Greetings and Salutations;
Just to talk about something more positive than the debacle that is the political world in America these days, I have decided to offer a suggestion on how to make a good thing, even better.
A popular product for folks that are Guardians of Companion Animals is the “Cat Tree”. These range from a fairly simple base, with one or two scratching posts attached to it, to tall,and complicated structures.
They are almost ALL built of platforms of press-wood, and verticals of 4″ diameter, very heavy, cardboard tubes. usually the tubes have plastic inserts at the ends, with threaded fittings, which allows the structure to screw together easily and without the need for many tools.
I have ALSO found that many of these inserts are held in place with nothing more than a few staples through the tube wall into the plastic. This is, simply, not good enough. It barely works for the small units, and leaves the larger units a swaying and wobbly disaster in the making. The cats, as they climb and jump around on these structures, will wiggle the staples loose, causing early failure of the uprights.
Luckily, both for the security of the cats, and to prolong the life of the investment it takes to GET one of these units, there is a simple and inexpensive way to re-enforce the uprights and make it a far better unit. Here is what I do….
I get a box of #6 by 1″ long coarse thread drywall screws, and a #2 Phillips Head bit for the drill.
For each insert, I use a hammer to carefully tap the insert down about 1/8th inch into the tube. This leaves a nice shoulder to anchor the upright in place. I recommend that if one does not have experience as a blacksmith, perhaps it would be best NOT to do this.
I move on, to drive at least four screws in to each insert, spacing them evenly around the outside of the tube. This is not difficult, although it does take a little time. Also, of course, one should NOT be ham-fisted in running the screws in. Too fast and they simply strip out the plastic, and remain loose! I found that by letting go of the trigger when the screw bites into the plastic works great. As the drill coasts to a halt, it drives the screw just the right amount into the insert.
When I am finished, I have a far less wobbly stand, and I am fairly sure that a 15 lb cat jumping onto it is NOT going to destroy it! I do not know if the cats care that much, but it makes ME happier!
God Help Us All!
Bee Man Dave