By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Here's a great project to build for your best friend. Our drawerlike pet cradle will become the favorite snoozing spot for your cat or dog. It is made from a single 8-foot lx6 and scraps of flakeboard and carpeting. The carpeting isn't tacked down so it can be removed or replaced when necessary.
The base of our pet nest is cut from a piece of 18-inch flakeboard shelving. If your pet needs a larger area, have the yardman at your local lumberyard cut a base from a scrap piece of flakeboard to fit your pet, and then increase the length of the sides and front and back.
Construction is fast and easy. Begin by cutting the sides (B) and front and back © to size, following the Cutting List. Then lay out the front entrance on C. Use a combination square to draw two sloping 45-degree lines, beginning at a point on the top edge 4 inches from the end. Lay out the bottom of the entrance by drawing a line 21/2 inches from the top and parallel to it.
Drill a 3/8 inch-pilot hole at the intersection of the angled lines and the straight lines. If you don't have a 3/8-inch drill, any size hole will do, or you may skip this step and leave the board straight.
Cut out the entrance opening with a saw, then sand the edges of the opening smooth with 120-grit sandpaper wrapped around a small block of wood. On each of the B and C pieces, drive five evenly spaced number 4 finishing nails 3/8 inch from the bottom. Drive a number 4 finishing nail 3/8 inch from the top corners of the front and back © to hold the front and back pieces tightly against the ends of the sides (B).
Assembly is easy. Have one team member hold the base (A) while the other runs glue down one side edge. Place the side (B) flush with the ends of the base (A), and nail it into place. Install the other side, and then glue and nail on the front and back.
Give your pet nest a sanding with 120- grit sandpaper to round slightly any sharp corner. Then cut a piece of scrap carpet to fit the base. We made our nest a very personal home with pressure-sensitive vinyl letters.
Four hours for cutting, building, and assembling, plus drying time for glue and finish.
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Find helpful advice and tips about tools, finishing, safety practices and a glossary of woodworking terms at Before You Begin