TREE HOUSE

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Introduction: TREE HOUSE

THE TREE HOUSE

9’ x 14’ House with a 5’ x 14’ Deck.

This is a major, costly, and highly rewarding project.

THIS WAS AN INTENTIONAL OVER-BUILD …

Supplies

THE MATERIALS

The materials needed for this particular project were as follows :

FOOTINGS :

(21) bags 80lb redi-mix cement

(24) 3/8” x 2’ rebar

(1) yard of ¾” stone

(3) 6” X 10’ PVC PIPE

TEMPORARY WOOD :

(24) 2x4x8 boards (Braces for Posts)

POSTS :

(4) 6x6x16 pressure treated posts (tall house high posts)

(2) 6x6x8 pressure treated posts (tall porch posts)

(6) 6x6x8 pressure treated posts (short house & porch posts)

(4) 4x6x8 pressure treated posts (wall posts)

(24) ½” x 12” galvanized bolts with washers & nuts --- (anchor short 6x6 posts and Floor Header Beam to tall 6x6 posts)

(20) ½” x 10” galvanized bolts with washers & nuts

HEADER BEAMS :

(3) 280 lbs. each : floor header beams (5+7/16” x 11+7/8” x 16’)

(2) 170 lbs. each : ceiling header beams (3+1/2” x 11+7/8” x 16’)

(16) 2x6x14 or 16 pressure treated boards --- (floor joists)

(5) ¾ x 4 x 8 plywood - pressure treated --- (tree house floor)

(16) ½” x 8” galvanized bolts with washers & nuts --- (anchor interior headers to posts)

CEILING RAFTERS :

(34) 2x6x10 or 12 pressure treated boards --- doubles up on outer ends, and one on each side of all posts

(2) 2x6x14 or 16 pressure treated boards (Ceiling rafter end-caps)

(1) 2x6x12 pressure treated board --- (ceiling fan support)

(8) ½” x 8” galvanized bolts with washers & nuts --- (anchor end ceiling rafters to posts)

(80) hurricane straps – standard straight shape

ROOFING :

(7) sheets ¾” x 4 x 8 plywood

20 lbs. of 3” galvanized nails (to nail down plywood)

(1) Roll of 100’ weather-shield roofing

(3) square shingles (usually 1 bundle = 1/3 square … fancier shingles = ¼ square)

Galvanized Roofing Nails (to nail down shingles)

(4) 2x4x12 pressure treated boards (roof peak perimeter molding)

(4) aluminum drip cap edging

(2) 4x6 Horse Stall Mats (to surround tree to keep out weather)

FRAMING :

(80) 2x4x8 pressure treated wood (house framing)

50 lbs. 3” galvanized nails … or nails for framing gun

RAILINGS :

(1) 6x6x12 pressure treated post (front porch posts)

(1) 4x6x16 pressure treated post (front porch rail top)

(1) 4x6x8 pressure treated post (front porch rail top)

(1) 4x6x8 pressure treated post (stair posts)

(2) 2x10x8 pressure treated post (stair posts)

(2) 2x6x12 pressure treated post (stair treads)

(8) 2x4x8 pressure treated post (stair treads & stair railings)

(4) 2x4x8 pressure treated post (railings)

(70) 2x2x3’ pressure treated spindles (railing)

LOFT :

(2) 4x6x8 pressure treated posts (loft posts)

(4) 2x6x10 pressure treated boards (loft frame)

(3) 2x6x12 pressure treated boards (loft frame)

(16) 2x6 Joist Hangers (loft frame)

(2) 4x8 pressure treated Plywood (loft)

(2) 4x6x8 pressure treated posts (loft stairs

(14) 2x2x3’ pressure treated spindles (loft railing)

(1) 2x6x8 pressure treated board (loft railing)

(8) ladder rungs

(3) hand rails

(1) 2’ chain and bolt (safety chain)

INTERIOR :

(16) 2x4x8 pressure treated posts (slide framing)

(16) 3” hinges (interior slide doors and trap door)

(1) hydraulic door closer (trap door)

(1) handle (trap door)

(80) 12” square rubber exterior patio mats (to carpet the interior floor)

ELECTRIC :

CONTROL BOX :

(1) square deep electric box & closed cover --- (receiving box for initial electric run)

CEILING FAN :

(1) Ceiling Fan

(1) Electric Outlet Box --- (for Fan)

(1) Electric Double Outlet Box --- (for fan light and fan switches)

(1) Fan Dimmer Switch

(1) Fan Light Dimmer Switch

(1) Double Switch Exterior Cover --- (Fan Lights and Fan)

LIGHTS :

(1) Fluorescent Light --- (lights)

(1) Electric Outlet Box --- (for lights)

(1) Light Dimmer Switch --- (Lights)

(1) Single Switch Exterior Cover --- (Lights)

OUTLET BOX :

(1) Electric Outlet Box --- (electric outlets)

(1) GFI Receptacle --- (electric outlets)

ELECTRIC LINES :

(1) 20Amp breaker --- (for main electric panel in house --- for GFI receptacle)

(1) 20Amp breaker --- (for main electric panel in house --- for Fan & Lights)

(1) square deep electric box & closed cover --- (receiving box coming out of house for electric lines)

(1) 250’ roll of BLACK # 12 wire --- (electric)

(1) 250’ roll of WHITE # 12 wire --- (electric)

(1) 250’ roll of GREEN # 12 wire --- (electric)

(15) 1” x 10’ Electric PVC pipes --- (electric lines)

(6) PVC electric box connectors --- (connect PVC pipe to electric boxes)

(10) 1” 90° PVC elbows --- (electric lines)

(6) 1” 45° PVC elbows --- (electric lines)

(1) Quart of PVC Cement (glue) --- (electric lines)

(20) 1” pipe clamps

1 lb. 1+½” galvanized nails

GUTTERS & LEEDERS :

(3) 10’ gutters

(18) gutter braces

(2) boxes of gutter brace screws

(2) downspout connections

(2) 10’ leeders

(6) 45° elbows

(6) Leeder clamps

(1) box ¾” galvanized screws

SIDING :

(12) boxes Smoothe Cedar Shakes

20 lbs. galvanized shake nails

STAIN :

4 Gal. Stain ... Rollers ... Paint Brushes

TARPS : several

TOOLS NEEDED

Cement Mixer ... Cement Mixing Tub ... Hose for waterline

Post Hole Digger (or backhoe)

Shovel ... Pick ... Rake ... Hoe ... Breaker Bar

Hand Level – small (10”) & Large (3’) ... Laser Level

Square – Large ... Square – Small ... Crowbar

Hammer ... Ratchet Set ... Pliers ... Pipe Clamps ... Wrench

Step Ladders (2) ... Scaffold Walkway ... Buckets ... Broom

Box Cutter ... Caulk Gun ... Screwdrivers (Phillips) ... Rasp

Hand Chisels ... Sander ... Paint Roller ... Paint Brushes

Stapler (½” staples) ... Chalk Line ... Circular Saw ... Miter Saw

Reciprocal Saw ... Jig Saw ... Hand Saw ... Router ... Drill

Tape Measure ... Straight Edge 3’ ruler ... Angle Ruler

Drill Bits : ½” x 12” long

Framing Nail Gun --- for 3” nails

Roof Nail Gun – 1+¼” nail stapler for Roof Shingles (alternative : you can use a hammer)

3” Nail Gun – for Roof Plywood (alternative : you can use a hammer)

3+½” Palm Nailer (for hard to hammer nail areas)

Compressor (to run Palm Nailer, Framing Gun and Roof Nail Gun )

Step 1: THE STEPS IN a NUTSHELL

Secure the Basic

Structure :

1st Set of Short Posts :

1) Dig all 6 Holes

2) Pour Cement

3) Insert the 6 8’ Posts in holes, supporting them upright temporarily with 2x4’s

4) Laser Level all posts … make certain they are square, and diagonal measurements are accurate

5) Connect temporary support boards to hold all posts tentatively in place

6) Re-Laser Level and mark all 6 posts where Header Beams will rest

7) Remove the 6 posts and cut where the Header Beam will sit

8) Re-install these 6 Posts … with their 12” x 12” PVC pipes around their base

9) Re-Laser Level all 6 posts, and verify all 3 main Floor Header Beams will be level with each other later

2nd Set of Tall Posts :

10) Install 4 16’ 6x6 posts for the House and 2 8’ 6x6 posts for the Porch … bolt them to the 1st set of Posts

11) Connect temporary support boards to hold all posts tentatively in place

12) Re-Laser Level all posts, and verify all 3 main Floor Header Beams will still be level with each other

Floor Header Beams and Floor Joists :

13) Install the 3 Floor Header Beams

14) Install several temporary Floor Joists (perpendicular to header beams) to prohibit lateral movement

15) Re-Laser Level all posts and all 3 main Floor Header Beams to verify everything is still level & square

16) Bolt the 3 Main Floor Header beams to all 6 sets of Double Posts

17) Lay several Floor Joists across all 3 Header Beams and verify its Level

18) Bolt 1 Floor Joists to the inside of each of the 3 sets of double posts (running from House section to Porch)

19) Install all Floor Joists

20) Install the Porch floor boards

21) Install the Porch railing after cutting the 8’ posts to size

22) Fill in the holes

Wall Beams, Ceiling Header Beams, and Ceiling Joists :

23) Cut 4 6x6 Wall Posts to the desired height (7’) and bolt to the main posts

24) Install 2 14’ Ceiling Header Beams on top of the Wall Posts, and bolt to the main posts.

25) Install Ceiling Joists across the Ceiling Header Beams, 1 on each side of posts, then bolt to main posts

There will be no more Ceiling Joists used, as the Tree House Roof is an ‘open-air’ concept.

