by Yun-Han Lin
Today, we will share how we raised the height of the dining table for our dog at the studio. Before I started, I collected some information from different sources and make a comparison of the models I find on the Internet.
1. Types of pet dining table
a. Stool: the design is similar to a small stool or small table, with a square shape or four-legged design. It is the most intuitive model, which is simple and easy for design and manufacture.
b. Box: with two holes cut on the top of a box. It features a lid to be lifted, while some come in the structure of a drawer to put the dog bowls.
c. Shelf: elevated step shelves made using wood or metal. There are fewer materials used and the structure is simple.
d. Adjustable table: the boards for the surface are movable, which is convenient for adjusting the height or slope of the table, according to the size or height of your pet.
I ended up choosing the drawer design, since I do not want to have a space under the shelf that could accumulate dust, also due to my personal preference. Hence, there goes the drawer structure with a box design below.
2. Design and production
1. Size: the box size is about 45 x 22 x 30 cm, with the top tilted 5 degree forward. The box is 30 ~ 35 cm high, measured based on where the dog’s shoulder blade is, and our model ended up with 30-cm high. Although the length of the top can be calculated in advance through how tilted the slope is, I waited till I finished the left and right boards of the box, based on which the measure for the top would be more accurate.
2. Material for the boards: considering that we may move it quite often, we decided it was better to make it lighter. For this reason, we opted for 12mm plywood, while 9mm ones were used for the drawer boards, except for the one on the front.
3. Dog bowl: we used a bowl from IKEA, which is about 18 cm in diameter from edge to edge, while the measure deducting the edge is 16mm, so the holes cut on the top was 16.5 cm in diameter.
4. Guide rail for the drawer: since there are two bowls, the height of the drawer cannot reach 25.6 cm, which is the full height of the space for to put the box below. Therefore, we set the height at 18.3 cm. To prevent the drawer from tilting when it is being pulled out, there were wooden strips fixed on the inside of the box. In this way, the drawer can only be dragged and pushed forward and backward. There were another two strips on the bottom of the box, so that only the two strips have contact with the drawer, in the hope of reducing friction and making it easier to pull and push.
5. Fixture: the boards are held together better using tenon, so we used the 6mm wooden tenons. Since the boards making the drawer were thin, and the surface on the inside was not exposed, we did not have to give it a good look. Therefore, glue and nail gun are enough for fixing the boards together.
6. Bevel cutting: there is a 5-degree tilt on top, so there were two parts that needed extra attention when it comes to cutting the wooden boards. The first was the top board. When cutting the long side, we held the circular saw blade tilted to smooth the edge. The second was that the top of the boards needed to be cut inclined, both left and right. For this, we used the multi-angle saw table with a tilting angle set to 5 degrees. After cutting, we put all the boards together to make sure all the angles and tilting fit one another.
7. Drilling the holes for tenon: the holes to fit the tenon needed to be tilted as well. The picture below also showed how the boards were aligned to have the precise positions for drilling the holes.
8. Two ways to drill the holes for bowls: in the video, there are two different ways of drilling the holes to fit the bowls. The first was to carve through the board for an entire circle using a trimmer. It was not ideal, as the trimmer worked on both the inner and outer circle at the same time, which consumed a lot of power and could possibly harm the milling cutter. Hence, for the second hole, we used a drill bit to drill out the circle first, followed by a scroll saw machine to cut along the marks. After the whole circle was cut out of the board, the trimmer was used then to smooth only one edge of the circle, which was safer in operation.