Step 8: Trim the Windows of the Side and Back Panels

Mark Powers measures the side windows for a side panel of a dog crate
Photo: Laura Moss
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For each side panel, place the vertical center stile in the middle of the window, with the top end is flush with the panel's top edge. Place four rails on each side of the center stile, so they're flush with its top and bottom ends (these will overhang the window's edges by 3/8 inch, creating a lip for the grille inserts to sit against). Place the bottom rail flush with the bottom edge of the panel. Place the corner stiles alongside the rails, flush with the side edges of the panel.

On the back panel, place the corner stiles so that 1¾ inches of its width rests on the panel and the remaining 1 inch extends beyond the side of the panel. (This creates a place for attaching the side panels to the back when the crate is assembled.) Lay the rails between the stiles, so that the top one is flush with the panel's top and the bottom edge of the middle one is 11¼ inches from the top. Then lay the bottom stile flush with the panel's bottom edge.

Glue all but the corner stiles in place. Once the glue is dry, flip the panels over and secure trim to the panels by nailing through the panel into the trim using 5/8-inch brad nails.
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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