Ridge Posts, Ridge Beam, and Ceiling Rafters :

26) Determine the desired Roof Height, then verify the ‘roof pitch’ is within acceptable limits

27) Determine where Ridge Beam will be located

28) Measure and cut the Pidge Posts, and bolt them to the double Ceiling Header Beams

29) Install the Ridge Bean onto the Ridge Posts

30) Install the Ceiling Rafters

Roof :

31) Frame out the Skylights

32) Install Plywood

33) Install Skylights

34) Install Weather-shield

35) Install roof shingles

Framing & The Slides :

36) Install plywood on floor

37) Frame the stairs to the Porch

38) Frame the Loft

39) Determine location of slides

40) Frame the walls for the Slides

41) Install the Slides

42) Install the Firemen’s Pole

43) Install the Rock Climbing Wall

44) Frame the walls for the Windows and Doors

45) Install sheathing on the sides of the Tree House

Finishing :

46) Install Windows

47) Install Doors

48) Install cage around the Tree

49) Install Trap Door

50) Install Workbench

51) Install Shelving

52) Install Fence and Ladder for Loft

53) Install interior doors for Slides

54) Install Siding

55) Stain Siding

Electric :

56) Run underground Electric from main residence to Tree House, with outside shut-off controls

57) Run electric and install Outlets.

58) Run electric and install Lights

59) Run electric and install Ceiling Fan

Finish ::

60) Walk up the stairs, sit on the Porch and have some lemonade !

Step 2: TOWN BUILDING REQUIREMENTS

Out of the Dog House and into a Tree House … I needed an escape ! … The grandkids did too !

My Town required a building permit. Their requirements are that a Tree House, no higher than 15’, can be built as long as NO part of it touches a tree … therefore my Treehouse is a house and deck surrounding a Tree !

Disputed building requirements --- The town required :

1) cement at least 12” wide x 36” deep to ground level,

2) post cleats on top of the cement pads to secure the upright ground posts,

3) 4 3+ ½’ 6x6 ground posts supporting the main floor header beams and bolted to the post cleats,

4) 2 12” high x 14’ long main floor header beams on top of ground posts,

5) 4 5+ ½’ 4x6 wall posts on top of the floor header beams,

6) 2 12” high x 14’ long ceiling header beams on top of the wall posts,

7) roof rafters on top of ceiling header beams.

I thought the above building requirements to be a house of cards and structurally unstable. The town was persistent in adhering to these requirements, but agreed to the additional inclusions of mine, as follows :

SOLUTION :

I would put a house high Post 13+ ½“ high 6x6 alongside each of the 4 sets of the Town’s required Ground and Wall posts and a 9+ ½‘ high 6x6 alongside each of the 2 Deck posts, and bolt them together.

For the cement footings, I would put cement 18” high x 24” wide with rebar at the bottom of a 42” hole (not filling the entire hole with cement), and both the town’s post requirements and MY additional posts would sit on top of this cement pad side-by-side, with 12x12 PVC pipes around both 6x6 posts (now 6x12 posts), with the PVC pipes rising 2’ above the ground to resist water.

The town approved the cement base idea as long as PVC pipes were installed to provide protection of the posts from the ground rot concern.

The OK was given to build … (this double-post compromise proved to work quite well during construction, and was needed).

Step 3: TERMINOLOGY

*) MY House High Post ... the 4 solid 6x6 posts from ground level up to roof (16' high, and later trimmed as needed) … items 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 are Bolted to these Posts ... 2 6x6x12' posts used for porch (and later trimmed as needed)

1) PVC Pipes ... (around both MY house high Post and Town’s Ground Post)

2) Town’s required Ground Post ... (supporting Floor Header Beam) ... the short 6x6 posts approx 5' high that are 2' in the ground and approx 3' above ground ... these are the posts the 3 Gluam Floor Header beams rest on.

3) Floor Header Beam ... (on top of Ground Post) ... the 3 Gluam beams supporting the entire structure ... the Floor Joists rest on these beams

4) Floor Joists ... (on top of Floor Header Beam) ... the horizontal beams laying on top of the Gluam Floor Header beam ... the floor rests on the Floor Joists

5) Town’s required Wall Post ... (on top of Floor Header Beam) ... the 7' post supporting the Ceiling Header beam

6) Ceiling Header Beam ... (on top of Town’s required Wall Post) the horizontal Gluam beam supporting the Ceiling Joists

7) Ceiling Joists ... (on top of Ceiling Header Beam) ... the top horizontal beam in the picture

Step 4: The Footings

The Tree : a 100’ Oak Tree, is designed to be in the MIDDLE of the Tree House, and extending through the roof.

The 42” deep ground holes were made with a backhoe wherein no tree roots were encountered since the Oak tree had roots going straight down vertically, and were not spread out horizontally as in most other tree varieties.

The town’s required Ground posts were placed on 18”H x 24”W cement pads at bottom of 42” hole (a 24” wide cement pad base allows room to maneuver the posts around for proper measurement and alignment.).

Temporary supports double as leveling boards to hold the posts in place.

Initial desired Ground Post height was approx. 5+ ½‘ high (2’ below ground + 3+ ½’ above ground level).

Depending on the topography of the land, the height of each post will vary, so allow extra height in the beginning … the top of all Ground posts will be adjusted later when they are squared and leveled with each other, before being cut to size.

Lowest desired height from ground level to top of Ground post is 3+ ½’ … 3+ ½’ post height + 12” floor header beam + 6” floor joist = 5’ floor above ground

Picture # 2

The 4 Ground posts in the foreground are for the House section …

the 2 Ground posts in the far ground are for the Deck.

Step 5: Squaring the Posts

SQUARING is the next step, and MUST be performed before construction continues … described as follows:

With the cement pads in place, placement of the Ground posts with temporary supports allows the posts to be moved around for exact measurements.

It is absolutely CRITICAL that you take time to make certain the post Distances and Levels are exact, especially the DIAGONAL measurements … BEFORE YOU CONTINUE … otherwise the entire structure will not be square ( Square means built at accurately measured 90° right angles )

See the picture above ...

IF THE GROUND POSTS BEARING THE WEIGHT OF THE FLOOR HEADER BEAMS ARE SQUARE … CONTINUE :

Step 6: Installing the Posts

Picture # 1

The 6 sets of double posts (town’s Ground posts + my House High posts) were inserted into PVC pipes, Ground posts were re-measured and re-leveled, then both posts were bolted together. With all posts level and square, floor headers beams are installed and bolted. 2 floor joists are bolted to the posts for lateral stability. The dirt is filled into the holes, and the PVC pipes are filled with Pea gravel for stability and drainage.

Picture # 2

See the Tree … it is right in the middle of the Tree House.

The 14’ post span to stay clear of the tree required 3 floor header beams. They are each 5+ 7/16” thick, 11+ 7/8” high x 16’ long Treated Rosboro Gluam beams @ 280 lbs. each, and are intended to extend 1’ out on each side of the 14’ house and deck floor.

Note the 4 House High posts, and the 2 high posts for the deck.

Step 7:

SPECIAL NOTE: you can replace Gluam Beams with sufficient # of 2x12x16 boards, if center supports are possible.

If the posts, floor header beams, and floor joists are not totally level and square by now, make any necessary adjustments before proceeding or start over.

Step 8: Installing the Ceiling Header Beams

Picture # 1

All 2x6 x 14’ Floor Joists now installed on top of floor header beams

Picture # 2

7' Wall posts installed and bolted to my 16' House High posts.

The 3+ ½“ x 11+ 7/8 “ x 16’ Treated Rosboro Gluam ceiling header beams @ 170 lbs. each are now installed on top of Wall posts, and bolted to my House High posts ... (The 14’post span also required these header beams.)

Picture # 3

View of the Gluam ceiling header beams sitting on the town’s required Wall posts … both are bolted to my 16' House High taller posts. Double 2” x 6” x 10’ ceiling joists rest on the ceiling header beams and are also bolted to the posts (looking left to right).

The Upper frame is now secure and ready to build on.

Picture # 4

2 self-proclaimed construction inspectors … WHAT DID I DO ? ... I’m the good looking one !

Gluam Beams were needed to span the 14’ unsupported gap :

Weight of Gluam Beams :

170 lbs. each : ceiling header beams (3+1/2” x 11+7/8” x 16’)

280 lbs. each : floor header beams (5+7/16” x 11+7/8” x 16’)

Tractor with bucket/fork-lift used to raise and set floor header beams in place.

3 people needed to raise ceiling header beams in place, using a series of several step supports (tractor could not raise that high)

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SPECIAL NOTE: you can replace Gluam Beams with sufficient # of 2x12x16 boards, if center supports are used … but extra Ceiling Joists may be required to counteract the pressure on these boards by the roof due to the ‘open ceiling ’ used here.

Step 9: Flooring

Plywood being installed on the house floor. 1x6 floor boards now installed on porch.

Note the 12” bolts connecting the 2 6x6 posts … this is done everywhere throughout the structure.

Step 10: Basic Frame Finished

Finished structure to this point.

With the double-posts bolted and being 2’ underground, and with all other framing also bolted together, the structure is very solid.

Now anything, particularly the roof, can be built on top of it without worrying about any stability issues.

Step 11: THE LOFT

A 5’ High Loft was inserted in the inside of the House. Later, a ladder will be added.

This can be used for resting, sleeping, watching videos, playing, etc.

Visitors have an area to camp out underneath.

It was beneficial during construction, for now it doubled as a work platform.

Step 12: THE ROOF

The Tree splits into 2 trunks … no problem … there will be 2 holes in the roof !

