SKILL LEVEL advanced

Beginner Intermediate Advanced
Create a climbing tower that will keep your cat busy year-round & double as a modern piece of art for your home!

by Dremel ®


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Supplies Needed For This Project


SM20 Saw-Max Tool Kit

Model # SM20


Dremel MM70W Oscillating Sandpaper

Model # MM70W


MM430 Multi-Max Multi-Knife

Model # MM430


SM500 Wood & Plastic Carbide Wheel

Model # SM500


  • 1

    MM14 Hook and Loop Pad
  • 1

    1 piece - 4' x 8' 3/4" Sanded Plywood
  • 1

  • 2

    1/2" Hole Saw
  • 2

    1/2" Wood Screws
  • 1

  • 10

    1" Wood Screws
  • 50

    Adjustable Clamps
  • 1

    Adhesive-backed carpet squares
  • 1

    Stain or paint & sealer of your choice & paintbrush

Let's Get Started

To reduce the risk of injury user must read instruction manuals for all tools used in this project. Wear eye and respiratory protection. Use clamps to support work piece whenever practical.


Step 1

Begin by tracing your tower design onto your 3/4" sanded plywood material. You can get creative on this one however, be sure that you trace 2 identical pieces that will serve as your sides. We cut our base 6" wider and 12" longer than the rest of our tower pieces for added stability when weight is applied.


Step 2

Next, you'll cut out each individual piece from the plywood. We primarily used ourSaw-max equipped with the SM500 Wheel to achieve our straight cuts along each of the marked lines. It is easy to make internal plunge cuts into material with the Saw-Max tool: • Loosen the Depth Adjustment Lever so that the spring loaded foot releases and goes to the zero depth setting. Leave the Depth Adjustment Lever loose during this cut. • Rest the Foot of the tool on the workpiece and Align the tool's wheel with the cut line • While holding the tool firmly, Press the Paddle Switch and allow the tool's wheel to come up to full speed. • Slowly plunge/lower the tool and wheel into the workpiece. • Guide the tool forward and complete the cut • Release the Paddle Switch and allow the tool to come to a complete stop before removing it from the workpiece.


Step 3

To create the curved interior edge effect as we did on some of our pieces, we first used our Cordless Drill equipped with a 2 1/2" hole saw and made plunge cut-outs into each of the 4 corners. We then used our Saw-Max tool equipped with the same SM500 wheel to connect each cut-out. At this step we also made quick angled cuts to notch off each corner of our cut-out shapes.


Step 4

Next, use your Multi-Max tool set mid to high speed equipped with a Hook & Loop Pad and MM70W Sand paper to smooth out your inside and outside edges. If you're looking to add a more rounded effect to your curves or smooth out any imperfections, shape the wood by setting your Multi-Max tool to high speed and using a coarser grit (60) sandpaper.


Step 5

Layout finished pieces for assembly & align the adjoining pieces to mark accurate locations you'll need to place your pilot holes in the next step. Refer to the blueprint here for tips on pilot hole placement.


Step 6

You can use your drill or our Dremel Rotary tool equipped with the 150 Drill Bit to make your pilot holes. Doing so before adjoining each piece together makes for easier assembly & reduces your chance of splitting your wood. To create pilot holes with your Dremel tool, set it to high speed and make a quick plunge perpendicular to your workpiece. Finally, using your drill & 2 1/2" or 1" wood screws, sink a screw through the pilot holes you create. We'll indicate which length screw is best for each step. First, you'll attach the base to the backing &


Step 7

First, you'll attach the base to the backing & base sides using 2 1/2" screws.


Step 8

Attach 1st "landing" with 1" screws.


Step 9

To build up to your next step, align identical opposite side pieces to each side. Ensure they are level & and secure with a clamp. Secure the side pieces to the structure with 1" screw


Step 10

Alternate "landing" & side pieces & drill them into place to create your design


Step 11

Paint & Cut Carpet Squares: At this step, stain/paint/seal the tower to your desired finish & allow it to dry completely. While waiting for the tower to dry, we cut adhesive-backed carpet squares down to size to adhere onto the steps, making it easier for your pet to grab hold of each landing. First, we marked our necessary lines of cut (the surface area of each landing on our tower) onto the backs of our squares. Using a MM30 equipped with the 430 Hook Blade & set to high-speed, we cut carpet to measured sizes using a pulling motion.


Step 12

Once your tower is completely dry, peel off adhesive cover on the back of carpet square & stick the squares to their respective landings.

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