OT: How can I make one of these?


http://www.catwheelcompany.com /

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v
wZfhdkA3M (be sure to watch the last 30 seconds)
I thought of cutting down a 55 gallon drum with a bearing in the middle of the bottom, but that's too small diameter.
Or start with a frame and attaching a bicycle wheel, then buliding onto that. I can make big rings with sheet metal. Then light sheetmetal strips welded to hold the two rings. The rear of the larger ones looks like it could do harm if a cat fell out the other side. Poster board or something like that would eliminate cats feet getting stuck in the spokes.
Another question, in the larger models, the "spokes" are curved. I've seen that basic design over and over again throughout the ages. Is it just for looks or does it have a purpose?
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Tony wrote:

What about using a junk tractor, implement, or construction equipment tire? You might have to cut one of the sidewalls off. Would weight be an issue? Would it work to make one side with plywood, then bend something like Masonite around the plywood? The only other thing that comes to mind off hand is a used wire spool. The old ones at work are maybe 3 to 5 feet in diameter.
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Dean Hoffman wrote:

I think too much weight is a big problem. They advertise that the newer ones have a tension control, I suppose to help them stop. Get a heavy one spinning and the cat better learn fast how to bail out when he's tired. I'm sure the cats in the video have been training on it for some time. Pretty neat how they take turns hopping on and the other cat jumps off.
I think I could make one out of metal and it be lighter than wood. The spokes can be copper pipe, and the round frames could be some other bendable tube Oh shit, I just saw some clearance stuff at lowes and there are some nice $12 bearings for a buck or two each. I could start with the bearings and an axle and go from there, that could be a good gameplan. Oh, and BTW I don't even have a cat!
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Tony wrote:

Golly wiggle! I know cat people love their pets but that's a lot of money for a kitty toy! Heck, just tie a rabbit's foot to a cord and attach it to a ceiling fan or a couple of laser pointers stuck to the blades. GEEZ!
TDD
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My cat uses the treadmill.
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