The Roof is easy to frame … 2 Ridge Posts are the key … they sit in the middle of the double Ceiling Joists at each end of the structure. The Ridge Beam then runs between the tree trunks and rests on top of the Ridge Posts.

Ceiling Rafters are later connected from the Ceiling Header Beam to the Ridge Beam, and capped with plywood.

Ceiling Joists are only used at the 2 ends of the Tree House ... they are not used in the middle of the Tree House in order to have an 'open ceiling' concept ... the very sturdy Gluam Ceiling Header Beams will support the Ceiling Rafters going to the Ridge Beam just fine !

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The Pitch of a roof is its vertical 'rise' over its horizontal 'span' … i.e. : the higher the Ridge Beam the steeper the roof Pitch will be. The Pitch is expressed in terms of the # of inches a roof rises Vertically over a 12” Horizontal span … ex: a 4” rise = a 4/12 Pitch

For proper water drainage, a Pitch of 2/12 is the minimum required for shingles and roll roofing, with 4/12 and higher being standard.

Ridge Beam height is really whatever your design calls for, as long as it’s above the minimum required Pitch. The desired height of the Ridge Beam often determines the Pitch … the desired Pitch can also determine the height of the Ridge Beam. Generally both are considered in determining a reasonable Roof height. My desired height was 30”.

Calculating the Roof Pitch :

Ridge Beam is 30” high (its vertical rise) above the Ceiling Joists, and is located 5’ (its horizontal span) from the far outer edge of the Ceiling Header Beams … the Pitch is calculated as 30” / 5 = 6” … = 6” vertical rise for each 12” horizontal span … for a 6/12 Pitch.

I am above the required minimum Pitch of 2/12, wherein my 6/12 Pitch is acceptable to me. Let’s erect the 30” high Ridge Beam …

THE RIDGE POSTS :

Ridge Beam sits on top of Ridge Posts, which were installed to support the Ridge Beam. It provides for a secure and easy installation. Ridge Post height is generally measured from the top of the support wall it rests on … to the bottom of the Ridge Beam it supports.

Here a basic Ridge Post of 22+½” is needed (30” from support wall to top of Ridge Beam, less 7+ ½” for height of Ridge Beam).

This measurement was extended by 19” to accommodate : 1) the bottom of the Ridge Post is extended 11+½” … 5+ ½” down between the double 2x6 Ceiling Joists … plus an additional 6” below it for extra support and design, and 2) the Ridge Post is extended 7+½” to the top of the Ridge Beam in order for the Ridge Beam to sit flush in notches cut in the center of the Ridge Posts for extra support.

My over-built but very secure Ridge Posts now measures 41+½” (22+½” basic height + an extra 11+½” down + an extra 7+½” up).

Note : the 22+½” basic Ridge Post height still supports the Ridge Beam, with the extra 19” only providing extra support and design

With scaffold in foreground and Loft in background, construction of the Ridge Posts and securing the Ridge Beam proved very easy.

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During construction, the tree’s double trunks posed a clearance problem, and the center location of the Ridge Posts had to be moved a little to the Right, which made the roof look a little lop-sided … resulting in a 6+½/12 pitch on the right and a 5+½ /12 pitch on the left.

Then again, this is a Tree House, and the lopsided design actually made it very nicely unique … I tell everybody that it was planned for in my original design, and everybody likes it ! (score 1 point for me !)

Step 13:

Picture # 1

Here the Ridge Beam is installed onto the 2 Ridge Posts and sits flush into them.

Notice the massive size of the supporting Ridge Posts (7 2x6’s) … this was done for both tremendous support strength and design.

Picture # 2

Note how the double Ceiling Joists have themselves be doubled with a 2nd 2x6 on each side of the original double Ceiling Joists.

Notice how the Ridge Post consists of 7 2x6’s : 3 are placed through the now 2 double 4x6 ceiling joists, with 4 more sitting on top of the ceiling joists to distribute the roof weight onto the joists and not allow the Ridge Post boards between the joists to slide down.

Note how the Ridge Post extends 6” below the Ceiling Joists … this was done both for increased support and design.

The Roof Rafters are now installed. Notice how the split of the Tree Trunk goes through 2 points in the roof.

Skylights are also framed out.

This is turning out to be a ‘real’ Tree House !

Step 14: THE FRAME

The floor level is 5’ abound ground level. A higher elevation was not desired in case kids fell off the Tree House … at least at this height they would lightly bounce !

Picture # 1

South and East views : The basic Frame is now completed , Now ready for the sides next. 1st of 3 slides attached to outside of house.

Picture # 2

North view … Front slide attached. View of Porch …

Step 15:

Picture # 1

Inside view of back slide … view of Ceiling Header Beam sitting on top of town required post and bolted into my additional post.

Rear tube slide portal framed and slide attached to outside of Tree House so it would not intrude into the inside of the Tree House.

Picture # 2

Close-up view of rear tube slide installation (Note 2x6 slide supports under slide). Height determined by slide elevation requirements.

Step 16:

Picture # 1

The remainder of the House framing is now being installed. Window dimensions match window specifications.

Note the 4x6 railing cap in the background.

Picture # 2

Stairs now installed … a very time consuming project.

Note 2x4 railings (these did not meet town requirements later on … need to be hand width only … i.e. a 1+ ½” pipe was added.

Step 17:

Picture # 1

View of the remainder framing.

Picture # 2

View of the remainder framing.

Step 18: THE SLIDES

Slides were an extra novelty added to the Tree House. One straight Tube Slide, 1 360° turn Slide, *1 Straight Open Slide, *1 Firemen’s Pole, and *1 rock climbing wall were added. To protect both the Tree House and to prevent animals from climbing into the Tree Horse, Slide Doors were later installed inside the Tree House.

* = not shown in this picture

Slides purchased from outdoor playground vendor who sold the slides separately as repair parts to customers … they were readily sold separately.

Step 19:

Pictures # 1 & 2

Stairs installed inside the Tree House to easily step into the rear straight Tube Slide. Slide set high due to minimum height requirements of the slide.

Picture # 3

360° slide interior portal framed.

Slide to left eventually put in front of Tree House. This doorway later used for Firemen’s pole portal.

Step 20:

Picture # 1

Loft windows framed … will have permanent solid plastic panels as its windows.

Picture # 2

A small Rock Climbing Wall installed on South side of deck.

These items also available from playground vendor.


Picture # 3

Firemen’s Pole installed in a separate doorway next to 360° slide.

This item also available from playground vendor.

Step 21: SIDING

The Tree House now gets a layer of ¾” CDX plywood, and Cedar Shake siding stained with clear preservative.

Step 22:

Windows and Doors get their trim. Note small ‘escape’ door on lower right. Note protection ‘Cage’ around the Tree.

The roof was shingled at the earliest convenience in order to protect the Tree House (before doors, windows and interior is done).

Step 23: INTERIOR

Finishing touches are now made to the interior of the Tree House.

Picture # 1

The straight tube slide receive steps to easily get into it.

¾” Patio type rubber mats laid on entire floor.

Underground electric run to Tree House … outlets and switches.

Portable heater (not shown) makes it cozy in winter !

Picture # 2

Doors installed around straight tube slide opening.

Doors needed for privacy, weather protection and animal safety.

Picture # 3

Protective cage installed around base of tree.

Picture # 4

Trap door with hydraulic door closer installed and a 5’ ladder.

Step 24:

Picture # 1

Plastic panels installed in loft window portals.

Picture # 2

Loft railing installed.

Picture # 3

Loft ladder installed, obtained from playground vendor.

Picture # 4

Tempered glass installed throughout … if broken, glass will crumble into small granular pieces instead of sharp panes.

Step 25:

Picture # 1

A collapsible workbench is added.

Picture # 2

Shelving and seats are made. Laminated board put on workbench.

Picture # 3

Electric light installed over workbench.

Picture # 4

Variable speed Ceiling Fan and dim-able light installed.

Nice touch for summertime !

Step 26:

Picture # 1

View of the Firemen’s pole and the 360° slide portals.

Picture # 2

Directly under the Loft, Doors for Firemen’s pole and 360° slide installed.

Doors needed for privacy, weather protection and animal safety.

Step 27: DOORS & WINDOWS

Doors are all hand-made, while all windows are tempered glass for safety.

Step 28:

Pictures # 1 & 2

½” Plywood with ¼” plastic sheets front and back. ¼” plastic Tree and leaf cutouts were inserted into wood cutouts. Stained Glass paint used to color plastic cutouts --- the kids made this !

Pictures # 3 & 4

Skylights are tempered glass for safety (skylights are fixed … do not open).

Step 29: THE FINISH

Roof shingles on. Wood stained. 4’ x 6’ rubber horse stall mat cut and fitted around tree to keep most of weather out.

Step 30:

Tree House is close to principal residence, but far enough away to be adventurous.

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    19 Comments

    0
    MrErdreich
    MrErdreich

    1 year ago

    *****correct: tree mansion

    Well done.

    0
    cybercapri
    cybercapri

    1 year ago on Step 30

    Major Kodos on documentation, wow, the details are amazing, a novice can use this Instructable and become a Professional, seriously, extremely well done... As for the design It's perfect, built to last, and as a builder myself with almost 40 years Experience I would not change a thing, actually picked up a few tips... Awesome... You say "intentional overbuild I say built right, take your pick... I do know this is going to last a very long time because it was built right. Someone else would have cheaped out on Materials and believe that when they do those project don't last long. This project will outlast most Homes... Awesome Job...

