Building a treehouse in the redwood grove of a neighbor (pics included)

Page 1 of 3  
Just thought I'd share with you guys some pics of the treehouse in the redwoods my neighbor asked me to help him start this weekend:
Here's a shot of the ladders we strapped to the redwood trees:
https://c4.staticflickr.com/4/3910/15279581646_2753fa993e_c.jpg
This shows one of the neighbors helping anchor the cargo netting:
https://c4.staticflickr.com/4/3873/15302627625_fc5bab3e26_c.jpg
It's a good thing she did, as she was the first to test it out:
https://c4.staticflickr.com/4/3836/15302627555_4c33459c63_c.jpg
Here you can see the 1/2" steel cable for the suspension bridge:
https://c4.staticflickr.com/4/3920/15299486271_3c953d40ff_c.jpg
We made a *lot* of mistakes already, but, we are working together, and, in the end, we'll have a nice catenary suspension bridge and a treehouse suspended in between the redwoods with nothing but air beneath it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tony Hwang wrote, on Sat, 20 Sep 2014 18:45:55 -0600:

Yeah. This is hill country. We rope down thousands of feet on a "normal" hike, so, yeah, we all have climbing equipment.
In fact, you can see the harnesses everyone has on in the photo below:
https://c4.staticflickr.com/4/3836/15116825580_97f0484828_c.jpg
It's deceptive, but that is a very steep slope, so, what's 10 feet on one side of the trees is about twice or thrice that on the other side.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Arfa Daily wrote, on Sun, 21 Sep 2014 02:21:40 +0100:

Ours are really nice! They span 100 feet from tree to tree, and they are equipped with 120VAC and WiFi, with deck chairs and a fridge for the booze, and we often leave a spare laptop in the treehouse for visitors.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Arfa Daily wrote, on Sun, 21 Sep 2014 02:21:40 +0100:

Kids build suspension bridges on parabolas. Adults do it with the catenary!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 9/20/2014 7:16 PM, Danny D. wrote:

Very cool so far, thanks for sharing, and please keep us updated.
Have you seen the tree house show on TV?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Leon wrote, on Sun, 21 Sep 2014 08:05:23 -0500:

No, I haven't seen that show, but, I realized belatedly I had not snapped photos of the construction of our last treehouse a thousand feet into the woods, so, I'll snap a few when I get the chance and append them.
Living in hilly country, we get pretty good at doing things at height and distance.
At that older treehouse for example, we recently added WiFi, which is no small feat considering it's a thousand feet or more from the nearest house, so the problem of electricity needed to be solved (they used solar panels but I wasn't part of that setup).
Here, for example, are the wireless speeds I got earlier today, which aren't bad, considering there are no wires (26ms, 9 Mbps, 12 Mbps). http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=w9uv80&s=8
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Oren wrote, on Sun, 21 Sep 2014 09:18:46 -0700:

Not my dog, but she's a pointer of some sort because it kept pointing at animals in the woods, and the guys were talking about how good it was at what it does.
It's the neighbor's dog, so that's all I know, other than I bring steak bones every time I see it because it loves it and I'd have to compost or throw them away anyway.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
How are you attaching the structure to the trees. I live in the Redwood Country and have been involved with Tree House design. I do know there are fasteners used to attach structural elements. I would like to see the actual tree house. john
"Danny D." wrote in message
Just thought I'd share with you guys some pics of the treehouse in the redwoods my neighbor asked me to help him start this weekend:
Here's a shot of the ladders we strapped to the redwood trees:
https://c4.staticflickr.com/4/3910/15279581646_2753fa993e_c.jpg
This shows one of the neighbors helping anchor the cargo netting:
https://c4.staticflickr.com/4/3873/15302627625_fc5bab3e26_c.jpg
It's a good thing she did, as she was the first to test it out:
https://c4.staticflickr.com/4/3836/15302627555_4c33459c63_c.jpg
Here you can see the 1/2" steel cable for the suspension bridge:
https://c4.staticflickr.com/4/3920/15299486271_3c953d40ff_c.jpg
We made a *lot* of mistakes already, but, we are working together, and, in the end, we'll have a nice catenary suspension bridge and a treehouse suspended in between the redwoods with nothing but air beneath it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

We built one 15 years ago, in a small redwood grove in San Mateo.
We built a triangular structure between three trees. We used two 2x12's between each pair of trees, clamping them to the trees with threaded rod. No fasteners were embedded in the trees. As the trees grew, over time, we'd release a bit of tension on the allthread as the trunks grew in diameter.
Supported by those 2x12's (6 total) was a standard 2x6 joist floor and 7 foot studwalls with a standard pre-hung entry door on one side. There was about six to seven feet between the trees.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bob F wrote, on Mon, 22 Sep 2014 08:34:07 -0700:

The neighbor is using expensive "tree bolts". These are something like $25 each, or so I'm told. They allow the redwood tree to grow. Even the cable, as it wraps around the tree, is offset from the tree by a set of two-by-fours.
I should have snapped pictures of all the equipment as it seems some of you have good experience which we can use as nobody wants to hurt the trees.
I will try to snap some photos next time I'm there to help out.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
OFWW wrote, on Sat, 27 Sep 2014 23:55:45 -0700:

This is a good point.
We have so many ladders, most of which are roped end-to-end to the trees for height, that we just made them as simply as we could.
You can see that we have cargo netting, to allow us to cross from tree to tree once we climb up the ladders:
https://c4.staticflickr.com/4/3865/15195194790_8fe8c93589_c.jpg
But, we also usually wear safety harnesses and ascenders whenever we work more than 15 or 20 feet up (which is almost always since it's a steep slope so what is 15 feet up at the uphill end of the cables is something like 50 or 70 feet up at the downhill end.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dpb wrote, on Sun, 28 Sep 2014 12:04:29 -0500:

I don't know. But, safety is cheap, if you know what to do, so I'm not against the advice at all. This has to handle kids and adults, and has to outlast us.

