Making a rustic industrial dog bed

What exactly is a rustic industrial dog bed? Heck if I know. I just know that the furniture theme for my sitting and dining rooms is metal + dark or reclaimed wood. The sitting room has a low window that our dog will lay in front of, on one of her pillow style beds, and stare at the outside world. I wanted to make a dog bed that fit in with the furniture in that part of the house and that wouldn’t get pushed around by the pets or the roomba. After seeing a tutorial on a keen life where they made a set of shelves from some metal plumbing pipe and wood, I knew I found the perfect materials for my dog bed. It only took me a few months to finally get all the stars to align so I could finish it, and I’ve yet to make a new cushion for it, but at least the old dog bed cushion fits reasonably well. A preview of the finished product with my dog model:

Molly looking really sad, laying on her new bed in front of the window.

Molly looking really sad, laying on her new bed in front of the window.

After I got the idea in my head, I picked up 6″ pine boards, an assortment of brackets, spray paint, and the metal pipe and fittings necessary to make a rectangular frame for the dog bed. After bringing home the metal pipe and fittings, my husband and I assembled the rectangular frame with short legs. Because the fittings all have to screw together, and we were trying to screw a rectangle of parts together, we were constantly tightening one corner while loosening another corner. Eventually we got all the fittings to loosely screw together with the plan to glue the joints later for a firmer hold. After creating the rectangle, I measured the inside of it to determine what size wood boards I needed.

After refreshing my memory on exactly how to use the table saw, I got to work cutting my pine boards to size.

After refreshing my memory on exactly how to use the table saw, I got to work cutting my pine boards to size.

Laying out the boards in to a rectangle.

Laying out the boards in to a rectangle.

 

Spray painting the brackets and screws.

I put all the screws and brackets in a shallow box and spray painted them from all angles with Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint. It took multiple coats to get all of the angles done so that no shiny silver metal was left showing.

After measuring the same length from the end of both boards, and using the brackets as a guide to mark my holes, I drilled pilot holes and then screwed in the screws.

After measuring the same length from the end of both boards, and using the brackets as a guide to mark my holes, I drilled pilot holes and then screwed in the screws.

For the corners I used L shaped brackets and for the tall sides I used flat brackets.

For the corners I used L shaped brackets and for the tall sides I used flat brackets.

After the sides were assembled, I attached the bottom with L shaped brackets that had 2 or 3 screws in a horizontal line on each side.

After the sides were assembled, I attached the bottom with L shaped brackets that had 2 or 3 screws in a horizontal line on each side.

 

A close up of the bracket varieties used.

A close up of the bracket varieties used.

 

The next step was to stain the wood.

The next step was to stain the wood.

I used Timbersoy wood stain, color walnut, from EcoProCrete that was left over from a previous project. The stain goes on thin, so I used a sponge applicator and applied multiple coats until it was as dark as I wanted. To seal the wood, I used Miss Mustard Seed Hemp Oil Wood Finish, also purchased for a different project. The oil is applied by rubbing it in with an old cloth. I used two coats for now. It gives the wood just a bit of sheen, which worked well for the look I was trying to create.

Leveling the legs.

Leveling the legs.

After that was done, I put the metal frame around the bed and used that as a guide to help make sure the short legs were straight before I glued everything in place. I used gorilla glue and a toothpick to try to force some glue into each joint. Gorilla glue expands as it dries so after I was done I had to use a box cutter to remove the excess glue from the top of the frame where it would easily be seen. It took me three tries to get all of the joints adequately glued. The next step was to spray paint the frame.

Spray painting the frame.

Spray painting the frame.

After adding the gaskets to the bottom of the metal frame, it was time to attach the frame to the wood box. I used some scrap wood to set the wood box on so that it would not be flush with the floor while I attached the brackets.

Getting the bed ready for final assembly.

Getting the bed ready for final assembly.

I used brackets that are meant to go with this pipe to attach it to the wood box. The only trouble was that the pipe doesn’t sit flush with the box because of the T and corner junctions. I improvised by using some large nuts and washers as standoffs for the brackets.