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    excelkeenan
    excelkeenan

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thanks ... I am very pleased to see that a professional builder thinks well of it.
    I build everything like this ... my house, barns, toys and games ...
    Documentation is my thing ... I know its belabored, but with my background as a CPA and Auditor, I get frustrated with documentation that only states that you 'can' build something, without telling you 'how' to build it ... so I flood with details so anyone from a novice to a professional can understand and do.
    Thanks

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    cybercapri
    cybercapri

    Reply 1 year ago

    Seriously you have a gift with documentation, the best I'd do is some sketch on a scrap piece of paper at a clients house to get a general idea down on paper of what to expect and of course as the build happened they got to see first hand and would see if any adjustments need to be made. I could tell right away what you where building based off of your list, yes, it's that detailed... Believe me, Instructables is for you, I hope if you change it's only for the better. Too many times folks want to cheap out and I fight them; but it's their money and sure enough just as I said they are calling me back to do it right... I get it, not everyone is rich, but there's a huge difference between doing some right and doing it cheap. Also a lot of contractors cut corners because they don't know what they're doing though that's not really cutting corners but doing it wrong just costs 3 times as much in the long run. Again great Documentation. This thing just needs a bit of insulation and a heat source and you can live in it full time... Well done, this project will stand the test of time as it's going to take decades to defeat this if Mother Nature is even able to... Cheers...

    1
    excelkeenan
    excelkeenan

    Reply 1 year ago

    I lay the big projects out in Excel to get a real good idea what to roughly expect, then I throw the plans away and build as I go ! The building inspector said he never saw anything like it before and asked what construction program I used ... he did not believe me when I said Excel ... when he comes over to inspect, he just laughs, and says if everyone built like I do, he would be out of a job.
    In the fork in the road in my career, I wanted to go into home building, and when I was the GC on my house, each of the 5 main sub-contractors came up to me after the build and begged me to do it professionally, and they would support me ... they said they never had a GC that both knew what they were doing (boy did I fool them), consulted with them, made instant intelligent decisions (I could assimilate and envision what they were telling me), and got everyone to work together. Joking around, we all had fun. But alas, my 'wife' chose my career for me in Accounting (yuck).

    No insulation in the Tree House, but it does have heat ... a portable heater ... takes the bite out ... I am afraid to put a big heater unit in it for fear it would damage the tree ... hot in the middle and cold on top and bottom ... so its just a small one to make it comfortable.

    And yes ... pay the little extra and do it right otherwise don't do it at all ... when I was the GC on my house, I paid a little extra for materials and labor and used 12" block instead of 8" ... and wow, what a difference ... solid construction.
    Just made 1 silly mistake ... thought I was going from an 1800 sf house to a 2800 sf house ... little did I know you don't include the sf of the basement ... so we actually went from a 1200 sf house to a house that expanded from 2800 sf during construction to 3600 sf ... but since I was doing at least 50% of the work, it was affordable.
    But like yourself, its hard to find a contractor that wants to do the job right ... so kudos to you in setting people straight.
    Now if I could only set my wife straight after 50 years, I'd be doing just fine ... but alas, I fear it is too late for Hope.

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    cybercapri
    cybercapri

    Reply 1 year ago

    Don't kid yourself, you instinctively know what you're doing, when it comes to construction and that is a gift, no lie. 12" block over 8" is huge in many ways. If not for Bad Luck with Women I'd have NO LUCK at all, but what little I know I have to say you've got a great one there for sure. From one man to another just know it will be easier for you to change than to change her. As for setting her straight after 50 years, you have a better chance of winning the lottery never to have bought a ticket; not speaking badly of your wife just giving you a heads up my friend... LOL... You are so lucky to have found your soulmate, too many folks won't in this life. 3600 sf is a nice footprint for sure, especially if you added on the part you wanted and not someone else's dream; that makes the space even that much nicer. Enjoy your day Man... Cheers...

    1
    excelkeenan
    excelkeenan

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hey man ... good talking to you ... if I didn't know any better, I'd swear I was talking to my son-in-law ...
    Good advice ... I am doomed ...

    Just to spin on the humorous side about the wife ... true story ...
    when married about 15 years, we were battling like cats-n-dogs ... and almost ready to call it quits ...
    then she gently and quietly confronted me :
    "Do you have a problem with me ?" ... she asked in a stern but soft voice, at a little distance from me ...
    Right off the top of my head I snapped back in a loud voice : "You bet I do ! ... More than One !"
    "Do you have a list ?" ... she asked in a subdued and even softer voice, at a little distance from me ...
    I said in a loud voice "Boy ... I don't need a list ... here are my issues ..." ... and I rambled a whole bunch of them ...
    Then she looked softly into my eyes and gently said ... still at a little distance from me ... "Let me ask you a Question" :
    "Was I like this before we got married ?" ...
    I thought a minute and in a stern voice said ... "Well, Yes"
    Then, still looking softly into my eyes, she asked with a soft voice ... "Well, have I changed ?"
    I thought a minute and in a softer voice said ... "Well, NO !"
    Then she jumped in my face ... nose to nose ... wide eyed and screamed ... "WELL THEN ... WHAT THE F--- IS YOUR PROBLEM ?"
    I thought a quick second, for fear of being found dead the next morning, and replied in a gentle and loving voice ... "Well, I guess there isn't any !"
    Then she replied, in a soft voice, looking gently into my eyes, and said ... "Well then, quit being an A--H--- and take me out to Dinner."
    And we have been fine ever since ...

    The moral of the story is : Be satisfied with the decision you made, if the item you purchased is the same as when you bought it, for you must have been making the correct decision at the time !
    After all ... there are many women you can live with, but there is only one you cannot live without !
    Swear you will never divulge this to her ... don't want the "little witch" to get all mushy ! (ha, ha)

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    cybercapri
    cybercapri

    Reply 1 year ago

    Dude, look at the two of us, not 6 conversations and it feels as if we've known each other our entire Lives... LOL... No lie, we must have been friends in another lifetime or Dimension LOL... Dude I get what you're saying, and MUMS the word, she won't hear a word of this from me, that I can assure you... However, I can't prevent her from reading this post, so it's up to you to see that she won't... LOL... I am 58 years old and I can say with all honesty Men like you are extremely few and even further in between and I am glad we meet...

    Great story about your wife, the way you kept setting it up I knew right where she was going by her leading questions and rest assure she will not change, women CAN'T so it seems... LOL... Not saying bad things here, just speaking truths... That's why I suggested you change because Men are just flexible that way, stubborn in many ways too; Woman are flexible in Gymnastics and that's about it LOL... My first wife didn't change, she couldn't even if she wanted to, and even when I did change, she seemed to get worse. I honestly believe she suffered from Multiple Personality Disorder as there were clearly 5 different versions of her... But I digress...

    The internet is great for one thing, making the WORLD a smaller place and that is both bad and good. The likelihood of you and I randomly meeting on the street before the Internet has the odds requiring numbers that have not been discovered, yet here we are chatting like old friends thanks to the Internet; so that is something good... The Bad, well, it's not good for the world is getting smaller... LOL...

    I really enjoy Instructables because there are so many different ways to do the same thing. The world would be a BORING PLACE if everything had to be DONE the SAME EXACT WAY, over and over and OVER... Repetition kills me and if a Factory paid me 1 Million Dollars, per item, for putting one item into one bag I'd quite on the spot and tell them to shove their job; in my mind it's just not worth it.

    Other folks can do repetition like nobody's business... Anyone that can play the Drums or any musical instrument for that matter, knows that repetition is key to being able to play. I am gifted with spatial reasoning in that I can view a building, for example, from the front corner and look across the front and down one side then in my mind I can 3D it and imagine what the other two sides are like. That has helped me to create some really great projects over the decades. Which brings me to something I meant to mention before about your line of work.

    Your wife choose correctly for you as a CPA over Construction and here's why. Because you are so detailed oriented you would not make it in Construction. HOLD ON, not saying a bad thing here, and here's why. Your attention to detail would prevent you from making money just like it did me. When I was 19 or 20 I had a job with a large company and the lot boss and I hit it off quick. He knew I was good even though I was young and just starting out. I didn't waste materials or time or anything. The Lot Boss thought I was cleaning up after myself but I was just using up the scrap materials; and yes it took me a bit longer than others to complete the same task. It didn't matter that he did not have to go back and fix anything I ever did, not one time, like all of the others he had to fix. What mattered is it was done NOW, not 3 days from now.

    One day I was tasked with a Cedar Ceiling, vaulted and expensive material, for what is going to be some Commercial Structure as this was an Entrance way or Lobby area. The lot boss was moved from location to location as he knew the project best. He said that my work on the Cedar was the best he'd ever seen and that I'd never make it in Commercial work. He also said I'd leave a lot of unfinished projects behind because in construction you get X number of days then move to the next project...

    I was offended at first and not soon after just walked off the job as I won't do half assed work. A few years down the road, as I struggled to make ends meet, it hit me what he had said and why. He saw my ability to complete the task PERFECTLY but also knew that you can't be like that in commercial work. Construction, Commercial more specifically, is about getting the job done NOW, not 6 months from now, but TODAY. You and I would need 6 months and we'd do the JOB RIGHT but would not make money because the Job only pays for 6 weeks... See where I am going here?

    In Commercial you get the job done fast and don't care what it looks like or how much material is wasted or if it's even right; the Punch List Guys are the ones that come in an put bandaids over any mistakes then call it a day. You and I have to do it right or we won't do it at all. If you make a mistake on a cut you put it in place and let someone else worry about seeing it; but not you or I, we'd replace that board and do it right. You don't search scrap for a piece that you know will work, you grab the next full sheet and make your next cut, even if it's only 6" then throw the rest of the sheet away and move on to the next cut. When I finish a project, the scrap is almost non existent, not because it's been cleaned up, but rather because it was used. Like Norm says, you measure twice and cut once.

