Octagonal

The MEGA cat-o-tron hexagonal was the experimental prototype, which turned out to be a success. With a few design improvements, I began construction of the next (and hopefully last) of the MEGA cat-o-tron series: the Octagonal. I had two reasons for doing this. First, the shape of the great room in which the Octagonal will reside has octagonal angles. Secondly, I want to upgrade from the current cat furniture. The horrible, poisonous cat couch needs to go for many reasons. The other is a "cat tree prototype" that I built about 10 years ago from scraps of lumber that I found in the yard. The initial model barely supported the weight of a cat and creaked ominously every time the cats used it. The cats didn't seem to mind but the initial model was an eyesore that I eventually wanted to upgrade when I acquired my ninja fabrication and woodworking skills.



With lessons learned from the MEGA cat-o-tron hexagonal, I began construction of the Octagonal MEGA cat-o-tron. The first step was to build the base and fabricate the connecting pieces.



The risers came next. There are eight of those, each with a custom base collar because not all of the 4x4 posts that I used were exactly square.



The next step was to build the horizontal pieces and fabricate the connectors. One of the lessons learned from the hexagonal was that I didn't need to build it to withstand a tornado so an improved connector design only required half of the amount of metal.



Then the center post and bridge sections are added. This was the most challenging part because I had to make sure that all of the risers were perfectly vertical while my garage floor is NOT perfectly flat (I'd blame the builder if that did any good).
 


I had to create a new octagonal platform template. Too bad I didn't have a Spirograph, but my geometry came in handy.  



Next I fabricated the platform frames.



After all the pieces are built, I disassembled the whole thing removed all of the fabricated connectors. I cleaned them up and shot them with some steel primer and oil-rubbed bronze paint.



I found a place on EBAY that sold inexpensive sisal twine and bought a 1200-foot roll. I ended up using 1250 feet of sisal twine to wrap all of the sections.



Finally all of the pieces are wrapped and the paint is dry. Here are all of the pieces stacked, waiting to be assembled.



After assembly, Leroy Jenkins immediately heads for the crow's nest and makes it his own.



Leroy is pleased ...



... as is Zephyr.