How to Make a Dog Food Dispenser

How to Make a Dog Food Dispenser


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today’s video I’ll tell you about them later on
man it is crazy how fast time flies it was five years ago that I started making
YouTube video showing people how I was building things and one of those things
was the dog food dispenser it was just a simple shape and at the bottom I placed
a blast gate to release food into a pouring container it worked great but
there was no way to regulate how much dog food was being dispensed well in
this video I will show you how I remade the dispenser with a mechanism inside
that releases a set amount of food per pull of a lever pretty cool huh
let me start at the beginning and show you how I did it okay let’s start with
making the body I kept the overall shape of it the same
as before because honestly the shape is the best for the application I think but
this time I wanted to soften the shape some by adding in some curves instead of
messing around with bending wood I cut out a template on my C and C then traced
it onto a sheet of plywood and then cut it out what I’m doing is I’m building up
the sides to the height needed by stacking identical parts on top of each
other I’m using tight bonds fast drawing thick and quick here and also using a
brad nailer to hold the parts to the previous one for the body I’m using a
construction grade plywood because I’ll be painting mine later on if you would
rather stain yours and you can do the same process from any solid wood as well
but once the glue is dry I gave both sides of good sanding with 80 grit to
smooth out any slight unevenness between the layers if you use plywood unless you
use a really high-end grade there’s always gonna be a few voids in the plies
my method for filling these in for a seamless paint surface is to apply some
joint compound to it once the compound is fully dry I again
but with this time with 120 grit alright for the moment that is the body done so
let’s start working on the mechanism my little dogs eat one cup of food each day
so I started off building a mechanism that would dispense that amount I grab
some PVC pipe and cut two links at the miter saw this is what will store the
needed amount of food next I grab some half-inch scraps and started making a
few circles I used a compass to draw the circle a
bandsaw to cut them out then a Forstner bit to cut out these smaller needed
circles if you don’t have a Forstner bit you can instead use a drill to punch a
through hole large enough to get a jigsaw blade into then you can use a
jigsaw to cut it out this whole assembly creates the inside portion that holds
the food and also rotates about when the lever is pulled now to make the top and
bottom parts that will open and close off the holes and stay stationary while
the inside moves I’m again using scraps to make these parts and started off
cutting a few rectangles over at the table saw then I clamped them to my
armor tool table once again and punched a few holes in one of the plates after
the two holes were cut out I used two jig salts he cut a curved pathway
between the two this simple cutout drastically cuts down on the food
getting stuck and crunch when moving the lever and cutting off the flow of food
after drilling yet another circle on what will be the bottom you know where
the food drops out from I piled all the parts on top of each other and drilled a
center hole I started with the top assembly which has a circle cut out and
two square pieces being held together with the carriage bolt and two nuts to
lock it into place also on this assembly is something to
aggregate the food which in my case is a paint stirrer stick cut to length this
part will knock the food around when moving the lever to keep it flowing
nicely into the pipes below next I flipped it over and started assembling
the bottom first attaching the circle with two cutouts oh and I again use
tight bonds thick and quick to glue the PVC pipes to the wood this is an
interior multi-surface glue so it’s perfect for sticking different material
together quickly then lastly after you’re on the bottom
rectangle where the food drops out of and tightened everything down all right
now let me see if I can show you how it works when I attach the lever I’ll be
able to rotate the inside circles to one side which opens up one of the pipes
while closing the other this is the top so one will always be filling while the
other one will be closed then on the other side which will be the bottom
there’s only one hole and one pipe will always be empty while the other one is
closed off this closed off pipe is the one filling in theory you can resize the
device to hold any amount of dog food cat food cereal coffee beans really
anything you can think of but keep in mind the larger in diameter you go with
those pipes the larger the dispenser will be overall after putting this one
together I actually downsized mine because while
my dogs eat one cup of food daily they eat it over two meals throughout the day
so next I made it a device to dispense just half a cup of food at one time and
just going from a full cup to half a cup you can see the size difference that it
makes in the device which like I said will determine how big the body needs to
be before setting that aside to build the front the last thing I did was stick
a handle on it I made a simple shape then again use some tight bond to attach
it to the device itself okay and now onto the face remember that this can be
as simple as a plywood sheet but I thought it would be really cool to do a
two-piece live-edge with some epoxy down the middle that could be used as a sight
glass to see the level of dog food inside even cooler I am using a piece of
Mesquite I personally milled up myself a year ago with my chainsaw mill it just
so happened to be the perfect height for this project and was actually wide
enough to use as well but I thought it would be much cooler piece if I cut it
down the middle resold it to book match and point the two live edge portions
towards one another I used my track saw to rip down the
center but even doing this and exceeded the cut capacity of my bandsaw to resaw
it so I took it to my neighbor shop and used his to get two boards that are
about 3/8 of thik I quickly ran each one over the
jointer to get one side flat and then through my thickness planer to get the
second side flat real quick I want to pause and say a big thank you to this
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next I set up a station to do my epoxy pour first figuring out how my boards
were going to lay and how far apart they needed to be next I lay down tape to
cover up the bottom of the board and the intention here is to create a surface
that the epoxy won’t be able to stick to however I will tell you that this