    As a CPA you find out quick if the numbers don't match then it's just a matter of solving that one or 2 errors. In Construction there are always Mysteries and things almost never match or work; as you found out working with the Inspector. What is worse is what works in one neighborhood, city, county or state, might not work anywhere else in the world. Codes change by Street Names sometimes and that is just not fun to deal with. Some places require this or that yet others won't give damn, just call them when it's done so they can clear the project. Yes you've got a great woman behind and she choose wisely for you; that is something I've not ever had. Take care my friend, as always I look forward to your reply...

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    excelkeenan
    excelkeenan

    Reply 1 year ago

    Good talking to you ... you hit the nail right on the head ...
    Let me bore you ...

    Yes, even when I was going to school, I worked the summer at Roadway is South Kearny NJ ... in the Meadowlands ... the job was to search and pick cartons out of the warehouse from an invoice, put it on a cart, pull it to a truck, leave it and get another invoice ... 100-to-125 cartons required in an 8 hour day ... 125-to-150 cartons in a 12 hour day ... one day I worked 12 hours :
    The next day I get called into the Union Hall and they said my work was unsatisfactory in that the # cartons I pulled last not was deplorable ... I said I did not keep track, I was just bored and pulled what I could ... then I asked how many did I pull ... they said 1,150 ... this is a Union shop, and we do not work that fast ... stop it
    Jump to next day ... back in the Union Hall ... well, the same story ... OK, how many did I pull ... 750 ... OMG ! ... what can I do to slow down ... they said take a long lunch break, a long bathroom break, find a hole and take a nap
    Jump to the next day ... back in the Union Hall again ... well the same story ... OK, how many did I pull ... 350 ... OMG ! ... then they said I was fired, not for the level of cartons, but because I took a double lunch break, 2 long bathroom breaks, and was found napping in a hole between cartons ... I said OK, and on the way out I will say goodby to Management ... They said NO ... OK, you can stay and work the summer ... we will igniore you, but don't expect to come back here next year ! (Thank God)

    A bit of perfectionist humor ... I think :
    Yes, I am a 'near perfectionist' ... but know when to stop ... sometimes ... I have learned to make decisions fast ... do fast work ... but management always took advantage and gave me more-and-more-and-more but no help.
    Fast forward to a major bank in the South merging a smaller but still big bank into it ... they brought over 100 of us down from the North for 1 year (hundreds of others from across the country were also there) ... 6 months training on how to manage a big project (it was a vacation), 6 months testing, then 9 days to do the merger, but they could only validate 10-to-20% of what they were acquiring because they did not have the people or the technology ...
    There were 7 divisions, each with 4 people each ... they gave me 2 divisions to do (because they knew I was too smart :-)) ... after 6 months, I said this was stupid ... since I was so far ahead of everyone else with my work
    Digressing ... in the 1st 6 months, each division had 20 weeks to do a project plan for 20 its own areas, 5% of everything done each week ... well to make a long story short, by week 5, everyone had 35% of each of their 20 points done ... I prioritized and had 100% done for each of 10 points, and nothing for the rest because they were less significant ... I caught hell for this in front of several hundred people ... my response was "well, you should have put me in charge of the project management training so I could have properly trained everyone to be as smary and proficient as I ... that shut them up ... and the started getting the firing squad ready ... week 10 I finished 100% of all 20 points while everyone else only had 50% finished of all their points on the company schedule ...
    I asked if I could spend 2 weeks to do something in Excel, which I had never seen to that point, to make my job more efficient ... they said OK ... so in 2 weeks I learned how to use Excel, learned how to automate it, learned the purchased bank's general ledger and computer systems, and also that of the purchasing bank (piece of cake)
    then when the other 5 divisions saw what I did, they insisted I make it global so they could use it ... management reluctantly said OK ... when I showed them what I did and could do, they doubted my insanity with the path I tool in pulling data from the IT department's computers, with IT stating I did not know what I was talking about ...
    Next I found myself in with the Chief Financial Officer to spend 15 minutes with him, with all 20 middle management waiting in the adjacent board room to learn first hand about my stupidity from the CFO ... well I spent 2 hours with him ... we came out, he went into the adjacent Board room to speak to the people, and I went back to the hotel ...
    Fast forward to next morning ... I walk in with suit cases packed ... 5 managers were there to greet me and said what is this ... I said after I am fired, I just have time to make reservations on the noon flight back home ... they laughed, and said I was not going anywhere ... they said the CFO came into the meeting with us last night (we were wondering why your meeting with him took sooo long) and sat down, looked at us and started laughing ... he said he had been CFO for the last 5 years, and that he had learned more from me in 2 hours last night than in the past 5 years ... he said I was correct about the systems, and that the bank had been teaching all of its personnel and their consultants incorrectly for the past 5 years about the inter-connectivity and flow of the computer systems (and I am not an IT person, but a simple Accountant who knows how to do things right) and they they should put me in charge of training ... but alas, too much work in addition to what I was doind ... so I just did what I was hired for ...
    Fast forward to the start of the 9 day merger ... We start at 7AM on Saturday - Day 1 - I run my system which interacts with all general ledger computer systems of the purchased and purchasing bank ... I effected not a 10% or 20% validation, but a 100% validation, complete with printouts of the numerous exceptions, and reconciled everything, unfortunately to the "penny" (which I got criticized for being too anal ... but that is what the system does, not me ... so I ran my little PC analytical and comparison system for all 7 divisions ... and we were all completely finished with the entire 9-day merger by NOON on day 1 ... they said they did not believe it, so I went back to the hotel and everybody else stayed and pulled everything apart until noon on Sunday ... I went back in and they asked "How did you do it ... you are 101% accurate and correct"
    I replied I have 3 things going for me that noone else here has ... that asked what was that ...
    I said I'm Irish, Smart, and Good Looking ... obviously I did not fit their mold !
    The following Friday the let everyone go (laid off, fired), even though they said they were hiring 80% of them ... it was originally a ploy to hire everyone as employees at 1/3 the consulting rate with the promise of permanent hiring at the end ... I saw through this and stayed as a consultant ... then the said to me :
    "Great Job, here is your last paycheck, don't talk to anyone on the way out, AND DON'T EVER COME BACK HERE AGAIN!"
    They did not want management to know someone was more efficient and smarter than them ... job security ...

    So maybe you are right ... a perfectionist ... where I am compelled to do most everything perfect, and very fast ... but do not fit the norm ... and this happens to me very often ,,, hurry-up-and-weight.
    If I did a sloppy job like most everyone else, I would fit in ... but I cannot.
    You are right ... we wouldn't make any money !
    (By the way, my wife still thinks I am an A--Hole !) ha, ha

    Hey, good talking to you ... you make me laugh ...


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    cybercapri
    cybercapri

    Reply 1 year ago

    Dude, you nailed it, we just don't fit the normal MOLD... I did a lot of work for my landlord, construction, remodeling, keeping all of his apartments repaired and updated, then one day he was short staffed at the Machine Shop his father handed to him; poor guy ya know. Anyways he says to me Hey, I need someone to fill in for a few weeks, you interested? I said I don't know machining. He said, no, it's nothing like that, the machine will be set up for you, you just need to insert the part, hit the start button, change the part when it's done. Basically a Monkey could do this job. So I agreed and the next day was my first day and sure enough it was as easy as he said that a Monkey could actually do this job. So the joke between us because hey I need a Monkey to push a button to which I replied sure...

    This was, 2000, beginning of summer. I was still doing battle with my first Ex regarding child support and we were divorced in 1992 and the child did not turn 18 until 2005. I had just Graduated College, Information Systems, and had been working with PCs since 1986 plus Construction around 1980, the year I graduated HS, so a lot was happening and I thought I hit some fill gaps working as a Monkey pushing a button until I found something better. Well push comes to shove and it's 5 years later and I was still a Monkey pushing a button, only I was really good at it.

    The shop got in this little part called a Pump House. The contract was for General Electric, and it included a few parts to rebuild Train Engines. Those Engines are HUGE, if you've never seen one Google it, they are massive. Think of a Locomotive and you have the front windowed area, then just after it all the way to the back is a bunch of doors 3/4 the length of the Engine; those doors house the Motor it's that huge. Anyways the Engine can be disassembled down to the basic Engine Block and each Cylinder is a Removable Sleeve. So when they wear out the cylinder is removed, head and all, as it broken down into a few basic parts and the parts if they are in spec get used again to rebuild another cylinder and the parts that need to be machines are sent to us. We did the Heads, Cylinders and Pump House. GE cuts the Cylinder Heads off of the cylinder and then rewelds them upon return. The Pump House just has a simple operation to reface the surface back to level.

    So all the brains of the operations sets up the machine and create a jig for the Pump House to be held in position and hit the button and 20 seconds later the part is done. So the main floor boss came up with the procedure and the fastest he could do was 20 parts an hour, so a 10 hour shift and 200 parts later my day was done. Except I did in 2 hours what most took 10. The way I figured out to swap that part, plus I Monkied with the machine to make it cut 20 times faster, meant that I was knocking out parts in no time. I'd hold the wrech to lose the nut, part swap, tighten the nut in under 10 seconds and another 5 seconds to run the part. 120 Minutes later 200 parts were done. The good is I worked second shift and there was only me and one other guy. Most days I'd be called in early to do a delivery or whatnot so me coming and going was nothing and no one really knew my schedule, not even the boss, my Landlord... LOL...

