I’ve previously posted up photos of a cat tree I built entirely of recycled wood from my yard, and our cats loved it so much that we decided to add two more pieces. The additional piece I’m not sharing is simply another rectangular box, but I am extremely proud of this kitty tunnel.
It is also made of almost all pallets, and the only part that is made of other materials are the two hexagonal tunnel ends – but they are made of leftover trim board we used on our home remodel, and had no other purpose. They were scrap pieces.
I was inspired by my dwindling pile of less-than-perfect pallet wood, with more knot-holes and, therefore, less strength for bigger, weight-bearing projects. I decided to use those imperfections as a decorative touch and turned them into kitty peep-holes by using some of the natural knot-holes as part of stylized kitty paw prints. The cats have already tried them out and approve!
This was a big step forward for me- I’ve been terrified to try angles, and this is my first attempt at mitered corners. My husband attempted to show me how to used this weird angle-finger tool he has, but I couldn’t grasp the concept, so I defaulted to math to calculate. My logic for those of you scratching your heads at me: a circle is 360 degrees. I went for the simplest – what would divide that up evenly with no decimals? I went for hexagonal! 6 into 360 = 60 degrees @ each angle, but each board has to be half of that so I just had to set up the miter saw to make 30-degree cuts. The only thing I learned from others out there starting to learn to woodwork is that you have to be VERY accurate on the lengths before cutting your angles, haha!
This didn’t take me nearly as long as I expected, other than weather restrictions – I think I probably built this in a couple of hours, but it took longer because of waiting for the coats of water-based, kitty-safe sealant to dry after the stain had to set. Then I got silly and painted around the decorative touches I added.
It is stained with Minwax “Puritan Pine”, and we liked the color – sort of a 70’s throwback that highlighted some of the oak strips, but left the pine light the way we like it. It is sealed over with a water-based polyurethane – several coats, so that it’s easy to clean when the cats shed, clean themselves, or just for maintenance dusting. We have a very small house but have a lot of vertical space to utilize, so that’s where we’re making a play area for our kittens. So get out there and have some fun with pallets!