Last Monday was a Federal holiday, so I had the day off from work. Jim’s office was open, so he had to go in [poor hubby!]. Since I had the day to myself, I decided to see how much I could get done. From 7:00-9:00AM I cleaned the rat cage which made the girls very happy! From 9:00-11:00AM I ran errands and cleaned up the condo. From 11:00-noon I relaxed on the couch and ate an early lunch while watching the Olympics. Then, from noon-5:00PM, it was all about the DIY!
I started by installing a new coat rack in the girl cave, to replace the ugly frozen-hotdog one I removed from the upstairs hallway last weekend. It’s a cheapy from Target, but it will do. I was going to put it on the door of the cave, but decided to put it just inside the door, on the left as you walk in. That way it’s fairly hidden from sight, but still easily accessible. I attached the left side of the rack to the door frame, which meant the right side was floating in thin air. To accommodate the 5/8″ difference in width [a.k.a. how far the doorframe protrudes from the wall] I found a little piece of scrap wood roughly the same size, painted it to match the wall, and nailed it in place. Then screwed the right side of the coat rack through the piece of scrap wood and into the wall. Perfect! It looks better than I expected, and is a huge improvement over having everything hanging in the hallway:
We do have a coat closet downstairs, next to the front door, but every time I put something in there it’s consumed by a black hole. So I prefer to hang my stuff upstairs.
Once the new coat rack was installed, I set my sights on the main piece of wood that will form the upstairs cat platform. The access steps have been up for about a week, and get a lot of use by Darwin, but I think Bonkers needs the main platform installed before he’ll consider using the steps. I spent about 20 minutes in the upstairs hallway with my measuring tape trying to determine the best size for the main platform. It needs to be big enough to give the cats window access, but small enough not to get in our way. Final measurements in hand [roughly 3′ x 1′], I headed down to my basement work space. First I clamped the big piece of plywood [leftover from the dining room cat platform] to the coffee table [a.k.a. temporary workbench], and drew lines where I’d need to cut:
After making cut #1, I decided the next two would be a LOT easier if I set up the Black & Decker Workmate 425 Abbie loaned me. OMG – what a difference!!! It has now replaced the coffee table as my new temporary work bench. Being able to open a slot in the middle of the table to accommodate a circular saw blade is pure genius!
After clamping the board to the workbench, with the pencil line for the cut lined up with the opening in the table, cut #2 was a breeze!
To make cut #3 I pivoted the board so the pencil line for that cut was lined up with the opening in the table, and soon I had my custom cat platform!
Since I’m still new to this whole circular saw business [and loving every minute of it!], my platform wasn’t without some oops’s…
Some quality time with a sanding block smoothed everything out 🙂
After the cuts were finished, I took the platform upstairs and laid it on the bookshelf in the hallway. The platform will be attached to the wall above the bookcase, right below the window frame, but this gave me a general idea of how the size/shape would work. Then I primed it, painted it, and this weekend will [hopefully] get it attached to the wall!
And look who has decided to try out the access steps! I have to admit, I did put him up there, but I put him on the lower one, and he jumped to the higher one all on his own. Good boy Bonky! And a pic of Darwin I took yesterday after work – not sure what he was looking at – something on the ceiling caught his attention. I love when he sits next to my hibiscus flowers – it’s always a photo op!