How to Make Dog Stairs Woodworking Projects

Our dog, Maple, can be pretty tentative around new people so she gets to come to Makers Workshop only on very special occasions. However, with the Makerspace being closed for the duration of the COVID-19 Pandemic she can come whenever she wants. The only hiccup has been that Michael’s truck is pretty high off the ground and her hips give her trouble. We decided that she needed a nice dog step to help her out, and quickly got to putting that together for her. This was a short and sweet build and we hope you enjoy. Stay happy and stay safe 🙂

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I started by cutting a large piece of ¾ inch birch plywood into sections that were the width I wanted for the final steps. I also ripped a piece down on the table saw to the width of the front steps of our house to use as the treads. Maple is an older dog, but I know she can handle those steps just fine, so I knew if I used those as a guide they’d work for her. 

I measured and cut one of the original plywood pieces into two smaller rectangles that were the dimensions I wanted for the final steps.

I made sure the spot where the step would fit was the same as the width of the board I cut earlier for the stair pieces. Then, we decided on a length for the stair tread by eye.

After ripping down 4 narrow rectangles for braces I had all the pieces ready for assembly.

The brace pieces went where the steps will be attached. I used a combo of screws and wood glue for strength and then I used the same method to install the steps on top of each brace piece.

To finish this after sanding we went with Total Boat Halcyon Gloss. This is thicker than a wipe-on poly, while still having a quick dry time. It could be recoated after only an hour, so we could quickly build up 3 coats for a nice durable finished product that could take wear and tear.

Because this is going outside, I 3D modeled and printed some small base feet to raise the stairs off the ground in case of puddles, or uneven ground. 

Then, Maple helped me pick out some hardware to screw all 4 feet into place as the final step.It took a little for Maple to figure the steps out, but she eventually did, and we’re pretty sure she loved it.

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