A friend asked me to build some steps for her aging dog to use to get up into the bed more easily. I did some research and modified a plan to suit her needs.
Construction is really simple and could be done with a hammer, Phillips screwdriver and handsaw, if that is all you have. I used ¾” plywood for the stair supports and back so using a power saw was beneficial. If you wanted to use a handsaw, I recommend adjusting the measurements for standard 8″ x 1″ pine boards. If you want to make something really nice for Fido, use birch plywood or oak lumber available at most home improvement stores.
You will need some wood glue (preference for polyurethane), 1 ½” finishing nails, wood putty, sandpaper (medium to fine), 12″ piano hinge, and a couple 6″ pieces of scrap and short nails to hold up the interior shelf. The piano hinge is used to attach the top stair so that you can store treats or toys under the top shelf.
For finishing, you can stain before or just seal with paint or polyurethane. I used a walnut stain and a satin polyurethane.
Because dogs prefer carpeted stairs for sure-footed-ness, I recommended getting one self-stick stair tread runner that could be cut in half, one for each of the stairs.
You could knock this out over a weekend and give your pet a leg up on getting into bed.
I made a couple of these cool trays from scrap wood for a storefront in Chelsea, Alabama. Trays are made from Indiana poplar with a border of Alabama oak salvaged from barn timbers. There are natural knots, nail holes, and other character that comes with salvaged wood. The finish is food safe. The ceramic handles, styled after cleats, give it a unique nautical feel.
You can purchase these from first fruits in the Benson Plaza of Chelsea Corners. A portion of the purchase price will go to the ministry and benefit women and children of the Hannah Home Shelby.
I love this video piece on a couple guys who take discarded or salvaged wood and turn them into one-of-a-kind bikes. Sometimes the wood comes from urban arborists who have to trim trees around power lines and other times it comes from discarded lumber. Whatever the source the finished pieces are beautiful, fully functional, and will turn heads on the road.
Sorry, but they make you watch an ad before the video starts.
New to the Design Within Reach catalog is the Tractor Stool Collection made from top-grade American walnut and inspired by old-timey tractor seats.
I love the mixture of straight lines and subtle curved seat carved out of a block of black walnut. The finish looks supremely natural and will likely age very well. In the two taller versions the footrest is covered in black leather.
I am tempted to give this type of wood shaping a try in my workshop, but it looks like alot of work to get the seat curved in the right places. And the pressure to get it right would be significant because you know a block of nice wood like that would not be cheap.
As much as I love these, I will not be buying them for my home. The price is $1130 for the short one and it goes up as the stool gets taller. Best I can do is maybe to try it for myself with a lesser species of wood.
This is not a terribly rustic way to go into the woods, but it is very cool. A craftsman in Roanoke, VA, came up with this gorgeous teardrop pull-behind camper that is nostalgic and luxurious at the same time.
Take one look at this baby and you’ll see that this camper’s daddy was a furniture maker and designer. The form is the same as the classics of the 40′s but the exterior is mahogany and ash, giving a “woodie” persona. The interior appointments maintain the family character and make camping anything but roughin’ it. The base cost of one of these babies? Just $16,500.
Check out their web site at Silver Tears Campers.