Last minute entry though I thought i'd upload my current project,
Welcome to the Tree MANOR!,
The idea was put into fruition only 3 days ago and kicked off on Saturday, a solid two days of work was put in and happy with how it turned out, a few more things to add and fix up and it'l be ready for beers on Australia Day.
The property is owned by a friend of mine who is a qualified carpenter and this is our second tree manor, the first being bulldozed to make way for a new development years ago.
The height is 22 feet at the highest bearer and the railings extend a further 1m higher.
The supports, beams, bearers and braces are all 45x75mm hardwood roofing frames that were donated to the project, the flooring is recycled timber decking that was also donated, all joins are either secured suing 90mm hex head gal baton screws and the main supports are scolloped into the tree to provide the maximum amount of support.
all deckign was hit with 50mm finishing nails and the railings have the same treatment as the bearers.
The Manor will further feature a small cargo net hanging below the platform and a roof made from recylced corrugated iron sheeting.
Step 1: Finding a Suitable Location for the Manor
Now the most important part, location, location, location
We had orginaly planned to use a single tree and create a round donut platform approx 5m from the ground,
The trees we did choose are 150mm in diameter, close together and the platform was constructed approx 6m from the ground, the only downside is both our ladders fell too short so some creative thinking was employed
Step 2: Support Bearers
every manor needs a floor,
the key to our design was triangulation, increadible strength can be foudn within triangles and the three trees were only just out of plum from being perfect.
The view at sunset is increadible though the mozzies were out in force, both ends were notched into the tree and baton screwed in, to accomplish the height, we did have to throw the ladder in the rear of the ute, whoops
Step 3: TRIANGULATION!!!!
Cam as you can see, is safely perched upon three hardwood beams nailed temporarily to the main support bearers, the vertical supports are met in the middle of the horizontal bearer and a small block is inserted between the ends on a mitre joint, this ensures a structually sound join and one that places the entire pressure upon the other creating a strong join.
Step 4: Joists and Flooring to Begin
After we had thrown in a solid few hours in teh Australian 40 degree heat we welcomed the cooling night that was upon us, threw up the floor supports and had a few beers while we began to realise we had a huge day ahead tomorrow
Step 5: Flooring and Beginning of Railings Including Tree Support
the flooring went up without a hitch, though carrying planks one by one up a ladder became tiresome so we rigged up a few pulleys and hoisted huge piles at a time, about 2000 nails, an air gun and a few hours and we had a respectable floor , we offset the joins just the same as a normal deck to ensure maximum strength throughout the floor, the other photo shows the railings we made up,
using recylced trees from a development we measured and cut the lengths and screwed them into nothces in the outer side of the tree, spare decking boards were them layed along the edge of the deck and then further spare boards were screwed to both the railing and kick plate to ensure a strong join.
The small triangular section spanning both railings will be used for a small gas bbq and underneath we have allowed room for a gas bottle and esky for the celebration
**during the build we did underestimate the flex the flooring would have only supported by essentially 6 points, over a 4.5 m squared span, utilisign strength i didnt even know i had, both me and cam muscled a 200mm wide tree from the ground and dug a two feet deep hole directly below a support plate spannign the bottom of the bearers, a small box was fursnihed and screwed onto the plate and the top of the tree trunk cut to size and hammers agaisnt it, whilst this was happening i had tensioned the tree house above from the tree notch to lift the platform approxmatley one inch, allowing us to essentially drop the platform onto the support when released,
we immeadiatley noticed the structural rigidity of the floor was improved and the floor does not flex at all, without the support our load rating would be seriously effected.
Step 6: Finishing and Photos
during a well earned break today i planned the further build and will be allowing room for a small section of roof to be installed, trap door to be completed, railings to be finsihed including a small windbreak, access ladder to be made from felled trees and a small winch to haul items up and down the outside of the deck.
all in all a great little weekend project that turned into something so big its taking days of hard labour but all so worth it, the Australia day get together this comming weekend will be fantastic as we sip cold beers and look out over the valley,
as always, practice responsible drinking and stay safe