Category Archives: Tinkering

Modified Dresser into my “Cat Station”

My first project in my basement workshop many months ago was to try to create a hidden-in-plain-sight one-stop shop for my cat, Tolstoy. It had to do the following:

  1. protect his water and food from our dog, Reima
  2. house the litter box and allow Tolstoy to use it
  3. Blend into the living room without distracting

I didn’t have any woodworking tools or skills at the time, so I decided to retrofit something that existed. So, I bought a “cheap” dresser on amazon for $70 as seen below:

2018-04-25 10_46_45-AmazonSmile_ Sauder Beginnings Dresser, Highland Oak_ Kitchen & Dining
The Amazon Dresser I decided-on. “Sauder Beginnings Dresser”

It fit in the room feel and was the right size:

2018-04-25 10_47_29-AmazonSmile_ Sauder Beginnings Dresser, Highland Oak_ Kitchen & Dining


I wanted to keep one of the drawers in order to store my cat’s food and toys as seen below:

The top drawer is kept the same

But I started-out by making an opening in the left side of the drawer so that my cat can enter it. You can see some ridges in the shape where he can massage his back:

Dresser with opening on side for my cat to enter

Then I took out most of the shelves in the area where the opening leads into so that Tolstoy can drink water and eat his food:

Tolstoy is in the middle of finishing his meal

I then removed the bottom two drawers to make room for the litterbox. I added hinges to the drawer outside boards so that the middle one opens to the side and the bottom one opens down for better access to the litter box:

Litter Box in the new space where two drawers used to be

There’s an opening between the feeding area and the litter box area as seen through the back of the middle divider board as seen in this picture:

An access hole leads my cat to the litter box from the feeding area

Here’s the final product with all the modifications already completed on it:

The finished dresser with all modifications done to it

I’m really happy with the way this has turned-out and it’s a great thing that consolidates my cat’s needs into a cat station that doesn’t look like some crazy cat lady furniture. I hope this inspires others to modify furniture in creative ways!

Let me know what you think



Making my workshop 

One of the good things about moving to The Richelieu House (outside of it being the house where Laura and I start our married life together) is that it has a big basement! That means I can finally have a workshop to satisfy my tinkering hobby.

I’ve been itching to tinker since I was a kid making a non-functioning robot from cardboard to making works of art on a laser cutter in graduate school. I have crave it and now I can hone that craving to a useful hobby.

But first, I need a workshop space and that’s where our Richelieu Basement comes into the picture. I have a corner that is perfect for a workbench and it’s up and running.

As of now, I have:

  • Scroll saw
  • Miter saw
  • Dremel tool
  • Misc hand tools
  • Workbench
  • Peg board
  • Room to work

It’s enough to get started and excited about future projects!

Here’s my Richelieu Basement workshop: