Building a cat shelter: trim

Another weekend, another few hours on the cat shelter construction.

This was one of the last bits of primary building: adding decorative trim to the walls, to make them appear like board-and-batten siding.

But first, a rare photo of Pepper, one of the two feral cats that live in the workshop. Pepper lives high on a shelf in the front part, and Pansy lives in the back half:

As previously mentioned, I ordered some signs for the two parts of the structure. I actually got two custom signs from two different people, and decided on one pair that we preferred. Here’s the “Cat House Saloon” sign for the shelter, made by HarkenHomeWoodcraft on Etsy, temporarily resting in place:

And the “Mercantile” sign for the feeder:

A view of both signs:

Anyway, back to the trim work. I added 1×0.5″ boards (ripped from 1x2s) to the walls, glued and nailed in place, to simulate board-and-batten style siding:

On the front:

On the facade front:

The shelter maintenance door removed, to make it easier to add the trim on the bottom half:

The feeder side door & wall:

The front and side:

Another angle:

Peeking under the awnings; the boards laying on the deck are cut pieces for the window surrounds, so they can be painted before installing the windows:

Above the awnings:

Adding trim to the back of the facades:

And the back wall, which will probably not be visible, but still worth making look nice:

I shoved the roof forward to make it easier to do the back wall; like many other parts, the roof will remain removable until installation:

That’s basically it for the woodwork. Next up is caulking and painting.

Building a cat shelter: facades

Over the weekend I got back to working on the new cat house, in between planting trees, bee inspections, and other stuff.

This time, I built the facades at the top of the front wall, to help give it an old-west theme.

As you may recall, the structure is divided into two sides: the shelter on the left, and the feeding station on the right. So the facades reflect this, suggesting two separate (but joined) buildings, with a squared two-step facade on the shelter side, and a triangle facade on the feeder side.

Here are the back and sides:

Some interior framing added to the top:

Behind the facades is a metal roof-to-wall flashing, that will sit on top of the roofing shingles. The wall side was roughly cut with a reciprocating saw:

The rough edge of the flashing is hidden behind another layer of plywood:

Top 8×1 boards:

Front view with the top boards in place:

Like other parts of the structure, the facades can be removed, to make installation easier. It’ll be screwed into place. Here, I’m adding more bracing:

Added some corner trim:

Back view, showing trim under the top boards:

The entire front of the facades is a door that will hinge downward, to provide access to the cavity within, which will house wires and power supplies for the cameras and heating pads.

Here I added trim to the door:

The center of each facade will contain a custom sign purchased via Etsy; more on those in the future.

The door clamped in place:

A view of the whole structure:

Another angle:

The basic structure is now mostly complete; all that remains before it can be painted is some decorative trim work. There’s still a fair bit to do: painting, roofing, door hardware, some decorative touches, and more.

New beehives

We started keeping bees last year, with two hives. Those hives have survived the winter, and should be able to provide some honey this year. We don’t harvest honey the first year, as they need to build up the colony, and have reserves to take them through the cold months when they can’t forage.

Anyway, we have now added two more hives.

I built a second hive stand a few weeks ago, and installed it yesterday; see the photo of the day on my personal blog.

Then this morning we drove out to Ruhl Bee Supply in Wilsonville to pick up two nucs — nucleus hives that each contain four frames of small established colonies:

Once home, we took our new hive boxes etc out to our apiary (bee yard):

Jenn then started transferring the nuc frames into the boxes:

Inspecting each frame:

A full brood box: four nuc frames in the middle, two empty frames on either side for them to expand into:

Some bees left in the nuc box, which we tipped on top of the hive:

Putting the inner cover and top cover on:

Installing the second hive:

The little black squares on the corners are mite treatments, to protect the bees from a common parasite:

The hives closed up, with 2:1 sugar syrup feeders in front:

We briefly opened the older hives to add mite treatment to them, too:

Our expanded apiary: