It started on a cold Saturday in early April with plenty of snow on the ground and a week or two left in the dog sledding season.
It was time to plan out and build a dog box for my 2002 Toyota Tundra and Team Ineka. My friends Paul and Austin and I worked almost two months on this project.
The first step after planning the box out on paper was head to Home Depot and pick up the wood for the box. We decided to use 3/4 inch plywood with 1×2’s for the support skeleton.
We decided to build the box on the truck so that we would have a reference point. We also installed it to the bed.
Only one weekend into the project I had to return to Home Depot to pick up more plywood. This time I had to drive all the way to Anchorage (1 1/2 hours) to pick up 3/4 inch tongue and grove for the roof of the box and order a router bit for my 10 year old Dewalt router. It would take 10 days for this part to arrive. I drove around with the box like this on my truck for almost two weeks.
I let Paul measure out and cut the doors for the box on a very cold Saturday morning in mid-April and then Austin (our handler) and I got to work installing the remaining pieces.
I know it looks like there is a large overhang in the back but we purposely built it this way. The storage area in the back was built wide enough to hold a 5 gallon bucket and a cooker. There is also plenty of room for sponsor signs too!
We built the box with a 3 inch overhang at the bottom to go with the lines of the truck. The box is attached with 5 inch lag bolts.
It is starting to warm up in Willow and I can get to other projects besides the dog box. The wood pile to the left has been buried in the snow since New Years Day! In these photos you can see the size of the back of the box where I can store the gear.
Here you can see the finished edge of the top of the box. We wanted to make sure we had enough of an overhang so that snow and ice would not get into the box. On any dog box the top (roof) is the weak link and often needs the most attention over time. The top also has to support the weight of a couple sleds and a person walking on it. We used 2×4’s for the roof support.
It is now early May and the box has been removed. It took three guys and quite a bit of strength to move it off the truck. It is very heavy! The box sat here for almost two weeks while the snow melted and formed a large mud pit right where we put the box. I painted the top with four coats of black paint.
We decided to move the box again to it’s permanent resting place (at least for the summer so that I can use my truck as a truck). Again it took three guys and quite a bit of maneuvering. In this picture, the box is sanded and ready for staining.
It had to be at least 45 degrees before I could stain the box. This picture is of the doors for the boxes as well as the rear doors.
Two coats of stain. I chose a Behr product that is used to stain and seal decks and siding. It is supposed to last for at least five years.
I installed 2 1/2 inch zinc plated hinges and had to order the door latches from a company in Illinois.
This is inside one of the boxes. These are large by dog box standards. I should be able to fit two medium sized (50 pounds) sled dogs in each box–as long as they get along!
A good look at the hardware and construction of the box.
Raegan and Bodhi checking out the box! As you can see, I will ned to install metal grating over the holes in the doors. I have to order those from a company called Weld-Air in Wasilla.
I still have some work to do on the box including installing rails on the roof to hold the sleds, install grating over the holes in the doors and metal edging on the corners of the box.
It has taken us about two months and about 700 dollars (to date) for this project but I can proudly say that we did it ourselves.
In a town where there are practically a dog box in every other yard, this one is mine and I am glad to have the help of good friends–Paul and Austin. You guys rock!