    A few months down the road there's a new guy hired because GE had a major overhaul of hundreds of motors, some 3 year thing or whatever it was. So the New Guy didn't know I floated around like a butterfly or that I stung like a Bee... I got called in early, like 10am on a Monday or something like that I forget, so come Wednesday, I get there my usual time 1pm, then had some deliveries and didn't get back to the shop until after 7pm. So I jump on the machine and knock out 200 parts by 9pm and rolled out. The New Guy checks my time card and snitches on me saying I left early because my shift was not due to end for 2 more hours or 11pm. The next day the Boss calls me into the office and says I hear you left early last night. I was like, oh shit, but then remembered I got called in early a few days before and lied my ass off for one of the few times it actually worked.

    I said no, remember I came in at 10am, and he nodded in agreement, which would make 9pm the correct time that I was to leave. Well that happened the day before, but I used it for the following day. Then I said well I forgot to fill out my time card when I came in at 10am because I left in a hurry for that delivery that morning so I just filled my time card out for my usual time slot, 1 to 11, that night. Then I added that I was teasing the New Guy when I realized I'd made that mistake about when I'd started that day to rib him a bit because I wanted him to think I was leaving early... The Boss just scolded me and said stop messing with the New Guy and we both laughed... WHEW, almost got caught...

    The only reason I'd lied was because when I started, @12 Bucks an hour, which is what I charged him to offset Rent for maintenance work, I was promised a raise in 90 days then every 6 months and it never happened. The New Guy started @9 Bucks an hour and within 6 months was making 14 bucks an hour and he did far less work than me. I worked there for 5 years and my only raise was like a few months before I walked off the Job in 2005 for 50 cents. I was promised 14.75 which is what everyone else was being paid to run 20 parts an hour. So to compensate myself, I'd work my 3 hour shift, run 200 parts, then clock out for 10. The New Guy knew something was up but since he cried WOLF, no one would believe that I was clocking out early. No one could do better than 20 parts another hour and I was doing like 100 parts to get 200 in two hours. As fast as I could change the part it was like clockwork in motion not missing a beat. Now when the shop was still full of folks I had to run the machine at the normal pace and it was killing me to do 20 parts an hour; so like you, long bathroom breaks and other OH I FORGOT THINGS while others were there.

    If it was just the other guy and me, he knew I was cutting out early but if I left early it meant he could too, so as soon as I left he would out an hour later so it was win win... He also showed me how to set the machine faster. One day I forgot to set it back and was called to the machine and they asked why it was so fast. I said I was just monkeying around to see if I could change things up a bit and forgot to reset the machine. The parts checked out perfectly and there was 2 pallets of 100 parts so NOTHING TO SEE HERE FOLKS... LOL... This went on for months, working a few hours getting paid for 10 so as long as there were 200 parts come morning ready to ship the Boss was happy, little did he know... LOL...

    100 parts in 60 Minutes, probably 2 parts a minute, actually faster because in that 2 hours also included cleaning the machine, resetting the machine which just took changing two numbers, then wrapping the pallets with shrink and sweeping my area free of chips. The Pump Houses where the size of a Medium cup of coffee and they weight a few pound each so 100 was like 3 or 400 lbs, hence the reason for two pallets. Also a pallet could only hold 50 per level, so 2 levels, as 4 levels was a disaster so they changed to 2 pallets. Not sure why but I really enjoyed changing out that Pump Housing Part. I think it was the satisfaction obtained knowing the shop experts could only do 20 parts an hour, at best some did less, while I did over 100 or 5 times as much. Worse yet it was a NON UNION SHOP... LOL... Union Shops would have held me to 20 parts just like they tried to hold you back but a Non Union Shop has some forgiveness built in. I must have done thousands of Pump Heads and not one time were mine ever rejected whereas others were.

    I am a Capricorn, 7 Jan 62, so I am bound by the Stars to tell the truth and as a kid telling the truth actually got me out of hot water more times than not... I was like 12 and my mother was yelling at me because my older sister snitched me out. She asked if I did that; whatever that was I've long forgot. She was prepared for me to lie and I just told the truth and said yea I did it, the told her why. She instantly could not believe her ears and had zero retort and then finished with, well don't do it again... LOL... From then on I just told the truth and stayed out of trouble. I don't typically lie and if I do it's either to catch someone that is deceiving me or trying to deceive me. If I have reason to cheat or lie, on a spouse or girlfriend for example, it's because I know in my heart that the relationship is over and that I've already been cheated on and lied to so I give a bit back. Then she has reason to blame me and we are done even though she's just as guilty ultimately I am off the hook... LOL... Ok my friend, talk to ya soon... Crap, by the way, my name is Paul... All this time we forgot to introduce ourselves... LOL... Take care man, talk to ya soon...

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    excelkeenan
    excelkeenan

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi Paul ... Dennis the menace here (and every bit of a menace) ...

    Gemini ... 2 heads ... yes, I do talk to myself, and get great answers to my questions.

    Hear you man ---
    Its hard when you have a family and separate ... hard for everyone ... you are busting your A-- to survive, and some people just don't get it !
    Too many Cinderella complexes in the world ...
    Also too many A--H---s in the world that are missing a couple fries short of a happy meal ...
    Hope success with your new ones.

    We must be riding down the same road ... although I seem to crash quicker (ha ha) ...
    After college, got a job with the U.S. Treasury department as a Bank Examiner (Auditor in some respects).
    There you met your supervisor within 1 month ... I met him at start of 3rd year ... he said "Hello, my name is Bob W___ and I suggest you leave the government immediately because they are after you and will not stop till they kill you (figuratively)" ... I said why ... because the first couple months on the job, you held a walkout in a large bank and was talking Union ... and we just squashed Union talks a year before you came ... S--- ! ... I did not do that ...
    Long story short ... there were 200 examiners in the NY-NJ-Conn district, and they found out that most were retiring within 5-to-8 years ... what a relevation for these dumb s---- ! ... so they hired 400 new Assistants in a hurry, because it takes 5-to-8 years to train an Examiner before the Commission them ... and they did not know what to do with us 400 as the 200 resented us.

    60 of us went to a large bank in Newark NJ ... being an IT guy yourself, this was in the early 70's when the banks first started getting into big computers ... and it crashed and did not work for 2-to-3 weeks ... the office did not know where to send us, so they said stay there ... 60 of us crammed into a 15 person board room, 3 deep at the table ... I walked into an adjacent board room, 5 others followed, and we studied the bank law and regulations, and asked the senior examiners if they would train us, and they said NO ... well the assistant examiner on the job told us to get back in the smoke filled card-playing board room, and we all said NO ... we are going to learn something here. Well, this little PRIC- told one of the 2 # 3 guys vying for the #2 spot in the region (the other Pric- was his cousin), that they could fabricate a story that I started Union talks and a walkout ... to make the other #3 guy that hired me look incompetent ... the #3 PRIC- told the #1 A--H---, and it worked ... so I was bounced from examination team (a team consisted of 5 people under 1 examiner, and either 1-to-20 teams were assigned to banks under a top examiner to do the examination) and the individual teams were told to find an excuse to fire me !
    I was so dedicated, that every team the assigned me to temporarily liked me, and they refused to find an excuse to fire me.

    Then sunlight appeared on the horizon !
    I was assigned to one of the top 5 examiners in the country, and he was told to find an excuse to fire me.
    In his 30 year career, only 2 people had lasted more than 1+1/2 years on his crew ... he was very demanding (and very good), and the poor little government workers could not take the pressure.
    He drilled me with a couple of technical questions ... hard ones ... and I threw back the answers immediately ... then he asked me one I did not know, and I replied I don't know that one, but would be obliged if you would teach me ... he said "I like you" ! ... and no he was not going to kiss me.
    He said he required double duty if I were to remain on his crew ... when other examiners were assigned to complete review of a department, like mortgages, in 10 weeks, I would have to do a similar one in 5 ... and he would give me 6 months to come up to speed ... Well I did ... then he told me to be quiet, put me on speakerphone, then colled the #3 PRIC- who was not # 2, and he had forced the other #2 guy to quit for hiring me, the Union guy, and asked him to repeat precisely what he wanted me to do with Dennis ... boy did he expose himself ... lie, lie, lie --- then my new examiner said "Dennis, what do you think of that" ... I said "my opinion of him has not changed... he is a colossal PRIC-" ... then my Senior Examiner said he wanted me permanently assigned to his crew ... and kept me sheltered for 7 years till he retired, and the day I quit, and told all the A--H---s that I have never before, and never hop to meet a pack of S-CMB--S like them ever again.

    One of the major reasons I quit, is that the #2 guy had so infected all the examiners in the field with lies, that they did not want to deal with me, even after he left to become president of a large rural bank ... also, as an Assistant Examiner working under my Senior Examiner, he always pulled multiple crews in under him for a large bank exam, and put me in charge of supervising them (to my dismay) ... I had to apologize all the time for supervising my superiors ... then they played along.
    When it came time for me to take the 5-day 40-hr test to become Commissioned after 7 years (a major bank in NY had failed, and it was discovered that the #1 A--H--e removed all the negative comments out of the field reports we submitted, which caused the bank to fail because they were not addressed ... the #1 A--H--e was fired) ... all promotions were stopped for a 2 year period until the examination process was completely overhauled by a large accounting firm, then testing for new examiners resumed ...
    30 assistant examiners nationwide took the new test in its 1st 6 months being out, and only 2 passed, one with a 75, and one with an 82. I was the 31st and scored a 99 ... and was immediately accused of cheating by and the main office in Washington was notified, and wanted to see me for dismissal ... they were particularly pissed since I told them that 3 of the main questions on the test were outdated since new regulations replaced them ... my Senior Examiner came to the rescue, stating that we had be on a grand bank examination tour traveling upstate NY, and non of us had any contact with the new test beforehand ... he stated that indeed I was that good ... (ESPECIALLY AFTER i DID 3 TEN-WEEK EXAMINATIONS IN A 10-WEEK PERIOD, JUST TO PROVE A POINT). Well, they reluctantly commissioned me.
    Then I went out to examine my 1st bank in charge ... they gave me 80 days and a babysitter ... I did it in 35, and got the president to admit he had no management succession but that he would, and got the #2 guy to say they did not want to be president, and the #3 guy to admit he was incapable to be president ... the babysitting examiner said they had tried for 5 years to broach the subject but failed, and I sailed thru it like a pro ... But by then, I just had my fill.

