Making a Fancy Dog Step – Making the Steps

A little while back I helped a friend do some work on his house, and he gave me a bunch of reclaimed wood that was given to him. I decided this would be a good opportunity to use some of that.

I chose 3 not so pretty pieces of walnut for this project. The irregular shapes meant that I would have to cut them into smaller strips and glue them up.

Reclaimed Walnut for Steps
Reclaimed Walnut for Steps

I really didn’t feel like hauling out a circular saw so I used a Japanese saw to cut the boards into manageable widths.

There were certain pieces with cracks that only part of the cut board could be used.

Cutting Boards to Width
Cutting Boards to Width

Some parts of the boards had cupping. To get around this, I ripped the boards as close to the center of the cupped area, jointed the pieces with a jointer and planed all the boards to a consistent thickness.

Warped Boards
Warped Boards

Using most of the strips of walnut I was able to put together three steps. I was looking for 19 ¼ inches in width for each step.

I knew the overhang wasn’t going to be exact, I was making this off of a 10 minute sketch :), I just wanted it to be between ½ and ¾ inches. More importantly to me was to make the top step a little bigger of a landing so the dog could turn if necessary.

Figuring The Right Step Depth From Walnut Strips
Figuring The Right Step Depth From Walnut Strips

I was originally going to use my Ryobi biscuit jointer, but I was out of the larger biscuits.

After talking to a friend who was a cabinet maker, she said the glue is stronger than the wood. As long as the boards made good contact the joint would be strong enough.

The glue up was done on a piece of melamine board to make glue clean up easier.

Gluing Up Dog Steps
Gluing Up Dog Steps

Only thing left after the steps dry was to trim the sides to the necessary width of 19 ¼ inches, scrape the glue joints and sand them down.

Dog Steps Drying In Clamps
Dog Steps Drying In Clamps

Now that the steps are made it’s time to pretty up the dog stair carcass that was made in the previous post.

Learn To Make Dog Treats

Making a Fancy Dog Step links.

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3 thoughts on “Making a Fancy Dog Step – Making the Steps”

  1. Just a short message to you for showing how as a fellow woodworker I can easily duplicate your dog steps. Your plans are great, and pictures (I need pictures, age thing, LOL) show what to expect. I was tired of looking at crappy lumber as well as OSB on other plans. Keep up the great work! My pooch will love your project. She likes mahogany better than OSB.

    Neal, in Las Vegas, NV.

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