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November 30, 2005

Treehouse Step by step: Day 1 Afternoon

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Once a pulley is in place, poles can be hoisted up. This treehouse springs from two trees that are about 4m apart. two 6m poles on opposite sides of the tree span between the two stems (you can see them already attached in the above photo). The first pole is the most difficult to hoist and secure: 3 people are needed: 1 to tie the pole and hoist it from the ground, and one person on a harness in each tree, with ropes and frapping mallet ready to secure the pole. The best option is to hoist the pole up horizontally if space allows, and then to tie the supporting rope off when the pole is at about the right height. The scouts in the trees then proceed to attach a further support to each end of the the pole, directly supporting it using branches above it. You can them fine-tune the level of the pole before beginning the square lashings.

Remember that one of the poles in the square lashing (the tree trunk) is very thick and you may end up using 3 or 4 normal length lashing ropes. It is best to start with one rope and attach more as needed using sheetbends- trying to tie a lashing with a very long rope is rather inconvenient. Having lashed the first spanning pole on, the second can be placed in position and levelled with respect to the first. Once this pole is lashed, the other poles that will support the platform can be added. At this point I had to go home but one of my Assistant Scouters stayed on to continue, and 2 4m poles were added.

The tree to the right of the image will be the site of a hammock using a cargo net, and a monkey bridge will link the platform to the hammock. Speaking of monkey bridges, this is the coolest one I have ever seen: used by the Orang utans at the National Zoo in Washington,D.C

If you have any design suggestions, e-mail me and we might try them out
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