painters tape ended up sticking really bad I hear house wrap tape releases much
better but I didn’t have any of that on hand after the tape I cut a few scraps
to link to create some walls these will build a form around my two mesquite
boards to keep the epoxy in I can use tape on the bottom edges of these boards
since they will be the portion in contact with the epoxy next I attach the
boards and sealed around it to prevent the epoxy from leaking out while it
dries I’ve seen people use silicone before but that has a really long dry
time and I was trying to get the pour done that day so I used a faceting
adhesive from tight bond called tight grab I laid down a decent bead under the
sidewalls and then mush them down on top it is an
adhesive so this will attach the walls to the bottom and then I just took these
squeezed out and used it to seal off where the bottom meets the walls and the
corners where the walls meet each other with the form done next I set my boards
in place then started to mix together the epoxy since my goal is to use this
as a site glass it’s really important to use an epoxy that would end up crystal
clear and this brand total boat has always amazed me on how clear it comes
out so that is what I use also if you’re needing epoxy remember that you can use
the code Apryl W to get 20% off anything total boat okay and time to pour I was a
little bit nervous because this was my first big ish epoxy pour but honestly
there was no reason to be I poured it right down the center until it filled up
to the surface then waited a little bit for it to settle and then kept pouring
in more you’ll see that there are lots of bug holes in the SAP wood of this
Mesquite I didn’t want these to get filled in
because I think they look cool as little tunnels
once you’re done pouring you can use a quick amount of flame to pop all of the
air bubbles in the epoxy then I recommend checking to make sure your
form isn’t leaking and then just let it sit until cured the next day I used a
mallet to bust open the form and expose the pour the sides did come off easily
enough but that tape that was stuck pretty darn good instead of spending the
time that would take to peel it off I ended up sanding it off which isn’t a
big problem since the next step was to sand the front and clean up all of the
excess epoxy for this job I started with 80 grit and I used the more aggressive
setting on my 6-inch Triton RS and this make quick work of the epoxy and the
tape I use my RS to go through the grits I have pads for which I only keep up to
320 in my shop so then I switched over to hand sanding and continued to 500-800
thousand fifteen hundred and then three thousand the goal is to remove all of
the scratches you made from the previous grid and after getting through three
thousand the last steps who really make it shine is to add some polish compound
and buff it you can do this a few different ways but I have a grinding
wheel that has a buffing wheel on one side so that’s what I use to polish up
the epoxy this was kind of hard to do because its side and its middle
placement but I made it work on both the front and back okay now that’s three components done
the body the mechanism in the front so now we can join them together the front
is really the main part that will be seen because my dispenser will end up in
my kitchen pantry so I picked out a brown that would complement the mesquite
wood then for the mechanism I painted it whatever sort of brown I had in a rattle
can I honestly didn’t think too much about it because you really can’t see it
as the sightglass narrows where it is after attaching the body to the
dispenser I set it on a piece of ply to trace out forward back
I quickly zip that out and then attached it using thick and quick once again for
lid I cut a piece of piano hinge to size and threw it on using a few short screws
before attaching the top I first squared up the top edge over at the table saw
using a crosscut sled once I had that edge sorted I measured down in two
different places to the final length I needed the piece and this way I could
use a track saw to cut it square okay so far so good
next I use the table saw to rip off another small strip of the epoxy pour to
attach it right underneath the handle after squaring both pieces up to the
body and also making sure they were in line with each other
I used the smallest girl that I own to punch through the front face and end to
the body my intention is to attach this face by using dowels but I don’t want to
see them on the front at all and I’m calling them blind dowels but I really
don’t know if that’s a real term or not after punching a few holes through the
face and into the body now I could remove the top and have an exact
location in both pieces to enlarge that would fit a dowel I used a piece of tape
on my drill bit to mark a depth and make sure I wouldn’t go through the face I
threw some type on and some quarter-inch dowels in the holes then cross my
fingers and hope this method work I don’t want to use a brad nailer on the
face so I threw it in clams until this glue is dried but then I used my
favorite bit which is that infinity mega flush trim bit to match the shape of the
body to the front I also used the Infinity round over bit after the soften
it it’s had by getting rid of those hard 90-degree edges then I ran over the
entire front with 220 grit paper all right and now on to finish this is my
first time working with Mesquite but what a beautiful beautiful wood not only
the red brownish of that heartwood but also that brilliant yellow SAP wood I
also love that the majority of the bug holes stayed hollow after letting three
coach dry I hung it up now this will end up in my kitchen pantry but since I
can’t easily get a camera in there I’ll hung it on my shop wall to show you how
it works dog food will go in at the top then
whenever I pull the lever a set amount will dispense from the bottom of course
whenever I’m serving the dogs I will place their food bowls under the
dispenser but for testing purposes I was using a measuring cup so what do you all
think I honestly wasn’t too sure about that live-edge front when I started but
I am really loving the way that it came out I think the sight glass is neat and
I love being able to just pull a lever and the right amount of food fall into
the bowl I hope that you enjoyed this project I hope that you learned
something and I will see you on my next project

100 thoughts on “How to Make a Dog Food Dispenser

  1. Protect your shop, home and family this holiday season with SimpliSafe! Check out their Cyber Monday sale: https://simplisafe.com/April

  2. Came for the dog food dispenser (because I keep Danes and anything like this is completely unrealistic for me but I can dream) and honestly if this video is any indication of your overall channel…….you’re REALLY good. The production on this video is amazing.

