Outdoor Cat Enclosure/Catio – Part 14: Door!

Friday after work I began working on the door for the cat enclosure.  I took measurements, then cut 4 of the 6′ 1×4’s I’d bought a few weeks ago into two 69½” pieces & three 36″ pieces, using my new WorkMate table and a handsaw:

building the door for the outdoor cat enclosure / catio

Then took them to the backyard and stained them:

189b        189c

While I had the stain out, I eyeballed the old, half-rotted back steps and thought “eh, why not?”:

189d        189e

After one coat [left] and two coats [right]:

189f        189g

Much better *nods*

Once it was dry, I brought the door frame wood back inside and laid it out on the floor, in door frame shape, complete with metal brackets:

189h

After screwing down the brackets I flipped the door over and screwed down matching brackets on the other side.  Then prepared to chicken wire it, which is when Darwin said “um, Mummy… the chicken wire is only 2′ wide, and the middle bracket is 3′ from the bottom and 3′ from the top of the door… howz that gonna work?” and I was like “OMFG, you’re right!” *smacks self in forehead*:

189i

So I unscrewed the middle support, and cut & stained a matching one:

189j

While it was drying I carried the rectangular door frame outside, held it against the cat enclosure, and used a Sharpie to mark the locations of the horizontal braces on the main enclosure.  Then brought the door frame back inside, and [using the dots as a guide], attached the 2 middle supports to the frame:

189k        building the door for the outdoor cat enclosure / catio

Then used about 400 staples to chicken the hell out of it:

building the door for the outdoor cat enclosure / catio, with chicken wire        189n

Then I took it back outside to the catio, supported it up on bricks to get it in the right place, and eyeballed the placement of the hinges, and how they would work.  Hinges are confusing as hell to me!  I need to see them in action to understand them.  Once I was on board with the hinge placement, I brought the frame back inside, laid it back on the floor, and carefully screwed in the 3 galvanized steel hinges I’d bought.  Then brought the door BACK outside, carefully supported it on bricks, and screwed the hinged door to the main frame:

building the door for the outdoor cat enclosure / catio    building the door for the outdoor cat enclosure / catio, adding hinges    189t

It’s perfect!!!  It swings all the way open, and is completely level with the catio.  I have no idea how I pulled that off on my first try, but it’s awesome!

Then I screwed on the galvanized handle:

building the door for the outdoor cat enclosure / catio, adding a handle

And 3 hook & eye locks:

building the door for the outdoor cat enclosure / catio, adding locks        building the door for the outdoor cat enclosure / catio, adding locks

I had originally planned to use slider bolt locks, but that didn’t work out once the door was hung.  Hook & eye locks were a much better solution.  When all 3 locks are in place, you can’t budge the door even a millimeter – success!!!  There’s a few practice holes around each hook and eye lock… it’s tricky getting the placement just right so the hook isn’t too close or too far from the eye.  I’m sure there’s a science to it, but I was too lazy to find out.

I’m just so ecstatic the enclosure is COMPLETE!  With a DOOR!  Woohoo!  Next up will be building the tunnel which will connect the enclosure to the house 🙂

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9 Comments

  1. After this you could build anything. So much care and thought into this project and it looks and works great. Congrats. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

    • Nine Dark Moons

      Thanks so much, Jo!!! That is so nice to hear 🙂 It has been a huge learning experience, that’s for sure!

  2. Jessica @CapeofDreams

    Awesome! You are nearly done.

  3. Incredible job – it’s just perfect!

  4. WOW, it looks great. You and Darwin make a good team. Luv, Dad

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