This is great information, as your environment is the same as ours! We're on steep hills in California, in the redwoods.

You can see that we used *eight* on the connection here:
https://c3.staticflickr.com/3/2944/15188634078_2b3de04150_c.jpg
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 09/28/2014 12:11 PM, Danny D. wrote:

...
If you feel the need to do something, I'd use
a) threadlock
b) nylon insert nut
c) star washer
over split-ring locknuts. There's a camp that have a theory that they serve no useful purpose at all (<http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19900009424_1990009424.pdf> for the NASA Fastener Design Manual).
BTW, for overhead use, malleable wire rope clips are not recommended; drop forged are ok. For rigging overhead lifts, cable clips aren't allowed at all, but with the above caveat on type they are allowed for static overhead loads.
See
<http://blog.uscargocontrol.com/how-to-use-wire-rope-clips/
for some other specifics.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dpb wrote, on Sun, 28 Sep 2014 13:54:02 -0500:

They *are* designed for this purpose, are they not?
They didn't come with lock washers.
I'm sure we have nothing against putting them on; but, if they really needed lock washers, wouldn't they have come with them?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Oren wrote, on Sun, 28 Sep 2014 12:30:52 -0700:

Threadlock isn't a bad idea.
In fact, it's a great idea.
Wish I had thought of that sooner; but we still have the backside of the big redwood downhill to add the extra wire to, so there's still time yet.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
G. Ross wrote, on Sun, 28 Sep 2014 13:39:26 -0400:

We plan on balancing the load.
Maybe that won't work - maybe it will.
If we need to, the turnbuckle can be added (somehow) as a rube goldberg; but at the moment, the load is supposed to be balanced when we build the bridge hanging from the cables.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 09/28/2014 4:14 PM, Danny D. wrote:

I'd suggest it (balance control) will become mandatory and mayest as well design it in from the git-go. W/ as much effort as you're investing, this is a pretty minimal addition.
--


Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Oren wrote, on Sun, 28 Sep 2014 14:21:31 -0700:

Yup. 45 foot pounds. Thanks.
I'm relaying all this information to the neighbor as I'm just a helping hand. I jokingly refer to myself as the "union worker" because I make jokes about OSHA getting on their case every time I have to climb one of those ladders!
I do apologize that updates are slow, as I can't snap a picture unless I'm there, and the treehouse is only worked on during the weekends, and I'm not always there to help, but I will try to snap pictures as we progress.
Dunno if I should append all to the same thread, as the way "I" read this newsgroup is that I only look at the threads from the last day or three. Dunno how others look at older threads, 'cuz this could take a few months elapsed time.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Dan Coby wrote, on Sun, 28 Sep 2014 20:32:48 -0700:

We "tensioned" the cables, by hand.
What we literally did was put a broomstick through the 60 pound wooden spool of 250 feet of 3/8" steel cable and we mounted that on two chairs about 15 feet downhill of a big pine tree.
Then we went uphill to that pine tree at a point about 15 feet off the ground and then back to the chairs with the spool of wire.
At that point, we tied a rope to the end of the wire, and we walked the wire downhill a little less than about 100 feet to a big redwood.
At that redwood, we climbed up to the same height as the pine (which, since it's downhill, is about 40 or so feet up in the air) and we pulled the rope with the wire cable attached.
Then we pulled the rope which pulled the cable back up the hill back to the point on the path 15 feet below the pine, where we pulled it tight by hand, and then clamped the 8 clamps on.
Then, we simply slid the cable around the big redwood and slid it around the pine, until the cable clamps were symmetric around the pine, as shown in the last set of pictures.
I won't mention the fact that we accidentally crossed the cables because we went around the big redwood the wrong way, as that's embarrassing to mention. Nor will I mention how many times we got hung up in the branches between trees, necessitating mid-air precarious surgery on the trees.
Given all that, I wouldn't call the tension all that tight. You can see the sag in the photos. Maybe it sags, oh, I don't know, about 5 to 10 feet maybe?

I think we're talking just a plywood box, with a deck. I should mention that there will be anchors on the two little redwoods, so, the treehouse won't actually be floating on all sides. The bridge *will* be floating though. It should be fun once it's done and wired for Internet. It has a great view once you're up in the redwoods.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
John Robertson wrote, on Mon, 29 Sep 2014 09:54:57 -0700:

Only that each cable supports 14,000 pounds! :)

Hmmmmmm.... The cables don't "give" a little when you walk on the bridge that would be hanging below it?

The neighbors are all owners of companies and people with graduate degrees, so, they *are* engineers (of all types). The one having the most fun with the design is the retired carrier fighter pilot. :)

Yes. I'm told the catenary will turn into a parabola once we hang the bridge off of it. Since the bridge starts uphill about 15 feet above the trail, it will be fun to just step onto the bridge, at the level of the trail, and then walk "downhill" level but going higher and higher above the steeply sloping ground, to get to the two smaller redwoods in the middle of the span.
At that point, we will be in the "treehouse" which will have a deck and WiFi and a great open view of the mountains.
Then, if we want, we can walk further to the *big* redwood, which will have sleeping quarters (hammocks and cargo nets) for the nights we'll spend there.
It should be fun, once done, and I'll try to keep you guys informed; but I personally am not designing or building it; I'm just the free help (we all have Spanish nicknames when we do free labor. I'm "Rodruigo", and my wife's nom-de-labor is "Marisol", for example).
I keep threatening that I'm gonna call OSHA on them if I fall or if they don't provide cold soda (the free soda has been warm, to date).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.