Spray painted brackets, with the washers and nuts used as standoffs to attach the wood bed to the metal frame.

Spray painted brackets, with the washers and nuts used as standoffs to attach the wood bed to the metal frame.

I also used brackets on the four short legs in case the glue didn’t completely hold in places. I used sticky rubber furniture pads on the bottom of the frame feet to keep the floor from getting scratched.

New dog bed, old dog cushion.

New dog bed, old dog cushion.

Finally, completion! A few photos of the sitting room so you can see how the new bed fits in:

A view from the foyer into the sitting and dining room.

A view from the foyer into the sitting and dining room.

The relatively new couch, coffee table, and side table with the ancient Ikea chair. Still need to replace that chair. Oh, and the dog.

The relatively new couch, coffee table, and side table with the ancient Ikea chair. Still need to replace that chair. Oh, and the dog.

 

Molly forced to be a model on her new bed.

Molly forced to be a model on her new bed.

What a rough life.

What a rough life.

 

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Making bread cakes for bike training season

The Feed Zone Cookbook, source of the original recipe

The Feed Zone Cookbook, source of the original recipe

In recent bike training seasons I’ve found that I have to eat relatively simple foods while out on my rides. Power bar style foods haven’t been cutting it. I’ve found some products that I can buy like Thunderbird Energetica bars (cashew fig carrot is my favorite) and Honey Stinger chews that agree with me, but I’ve also been experimenting with making my own portable snacks. I recently picked up the Feed Zone Cookbook to help my experimentation. One recipe called savory bread cakes caught my interest since I have a special place in my heart for bread. I changed the recipe a bit of course, since I decided to omit the bacon.

Savory bacon bread cakes

Savory bread cakes

I halved the recipe to find out if I liked it or not. My recipe:

  • 2 cups cubed rosemary sourdough bread
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese, cheddar and cotija (I used extra since I skipped the bacon)
  • Salt
  • Brown sugar
Mmmm... rosemary sourdough is delicious and give the bread cakes good flavor

Mmmm… rosemary sourdough is delicious and give the bread cakes good flavor

First, cube the sourdough bread.

First, cube the sourdough bread.

Pour the milk on the bread cubes and let it soak a bit.

Pour the milk on the bread cubes and let it soak a bit.

Whisk up the eggs.

Whisk up the eggs.

Add the eggs, cheese and salt to the bread and mix it up.

Add the eggs, cheese and salt to the bread and mix it up.

After greasing a bread pan, pour in the mixture.

After greasing a bread pan, pour in the mixture. Bake at 350 until firm. About 25 minutes for my batch.

Finished bread cakes.

Finished bread cakes.

Sliced up, ready to eat.

Sliced up, ready to eat.

After baking the bread cake, I let it cool, sliced it into four pieces and wrapped the pieces up in parchment paper and froze them. I ate one during my latest Bike MS training ride, the Real Ale Ride. The bread cake was soft by the time I stopped to eat it, so it definitely could not be eaten while riding, which I would have preferred. However, it was quite tasty. I might go with a bit less cheese next time because there were a few large cheddar chunks that I wasn’t too excited about eating in the heat.

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Bike MS training update: The Real Ale Ride

This past Saturday, at an ungodly early hour, I loaded up my bike and headed out to Blanco for the annual Real Ale Ride that leaves from the Real Ale brewery. The ride motto? “Up the hills, Down the beers.” Definitely fitting. I was hopeful as the ride started that maybe the wind wouldn’t get as bad as promised. And around mile 35, with a tailwind, I climbed a THREE MILE long hill that I hoped was the worst that I would experience. Ha. No such luck. Soon after climbing that hill, we turned again and were greeted with a gusty headwind. There were moments where I questioned my resolve. I even pulled over on the side of the road (not at a rest stop) to have a snack and rest, something I’ve never done on an organized ride. The hills were good training (see the Garmin route here), I suppose, for the Bike MS event Ride the Rim that I will participate in out in Canyon, TX on June 22nd. There is a very very nasty hill on that ride. In support of the fact that I will not SAG up that hill, please consider making a donation to the MS Society in support of my participation! (SAG = support vehicle that I could choose to ride in)

