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The Wedding Treehouse – beam install


The first step was to install the top brackets. Well, first had to get the proper bolts. I wanted to use 3/4″ thick (radius) by 8″ long lag bolts — galvanized to support the weather. When I built my first treehouse, I just bought them from OSH or San Lorenzo Lumber. Now a days, we have Home Depot, and still OSH. Home depot doesn’t really carry large lag bolts, and OSH has a wider selection, but no 3/4″ lag bolts. Both places have coarse thread 3/4″ ungalvanized bolts, and that was my only real option. I could order something from the internet…but I wasn’t that patient. I did some test holes in a sample tree and discovered that the coarse thread 3/4″ bolts thread quite nicely into a 5/8″ pilot hole. The only problem is that they will eventually rust, since they aren’t galvanized. I figure it will be an experiment to see how long before they rust and cause the treehouse to fall down. I think it will last at least 10 years, probably 20 and maybe 30. The bolts will be “somewhat” protected from the elements, so they shouldn’t rust all that fast. I realize I’m making a mistake by not using the proper hardware, but that’s okay by me.

So, I sunk the first bracket into the tree; all was fine. I drilled the hole for the second and realized that an 8″ lag bolt is too big for a tree that has a radius slightly less than 8″ (oh, duh!). I really need to have used a larger tree, but this is the one I wanted it in. So, I traded in my 8″ bolts for 5″ bolts. They seem to get as much holding power as the longer ones, and I think 8″ is overkill.

Rock climbers use much smaller bolts — but then again, those bolts are drilled into solid granite. So, a second experiment is to see how well these shorter ones work. Before I got the shorter ones, I used a few of the 8″ ones but made a 1″ space out off 3/4 inner diameter by 1″ outer diameter steel pipe I had from moving my mill.

Here’s some more iPhone pictures:

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IMG_0261.jpg

IMG_0262.jpg

Each beam was carefully leveled with the previous beam and then leveled radially. Unfortunately…I now realize that didn’t work so well, as some of the old beams are slightly warped. I should have ripped (or jointed) a side perfectly flat before using them…but then again…”oh well”..

More soon…



5 Responses to “The Wedding Treehouse – beam install”

  1. Nathan Hoover says:

    Wow, this looks AWESOME!!!

  2. Stephane says:

    Considering the tree looks like to be a Sequoia Sempervirens, growth could be an issue.

  3. corbin says:

    stephane — I don’t think growth will be an issue; I’ve literally grown up around coastal redwoods, and they grow quite slow. They also grow around things; i’ve seen some strange things embedded in them.

    corbin

  4. Stephane says:

    It depends on the definition of slow and the life expectancy of the house. I was thinking about the 10,20,30 years numbers. It’s difficult to say from a photo, but the radius of the tree could have been multiplied by 1.5 at least in the 10-20 years period. The growth of a sequoia can be 1 meter (height) per year from what I’ve read.

  5. Tiffany says:

    Greetings Corbin~
    I have been looking for a treehouse to rent and surprise my husband with for our anniversary…do you have any suggestions? I am also a Tissu aerialist and saw your lovely photos!

    Blessings~
    Tiffany

    http://www.BodhaYoga.com

(c) 2008-2012 Corbin Dunn

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