Instructables

Star Trek Cat Tree (with Enterprise and Romulan Bird of Prey)

Featured
Picture of Star Trek Cat Tree (with Enterprise and Romulan Bird of Prey)
I have a 2 year old cat Saavik who has tons of energy and likes to be up high. I knew I wanted a cat tree, but I think most cat trees are really ugly. I wanted something both humans and cats would enjoy, if it was going to stay in my living room for the foreseeable future. My solution was to build a Star Trek cat tree since my husband and I are big fans. 

Step 1: Materials

9' & 5' pvc pipe >> for trunks & ships
2' x 3' plywood board >> for base
15" & 18" pine round panels >> for saucers
1' x 3' plywood board >> for Bird of Prey wings
8 round caps >> for nacelle tips
4 flat caps >> for attaching the pipe trunks to the ships, and trunks to the base
3 T-connectors >> for the Enterprise
1 X-connector >> for the Enterprise
2 elbow connectors >> for the Enterprise
2 straight connectors >> for connecting the pipe trunks to the flat caps
15 2" length bolts (5/16" or 1/4") >> these are for attaching pipes to wooden boards
3 (2 1/2" length bolts) >> needs to go through both wooden parts of the Bird of Prey
18 nuts (same diameter as bolts)
carpet (I recommend getting "remnant carpet" which is ~50% off. We got 12'x4' and had plenty left over)
250 ft sisal rope (1/4" diameter)
pipe adhesive (smallest container available)

Tools:
utility knife (to cut the carpet)
handsaw (get a small one with a wooden handle that can cut pipe & wood)
staple gun (5/16" minimum length staples)
drill (to drill holes for bolts & put bolts in)
ratchet wrench (to secure nuts)
scissors (to trim the carpet)

Total cost ~$150 (we already owned a drill & wrench, plus we had a 10% coupon at Lowes)

Step 2: Enterprise

Picture of Enterprise
IMG_1580.jpg
I don't have pictures of this in progress, because I didn't think of writing up my procedure until after we had built it. I've drawn a schematic of how it was constructed.

We attached the flat cap to the saucer section first, then constructed the rest of the Enterprise frame from pipe and pipe connectors. The pipes and connectors were glued together using the pipe adhesive. We carpeted the saucer section and the rest of the frame separately, then glued the cap to the T-connect using a small piece of pipe between them (not pictured in the schematic because I forgot to include it). I used lots of staples when carpeting, but made sure afterwards that there weren't any loose staples leaving pointy bits. Also, I put cardboard under the carpet as I cut it, to protect our floor and to contain the mess cutting and trimming carpet leaves.

Step 3: Romulan Bird of Prey

Picture of Romulan Bird of Prey
IMG_1561.jpg
IMG_1562.jpg
IMG_1566.jpg
IMG_1567.jpg
I have pictures of this in progress, since we did it second. We cut the 1'x3' board to the shape of wings we wanted. The little piece of wood was left over from cutting the wings & we used it to add more detail to the ship. We bolted the nacelle pipes to the wings, bolted the flat cap to the bottom of the center of the ship and glued the little piece of wood on. We carpeted the Bird of Prey after it had been entirely assembled.

Step 4: Platform and trunks

Picture of Platform and trunks
IMG_1579.jpg
We cut our pipes so that we had a one that was 3' and one that was 5' tall. After carpeting the 3'x4'board, we bolted two more flat caps to where we wanted the trunks, using 4 bolts per cap. We glued the straight connectors to the pipes, but we did not glue the pipes into the caps (this way the pipes can be removed if we need to disassemble the tree for moving). Once the pipes were in the connectors, we put the ships on the top (again, not gluing them in for future removal if necessary). Once the ships were on, I wrapped sisal rope tightly around the trunks to create scratching surfaces. I also stapled a bit of leftover rope to the bottom of the Enterprise as a toy.

Step 5: Final concerns

Picture of Final concerns
IMG_1577.jpg
As expected from relatively heavy objects on top of poles, our initial designs wobbled quite a bit. To solve this, we used L-shaped braces to attach the ships directly to the wall. This is optional, and there are other ways to stabilize it, but this is what worked for us.

Materials: 
10" L-brace
8" L-brace
1/4" screws (2-2 1/2" long)
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up
IvliaVespasia5 months ago

Anyone who calls their cat Saavik gets my vote. Love the original series so will make this for our Kitten (I know, really original name) because it's definitely something you can display in your lounge or hall.

StarwarsChick10 months ago
perfect for me, the cat loving geek!
freqgirl10 months ago
This is just a little too geeky for me, however I do appreciate the detail of the design. I was just looking as to how you got it to stay without tipping over. I know that there are free standing cat trees and that is what I really need. I was hoping you could give me a tip on how to make it more stable at the base. I need it not to be connected to anything. My land lord will have a fit if I have to attach it to the window frame or the wall.
hatstand4510 (author)  freqgirl10 months ago
Well, our version is attached to the wall. However, I think the base could be modified to make it more stable. I would support the poles with triangular pieces of wood (also carpeted). Three or four of those around each pole would probably do the trick.
apple221 year ago
Well I decided to give it a go. Cost came in at about $150. Carpeting was miserable, but this was also my first time trying to carpet something. I probably will stay away from carpet projects for a while after this.

I did a couple things differently. I used 1" PVC to make the ships. Then I used adapters to upscale the stands to 1.5" PVC. Finally, I mounted the stands to the base using flanges. So the flanges are bolted into the base on four sides and then the stands screw in and out of the flanges in case of future moves. The flanges provide extra stability, but not quite enough to make my cat happy. I'm still going to have to bracket these to the wall.

If I were to do this again, I might consider upscaling the stands to 2" PVC, which would also probably require me to upscale the ships to 1.25" or 1.5" PVC for proportionality.
scratcher.JPG
repguy20201 year ago
There aren't enough kinds of AWESOME (or even FAWESOME) to describe how epic this is. Cool-factor 10! Seriously warped!
Attmos1 year ago
Cool, very creative. Looks awesome.
LOL! I don't even HAVE a cat but I think that's one of the coolest things I've seen on here! Very creative, well done!
MicioGatta1 year ago
Oooooooooh..... I love cats and I love Star Trek.. this is great!!!!
Where no kitty has gone before. ;)
Great stuff. you should show it off on the ST.com
clupoli1 year ago
Would have used grey carpet for the Enterprise and green for the Romulan ship, but otherwise... VERY COOL!
hatstand4510 (author)  clupoli1 year ago
thanks! you're right; different colors would be really cool. If this carpet eventually gets too worn out from cat claws I should switch it out for colored carpet :)
bagnitsch1 year ago
Awwwww
Kiteman1 year ago
Not just nerdiness, but original series nerdiness!
hatstand4510 (author)  Kiteman1 year ago
well, our other cat is named T'Pau so...yes ;)
Hehe...
HollyMann1 year ago
Wow this is awesome! I'm jealous! My cats would love it!!! :)
hatstand4510 (author)  HollyMann1 year ago
thanks! it was a lot of fun to make, and our cat spends almost all her time on it now