Making A Cat House / Pet Bed

In this video I make a cat house pet bed type thing. Actually, I made three! And they're for sale on my Etsy store. You can also get plans and a cut list via my Patreon page or Etsy.

Beam compass video:

In this video I design and make some cat houses.
For this build i'm going to use some 18mm hardwood plywood which was left over from a commission. 
I started by cutting the plywood in to smaller more manageable pieces.
Then I could rip the pieces accurately at the tablesaw.  These will be the front and back panels of the houses.  
I wanted to cut a rebate at the top and bottom of each panel, so I first marked up the thickness of the plywood on to the edges. Then I could line that mark up with my tablesaw blade to set the fence.   I set the blade height to it would cut about three quaters of the way through the plywood and then made the first cut on both sides.
Then I set the blade height to cut away the waste, set the fence and made the cuts with the workpieces held upright - this is a little bit of a risky cut, but I made sure that it was pressed firmly against the fence, and took it nice and slow.
Here I'm marking up a centre point so that I can draw an arc on to the panels, and I used my beam compass for that.  I have another video showing how to make this compass and I'll leave a link to that in the description box if you're interested.
I could then square off the arc on both sides.
I wanted to cut the shapes to both panels at the same time to save a bit of time, so I positioned them together flush using a speed square with the rebates facing downwards.
Then I drove a couple of screws through where the waste material was to stop them moving around and went over to the bandsaw to make the cuts.
The reason that both rebate joints were facing downwards was to give me the cleanest cuts possible on what would be the outside faces of the cat houses.
With that done I then needed to cut bottom panels for the houses, and also some top rails, and you'll see how these will all piece together shortly.
I applied glue to the rebate joints, and then used my parallel clamps to position everything.
I also used an F clamp at the top of the assembly.
While the glue was drying I'd start making some tapered legs for the houses, and I had these offcuts from when I made the desk tidy smart phone stands in a recent video.  I like to find uses for my offcuts so these were still in the workshop.  All I needed to do was square up one edge at the tablesaw, mark up how thick I wanted the legs to be and then I lined up my mitresaw blade with the mark, made a sharpie mark on the bed of the saw, and then I could make consistent cuts to form the legs.  
After a little sanding, they looked great, I really like the sapele dark wood accents at the bottom contrasting against the light oak colour.
These could then be glued on to the bottom panel.
One other thing I could get on with while I was waiting for the glue to dry was to start cutting the cladding for the beds, and I'd use some 12mm MDF for that, these were some offcuts that I bought from someone locally to me.
I cut the panels to what would be the depth I wanted the cat house to be.
Then I tilted my blade to 45 degrees and made a series of cuts, moving the tablesaw fence by 4cm in between each cut, to give me lots of slats with the same angle on each long edge.
I'd also need a roof cap for the very top of the houses that looked like this, so after cutting another 45, I marked up the width I wanted and then I could flip the piece over to make the second cut.
Once the glue was dry on the houses I removed all the clamps and started marking up where I wanted the legs to be positioned on the bottom panels. It was important to place these far enough in so that I would later be able to drive in a screw - I'll show you what I mean by that shortly.
I added glue and clamped them in place.
After a couple of hours, I removed the clamps, flipped the house over and then made some marks on the inside where to add screws so that they would be roughly in the centre of each leg to re-enforce them. 
Here you can see that I had just enough space to be able to drill pilot holes and drive in the screws without the upright panels getting in the way.
I'm using countersink bits here that drill both a pilot hole and a countersink all in one.
And then I drove in the screws.
Next i could get on with adding the cladding.
I cut these filler pieces at the bandsaw and used some super glue to fix them in place quickly.
It didn't look great but as these won't be visible anyway as they will be on the inside of the houses it really didn't matter.
The first part of cladding I added was the roof cap, and I used wood glue to stick this to the plywood top rail.
