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Topic: Rad Plaid Cat Tree from Meh Grey Office Chair! =^.^=  (Read 12256 times)
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jpletting
« on: June 01, 2008 08:37:05 PM »

This was an ugly gray office chair we had around that had a broken pneumatic shaft. (I took the first picture after taking one arm off.) My cat really loves this chair and we haven't yet bought her a cat tree, so I thought it would be great if I could transform this into something resembling one. I decided on a two-tiered cat tree with a scratching post in the middle, a few dangly toys and a covered habitat underneath. Click any thumbnail to see a larger pic!



First I took everything apart to see what I had to work with, which was:

chair:
   2 cushions
   2 arms
   1 pneumatic shaft
   1 5-arm caster base
   1 L-shaped steel bracket
   18 1/4" x 1" machine bolts

scratching post:
   1 cardboard tube covered in sisal rope
   1 bolt + washer
   a piece of carpet on plywood

     
   
purchased:   
   new fabric            ($4)
   4 1/4" x 1.5" machine bolts      ($2)
   11 #6 x 5/8" metal phillips screws   ($1)
   1 1.125" x 48" wooden dowel rod      ($3.50)
   2 tie plates            ($0.75)
   
1. First, the fabric. I know this isn't the flashiest, prettiest fabric, but it was in the $1/yd bin and I wanted something that would jive with our decor. I covered the cushions and stapled with a staple gun. No need to be perfect.



2. I flipped the bottom cushion over and used a 1/4" drill bit to drill a hole in the plywood bottom and up through the padding of the base cushion; I attached the scratching post tube through the center of the cushion with its own bolt and washer. (Major props to my boyfriend, Jason, for being the muscle in this process.)

               

3. I flipped the chair arms over and reattached them to the bottom of the seat cushion facing the floor. This gave me a rocking base (great stool!) if I wanted to leave it as such, but I needed a bit more stability. I flipped the L bracket over and reattached it using the 1/4" x 1.5" machine bolts. I cut the dowel rod into two legs each 11.5" long and screwed them onto the tie plates, which I then screwed into the plywood bottom to give a firm, stable base to the tree.

                         

4. I used a 3/16" drill bit to drill new holes in the plywood of the top-level cushion and secured the pneumatic shaft to its bottom with its own bolts.

     

5. Stapled a skirt to the perimeter of the base to make a hideaway.

6. The scratching post is actually a hollow cardboard tube, so I simply placed the pneumatic shaft inside the tube and secured the edges with epoxy. The lift handle was too difficult to remove, so I used it as a hanger for her favorite toys. Ta da!

          


7. The leftovers. Not much!




Begin:         5/31/08 8:00pm
End:         6/1/08 9:00pm
Total cost:      about $10
Total time:      about 5 hours not counting trips to Walmart and Home Depot
« Last Edit: June 01, 2008 09:45:21 PM by jpletting » THIS ROCKS   Logged
gannon
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« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2008 08:39:30 PM »

I have a dead chair sitting here waiting to go to the dump-- thanks for this great idea.  My daughter has 2 cats who would love something like this. Wink
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xmissmayhemx
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2008 10:12:50 PM »

Wow this is a great idea!  The chair I currently sit on is a pos cause of my cats.  Might as well make it into something functional when we move!!  Sweet thanks for the inspiration!
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wendyloo
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2008 12:35:04 AM »

What a great idea! Your cat looks happy Smiley
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katchoo1
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2008 03:04:31 AM »

What a fantastic idea!  Great way to think outside the box and it turned out wonderfully!  I especially love the way the seat back became a perfectly situated window perch--I know cats LOVE those!  Great job!
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« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2008 04:28:24 AM »

Cool - does the cat use it?
Selkie
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jpletting
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2008 06:32:05 AM »

Yes, she uses it. She actually got into the hideaway before I was finished with it! It's sturdy enough for her to stretch up and scratch the post and she loves batting at her quadropus. I'll take some video later and post it on YouTube and add a link.  Cheesy
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« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2008 06:51:41 AM »

That's great! It really seems to contain everything a cat loves...

EDIT: And you could still use the bottom part with wheels for something else, couldn't you?
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VeggieJess
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2008 08:39:51 AM »

Great idea! 

FYI-  Make sure the sisal is glued on REALLY well!!! I know someone who's cat almost died because the sisal came loose on their scratching post, and the cat ate it, and it had to have surgery to remove it, and almost didn't make it!  Make sure that you check it often to make sure it isn't coming loose!
(I have 3 cats, and just wanted to make sure your kitty's safe!)

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« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2008 10:04:38 AM »

Well done -- what a creative idea, not to mention great repurposing, practical AND cute!  (And hang onto that leftover wheeled base -- anyone clever enough to come up with this idea will doubtless be able to put it to good use....)
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