well after binge-watching just about every episode of 'Treehouse Masters', buying the book, and also scouring Youtube for related video; I've been bitten by the treehouse bug !....
I'm lucky to have a block that is not only blessed with 2 x giant Tuart trees; but also a few others in a bit of a group down the back; away from neighbours, so time to get started !! I chose the rear grove of trees as it's a bit more private; and sidn't want to mess with the big ones.
If anyone wants to get the bug - check out treehouse masters on foxtel; or look at nelsontreehouse.com online
construction will be a platfrorm about 2.5m off the ground, half deck, half enclosed 'cubby'
here's a quick sketch plan and the trees as an idea - it will no doubt evolve as the buid gets underway.....
as I'm building between more than one tree; there has to be an allowance for trees to move in the wind. If the treehouse was solidly bolted to all 3 trees, the wind and tree movement causes enough force to rip it apart ! The American style to avoid this is to have a 'floating' platform on top of high tensile bolts that are screwed into tree called 'TAB's (treehouse attachment bolts) or 'Garnier Limbs'. slight problem is that these are only available in USA.....and cost about US$250 each......so getting them here was a bit beyond the budget !
I therefore improvised with some M26 High tensile rod, and some washers & nuts to help improve the torsional load at the tree. The US TABs have a widened collar at the trunk surface to spread the load where it is most likely to bend. Considering mine will be a fraction of the US Builds; I'm pretty comfortable with my versions...
I drilled about 15cm into the trees, plus an enlarged recess using a holesaw/forstner bit to facilitate several washers that go around the rod
Building between more than 1 tree means there are issues with tree movement in the wind. if treehouse is bolted to more than one tree; movement in wind can literally rip it apart. The yanks get around this by basically building the treehouse as a floating platform on high tensile pegs attached to tree called TABs (treehouse attachment bolts) or 'Garnier Limbs' once screwed into tree, the tree builds 'recovery wood around the bolt to strengthen the attachment. the floating aspect allows for the tree to move in the wind independent of the platform, and also for the growth of the tree
Unfortunately TABs are about $250 each from USA and postage would be a killer; so I had to improvise and make my own from M26 High tensile rod, and some washers and nuts to help spread the load.
rebate hole was done with holesaw + forstner bit. Main hole was about 15cm deep using auger
screwing in the rods was hard yakka. I used a pipe on end of wrench for some better leverage - tedious process doing half a turn at a time up & down a ladder !!
one end will take a brace that will support 2 x end beams. each beam is supported at other end by 2 separate trees.
the brace is held with 2 bolts. the washers recess into the tree live layer to minimise flexing of the bolt
now time for the 2 x main longitudinal beams. These are 2 pieces of 190x45 treated pine joined. a support post will be installed beneath each join.
the was lot's of fun carrying & lifting into place on my own !!
now a few treated pine posts to support the middle join. patio post bracket used in quick dry at base
now some cross-bracing + extra joists - getting all the angles right as it's not square was time consuming, and meant joist hanger brackets didn't always fit.... but some 4" treated pine screws re-inforced it by screwing through. Having only recently purchased an impact driver - they are brilliant for driving in screws & bolts without bits skipping and stripping heads !! I've jumped on the Ryobi one+ 18v bandwagon; and so far very happy. Have gone for brushless where I can afford it - hopefully to get extra life out of motors. Batteries have been great too - heaps of grunt !
now for the decking.... scored some salvaged (cypress I think ?) Pine decking - not the normal treated stuff..... smells amazing when it's sawn. Got it for $1/lm from salvage yard so saved a packet there
Quite hard for pine, so had to drill & counter sink first - bit tedious, but went down well