See how easy and fast it is to make this rustic crate with hinged door to use as a dog kennel or storage case using pallet boards and scrap plywood.
See the Whole Series
This 5 part series takes you step-by-step through building this crate.
See the whole build series in order here
In this tutorial we’ll:
- get the dimensions for our crate
- make our materials list – see list below the video
- see the tools needed – see list below the video
- start the build
Transcript highlights and images are below the video too!
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See all of the lumber you’ll need for this project.
Dimensions are based on the measurements for my dog, yours may vary.
Pallet Board Slats
Bottom Pallet Boards
If you used thick plywood, you only need small blocks for mounting the casters, if you want the crate on wheels.
Tools, Hardware, and Supplies List
See all of the tools and shop supplies you need for this project
Brad nails – I used 1” for tacking on the rails. And I used 1-1/4” for tacking on the uprights.
1”-2” casters – either will easily hold the weight of this crate, and your dog.
16 lag screws – for mounting the casters. For my 2” casters, 1×1-1/4 lag bolts worked perfectly when mounting to a pallet board scrap.
About Using Pallet Wood
Before we get into this build, if you plan to use it for a kennel, let’s talk about using pallet wood.
My dog is very well behaved and not a chewer.
But, you still need to ensure that you only use pallet wood that has been heat treated.
Do not use any chemically or pressure treated wood!
It’s toxic to dogs.
Also, pallet wood is rough and full of splinters on the edge.
I sanded the interior like crazy, including the top and bottom edges of the boards.
Measure the Dog
This is a “made to order” crate for my dog.
Your final dimensions may vary.
Following are the measurements I took and how they correspond to the dimensions of the crate.
Measure for Padding
Of course you’ll want to put some type of pad on the bottom, preferably something thick enough that the dog can’t scratch through easily.
So be sure to include the height of that in your measurements for how tall the inside should be.
It will be the height of your dog + the pad + 2”, at least.
Before You Cut
NOTE: Do not cut all of your material ahead of time!!!!
The type of scrap wood we’re using in this project may not be square and true, so I literally cut to fit on most pieces.
The plywood and the 2×2 uprights are the only pieces I cut ahead, and they are both covered in this tutorial.
You’ll see my tricks for making to measure in later tutorials in this series.
The overall dimensions for my finished crate are:
- 21” wide
- 32” deep
- 22” high
Below is the cut list with approximations on the following measurements, as yours will vary depending on the wood width you use for the slats and the way you hinge the door:
- 1x2s for the door – for a side hinge door, mine are about 13.5”. For a bottom hinge door they will need to be longer.
- Back and door slats – because I chose to go to the outside edges of the 2x2s, my slats were about 18.5”. If you decide to overlap the rear and door slats over the side slats to accommodate a side gate hinge, dimensions for both the long and short slats will need to change. (You’ll see in one of the tutorials that I originally built the door to hinge at the bottom and had to change it to a side hinge because the dog didn’t like going up the door ramp to enter the kennel.)
- Bottom boards – I used scrap ½” plywood and had to shore up the bottom so it would not bow. If you use ¾” plywood, you won’t need the full length of those extra boards. You’ll only need blocks for the casters, if you want your crate on wheels.
I like to cut bigger pieces of plywood on the floor so I can fully support it on both sides of the cut.
And the way I do it makes it super easy to clamp on my homemade straight edge too!
I cut the whole scrap piece to 32” first.
And then I cut it down to 20” pieces across.
I tried to find the straightest, less twisted and bowed 2×2 scrap that I had on hand.
Just be sure to measure twice and cut once to ensure they are all equal height!
Cut to Measure for the Rest
I held off cutting anything else at this point.
Scrap lumber, and especially pallet wood, may not always be square or true.
I literally cut to fit on all other pieces, as you’ll see in later tutorials.
Sand Pallet Boards
My pallet wood was pretty rough, so I elected to sand one side of all of the boards down before I started the build.
My Ryobi planer made super fast work of it too.
Just be sure to check the boards for nails first!!
Here’s how I made quick work of this task.
I put a drop sheet on my bench.
That kept all of the dust from falling on my tools and other wood and such that I had stored under the bench. And it made dust collection on the bench way easier too!
Then clamped the pallet board to the edge.
That gave me a stable platform for the planer.
It would have taken way longer to get the boards that smooth with a sander.
But I did use my sander for the edges, to remove those splinters.
Now that we have our plywood cut, be sure to see Part 2 where we’ll add the rails to the plywood to build the top and bottom of the crate.
If you’re enjoying this build, please subscribe to my YouTube channel.
And I’ll see you in the shop.