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Thread: Doggie Door Designs Needed/Wanted

  1. #1
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    Feb 2007
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    Doggie Door Designs Needed/Wanted

    My white boxer, Lilly, is in need of a doggie door so she can come and go while I am at work. The shop will be heated, Indiana does get quite cold at times and don't want a door that allows cold draft/cold air in after spending the time and money on insulation. All I see at the stores for a lot of money is a cheap piece of plastic with a magnet at the bottom. Surely there is something better out there. Have spent a couple of hours googling doggie door designs and really haven't come up with anything unless I want to spend anywhere from 469.00 to 700.00!!!
    Now, when I got Lilly, she had a bump on her back. It has never gone away or gotten larger. So don't want to irritate that by having a top hinge door that would drag over that bump daily. So am either thinking a pair of doors that hinge from each side and come together in the middle, or swings from one side only.
    Problems I am encountering:
    1. Seals for draft control.
    2. Self closing (each and every time!)
    3. Doesn't let cold air in.
    4. Swings both directions.
    5. Closes from both directions.
    6. Doesn't let my heat out.

    So, any ideas? Any suggestions? Any experience?? Help Lilly please.
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  2. #2
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    I had one of the aluminum framed style with the vinyl flexible doors and they actually work pretty well as the magnet held the door closed even with pretty strong gusts of wind. Had a door that you could slide on when wanting to keep the dog in or out. Audrey (my dog) would eventually get the clear vinyl dirty enough I'd have to clean it or she wouldn't come back in as she couldn't see through it.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  3. #3
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    Have a look at existing dog and cat doors, I remember seeing one that consisted of an orverlaping double frame with magnets. If the animal went from inside out ,the inner frame (door) would swing out, if the animal wants to get in it is the outer frame together with the inner one that swings in.
    Both are attached to the humans door with hinges.

    In this way you have the door always closed by the magnets and hav an overlaping padded rim of about 1/2 inc all around all the time that helps to seal and avoid drafts.

    An additional sliding door can be mounted for locking the animal in or out or when you're away on holyday.

    I hope I've explained it well enough, if not I can make you a sketch.
    Best regards,
    Toni

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  4. #4
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    Darren and Toni, he's looking for something that's not hinged on the top.

    Jon, I've not seen any that were hinged on the side(s) like you're looking for. I do recall seeing one with a sliding door that went up and down. It was battery powered, and it had a radio receiver that detected a little transmitter hanging from the dog's collar, and opened the door when they got close to it. (It was not cheap.)

    I suspect you could build something with double swinging doors (saloon doors), but I'd be concerned about Lilly getting pinched if she went partway through the doors then tried to back up. I can picture a dog sticking its head through the door, then trying to walk backward and getting its head trapped. Some dogs would panic and not have the sense to walk forward to get unstuck. The flexible vinyl flap doors avoid that.

    Just thinking out loud here, but I wonder if a rigid door had 2-way spring hinges on the bottom, if a dog could be trained to push it down and walk over the "ramp" made by laying the door down. They'd need to be pretty stiff springs to lift the door, though.

    I'm sure there's a solution, though.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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  5. #5
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    Jonathan I did see a unit years ago that a fellow had built onto the side of his home that looked something like a large dog house. It was a two stage chambered unit with off set inside panels that allowed the dog to come and go but stopped direct wind/rain from entering his home. Not the perfect solution but something inexpensive to think about.

    I did find this on line. Couldn't find a price on it but it might be something to look at and figure from there.

    http://www.doggiedoritefence.com/pet...and-cat-doors/
    Daily Thought: SOME PEOPLE ARE LIKE SLINKIES..... NOT REALLY GOOD FOR ANYTHING BUT THEY BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE WHEN PUSHED DOWN THE STAIRS...............

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    Just thinking out loud here, but I wonder if a rigid door had 2-way spring hinges on the bottom, if a dog could be trained to push it down and walk over the "ramp" made by laying the door down. They'd need to be pretty stiff springs to lift the door, though.