The good news is that I finished after 65 miles in one piece and got to enjoy lunch, beer, music and italian ice. By that time of day, it was downright hot and the humidity was still ridiculous so the italian ice from Rita’s was a special treat. The other fun part? I won a contest to be a “Beerbassador” sponsored by Real Ale and Bicycle Sport Shop. I got a free Real Ale Phoenix jersey, entry into the Real Ale Ride, a cool bottle opener and a very heavy case of Fireman’s 4.

Warning: this post has many pictures because I got yet another handlebar mount for my GoPro. This one is supposed to swivel but once I tightened the set screw, I couldn’t loosen it, so I couldn’t swivel the camera on my bike. Sigh.

Do you see me in the crowd of beerbassadors?

Classic cars, rolling down the main street in Blanco right after the ride started.

Classic cars, rolling down the main street in Blanco right after the ride started.

Classic cars, rolling down the main street in Blanco right after the ride started.

Classic cars, rolling down the main street in Blanco right after the ride started.

The day started out extremely humid and very hazy.

The day started out extremely humid and very hazy.

The haze slowly started to clear.

The haze slowly started to clear.

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Lots of wildflowers on the left side of the road.

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It’s hard to tell here, but you can see hills off in the distance.

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Pretty clouds and a great view.

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Small cliffs along the side of the road.

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Rolling into a small town, where the first rest stop I stopped at was located.

First rest stop! At a cute little general store type building.

First rest stop! At a cute little general store type building.

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Hills in the distance and the haze was back.

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This picture is for my father-in-law. There’s an old thresher on the left side of the road. Can you see it?

Tandem riders. Maybe I'll have one of those someday. I'll have to be the front rider through.

Tandem riders. Maybe I’ll have one of those someday. I’ll have to be the front rider through.

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Hills…

Wildflowers!

Wildflowers!

The second rest stop I paused at had a table with a high school boy serving Rita's italian ice. I think it's the only reason I got back on my bike to fight the headwind to the finish.

The second rest stop I paused at had a table with a high school boy serving Rita’s italian ice. I think it’s the only reason I got back on my bike to fight the headwind to the finish.

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The Blanco river is on the right side of the road. It’s hard to see here.

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That blue sign says “Ride your bike hard today” from Clif bar. Don’t worry, I did.

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When I first pulled up to the finish the food line was SO long. Luckily it moved pretty quickly.

The finish party had a band, dancers, food and beer. Plenty of tents to sit in the shade too.

The finish party had a band, dancers, food and beer. Plenty of tents to sit in the shade too.

After making it home with my prize, Mojo   was king of the Fireman's 4 beer mountain.

After making it home with my prize, Mojo was king of the Fireman’s 4 beer mountain.

Thanks for reading! Please consider a donation to my Bike MS fundraising!

 

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Bike MS Training Update: Riding the Armadillo!

Last Saturday morning I headed out to Liberty Hill to ride the Armadillo. This is the third or fourth time I’ve done this ride. It’s a well organized, well marked ride put on by the Austin Cycling Association. Registration fees support their helmets for kids program. I rode 61 miles to train for the Bike MS event Ride the Rim that I will participate in out in Canyon, TX on June 22nd.   Please consider making a donation to the MS Society in support of my participation!

Ride attendance seemed a bit low this year, probably because of the large amount of rain that rolled through the region on Friday. I’m always impressed by the people who ride the 105 mile route. Perhaps one of these years I’ll make a point to do that route because this ride goes through some very pretty parts of Texas. I had a good ride for the most part although it was a bit windy at some points. And the last 10 miles back into town were straight into the headwind and populated with a few annoyed drivers.

