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Build Doggie Stairs: Part 2
Below are instructions to build doggie stairs for any size dog.
If you build from scrap materials, like I did, the cost is minimal - I spent less than 2 dollars for the entire thing! A bonus is that you can practice your woodworking skills without worrying about mistakes!
If you're a skilled woodworker and cost is not an object, you can use elements of our design to make a classy set of stairs to match your home's decor.
Before reading through the instructions on this page, please see Build Doggie Steps: Part 1. There you will learn how to tailor your design to you and your pet's needs.
CUTTING OUT THE SIDES
- Clamp your two pieces of plywood together with the best (least damaged) areas on top of one another. (The jagged parts in the picture will be discarded.)
- Mark the pattern of steps on the top piece: e.g., 6 inches up, 12 inches over, or whatever you decided to go with in either inches or mm.
- Saw along the lines: remember to use eye protection and watch your fingers!
- Once you've cut along the dotted line, you should have two pieces that are exactly the same.*
|Marking out a side piece
Both sides cut out
*Note: If you measure carefully and have a large enough piece of unbroken plywood, you may be able to saw along the line and end up with two identical pieces (one will be upside down).
ADDING THE SUPPORTS
The next part when you build doggie stairs is to add the underpinnings or supports.
|2x2s that will support the top of each step
- Take the pieces and lay them back-to-back.
- Lay out your pre-cut 2x2s along the top inside part of each step. Make sure the edges do not stick out.
- Flip the pieces over; then attach the 2x2s, using three screws in a shallow triangle pattern along the length of each one.
The back of my original plywood piece was painted white. The side showing in the above photo will end up on the inside. The other piece will be covered with carpet, so this will not affect the finished look.
|Vertical supports for the tops of the steps
- Screw the step support 2x2's flush with the bottom, perpendicular to the above 2x2s (per photo at right).
ADDING THE FINAL PIECES OF PLYWOOD
|Boards added to make the step treads
- Prop the two sides against chairs or other supports
- Put your pre-cut boards on the supports to make your steps
- Screw in place as squarely as possible
Photo shows boards screwed on to make the treads.
- Screw the narrower piece along the bottom front step, flush with the floor (sides too, if you can)
- Screw the larger piece (we used two 15 x 9 pieces) to the back step, flush with the floor (and sides, if possible)
Your doggie steps should not wobble. If they do, check the bottom edges for unevenness. Unscrew and saw or sand off protruding edges as necessary.
Adding Finishing Materials
See Homemade Doggie Steps: Adding Carpet
ALTERNATIVE COATING MATERIALS
- If you elect to paint, varnish or add non-skid coatings to the steps instead of carpet, prepare the surfaces as recommended on the containers and follow directions for application.
- Remember to use these chemicals in a well ventilated area and protect your eyes and skin.
You've learned how to build doggie stairs, and we hope you're pleased with the result. However, there's one more thing to do and that's seeing how well it goes over with your dog!
Your dog may or may not get the point of the steps right away. If he or she does, you're home free.
If not, a little help may be needed:
- Make sure the steps aren't wobbling due to something (like a dog toy) being underneath.
- Coax your dog onto the first step with a treat. Praise!
- Repeat with each step,
- Use the same process to persuade a timid dog to go down the steps.
Return from Build Doggie Stairs to Part 1: Build Doggie Steps