Backyard agility is a great way for your dog to get some mental and physical exercise, and it's also a great way to bond with your dog! Today we are going to show you how to build a DIY A-Frame for backyard agility! You can also watch the video above for more information!
- 2 4x8 Sheets of Exterior Plywood
- 6 2x4 Stud Boards
- 48 Feet of Primered Lattice
- 1 Gallon of Primer
- 1 Gallon of Yellow Exterior Paint
- 1 Gallon of Blue Exterior Paint (or color of your choice)
- 1 bag of Non-Skid Surface sand (Floor finish additive)
- 2 6 foot lengths of chain
- 4 Eye hooks
- 4 Carabiners
- 2 Wheels
- 1 Tube of Liquid Nails (and Caulk Gun)
- 3 Corner Hinges and screws
- 24 2.5 Inch Deck Screws
- 2 Inch brad nails
- 3/4 Inch brad nails
- Brad Nailer
- Paint brushes, Rollers, and paint containers
- Measuring Tape
The first thing we are going to need to do is prep all of our wood. Take your 2 4x8 sheets of plywood and cut them down to 3x8. Make sure your edges are smooth, and sand them down if you need to. Take 4 of the 2x4's and cut them to 8 feet. They will be the same length as the plywood. Now take the remaining 2x4s and cut six 33 inch sections. And finally, take your lattice, and cut 14 three foot sections. With all of your wood now cut to the sizes we need, you can now primer everything.
We did two coats of Primer on all of our wood. Make sure you let it dry completely. Once all of your wood is primed, we can build the top boards of the A-Frame. Take one 3x8 Sheet of plywood, and 7 of your 3 foot lattice strips. Starting at the bottom of the plywood, make a mark every 12 inches, all the way up the board. Make this mark on both sides. You should end up with space for 7 pieces of the lattice. Now we are going to take the liquid nails and put some on on each piece of lattice and set them in place. After that, take your 3/4 inch brad nails and put 5 brad nails in each lattice piece. Repeat this for the other 3x8 sheet of plywood as well.
Now it's time to add some color! On your plywood, and your 4 2x4s, measure 42 inches up from the bottom and mark a line. This is your color line. The bottom half will be yellow, and the top half will be blue. You will also need to pain 2 of the 33 inch 2x4s yellow, and 2 of them blue. All of the 2x4s will need two coats of paint, and then they can be set aside. The decking of the A-Frame will need one base coat of paint (without the non skid additive).
So The 2x4s at this point should be finished. They will have two coats of paint and should be nice and bright. The decking still needs the Non-Skid surface. So what we will do next is add a bit of the Non-Skid surface sand to a small container of paint. You don't want to add the entire thing to a gallon of paint, because once you do, you can no longer save the paint. So mix a bit in your container and use a roller to paint the decking. We ended up doing two coats. If you choose to do two coats, make sure to let your paint dry completely before applying the second coat.
Once your decking is painted and dry, we can put together the frame. You will need 2 of the 8 foot 2x4s, and then one yellow, one blue, and one white of the 33 inch 2x4s. In the photo below you can see how they need to be laid out. The white board should be right in the middle. You will take 2 decking screws and put them in each connecting section of the 2x4s. 12 Decking screws total will be used. Repeat this for both sides. If you are adding wheels to your A-Frame, now is the time to do it. Place them at the bottom on one side. Drill your holes, and attach your wheels!
Now it's time to attach the decking to the frame! Lay your decking on top of your frame, and use the 2 inch brad nails to attach it together. We tried to put 1 brad nail every 6 inches all the way around. We don't want this to come apart!
We are so close! Next, we took our A-Frame outside and laid both sections on top of each other, as if it were folded closed. This makes it easier to attach the hinges that go on the top of the frame. Screw in all 3 hinges.
Now, because we had an A-Frame before, we did this next part a bit differently then you will. We stood our A-Frame up before we attached our chain. You are NOT going to want to do that. Lay your A-Frame on it's side and slowly open it up. Screw in the 4 eye hooks about 1 foot above your center brace and attach your chain. You can make your A-Frame short or tall. We don't like to have our super steep since it's just for backyard agility. Attach the chain to the eye hooks and slowly raise up the A-Frame. Check to make sure it is sturdy and sitting level before you let your dogs test it out.
That's it! It's done! We did it! We hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to build your own backyard A-Frame for agility with your dogs!