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The Bark’s DIY First Place Winner—Advanced Level


DIY Doggy House - Shasta Style - Floor

Gluing the kerfing:

Do a dry run. Clamp the kerf pattern to a side pattern (INSIDE of the side, please!) using the blocks, start at the rear end (where the curve is tighter - easier to bend it now when it's long) Place the kerfing against the form, cuts to the inside and flat bottom against the side surface, firmly secure the bitter end by placing a block and clamp, press the glue block tightly while clamping - you want pressure downward and also tightly against the form. Bend the kerfing around partway, support it so it will stay on the side and not fall off (and possibly break) but not bound tightly yet. Go around and place glue blocks, leaving a small space between them. You want points of pressure against the form close, especially here at the tight curved end. Work your way around until you get near the front end and can overlap the kerfing on the form itself, mark and cut the kerfing to length so it's a decent fit but not too tight at the end. The ends will be trimmed later, to allow for the cross braces, so it's not critical to get the length perfect now. It's easier to bend a tight curve past the point and trim back later than to try to get the length exact now and glue it precisely in place.

When you think you have the hang of it, Remove everything and place the blocks and clamps where you can get to them quickly. I like Titebond II glue. It's an inexpensive yellow glue, tacks quickly, spreads easily and holds very well, plus it's waterproof when dry. When gluing the kerfing, it's important to get glue mostly on the outer edge of the kerfing, where it's not quite cut through, and some on the bottom, but you don't want to slather it on over everything. You will have to carefully pry the bending form out after the glue has set and too much glue will cause much cursing and frustration. To this end it's a good idea to apply a good coat of wax, a hard finishing wax, to the edge of the form to help keep the kerfing from sticking, before gluing up. When you think you're ready, spread a bead of glue along the outside edge of where the kerfing will go (use the scribed line on the side as a guide) and start clamping the blocks in place, working your way around. You won't be able to bend the kerfing all the way around at once, you'll have to work it along a foot or so at a time, so support the kerfing above the side with long thin sticks across the form, under the kerfing, to avoid smearing glue where you don't want it. This will also allow you to apply glue a foot or so at a time as you go. The first part is the hardest because it's the tightest curve. Clamp along, being sure to press it tightly against the form as you go and make sure the blocks press it down to the side. Move the kerf support along as you go. You'll be able to bend longer stretches as you go over the gentler curve along the top, but still be careful to press each block tightly to the form. The very end may need some coaxing with a piece of wood to get it tight to the form around the last curve. You can go back and make some minor adjustments, but the glue will begin to set up rather quickly so work fast! Let this set up overnight.

Next day remove all clamps and blocks (again, some may need some persuasion with a small hammer and stick of wood). Hopefully, none of the blocks have so much glue under them that they bring part of the side veneer with them (which would require filling and sanding). Now use a putty knife to pry the kerf pattern up from the side itself, starting at the middle of the bottom, where marks won't show - if there should be any. Usually once the putty knife has (gently!) started movement the form will pry right out. Clean up the joint surface where the flat kerfing edge meets the side. Since the inside will be painted and all these small kerf cuts will act like the nib of a pen to hold paint and produce runs and drips and much cursing and frustration, run a bead of cheap acrylic chalk along the cuts and wipe it with a finger to make a smooth surface. Let the caulk dry completely. Clean any chalk that runs over onto the inside edge. Repeat for the other side. Place one side on top of the other to check that the kerfing edges match.



PDF: Download a PDF including instructions and sketches.

Michael has been a woodworker for over 45 years. He began to make vintage camper birdhouses for fun, prompted by an avid interest in bird photography. Now he sells his birdhouses and dog houses on Etsy.


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