Double Doggie House and Chair Repair Projects 
This project is a dog house for our 2 Labrador Retrievers to replace the metal wire crates they have been using up till now. There are similar items for sale in the internet, but they are priced well over a thousand dollars, and I built this for about $250 in lumber and parts. Below are the plans I drew up and parts and some photos of the construction process.

Lumber used:
Top: 81.5" x 30.5" Maple clad 3/4 inch plywood cut from a full 4x8 foot sheet
Bottom: 80.25"x29.25" White melamine clad particle board cut from a full 4x8 foot sheet 
1"x4"x8' pine boards 7 pieces, these were cut to 4 pieces 80" long, and 12 pieces 23" long

plus 1"x4"x6' pine boards 2 pieces, cut to 4 pieces of 27-1/2" long for the sides, horizontal frame parts
1"x3"x6' pine boards, 2 pieces for the doors
Hinges 6 pierces for the doors
Gate latches 2 pieces for the doors
1/2 inch dowel rod, about 50 pieces for the bars, cut to 24 inches for the long bars, or 18 inches for the doors

Plan Drawings:


The front is framed with 1x4s, which actually measure 3/4 by 3-1/2 inches. The lengths were cut to 80" for the top and bottom pieces and 23" for the 5 upright pieces.
The doors were frames with 1x3s and all 8 pieces were cut to lengths of 17-3/4 inches. When assembled, the doors measured 22-3/4 inches high by 17-3/4 inches wide, giving a 1/8 inch gap above and below the door. The middle upright frame piece was centered on the long pieces, and the upright frame pieces for the hinges were placed to give a 1/8 inch gap on both sides of the door frames.


The framing for the back is done with 1x4s cut to lengths as above, with the middle piece centered side to side. 


As the 1x3 boards are 2-1/2 inches wide, the actual height of the  doors adds up to 22-3/4 inches, giving a 1/8 inch gap top and bottom as the upright frame pieces are 23 inches high.

Oops, forgot the diagram for the side panels. Sides were constructed from 1x4s cut to 27-1/2 inches long for the horizontal pieces and 23 inches for the vertical pieces.

After drawing up the plans, I cut the 1x4s and 1x3s to the lengths and laid them out.

This photo shows the front panel laid out with the doors in place showing the 1/8 inch gap all around the doors. 

A picture showing the side panel laid out on top of the front and back panels.

I used a drill press with a 1/2 inch bit to drill holes about 1/2 inch deep into frame pieces to hold the dowel bars in place. They are spaced about 2-1/2 inches apart, but you could use any spacing appropriate for your needs. I saw some plans where they used either 1/2 inch or 3/8 inch steel rebar which would be stronger than the hardwood dowel, but quite heavy and harder to cut and paint. If your dog would chew through the wood dowel, then the rebar would be an option.

Here are all the pieces laid out again, with the holes drilled for the dowels, and the dowels cut to lengths of 24 inches and 18 inches.

I used this Kreg pocket screw jig to drill holes for the pocket screws to hold the pieces together for assembly. It comes with instructions on how to clamp the jig in place, and how deep to set the stop collar on the drill bit, and what size screws to use. I used 1-1/4 inch long number 8 construction screws.

Next, I painted all the pieces with one coat of Kilz primer, and a couple coats of semi-gloss white paint before assembly.

The dowel bars were stained and the ends rounded over a bit to make them slide into the holes easier, then the whole panel was laid out and clamped in place and secured with the pocket screws and some wood glue. It was a bit tedious getting all the dowels into the holes at the same time.

Here is the front panel, all assembled, and the door hinges and latches in place. Sides and back were similarly assembled.

    Sorry I don't have photos of cutting the plywood top, or the melamine bottom, but the top board was cut from a full sheet of maple clad 3/4 inch plywood, and the bottom from 5/8 inch melamine clad particle board. The top was sanded and the edges rounded over, then stained with a colonial maple color, and varnished.
    The top board was placed face down on the floor, so the frame could be assembled upside down onto the top, again using pocket screws to attach the top to the frame.

The bottom board was then screwed onto the frame and some little feet were attached. 

Then the whole thing was flipped over to be right side up. I used some little dowel plugs to fill in the holes on the front frame where the screws were countersunk into the wood.

Since we have 2 dogs, the interior was divided into 2 sections using some dowels run through some holes in the back panel.

The finished dog house, just need to add the standard 40x27 inch standard size dog beds and a couple of dogs.

Chair Reupholstering project
Our 35 year old dining room chairs  were starting to look pretty bad, but the frames were in good shape, just need new upholstery material.

Turns out, we had some nice blue material that was meant to be made in to curtains but that never happened.

First thing was to unscrew the screws holding the seat to the frame.

Then the seats just lifted off the frames.

If one were using the original seat base frame again, then all the little staples have to be removed, and the old upholstery material and padding removed from the wood.

My chairs had these open frames, which gave you the feeling of sitting in a hole, so I added a piece of 1/8 inch luan underlay plywood to fill in the hole.

I glued the extra wood onto the old seat base to fill in the hole and give a firmer seat.

The old material was used as a template, and the new material was cut to size.

New cushion foam was then cut to size for each chair.

The hard part was stapling the material to the wood base with the material straight on the frame, and just the right amount of tension, to avoid any puckers.

Beginner's luck prevailed, and my first attempt at furniture upholstery passed the spousal inspection and not only look better but are far more comfortable than the old seats were.