I made sure the overhang was equal on both sides and then drove in a few brad nails to secure it until the glue set.
For the rest of the cladding I was planning on using grip fill because it's a gap filling construction adhesive and ordinary PVA wood glue is terrible at filling gaps.
The problem was that this tube had been in my shed for a few months and it wasn't coming out of the tube easily, even though the tube was brand new and sealed. But anyway I persevered and managed to get enough of it out to glue down the cladding on one side
You can see here that each 45 degree cut to the cladding allows one to slip under the last.
I used a brad nail to hold them in place while the glue set.
Trying to squeeze out the Grip Fill was really slowing me down so I ended up buying some different instant grab adhesive from a local store and that worked much better.
I then filled all the nail holes using some wood filler.
I left if overnight and then I sanded all the cladding at 120 grit. 
I sanded the ends of the MDF to get it smooth, and I also rounded over the edges a little.
I wanted to paint the cladding and I had some grey paint which I'd mixed up using a mixture of black and white paints a few months back.  
I spent a bit of time cleaning up the impact adhesive squeeze out, it was really hard by now so I could just cut it away with a knife.
By the way, here you can see that the ends of the MDF had really soaked in all that paint, and I'll need to work on that a bit more with the next coat of paint.
To cut an entrance for the houses, I decided to make a template for the router. I didn't want to use a jigsaw because I don't think it would have given me a clean enough cut on the plywood.
I marked up a circle on a scrap of MDF and then hot glued it on to some plywood.
I could then cut out the circle at the bandsaw.  I also cut away some of the excess.
I hot glued together the bandsaw kerf.
Then I marked a centre point on to the front panel.
I offered up the template making sure it was centred, and then traced the circle.
I added masking tape - then applied some hot glue on top and positioned the template lined up nicely with the circle I'd marked out.
I'm using a template cutting bit here, you'll see that it has a bearing at the top to ride along the template.
I cut a clearance hole using a holesaw. 
And then I took the first pass with the router.
I cut the hole in three passes, raising the router base in between each pass.
This here is the last of the three passes.
I could then remove the template, and as you can see the masking tape which protected the front panel from the hot glue came off nice and easily.
I re-sanded the ends of the MDF cladding again, and then I re-coated it with paint and this time the coverage was much better.
I did some hand sanding to clean up the entrance hole and remove and sharp edges but I found that the inside felt a little too rough so I came back with my electric belt file to speed things up, just taking some very light passes because this thing removed material very quickly.
I then painted the inside of the hole to hide the end grain of the plywood which added another nice grey accent to the houses.
I then de-nibbed the paint with 400 grit wet and dry paper to get it nice and smooth.
I blew away the dust with my air blower.
And then I added a top coat of water based varnish to protect the paint.
I also varnished the front and back panels and the inside of the entrance hole.
Once that was dry I wet sanded using 400 grit once again to de-nib the finish and applied a final coat of varnish, and this time I used acrylic spray varnish. to get in to all the nooks and crannies between the cladding and seal everything off nicely.  
I added my makers mark to the bottom of the beds, and also finished those with some spray varnish too.
Finally I wanted to make some simple cushions, so after cleaning off my workbench I got some 25mm foam which I bought on eBay.  I marked up the size I needed.  Usually I use a sharp knife to cut the foam but someone commented on one of my videos suggesting I cut it at the bandsaw so I thought I'd try that out, and it worked brilliantly.  You'll see here I''m cutting three pieces at the same time as I'm making three of the houses in this video.
It cut nice and cleanly as you can see.
I'd wrap the cushions in some of this cream coloured fabric which came from some old curtains I bought in a charity shop.
I am not very good at sewing, it's something that I want to learn more about some day but for now, hot glue works great.  This is only a cat house after all, and none of this will be visible anyway.
I folded the material over to create a hem and then I glued the fabric to the foam, pulling it taught.
I then folded the edges a bit like I was wrapping a Christmas present, and glued them down too.
And then I came back to glue down any loose edges.