  3. I am always amazed how people can click "thumbs down" on a video like that. If you don't like woodworking, simply don't watch it.

    April I think that is a great idea and the end product looks awesome. Thank you for sharing this idea with us.

  4. That looks great. I now have to make one with 3 different types of food, with one dispensing two different portion sizes for our four cats.
    I think I'm maybe biting off more than I can chew.

  5. Dowel pins would mean you don't have to drill trough the front. Drill out the case dowells, drop in the dowel pins, put the top on, press down by all dowels, you have prefect marks for drilling (in hardwood needs a knock with a rubber mallet) then you have normal, hidden dowels, easy. The only cost a couple of pounds for 3 sets in UK 6, 8 and 10mm, I bought a couple of sets to make it easier.

  6. great build that looks beautiful. one of the things that is best about your vids is the clear non-excessive way you explain things

  7. April, I'm needing clear epoxy resin for a shower pan project I've got going on…
    much like this: https://youtu.be/iUjDC6ub-ow
    but, I'm using vinyl printed graphics under the resin.

    went to totalboat's website, and I'm not sure which kit to order.

    which kit are you using? slow, medium, fast (looks like you're using slow hardener)
    which size? (part 1 looks like a gallon)
    the gallon kit looks like $164.99 ?

    the 20% off discount code, free shipping, and positive reviews have me leaning toward Total Boat products.
    Thanks for the video

  8. April, as usual, fantastic job. Your shop is awesome. It seems that you are learning as you go, as most of us often do. How cool that you aren't afraid to try new things. Outstanding, wholesome, and positive content. Love it!

  9. Way to go April!'' Who'd think a dog food dispenser could look party''. You certainly have another item people would purchase for a premium if you so chose to. I'd buy one if I had a dog. Great video!

  10. This is awesome. I’ve been wanting one of these but didn’t want an ugly thing hanging on my wall. This eliminates that problem by making it an art piece as well.

  11. Wow….such detail. Well done! Its amazing how you have the mind that can conjure up some wonderful ideas…and the hands and talent to make it happen. Nice

  12. Now the offcuts can go in the smoker for some BBQ! Regarding the painter's tape – was it cold overnight in the shop? I've had that issue before and found hitting it with a heat gun helps.

  13. Thank you for this great video!
    I just finished mine tonight!!
    I don't have a dog, however, so I filled mine with M&Ms!!!
    Delicious!

  14. This is a great idea and great project if your feeding a single yapper type dog that only takes a small bag of dog food weekly/monthly. But the average large dog we have would require hefting 40+lbs bags five six feet in the air monthly to fill that thing, hmmm no thanks. That's just the reality of it.

  15. put a batery powered led light inside the lid will show the amount of food inside much better, we used a multicolored led light looks great!

  16. Amazing!!! My wife has six dogs ( which kind of make me mad sometimes ) but I am going to prove my love for her bulding one dog food dispenser, not so beautiful and perfect as yours, but at least functional.

  17. While this is a great design, I think perhaps you've made a grave mistake in not addressing the food / mold issue. It appears some have brought this up to a certain extent. I saw that there are a few areas that are not at least coated with paint or stain as well – small, but once mold gets started I think you are going to find this dispenser ends up being a throw-away. I would give this at most a few months before some major mold starts developing, assuming you check it.
    Don't get me wrong, this is a great design, but not sure it is really going to work, especially with the generally somewhat oily aspect of dog food.

  18. Very nice…how many pounds of food does that it hold? I have one dog that eats nearly 4 cups a day (he's a big boy), and the other is about 1-1/2 cups. Next time you are going to do that "Blind Dowel" idea..get some (or make some) dowel centers. TOTAL game changer on this idea….

  19. I think I will try this nigh exact design, but maybe with two different sized tubes to accommodate the portion sizes of my two different [idiot] dogs. Pull across left for the first portion, then right for the second portion.

  20. Yes, mesquite is a gorgeous wood! This is an awesome project! I’m just a tinkerer, no professional woodworking skills, love working with the variety of woods, but that live mesquite was exquisite. Beautiful 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

  21. Really cool concept and you definitely improved on it with your live edge design. How cool is it that you were able to use some wood that you milled?!

  22. Wow!!! This is JUST what I needed, on a few levels …first of all, I've been subscribed for a long time, but haven't watched any April videos in a few months… second, I am always looking for practical and items to inspire me for woodworking projects, and this is right up my alley…third, I've been yearning to get myself a dog for years, but this year it's been really an acute longing….more inspiration! Thanks April!!!

  23. Yt recommendations: NBA Highlights

    Also Yt recommendations: Sports funny moments

    Also Yt recommendations: How to make dog food dispenser….

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