Building dog stairs. What wood to use?

Hi all:
Please excuse me if this question is 'too basic, and dumb' for this group. But I could use some advice..... ;)
I have two dogs that are getting up in years. I would like to build a simple set of stairs so they can easily get up on their place of honor, my bed...
Anyway, the bed is about 26" high. I plan on making the steps about 22" wide, 10"deep and either going two steps @8 1/2" high, or three steps @6 1/2" high. Haven't decided which way to go. (they are still in good shape, I'm more concerned about the effect of them jumping down from that hight day after day onto a hard surface.
I would like advice on what wood to use. The heaviest dog is 70 pounds. What wood would offer good/safe support for the build. Particle wood is I imagine a lot cheaper than Ply, and I have to build this cheap.
Thanks for your guidance!
--
--PHIL--

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1/2" high. Haven't decided which way to go. (they are still in good

70 pounds is not going to do too much to anything thicker than 1/2 inch. You could probably get away with 3/8 inch unless you have some intent on climbing on them. I think the plywood might be a bit easier to work with, as it is somewhat less dense. Using a few 2x2's as a frame might make the whole business stronger, but it would add about $7 to the cost.
Some stores have some "hobby" wood for sale at reduced prices. You might be able to do quite well with some of that on this project.
Michael
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Scrounge a bunch of pallets and some old rug if you're really on a budget. (Not joking...)
70 pounds isn't that heavy, and all of that weight won't be on any step at any time. You could easily build this out of 3/8 to 1/2 inch material with a bit of design cleverness.
djb
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wrote:

The challenging part may be getting the dogs to use the stairs instead of jumping. <s>
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Yeah, no kidding. We just went through this with our dog (though much smaller, at about 15lbs). Had to teach her 'one step at a time' -- she'd a rather just had us lift her up.
But a few weeks later ... no problems.
Back to the OP's *real* question -- 3/8 or 1/2 will be plenty strong enough.
Regards, JT
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Agree with the others: 3/8" Particle Board. I just built a little stage for the kids - about the same weight if two of the three get on it. No problem. Even I can stand on it - albeit I stay close to the 2x4 supports underneath. I think I paid 9 bux for a 4x8 sheet from Home Depot.
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snipped-for-privacy@dot.com(PHIL) wrote:

Thanks everyone. I'll go to Home Depot this Saturday and get the supplies. I'm actually kind of looking forward to this little project.
And since I don't own a pneumatic nailer ( that'd be COOL! ) I'm thinking I'll use screws to put it together (pre-drill holes first) instead of nails. That sound right?
--
--PHIL--

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As long as your dogs don't figure out how to use the screwdriver, you are ok. A wee bit of glue in the joints would make things a tad stronger.
Enjoy your project. It sounds like a fun one.
Michael
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On 13 Aug 2004 04:03:57 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@dot.com(PHIL) wrote:

Might I suggest a plywood ramp with a decor-matching Berber carpet over a 2x4 frame?
Mike Patterson Please remove the spamtrap to email me. "I always wanted to be somebody. I should have been more specific..."
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HAHA! I am just finishing mine! Well mine is not a stairway, but rather just one step 14" high. It basically looks like a mini coffee table that is carpetted instead of tiled. It is made of Peruvian Walnut, and the top is a mitered frame around hardboard that is carpetted. My dog is afraid of everything, so if the step was slick, he'd be afraid to use it. :-)
Brian.
1/2" high. Haven't decided which way to go. (they are still in good

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On 13 Aug 2004 04:03:57 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@dot.com(PHIL) vaguely proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!:
remove ns from my header address to reply via email
My only thought in all of this is that if you use ply (not veneered MDF which some "ply" practically is) then you will maybe pay a _little_ bit more, but be able to build a lot lighter, by using 1/4" (probably 3/16"!) ply instead of 1/2" MDF, and probably lighter frames as well.
Depends if you need it light. But check out the price of 1/4" ply compared to 1/2" MDF. It may only cost an extra few $.
Another thing. If you use MDF particlelarly (ark ark) then make sure you seal it. It is not nice stuff to sleep next to unsealed night after night. Sealing will help to prevent the fumes, and also stops the stuff scuffing up and putting out nasty dust.

***************************************************** It's not the milk and honey we hate. It's having it rammed down our throats.
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I'd just cut the legs off.
(The bed).
-JBB
1/2" high. Haven't decided which way to go. (they are still in good

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< BG !! > Thanks, I'll remember that when/if I get frustrated during the build!
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A ramp would work a bit better, also simpler.
PHIL wrote:

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Yes, but I don't have the space for one in the room.
Good thought though : )
--
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Well....*dogwood* of course.....
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PHIL wrote:

SWMBO was just showing me this yesterday... http://www.puppystairs.com /
Of course, the fun part of it is removed with that response.
Mike
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On 13 Aug 2004 04:03:57 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@dot.com(PHIL) vaguely proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!:
remove ns from my header address to reply via email
My guess is you would only need one step, certainly at this stage. Why not use one of those translucent plastic containers on wheels? They cost bugger all, and you can store stuff in them. Put a bit of foam on top, and one on the floor. ***************************************************** It's not the milk and honey we hate. It's having it rammed down our throats.
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