Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Cat Tower Part 3

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This post covers the rest of the woodworking for the cat tower.  Woo!


This is the bed post I found in a scrap wood pile.  It might have cost me $0.50 or something - I forget (and didn't add that into the final budget... oops).  Click on the jump to see more pics of how it's incorporated into the tower!




Please excuse the very unattractive picture of me hunched over as I wound the post with sisal rope. First, I cut off the top of the bedpost with my circle saw to the height I wanted it to be.  Then I added sisal rope like I explained before in Cat Tower Part 2 - nailing around the bottom, gluing the surface, and then winding rope really tightly around.  It's hard to see, but my other hand was wearing a glove, and the other glove was sitting next tome on the couch and was put back on after I was done applying more glue.


Here is the finished post!  You can see the top part is cut off, the middle part is wound with rope, and the bottom part I covered with leather.  I nailed and glued the edges of the leather down.  I own a lot of leather scraps (I do a fair amount of leatherworking), and I just fit a couple scraps to the post (see below for close-up).




Haha, above is just a picture of what the mess looked like sometimes in the middle of working on this project - wood scraps, sawdust, and tools all over the place.  I did clean all this up every time I stopped working!



The post is in!  I glued it and nailed it in place along the flat square portion at the bottom.  I may have also put a nail in at the top where it goes through the "roof" - I can't remember and don't feel like getting up to check now.  You can also see in this picture that I enlarged the hole at the bottom level.


Fun holes in the side for the cat to play through!


Post going through the hole in the roof of the dresser.


Haha, me with a power drill.  Bwahahaha!  I am dangerous as I drill holes for my brackets!

 

Heehee, power tools, yay.  Anyway, I was using the drill to make holes for brackets for the other post on the roof.  I apparently don't have any pictures of that going in.  Oops.  You'll see it later.


This picture is the bottom of the carpeted box in the upper part of the tower.  I have seen tons of evidence that cats adore boxes to curl up in, so I thought I would make a box for it to hang out in.  The bottom is a piece of a bottom of a drawer covered with two pieces of fronts of drawers.  I used the circle saw to cut these to the lengths I wanted, if I remember correctly.  Then I glued them together and clamped them overnight.


These are the four pieces I used for the sides of the box.  The back pieces from the little drawers were actually the same height as one of the front pieces from the big drawer that had nicely snapped exactly in half.  Remember how I had to glue the big ramp piece to a back piece in Cat Tower Part 2 in order to make sure that it didn't crack as it seemed to want to do?  Yeah, well, this piece cracked fully, but it worked out great using the halves!  I used the jigsaw to cut them to the lengths I wanted to fit around the bottom of the box.


Finished box, all nailed and glued together!


The top ledge was made from a wood scrap I found for free at a garage sale placed underneath a slightly-bigger piece of the bottom of a drawer that I had leftover from cutting up one of the drawer bottoms from another part of the project (maybe from the box - I can't remember).  I liked the size of the larger drawer bottom, but it's really thin and also hard to nail through and kind of flimsy, so I used the other thicker wood piece to make it more sturdy and easier to secure to the post.  You can faintly see in this picture and the one below that there are several L-brackets connecting all these pieces:  three around the bottom of the big post, connecting it to the dresser roof; two underneath the top ledge, connecting it to the post; and one bracket underneath the box, connecting it to the post.  These brackets, along with several nails going from the box and ledge into their respective support posts, were enough to make all of these pieces sturdy.


Weights were used overnight to further convince the glue that it wanted to secure these pieces to each other.


Woo!  Finished with the woodworking here!  You can see that I made a few of the holes even bigger.  I finally looked up how big those holes should be, and one random home-improvement website told me that small to medium-sized cats needed about a 6-inch in diameter hole when building a cat tower.  I had made most of my holes 5 inches in diameter when I was eyeballing how large they should be.  So I went back in and made them bigger.


The five holes in the middle are just for the cat to have fun poking its paws through as we dangle toys on the other side (hopefully), so they didn't need to be as large.  This kind of holes-as-playing system worked really well with my friend's cat Dani - they have a large tube with small holes in the end of it that we'd play with Dani through, and he appears to love this game.  I'm hoping my kitten likes a similar game!  If not, well, it still kind of looks cool and lets in light.



A couple more random pictures.  As you can see from the roof, I enlarged the hole that the post goes through, and abandoned the idea of making a separate hole in the corner.  The carpet will cover this, though, so no one will ever know... unless they read this public admittance here, of course.  *shifty eyes*  And so, the woodworking was finished!  Finito!  Ende!  Woo!

Here are links to all the parts of this project:

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