Shaker Dog Food Stand Complete

The Danish Oil is still drying, so it looks a bit splotchy, but otherwise this piece is complete. I may apply some Johnson’s paste wax – the dog can be a bit messy with her water so the extra protection might not be a bad idea. It’s a little after 1:30 p.m. now – I think I’ll leave it in the basement overnight and bring it upstairs tomorrow evening when I get home from work.

After gluing it up yesterday, this morning I used my flush cut saw to trim the tenons and the braces down flush. Got the chisel out to finely blend some edges where the braces intersect the legs, and went over those areas and the tenons with the block plane.

There were still a lot of dents and scratches I wasn’t happy about, so I took 60 grit sandpaper to the piece. First time I’ve ever used anything that course for this kind of work, but I felt it was necessary. Stepped up from there through the grits: 100, 120, 150, 180, 220.

Then I experimented with something I hadn’t done before. Got out some 220 grit wet/dry paper, misted the top with water, and sanded again. Switched out to 500 grit and repeated the process. I’ve read that water will help the grain stand up, so I figured doing this would get an even smoother surface. I’m not sure this accomplished anything, but wanted to try it out.

After cleaning things up and giving the dust time to settle I applied the Danish Oil.

I think the only significant step I’ve not mentioned here is cutting out the Walnut wedges. I don’t recall reading anywhere how to do this, so think I’ve invented my own process. Here’s a 4-photo gallery of how I do it:

My goal when I started this piece was to get the dado’s to turn out better than they did when I made the bench with the same design. On the bench my dado’s were blown out a bit at the ends. I paid closer attention to what I was doing this time and they turned out much better.

Everything else, not as well. A couple of the mortises are a bit wider than the tenons, and one is longer, even with the wedge. Last time I also took some time to set the legs square before laying out the braces. This time I didn’t, and the braces aren’t as tight. Of course last time I nearly couldn’t get them inserted during glue-up, and the force of them really tried to push the legs out of their dado’s. There should be a better middle ground – likely I suspect figuring out how to have those legs better square in the first place.

So I think I learned a few things, and it’s a fine piece for me, which I think will look good with the dog’s food and water bowl sitting on top in our living room.

A small update, just realized this post gave me an excuse to share another photo of our dog Ripley. Here’s one of her participating in a lure coursing event:


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11 Responses to Shaker Dog Food Stand Complete

  1. snwoodwork says:

    It looks good; what kind of dog is she?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. snwoodwork says:

    I thought that was a malinois. My parent’s had one when I was in high school & college. Hands down my favorite breed of dog. It will, in fact, be our next dog. My parent’s was an awesome dog. They use them for police dogs around here.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wesley Beal says:

      Be ready to not get any sleep for about 3 to 4 weeks when your dog suddenly realizes it can alert bark at things. Ours figured this out somewhere between 6 and 7 months, and proceeded to perfect her skills. Sump pump goes off in the basement? Bark like mad. Neighbors leaving for work the morning? Bark like mad. Some kid yell something a block away? Bark like mad. Oh, and there’s the sump pump again. Bark like mad. Sorta funny at 6 o’clock in the evening. Less so by night 16 at 3 a.m.


  3. spokeshave27 says:

    Wes, Looks great! isn’t it a good feeling to know that you have produced something that will endure?! just a few comments on my Danish Oil regime,if I might?

    I don’t know what the wood is – but would think that 60 grit is WAY too course for any wood (remember imperfections just add character). I start at 180 then 220 and if you need to 320 – there is little advantage in going any higher. I would stay away from wed/dry and water the slurry produced will ‘stain’ the grain and be hard to remove once the sanding is done – take a cotton cloth (old tee shirts work great) and remove the sandings with mineral spirit – the water might be the cause of your blotching. it will also raise the grain and is compatible with the Danish oil. Danish Oil is a great product and I use it all the time, but takes some getting used to. Let is fully penetrate the wood for 20 mins. and you need to watch for areas that start drying – apply more Danish oil to those areas. Once it becomes tacky wipe off the excess – I finish off with 0000 steel wool with a little Danish Oil added and work this into the surface (with the grain) – once dry light sand the surface with 320 grit and apply more Oil allow to dry fully – Repeat. if you check out the finish on my TV cabinet

    What is your next project?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wesley Beal says:

      Thanks for the tips. The wood is Soft Maple. I decided to use the 60 grit after I made some ugly gouges with the flush cut saw, and to take care of a spot where I was knocking in one brace and the piece of scrap I was using to protect the wood tilted up and left a pretty big mark. I probably could of left them, but what’s done is done.

      I’ll give this method a try with Danish Oil at some point. So far, other than a couple projects I’ve painted, it’s all I’ve used. I’ve been thinking about giving shellac a try, and I’d also like to try a wax finish (like beeswax or something similar).

      I don’t find finishing as rewarding as some do (yet). For me, so far at least, the fun part of woodworking is done with by the time I’m ready to finish the piece, but I suspect it’s a just a matter of time before I get invested in tackling this skill set.

      I don’t know what I’m going to do next. I still want to try a 6-Board chest, but when I start that will likely depend on when I get out there and shop of nice, wide Pine (what I plan on using – which I think is traditional for this piece?).

      I wouldn’t mind trying some small sized projects. A friend sent me a gift of a wooden fly-box recently. It was a CNC job, but it got me to wondering if I could do something by hand.


    • Wesley Beal says:

      Michael, have you got any wisdom to impart regarding small pieces?

      What concerns me is that I imagine any error will be greatly magnified. I don’t see myself able to get away with a simple, clean, saw cut. I imagine anywhere two boards come together it’ll be necessary to shoot them with a plane so they come together very tight.



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