enjoy the security of his training crate, there's just no good place to put that ugly metal cage. Once he's past the chewing stage, build him a decorative furniture piece from wood that doubles as a safe haven when your pooch wants to curl up for a snooze. This Old House senior technical editor Mark Powers created a design that incorporates a reproduction heating grate and decorative cabinetry grille, so you can easily use it as a side table in a living space while your furry friend slumbers inside. Keep reading to see how he put it together.

Reproduction floor heating grate: The Renovator's Supply, about $99
Decorative cabinet grille: Van Dyke’s Restorers, about $109
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    Tools List

    • miter saw
      Pneumatic brad nailer
    • pneumatic brad nailer
      Speed Square
    • speed square
      Screwdriver
    • Phillips screwdriver
      Jigsaw fitted with a plywood blade
    • jigsaw
      Miter saw
    • miter saw
      Drill/driver and various bits: 5/16-inch, 3/32-inch, and #6 countersink
    • drill
      24-inch bar clamps
    • bar clamps
      Tin snips or heavy-duty wire-cutters

    Shopping List

    1. 14-by-14-inch inch reproduction floor heating grate

    2. Decorative cabinet grille Get enough to cover the window cutouts on the side and back panels.

    3. Dog tray for a plastic or metal crate, sized to your dog's weight.

    4. 4-by-4-foot piece of ½-inch oak veneer plywoodfor the crate's sides, back, and top.

    5. 8 feet of 1x2 oak

    6. 6 feet of 1x3 oak

    7. 2 feet of 1x4 oak

    8. 5.2-mm Lauan plywood for the crate's floor.

    9. ¾-inch square dowels to make floor supports and cleats on the back of the face frame.

    10. 3/8-inch square dowels to hold the decorative grille in place.11. 1 5/8-inch oak crown molding and ½-inch oak glass bead molding to trim the top.

    12. Pivot hinges

    13. Latch

    14. 3-inch finish-head screws for the door and face frame.

    15. 1-inch drywall screws to assemble the box and install the decorative grille.

    16. 5/8-inch brad nails to secure all trim pieces.

    17. 1 3/8-inch brad nails to secure cleats, blocking, and crown molding.

    18. Stainable wood filler

    19. Shellac and lint-free rag