    I'm sure there's a solution, though.
    A counterweight could be used instead of a spring, in this way the force needed to lift the door would be equal or just a bit higher than the weight of the door itself. That should not be much.
    Last edited by Toni Ciuraneta; 10-06-2009 at 12:48 PM.
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  7. #7
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    Darren, that vinyl door is all I am finding in any local store. Really not keen on it other than it shouldn't create a problem with the bump on her back.

    Toni, yep, that double framed one is the one I remember seeing as a kid. Can't find one. Maybe the style I try to go with, but use a sideways swing (like a normal door).

    Vaughn, you may have hit on the reason for the vinyl flap. Hadn't considered her backing back in and getting trapped. Sure would happen and create a serious problem fast! Hmmmmmm. All of a sudden the vinyl flap is at the top of the list.

    Drew, that is kind of the situation I am considering. She will exit the South side of the shop, under the existing lean to. So if I do go with the vinyl, might use a truck mudflap on the outer door (like I did on dog houses as a kid). Then the vinyl at the other end. Thinking she might come and go under the workbench giving me a wind trap, and she won't be going out directly into rain.

    Okay, great thoughts and on the brainstorming session. Gave me more to think about. The pinching situation, wouldn't say it wouldn't happen to her, but we do have pups from time to time and they as you know, if it could happen, it will happen!! So for that scenario I need to be prepared. Utilizing the width of a workbench, first door at the front of the bench, second door at the wall, it would create an airlock situation, worst case, buy two doggy doors. Vaughn, I'd bet that is why I am not finding the other style anymore. I firmly believe that Lilly being loose keeps intruders at bay at night. So the doggie door will allow her a degree of comfort (being able to stay in a building that is minimum 45 degrees) and for her to come and go as she hears sounds around the farm. Thanks a bunch for the thoughts and suggestions.
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan Shively View Post
    Now, when I got Lilly, she had a bump on her back. It has never gone away or gotten larger. So don't want to irritate that by having a top hinge door that would drag over that bump daily. So am either thinking a pair of doors that hinge from each side and come together in the middle, or swings from one side only.
    Problems I am encountering:
    1. Seals for draft control.
    2. Self closing (each and every time!)
    3. Doesn't let cold air in.
    4. Swings both directions.
    5. Closes from both directions.
    6. Doesn't let my heat out.

    So, any ideas? Any suggestions? Any experience?? Help Lilly please.
    Jonathan,
    I'm glad you're thinking about Lily... I think you have a pretty good start here.. a cafe type door with spring hinges that will bring the doors back to center. Maybe a small magnetic catch or recessed magnets where the doors meet to hold the shut. You'll probably need to make the doors a little thicker so you might be able to put a thin sheet of foam or some sort of insulation between the panels... if you used 1/4 plywood or Luann, with a sheet of styrofoam between, it wouldn't be too heavy... then a routed 1 x 2 framework of a relatively lightweight wood..maybe a quality pine.... kinda like a kitchen cabinet, but lighter so Lily won't have problems pushing it. She'll learn to work the doors, but you don't won't the process to be too difficult.

    for seals over the edges where the hinges and top and bottom... you might look into a very thing and flexible strip of rubber... that would cover the cracks but allow the doors to swing back and forth.. Not sure about this, but every idea worth looking at.
    Last edited by Chuck Ellis; 10-06-2009 at 01:43 PM.
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  9. #9
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    Jonathan, I have neither a dog, nor a doggie door.
    However, when I was a kid I remember our neighbour had a large doghouse for a german shephard, which had a half-wall directly behind the door, which really cut the cold coming into the doghouse. (of course we climbed in there, we were kids!! )

    So I found myself wondering if perhaps two of the el-cheapo doors with an offset wall between them (see my doodle) might actually do a pretty good job, and be a far sight cheaper than those multi-hundred-dollar options.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    This does take up a bit of space... maybe it could fit under a bench or something.

    So are you not concerned about raccoons and so on finding this door?
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
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  10. Quote Originally Posted by Art Mulder View Post
    So are you not concerned about raccoons and so on finding this door?
    Funny, we had a opossum come through ours once. He ended up in a bathroom cabinet. Made my wife really happy!!

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