Tristan drilling the pig rails; Gore Range in the background
On the Internet I found great plans for building a whelping box - the McEmn Mark III Whelping Box.
“Tristan, look! Let’s build it,” I called to my son, excited to build this deluxe whelping box.
“We have neither the tools nor the ability to build that!” he replied.
Well, it did require a router, which I used to own. And calling for rabbeting joints …
I borrowed a router from my neighbor Clint (of sidewalk-pouring fame) and bought lumber and hardware for the box. If we got stuck we could always ask a bona fide carpenter for help.
We cut the 4’ by 8’ sheet of plywood into 20’ by 48’ pieces – we, that’s Clint on his radial arm saw (I was also lacking a table saw).
We now had the four required side pieces, and I had the tools to measure, and drill holes in the correct places. It called for Steel Tee Nuts, which I’d never heard of, but the lumberyard found them and sold them to me.
I pounded in the Tee nuts; Tristan cut the “pig rails” to length, and we routed the edges round. Pig Rails go along about 5′ above the bottom of the box to prevent the mother from accidentally squishing a puppy when she sits in the box – instead, they’re pushed aside, beneath the overhanging rail.
It did say to: “Rabbet each end so that the ends of two pig rails can cross and be the same thickness as the original 2×4,” but I instead stacked the alternate rails on top of the lower rails.
A few turns of screws on the corner braces, and voila, we had a whelping box. We even managed some slightly crooked seats, and just in time for mom to start whelping (I hope).