Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Part 13: Raising The Treehouse Platform

Lifting a platform for a treehouse into a tree

Spring was pretty much going to start any minute; the weather was cooperating. I was out of excuses — it was time to get moving on the treehouse project again.

I’d decided for the small cost and effort involved, it would be worth it to get another pair of long 2x12 beams up into the tree, effectively doubling the strength and stiffness. On one side, it would just be a matter of slipping the second beam into the wire sling and adjusting the turnbuckle I'd put in when installing the treehouse bolts.

I wound up taking apart and putting back together the turnbuckle to do it, but well worth it.

For the other side, I cut a circular hole just big enough (and offset enough) to get over the treehouse bolt and square metal washer.

While I had the jigsaw out, I made a circular edge for the outer 2x12s, too. Just because it looked kind of neat.

I got up there and drove some nails to join the 2x12s together.

Using the cordless palm nailer.

Now I had a serious surface to get the floor up and onto.

Note the plastic lawn chair. I'd become interesting enough to watch.

I ran a bunch of pulleys, and my wife and I carried the floor framing out to the tree.

Serious business. It was kind of heavy.

My idea was I’d attach my lifting lines to one side of the floor — the bottom, as it lays sideways — and have another loose line on the other (top) side. My lifting points in the tree were attached to the treehouse beams; I figured we could lift the thing right up and past a balancing point where it would just flop down into place.

There are no pictures of the process, but it was a bit more difficult than that. The floor frame kept threatening to tip right over and back down onto my wife, who was struggling with the weight involved, mechanical advantage notwithstanding. On at least three separate occasions, I was quite certain I was going to lose the floor frame — and only every ounce of strength kept it from falling to the ground.

It was, put simply, a very near thing. But.

There's that "little" branch, a perfect fit. Better to be lucky than good.

We’d done it. And it looked just like I’d imagined. I ran a few obligatory safety straps around things (it wasn’t going anywhere) and came down for the day. It was starting to look a lot like we might be building a treehouse!

On to Part 14: Decking the Treehouse Platform

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