    Out of the frying pan and into the fire ...
    So I made a lateral move to the Federal Reserve, and when they found out the 1st week what I knew, they kep me in the office assigned to a Senior examiner to overhaul the Fed's bank examination procedures just like the US Treasury procedures. Long story short, after 1 year we tested the new exam procedures parallel with the old procedures ... the 1st team went with 12 people for 7 weeks, and I did a parallel exam of the same bank with 1 person for 3 weeks ... I borrowede the work of 5 people for the 7 weeks period, but did the rest myself. The 1st team gave the bank an A+ rating ... I gave it a "F" and required an immediate cease-and-desist order to the bank and the holding company which was distablizing the bank by squeezing out too much dividends over the past 5 years and monkeying around with things to disguise it ... the 1st examiner was screaming that I was incompetent, and that I was in talking to management on day 2 about this, when he did not even see it by the end of his 7 week exam with 12 people.
    Long story short, they put me out in the field counting cash ... (boring as hell) ... they put 2 senior examiners pulling my report apart for 1 month, the guinea-pig bank was screaming at my results --- the Fem management was embarassed and upset ... they told me to go on vacation and expect a dismissal when I came back ...
    Came back from vacation and got called into the # 1 guy ... he stated that the 2 senior examiners confirmed my results, and they had a meeting with the bank board and gave them an immediate cease-and-desist order and threatened to remove both
    the chairman of the board and the president if they did not comply.
    Then the # 1 guy suggested I leave because I transferred in at the 1st of 4 commissioned (certified) exazminer positions, and that there was a minimum 3-year promotion to the next level for each of the levels ... then he said the big problem with mew is that I am past the 4 examiner levels and functioning at the Fed Vice-President level, and that they cannot promote me up the ladder, and that if I return to the field, all the examiners already heard what I did, and are afraid of me, therefore I will be ignored ... and suggested I leave immediately. Well I gave it another month, and true to form, I was given nothing to do, and totally ignored. I had that and left the government forever. I went to become controller of a small foreign Austrailian bank ... what a nice bunch of people.

    Quick funny story ... I had 1 of 2 assistants, and she approached me one night and said that I was the 2nd best supervisor she ever had ... I said thanks, and asked why the 2nd best ... what did the Best do different than I had already done ... She said that "he went to bed with me, and confidentially, I wouldn't mind making you the best !" ... holy crap ... thanks but no thanks (I realized what a little snipe she was from other things) ... then she went to the Loan manager, then the General manager, then the Ttreasurer with the same offer ... finally the Treasurer took her up on it, and was beside himself when I had to let her go for sabotaging my position with the other assistant I had, trying to perform a Coup d'etat ... by fooling with the President and gaining his approval for them to take over as Controller (3 months out of school and they know everything ... right) ... with the assistance of the Loan Officer, I crashed from 9-to-5, took 2 weeks vacation, and let the S--T hit the fan ... these 2 num-nuts sent our reports to the Fed, stating they were the Controller, and signed by the President ... they came back horribly out of proof, and the Fed was pissed ... they told me to fix it ... I told them where to go ... 1 was let go and 1 was moved to another department.

    Same bank, I reported to the Operations officer ... these guys seldom know about accountins ... and he called me in demanding I am generating a lot of mistakes, and I said it was his mistakes I was finding, many on a daily basis ... he demanded I show him the Income Statement ... he, with a raised voice and open door, was scolding me saying that what he was looking at was sloppy ... I looked at what he was looking at, turned it right-side up, and then told him that this was not the Income Statement, but the Balance Sheet ... I then said let's immediately see the President ... we went in, and I said with due respect to the Operations Officer, he was somewhat good at his job, but a relative idiot when managing me, the Controller, and that I needed to report directly to the President for his own sake if anything ... and I did thereafter.
    Idiots ... idiots ... idiots ...

    Oh I could ramble on-and-on --- you got me going --- getting back to your issue of Perfection ... well it needed in accounting, but people today are satisfied with 1/2 accuracy ... then bring in the CPA and pay them a fortune to fix everything ... and I am really very laid back and totally supportive of my staff and peers ... and have no use at all for management and their inability to swing a hammer, yet they will tell how fast to build without knowing how ... let's start with the roof !

    And wherever I go, its the same ... I don't know why ... I keep spitting out 100 parts an hour, and having to report to A--H---s that get promoted to supervise me that cannot even turn out 20 parts, and then they give me poor ratings because I did not achieve their hourly budgeted parts of 125 only for me ... go figure ... envy or stupidity or a combination of both ... I'll take the stupidity for me !

    So in my retirement, I took over the volunteer Treasury function of our local lake, and in 6 months, reduced the function to 10% of what time it took the prior treasurer (now president of the lake) 8 years of fuddeling around. After 4 years of frustration with 2 Membership people --- the 1st one quit because I demonstrated he did nothing ... and the 2nd one quit because I screamed she did nothing ... then 2 days later my Assistant Treasurer (who countermanded everything I did and said at the board meetings) also quit after I embaraased her at a board meeting for wanting to get a new payment company for $6,000 the 1st year and $3,000 thereafter when she knew it was $23,000 the 1st year and $13,000 thereafter ... demonstrating she openly lied and deceived the board because she was in Marketiung, and she liked this Marketing tool regardless ... pure financial ignorance since it was not necessary in the first place ...
    I am a mild manner guy, but when you need a 36" x 36" window, and people order a 24" x 48" window and demand you install it or else ... what alternative do you have but to go fishing !

    Well its good to Vent --- I feel better --- maybe I will even compliment my wife (not) !
    :-)

    0
    cybercapri
    cybercapri

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi Dennis, OMG you are too funny... It's amazing how Parallel our lives are yet we meet here on Instructables... LOL... You've held some serious positions and that must have been awesome... Of course Math is my weakest ability and any counting past 10 requires me to remove my shoes... LOL... So I go to college back in the early 80s, WVU the number 1 Party School, and needless to say progressed from a 2.3 down to a .9 in just 4 short semesters... Well clearly I was not ready for school. I did manage 3 semesters of Army ROTC, Reserve Officers Training Corps, and was also in the Army Reserves going to school, so in my Reserve Unit I was promoted to rank E5, Sargent, and slotted as a 2nd Lieutenant as a Cadet, or Cadidiot (short for Cadet Idiot), take your pick... LOL Basically I joined the Army Reserve in 1980 before I graduated HS then took a year off and then decided to go to College Fall of 81 to Spring of 83. Because I was already in the Army Reserve, as a Private ranked E2, I was promoted to pay grade of E5 which is the lowest Sargent and given the responsibilities of an Officer. Basically I was married to the military, all the Responsibilities but NONE of the REWARDS... LOL...

    In short while at School I was learning how to become a Military Officer and during my 1 Weekend a Month and 2 Weeks in the Summer, fulfilling my Army Reserve Time, I was practicing being an Officer. Of course some of the older Dogs didn't like me jumping up in Rank so quick so of course they gave me a hard way to go and I ruffled Feathers along the way; sometimes on purpose. My Reserve Unit was Combat Engineers so we had all sorts of Heavy Equipment and Transports. Our job, should we be called to war, would be to make roads and bridges and keep the supplies moving while the enemy fired at us... LOL... I've not ever been in Combat but I do know I would have gone if I was called. President Ronald Reagan was my Commander in Chief and I would have broke down the Gates of HELL had Mr Reagan ordered it... I lived in PA, near Pittsburgh, and the Reserve Unit was in WV, maybe a 20 minute drive give or take depending on traffic...

    Each two week Reserve requirement allowed us to transport our vehicles down to Ft Pickett, Va which by normal means was like a 7 or 8 hour drive. While transporting Military Vehicles was a 2 Day Journey and one hell of a fun time... I forget the number of vehicles now but we had to haul a lot of vehicles and some with trailers down and back and some vehicles were faster than others. Then we would layover for the evening and a highway pull off to refuel the trucks and that took several hours and a nightmare in logistics as there were a few fuel options where smaller vehicles, like some Smaller Trucks 1 ton and less and Jeeps ran on regular Gasoline and larger Trucks and Tractors ran on Diesel. The Military also used some Flex fuel that was a combination of both fuels so that in time of speed just fuel up and get moving until each vehicle had the time to use the proper fuel. Running Flex Fuel in the 2 1/2 Ton Trucks, also called Deuce and a halves, allowed them to speed up a bit as the Flex was less dense than Diesel so it burned hotter and pushed the engine harder... As a Private I always volunteered to drive down and back, it was 2 extra days down and back and you didn't get paid anything extra but the fun time was 10 times the reward...

    As a Cadet Idiot I was put in charge of the convoy as the SCAPEGOAT, so anything that went wrong was my fault... LOL.... And boy did things go WRONG... These guys went out of their way to mess up the Convoy but of course my CO, Commanding Officer, knew better if he was not behind the hyjinx in the first place. What should have taken 2 hours took 5 and so on. Well the Convoy made it on time as 2 days was more than enough to make the trip as delays are expected and factored in. I think this was done on purpose to test to see if I would freak out or maintain my calm and I did manage some combination of both as freaking out in a Calm way... LOL... When the Old Dogs took things too far the CO would call them aside so I knew he had my back... In the Military the NCOs or Non Commissioned Officers Sergeants and up, are not allowed to disrespect the Officers so when the Old Dog NCOs got too carried away with the Cadet Idiot he pulled their leash and they had no choice but to chill...

