Wednesday, February 15, 2017

2017-Welcome Back and Cats vs. Human-they're at it again

Hello Everyone!

Well, February has arrived and the weather here is warming up so it looks like its time to get back to work here in the shop. We're off to another year of projects together!

Here's the first project for the year:

I have two cats, Biscuit and Rhubarb, who have been the subject of several cat projects in the past that, well, they've been able to out do me on (publicly humiliated would probably be a better way of thinking of this). I think they get a special pleasure out of this:

This is Biscuit, looking a little guilty:

And this is Rhubarb, giving me his "I-didn't-do-it" look:

Anyway, I have a much loved chair that those two have been scratching the hell out of;

The photo doesn't do it justice. The chair is getting some serious damage.

I also have a large wood pile that I've been saving for bowls. I was looking at it the other day and one large piece from a box elder tree stood out. Take a look at this:

This looks to me like a large main trunk with a large secondary trunk that was jutting out from the side. It was cut with a chain saw and I've been drying it and several other large trunk sections. This caught my eye because I've been thinking of making a side table out of it and the secondary trunk that is pointing straight at me in the photo would make a good scratching surface for the cats. So that's what I plan to do with this.

Discussion and Plans

There are a couple of challenges here: first I need to get all the bark off. As this is quite dry I don't think that will be a problem. Next, I'll need to clean off some old paint on the cut surfaces that was applied there to keep cracking to a minimum while the wood dried.

The top surface isn't level so I think the best way to deal with that is to construct a base for the trunk out of heavy plywood and then put the trunk on top of that and place a 2x4 underneath the trunk to help to level out the top. That will take some time and messing around with but I think I can make this work.

Then the trunk will need to be cleaned off as it's dirty and then lastly I'll apply several coats of polyurethane to it.

That should divert the cats from scratching up the chair and also give me a place to put a cup of coffee while I'm sitting there reading. Ok, this sounds like a plan.

Stay tuned,

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