I set up my new Garmin bike computer on the handlebars of my bike and was able to see what direction I was riding in so I can tell you that the wind was out of the northeast. It remains to be seen how long I leave the display set up so that it shows me a compass heading, since I now can figure out where the wind is coming from quickly and then dread every “wrong” (into the wind) turn 🙂 The other cool thing about the Garmin is that you can now view a summary of my ride! I also carried along my GoPro, although I still haven’t figured out how to mount it to my handlebars successfully. More on that later.

The morning started out with very few clouds and at a reasonable temperature.

The morning started out with very few clouds and at a reasonable temperature.

Hey look, you can see my shadow!

Hey look, you can see my shadow!

Horses!

Horses! Wildflowers!

A cool, narrow, shady road

A cool, narrow, shady road

A wild game ranch. I saw some big horned sheep in the distance, but they were too far for pictures.

A wild game ranch. I saw some big horned sheep in the distance, but they were too far for pictures.

A rest stop on the grounds of an old general store that doesn't seem to be open currently.

A rest stop on the grounds of an old general store that doesn’t seem to be open currently.

The little town of Bertram, Texas.

The little town of Bertram, Texas.

The open road!

The open road!

One of the side of the road rest stops that I stopped at.

One of the side of the road rest stops that I stopped at.

 

There's a town called Oatmeal. It has a giant Oatmeal can. No idea if this is the center of town, because really it's just an intersection in the middle of nowhere.

There’s a town called Oatmeal. It has a giant Oatmeal can. No idea if this is the center of town, because really it’s just an intersection in the middle of nowhere.

Another interesting rest stop that has sort of a pavilion created out of cedar tree logs. No roof really, just the structure.

Another interesting rest stop that has sort of a pavilion created out of cedar tree logs. No roof really, just the structure.

One of the rest stops had a giant red blow up arch and a tent staffed by Clif bar employees handing out free samples.

One of the rest stops had a giant red blow up arch and a tent staffed by Clif bar employees handing out free samples.

 

A closer look at the old general store, it's a place you can stop at on the way out and back on the Armadillo ride.

A closer look at the old general store, it’s a place you can stop at on the way out and back on the Armadillo ride.

 

 

 

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Bike training update – Red Poppy Ride

While I took last weekend off from training, the previous weekend on April 27th I continued training for Bike MS: Ride the Rim by riding 50 miles in the Red Poppy Ride in Georgetown. If you’re able, please consider making a donation to the MS Society in support of my participation.

It was my first ride on my brand new bike, a custom built titanium road bike. The frame was built by Independent Fabrication and the bike and components were assembled by Bicycle Sport Shop. It is an amazing ride and I can’t wait to ride it again this weekend.

Unfortunately, none of the mounts that I’ve been trying out with my GoPro Hero have worked out so far, so I have only a few pictures from the ride.

Here she is, my new bike right after picking her up.

Here she is, my new bike right after picking her up. The colors go from “Tahitian pearl” in the front to a dark gray metallic in the back. The seat and chain stays are raw titanium. The hubs and rings on the head tube are mango, giving it an interesting color contrast. 

Awesome head badge

Awesome head badge

 

The start of the Red Poppy Ride. It started as a gray day.

The start of the Red Poppy Ride. It started as a gray day.

 

The rest stops were full of awesome volunteers. At one stop, the volunteers all had hats with red poppies on them. Sadly, I did not stop and get their picture :(

The rest stops were full of awesome volunteers. At one stop, the volunteers all had hats with red poppies on them. Sadly, I did not stop and get their picture 😦 Although the woman on the left in this picture seems to have red poppies on her shirt!

A kind volunteer held my bike while I was stopped at the rest stop.

A kind volunteer held my bike while I was stopped at the rest stop.

The only red poppies I saw on this ride were way up by someone’s house, so here are some others to look at:

Because I didn’t find any red poppies myself, here’s a pretty picture from flickr of some red poppies in Georgetown

Image credit: 50%ChanceofRain

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