Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cat Furniture Repair! (Part 2)


The work to rehab my cat tree has begun.  This is going to happen, as I had mentioned before, in steps, here and there.

My first step was to identify which legs I wanted to prioritize for repair, strip the carpet (what was left of it!) off of them, and remove any staples. This last part is very, very important!  The staples are very hard to see if there is any nap left on the tree, and any stray staples can cut up kitty paws or otherwise cause injury!  There was a line of carpeting left on each leg, probably where they had glued it originally, but I just worked around that.

I cut my carpet pieces to the approximate size I needed to go around the legs.  I am not going for "perfect"  here, so there was some overlap. I may or may not trim it off later. The seams are pointed away from where the cats will be scratching at the legs.  Once I had them cut, I applied some glue (I am using Liquid Nails) to the bare, cardboard leg, wrapped my carpet, and sat holding it for 10-20 minutes. Once I was sure it would not just completely pop off, I got some rope and tied it very tightly.  I left it that way to dry until this evening.

The bond wasn't perfect--it didn't stick near the old carpeting, but I expected that. The important thing is that the glue did bond most of the carpet to the leg.  I managed to attach 2 pieces this way, as you can see from the photo.  Next time, I will put the last piece at the top of that leg. This will probably happen Friday evening--my next free evening.

The very last step to attaching the new carpeting was to staple it down.  Now, I have been using tools since I was a teenager. I have helped to build sheds from joist to roof. I have been using power tools for as long.   I have even learned how to change the oil filter in our current car, but I will be darned if I can use a staple gun!  Seriously!  I have had many opportunities to use one, both to stretch canvas when I'm in Artist mode and in situations where I was building/repairing stuff!  I want you to know that I have never been able to get the stupid things to work properly for me!  I had to laugh at myself as I asked my boyfriend to please show me how to use a staple gun properly, and you know what? He did.  I managed to finish the job.  I had simply never been taught how to properly hold a staple gun or how to press it to the surface correctly.

So, I feel a little silly, but it got done!

This is pretty much how the rest of this job will go: Stripping carpet, cutting carpet, gluing carpet, tying it down, stapling it.  I won't bore you all with constant updates. What I will do, however, is post a final photo when the tree is done!

I was lucky, because the cats stayed away from it.  They probably don't like the smell of the glue or of the new carpet.  A really cool thing happened tonight, after the glue was dry and the staples were in, though. I called one of the kitties, Sam, over to check it out.  I had to reassure him that it was OK--that he could scratch there, and I was making it pretty just for them.  Once he realized it, though, he was ecstatic!  He just went to town scratching on it!  He's used to scratching a little higher, so he didn't keep it up as long, but I got this sense that he was saying, "What? For me?  Thanks!"

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Low-Waste, No-Cost Cat Furniture Repair! (Part 1)


We have a large cat tree next to our sliding glass.  It's a favorite spot for our kitties to catch some rays and "hunt" birds, but as you can see from the photos...




It's in serious need of repair.  I was hoping to start on this project today, but I'm running behind. At most, I may be able to strip off some of the old carpeting.  The new carpeting was reclaimed from my parents' house, as they are wrapping up some massive renovations.  The Liquid Nails has been in our toolbox for a long time, left over from a previous project.  This project, like the last one, will cost us nothing and will produce very little trash.  (Any scraps of the old carpeting will be recycled via our county.)

The interesting piece will be keeping the cats away from the gluey-bits.

I will share more as I get started on the job, and of course there will be "after" pictures!