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Old MacDonald's cat house

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Project by rustythebailiff posted 08-29-2013 09:12 PM 970 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I got the inspiration for this project after tearing apart one of the store bought cat condominiums. We had one of the furry, carpet covered jobs for a few years, and it was getting quite funky as you cannot really clean them. Being somewhat miserly, I decided to try to fix that one, maybe recover it with new carpet. After an hour of struggling with what seemed like a thousand staples, I came to realize it was built from the cheapest “wood” available. Disgusted, I tossed what was left in the trash, and took to the drawing board.

What I wanted was something that was more akin to a piece of furniture, something that I could keep clean and looked nice, and would last the life of our cats. I made the main pylon from furniture grade plywood laminated in three layers. The plywood platforms were inset in the pylon, and some white pine put around the edge. I cut pieces of carpet for the platforms, and they are held on with velcro so I can remove them for cleaning.

The barn was the big part. I used some of my modelling skills for that. After making the basic box from pine, I made some siding from pine on the table saw, and glued each strip on from the ground up. The roof is made of strips of shingles, detailed out with a router and then cut into 1/8” strips and glued on.

As you can see, the kids love it, and routinely fight over the barn. I have other ideas in mind for other cat condos, some should be really fancy!

-- "Necessity is the mother of invention"





8 comments so far

View jeffswildwood's profile

jeffswildwood

532 posts in 723 days


#1 posted 08-29-2013 11:45 PM

Very nice! I like the layout of this and the way it can be kept clean. I built a cube with different size circles cut in the sides and a pedestal to look out the window all covered with carpet. Secured the carpet too well and hard to clean. The Velcro is an awesome idea. Looks like it got the kitty seal of approval. Good job!

View wastedalf's profile

wastedalf

55 posts in 478 days


#2 posted 08-30-2013 03:33 AM

Yeah, the Velcro is an awesome idea. Crazy good looking shingles too! I have a feeling one of these will be on my project list in the not so distant future.

-- If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge, he must use more strength, but wisdom helps one to succeed.

View rustythebailiff's profile

rustythebailiff

90 posts in 687 days


#3 posted 08-30-2013 11:20 AM

Yeah, the idea of gluing individual shingles on just didn’t appeal to me. So, I made them in strips. After staining them, I took a sharpie and drew the line at each notch to simulate the break between shingles.

-- "Necessity is the mother of invention"

View wastedalf's profile

wastedalf

55 posts in 478 days


#4 posted 08-31-2013 03:01 AM

I couldn’t tell from the pictures, I guess I didn’t notice the sharpie sitting on top, lol. I’m assuming some sort of jig for the notches though?

-- If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge, he must use more strength, but wisdom helps one to succeed.

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

5337 posts in 1588 days


#5 posted 08-31-2013 02:21 PM

Your cats will carve their mark on it! When they do just remember it’s theirs. LOL! Nice details.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View rustythebailiff's profile

rustythebailiff

90 posts in 687 days


#6 posted 09-01-2013 03:42 PM

I made the notches by scoring across a 2×6 with a V bit in my router. Then I ripped the individual strips 1/8” thick. This resulted in the long strips with the V notches roughly evenly spaced. After staining, I ran a sharpie line from the top to the notch, creating the illusion.

-- "Necessity is the mother of invention"

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

16033 posts in 1612 days


#7 posted 09-01-2013 03:55 PM

This is a nice practical project.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Fishinbo's profile

Fishinbo

11343 posts in 921 days


#8 posted 09-03-2013 05:03 PM

Cool cat house! Great design, like the sharpie technique on the shingles. I’m sure the cats and the kids enjoy it.

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