Sunday, May 31, 2015

The New Cat Perch build from scratch-finish photos

Hi Everyone,

Well, I've finished the cat tree and here it is:

If you will recall, I used the plans from Cat Tree Plans and this is the cat house with V-perch which you can see by clicking here.

The build went very well. I modified the roof a little and reduced the pitch so it would be easier for cats to jump up on and stay on. But other than that the basic construction is the same.

As you can see with the exception of the v-shelf and a portion of the roof, I didn't carpet the perch like most people do.

Cat perches at my house get used a lot and they eventually, no matter how often I vacuum, they get covered in cat fur. This perch was finished with an exterior wood stain to make cleaning easier and before I took the photograph, I just brushed it with a small whisk broom to clean it.

And of course it has a roped cat scratcher so they can exercise their claws:

I've placed some screws between the layers of rope to help keep it from sagging. My cats use their scratcher a lot and the rope has sagged and it looks really crummy right now (I'm going to fix that shortly). I'm hoping this will prevent that.

Here are a couple more photographs:

My cats have really enjoyed the hole in the roof. They love to hop in and out.

And that's it. This perch is an early wedding present and is destined for a young couple who are getting married and have two wild and crazy kitties of their own. I hope everyone enjoys this.

Ok, I'm going to re-do an existing cat perch along these lines and I'll show you this later this week. I have a serving tray to finish and then a chair and then a bowl and then another cat perch so we have a busy summer a head.

So grab some coffee and drop by the wood shop!

See you soon,

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Cat Perch and a new Kitty Condo

Hi Everyone,

I've been working on the cat perch and the parts are all cut out and ready to be assembled. The folks I'm making it for have asked me to delay assembling it until the move into their new place in the middle of June so I'm going to defer writing about it until then. But I will have final photos for you to see.

My cats, like other cats love to play with cardboard boxes and the other day I got a photo of Biscuit sitting in one:

He looks a little forlorn doesn't he? So I decided to take some of the scrap lumber in the shop and make him a condo and here are several photos:

I added some air holes on the sides:

And it has a removable roof so I can keep it clean and remove the towel inside to wash it:

And here it is next to the cardboard box. Much nicer I would say:

I know what your thinking: is Biscuit using his new digs? No. He was sitting in the cardboard box this morning. I think he'll come around in a day or two and begin using it.

Stay tuned,

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Coming Up Next: The Lawn Chair build

Hi Everyone,

My next project in a week or so will be some lawn chairs and maybe a table to set outside with. I've been a big fan of Canadian engineer Mattias Wandel and I'm going to use his lawn chair plans for this.
You can see a video of him making a chair on YouTube at: Lawn Chair build

Stay tuned!


Friday, May 15, 2015

Cat Perch project #1-making one from scratch - discussion and plans

Hi Everyone,

If you're a cat lover like me, then you probably have a cat perch in your home. They are useful pieces of furniture but they can be rather pricey. And the ones that are upolstered with carpet eventually get dirty and full of cat fur.

I have two lovely young friends who are going to get married later this year and who are also cat lovers. They own two Bengal cats or perhaps the cats own them. Anyway, they need a cat perch for these guys and it's SWW to the rescue! Time to make a perch.

I am going to use the cat tree plans from Cat Tree Plans. I've used their plans before. Their plans produce very sturdy, usable cat perches that are very easy to make. The plans require a minimum of tools, use construction grade lumber and plywood,  and the plans are well illustrated and easy to understand.

This cat tree will not be upolstered with carpeting, instead I'm going to stain it with outdoor deck stain. This should make keeping it clean much easier and the stain will complement my friends home decor. I am going to make them plan #7 and you can see this by clicking here.

As the plans are copyrighted I'm not going to show all the details or display the cut list or other measurements. I'll just show several photographs and you should get a general idea as to what I'm doing with this.

Here we go:

It was cold the day I began the project so I brought the plywood parts inside and began marking them for cutting. And of course every job has to have a foreman and you can see mine in the photo:

Unfortunately the foreman doesn't clean up:

Here is a little sign post for the condo part of the house. My friends are artists and they can use this piece to paint the cat's names on:

And here are the cut out parts. you can see this is just 2x4s and plywood:

My friends have selected a deep brown stain for the perch and you can see that color here at Behr color coatings. They selected coffee SC-103.

I've sanded all the parts and tomorrow I'm going to begin staining them. Once I'm done with that I'll partially assemble the pieces and then do the final assembly at my friend's place. So stay tuned for the assembly and finish photos.


Monday, May 4, 2015

The therapeutic value of wood turning

Hi Everyone,

I have a friend who's mother has severe Alzheimer's Disease and is having a really rough time with her memory failing. This kind of problem as we all know affects so many facets of a person's life and it's hard on the individual and their family as well.

So, what to do? I began wondering if a small, turned wooden object might help calm my friend's mother and help her focus little bit. So down to the wood shop, and in digging around I found some lumber that I purchased several weeks ago:

...and I also came across a small block of monkey pod that I've had for several years. So I turned the block and the small scrap (which is Australian cypress) in the above photograph into a small turned box:

It's small enough to fit into a person's hands, and it has soft, smooth finish. I used wipe on polyurethane and I sanded it up to 400 grit paper.

I really hope my friend and her mother finds it useful.

If your a wood turner, turning something small like this might just help someone over a rough spot in life. Think about it.


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Turn-O-Rama finish photos

Hi Everyone,

I've finished the turned red oak box and here are some photos of it:

This is a side view-you can see how the laminations fit together:

A top view and you can see the end grain:

Woo Hoo!

The box has several coats of polyurethane on it. I buffed it between coats with a green nylon scrub pad and that's it. Very simple.

I hope you all enjoyed this year's project.

I'm going to get the long delayed serving platter done next and then a new cat perch for the Ginger Majesties.

Stay tuned,