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Our three cats like to scratch at everything. One thing they love more than anything is the toilet paper in our bathrooms. To solve this problem, I’m going to make a wooden toilet paper holder that prevents the cats from shredding the TP.

  1. Recreate the TP Holder
  2. Laminate a Cover
  3. Mount Assembly to the Wall

1. Recreate the Toilet Paper Holder

Like many people that purchase a home, I haven’t given much thought to the aesthetics of our wall-mounted toilet paper holder. The main concern with this porcelain fixture is that our 3 cats destroy the rolls of unprotected toilet paper. In order to solve this problem, I wanted to create a decorative shield that wraps around the top of the roll.

Before we get to the protective cover, I had to make the TP holder’s structure. This shape is pretty basic, a U shape that attaches to the wall with some anchors and some supports to hold that the spring cylinder. To make the structure, I wanted to use some really nice walnut that I had. To make this U shape, I cut the walnut down to three thin sections, drill receiving holes for the spring cylinder, and joined them using half-lap joints and glue. I used the disc sander to round over the front supports to soften up the edges. In the next section, we will use a technique that I’ve always wanted to use, bent lamination.

2. Laminate a Cover

Now that I had a fancy looking toilet paper holder, it was time to focus on the cat proof aspect of the project, the rounded TP shield. To achieve this I decided to use a process called bent lamination. Bent lamination uses thin veneers or strips of wood soaked in water, glued together, to bend into specific shapes. Using some walnut veneers, I soaked them in a shallow pan using warm water (boiling water works best). After a long soak in the water, I applied a liberal amount of glue and bent all of the layers around a pre-formed wooden shape. It is best to clamp the wet pieces around the form and let them dry before gluing them together, but we found that it worked well even when wet.

I purposefully made the laminated curve larger than i needed because the edges of bent lamination tend to be a little messy. The bandsaw cut those edges nice and clean leaving me with the curved cat proof cover that fit on the holder. I had a simple brass hinge that I used to connect the two assemblies together. Before mounting the two pieces together, the hinge screws had to be trimmed down to prevent them from poking through the top of the laminated cover.

3. Mount the Assembly to the Wall

After a coat of polyurethane, a took the assembly into the bathroom and pre-drilled some mounting holes. I used some drywall anchors to attach the toilet paper holder to the bathroom wall. Lifting up on the hinged cover, I added a fresh roll of TP and set the cover back in place. You can easily pull the paper out from under the cover and after some curious investigation, the cats left everything alone.

Time Will Tell

It has been a few days and there hasn’t been any more shredded TP on the floor. I’m not sure if the cat proof toilet paper holder is preventing them from clawing at the paper or maybe they are turned off by the imposing protective cover, but either way, it’s working. Only time will tell on this one, cats are notoriously clever and I hope that this cover will solve our kitty problem. We’ll keep you posted.