A while back, my wife ask me to make some dog dish risers for our Boston Terriers. I’d just gotten my Craigslist laser cutter running and had recently found a box-drawing extension for Inkscape, so I thought I’d give it a try. I did some research and figured out that for our dogs, I needed the lip of the bowl to be about 4 inches high, which worked out well since I could put all 4 sides on a single “sheet” for the laser, since my bed is about 8 by 12 inches. I measured the bowls (not very well) and determined that the box should be 6″ square, and after using the extension to draw a basic box added an appropriate hole in the top face.
After a bit of flashing lights (laser cutting, obviously), cleaned up the cut parts with a medium-grit sanding sponge, and assembled the box using a rubber mallet. It’s just friction-fit and has been in use for weeks without an issue. I didn’t do anything fancy for kerf to make the finger-joints fit, but I needed the generator to draw all the lines for each piece so I could arrange them on the bed. To accomplish this, I used “near-zero kerf” (like .01mm) in the box generator to fool it into not interlocking the pieces. Once the box was assembled, I sanded the corners a bit more, and clear-coated it inside and out. Not only does the clear-coat make it drool-resistant, but it also helped seal some of the “campfire” smell that comes with laser-cut plywood. Once the clearcoat was dry, I stuck some felt feet on the bottom, and installed the bowls. They just sit in the cut-out, so they’re easily removed for washing, and the tapered side of the bowl keeps them centered in the hole.
The Inkscape drawing portion of this project was pretty trivial, even for me as an Inkscape novice, and your dimensions will vary based on your dog and your bowls, so I’ve not provided laser-ready files. Hopefully this serves as inspiration for you to do something similar, though!