    As noted above WVU was the number 1 party school during the time I was there and I am here to say I did get quite the education; of course not the one that counted towards grades... LOL... What inspired me to go to college in the first place was transfering schools at the end of my Junior Year and starting a New School my Senior Year. I had English for the first time since 6th grade. Yep, English my Senior Year and my English Teaching was floored when she found this out. I was educated in Pittsburgh Public Schools my whole life and then starting my Senior Year was starting at some backwoods redneck country school with 1/3 the population and that also included the grades 7 & 8... I am glad that I transferred because I did not realized just how stupid I was until I was actually challenged. Public Schools are the worst and you talk about dumbing down the population I am here to say YES that is happening as I was in the middle of it first hand. My Junior Year English consisted of reading 4 short books, short as in 1/2" thick, and then turning in a 1 page essay on what I just read so needless to say my second lack in education is Reading. Math and Reading on essential to LIFE yet I lack in both but manage due to my natural abilities to cope to my surroundings.

    My Senior Year English Teach made me her special pet and had me close to a solid 10 grade work in just a few months. Though I was not on par with the other students she did acknowledge my ability to adapt and conquer. By the end of the year I was 11th grade(ish) level and she'd seen such an improvement that she gave me a fair passing grade. She was like us in that she would have held me back if she could to ensure that I was college level ready before I graduated 12th grade but she did not have that ability so she did the best she could in the short time that we had. Again she inspired me to continue my education. Of course I was not fully ready and graduating with a 2.3 not many schools would even consider me, hence the reason I chose WVU, they just want your money and don't care what you education level is... LOL...

    My final Semester at WVU, Jan 83, my enrollment card was one of 7 special enrollment cards that did not register my classes so come the start of school I found out that I was not registered. Needless to say I had to scramble to take ANYTHING, so @10am I took Psyche 1 and @2pm took Psyche 2. It was allowed because I took the prerequisite at an earlier time, go figure. And the other 2 classes didn't even count towards my Major so I had to burn Free Electives and I had ZERO Interest so ZERO Effort was made... Unfortunately I was not ready for school and it took 4 semesters to figure that out. I had a shot of passing had I done well during the Finals but long story short, not knowing how to read left for a very long and boring finals cram session that resulted in a C, D and 2 Fs or .9 GPA and I needed a 1.8 to stay in school. I was disenrolled in Army ROTC because I failed to registered for that class regardless of my reason no acceptation could be made. Back at the Reserve Unit I should have been demoted back to Private but my commander kept me at Sargent, E5, and cited special circumstances. I could have gone back the following semester but I was done with school for now. Keeping me as an E5 really got under the skins of the Old Dogs but they accepted me as an equal as I'd proven myself by then.

    During the Summer of 82 I did attend Army ROTC Advance Training, which is Basic Training for Officers, and if that sounds like Pansy School just know that it was. How Officers are so Pampered is not even funny I mean I'm surprised they did not diaper us they pampered us so much. LOL... I went through real Basic Training so to say this 6 week course was a cake walk would be a very mild understatement. I did manage to obtain the Recondo Badge and here is a link to the requirements: https://www.cadetcommand.army.mil/advanced.aspx

    In short this Badge was EARNED and not easily obtained as there were some PUFF Badges for things like who kissed the most BUTT, Who's Daddy had more money to donate, and other trivial and useless Badges that the Special EGO Cadet Idiots just HAD TO HAVE like who was Best Dressed and other useless things. Out of some 600 Cadets only 76 made Recondo. Out of my Class from WVU, I think there were 30 of us, only 2 made Recondo. First you had to complete EVERYTHING, Second it had to be with a 70% score or better. Another way to view this is I had to finish in the Top 30% of the class to qualify and complete everything meaning no sick days. My 2 years of Army Reserve and ROTC were paramount to my success. Everyone had to learn how to tear down all the basic weapons, M16, M1911 45 cal Pistol, the M60 Machine Gun and others whereas I got to be tested at the onset of class and if Passed got to take the day off, needless to say I got to take many days off.

    The M60 is by far my most favorite Gun and what I will always choose if given the choice. He with the M60 has the power to defeat ALL, or at least that is what I would think... LOL... If you don't know the M60 is a Belf Feed Gun using the .308 or 30 Cal round and was just a blast to fire, especially at night. Of course it weight upwards of 30 or more pounds while loaded but I didn't care. The main reason I was doing it was I got to pick who carried ammo for me and just take a guess who I choose??? Your RIGHT, the Sexiest Ladies the Military has to offer. I mean to say her Hips had to be constructed of Roller Bearings because the way she walked, well, you KNOW... LOL...

    What was the best Windfall Profit from using the M60 in the field was the fact that when I was issued the M60 I had to turn in my clean M16. When we went to the field for training I got the M60 dirty while everyone else got their M16s Dirty. So at the end of the Day, and being a High Level Cadet Idiot that I was, I was NOT allowed to tear down the M60 so some poor sap had to clean up after me as they handed back my pristine M16. I just had to swab the barrel with an oil rag and 30 second later I was DONE. It took the others easily 2 hours to clean their dirty M16s and I got to eat chow or do whatever I wanted for the rest of the evening long before anyone else. Well 2 or 4 of us did anyways just depended on how many M60s were needed for training that day.

    One day our Mission was to walk through this valley with steep hills on both side. It's not rocket science that this was the perfect place for an AMBUSH so of course I was on really high alert and was scanning for anything and everything. Sure enough, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, RATTTTTTTAAAA, RATTTTTTAAAA as M80 type explosives are banging all around and two M60s started to fire BLANKS in our General Direction. Well the Cadet Idiot Platoon Leader for the day, they changed every few days to give each a leading position, was standing proud flapping his arms and shouting who knows what because of all the noise he was drowned out. And given where he was standing I knew he was already dead so I slipped off to the right and started to stalk the two M60s as I had one of my own and 100 rounds of ammo already belted ready to fire. I could hear the other two guns but could not see them and I stalked slowly also watching for trip wires and other possible traps that would be a real thing had this been a real situation.

    What I did was frowned upon tactically as I was suppose to stay behind and follow orders from the Platoon Leader as I was a considered a Big Gun. But technically, at the same time, the correct thing to do because it would have saved a lot of us. I knew the Platoon Leader was already dead as both guns would have cut him to pieces first as he was the only one still standing after the guns fired because everyone else ducked for cover. As mentioned I split off to the right and began to stalk the 2 Guns. They were behind some trees and other cover and I could not directly see them but was able to calculate their positions using my hearing as a guide. Just as I reached their side, they never saw me BTW, and I was about to open fire, the DIs or Drill Instructors, Whistled the Event finished much to my dismay because I had both in my sights and was eager to pull the trigger but was DENIED... Just my luck, the Whistle is blown and ALL CLEAR is Announced.

    I turned, returning to the training area, and run smack dab into my Cute Ammo Bearer. Then much to my surprise there was 6 more that followed her. This took me by surprise because I was so focused on those 2 enemy guns that I had no clue that 7 had followed me off to the right. When Questioned why I split off on my own I simply replied I was close to that edge and upon hearing the 2 M60s fire I knew the Platoon Leader was dead instantly. So as I stalked the 2 guns checking for traps as I went. I was going to take them out as I am sure my Platoon Leader would have ordered me to do had he still been alive. I also felt the enemy 60s did not have a sight on my position. Good Job was their reply and we moved on to the next event, climbing the hill on the left. FUN, NOT... LOL... So up the hill we go. The M16, fully loaded, is like 7 lbs max and these Cadet Idiots were so out of shape, not that I was in great shape myself, they struggled as I ran past them with 5 times the weight in weapon alone, I beat most to the top and I was near the back as the event started because I was on the right side and we went up the left hill back to base camp.

    So me, being the encouraging type, stood at the top of the hill and shouted down a plethora of insults of encouragement like I beat you up the hill and I carried the M60, come on you weak tard you only have the M16 plus others insults. I'd grab them by their harness as they peaked the hill and pull them to their feet to keep the crowd moving so others could advance and then a few others joined in and we pulled them up and shouted as loud as we could.

    Later that night we got to spend some time in our foxhole positions of defense that made no sense at all. A long trench was dug 20 feet back from a step hill that lead to a forest of trees and visibility was, right you guessed it, 20 feet. An entire enemy battalion consisting of thousands of men could have walked within 30 feet of our position during the day and we could not have seen them because of the edge of the hill. This was our Defense Training and every so often we would send out scouts over the hill in front to check things out. As evening turned to night they broke out the Electronics and brought over a Starlight Night Scope for us to check out. The enemy was a Psyops Unit and they played the Doors and other Vietnam Era Music during the event. Later in the evening as the main attack took place they played "This is the End." AWESOME...

    While using the Starlight Scope I could see the enemy moving in mass quantities to our right side as they came around that hill. Of course this was a Training Mission so only Blank Ammo was used. As I saw the enemy approaching I did my part and informed the Platoon Idiot of the day to which he said just hold position as was his orders. Of course I disobeyed those orders because they were moving to outflank my position first. There was only one more foxhole to my right and then open road and that is the direction the enemy approached.

    The Platoon Leader was suppose to adjust the lines and defend the area but did not have the ability to think outside of the box so his idea of Defend was to stay in the Foxholes almost defenseless. I forget now why I had a guy as ammo bearer I think that young lady got hurt during the day and missed this nightly mission. I said screw this, we are moving. So I moved back about 30 feet from the edge and sat on the ground with my gun out in front of me in a sitting position. As the Enemy approached my Ammo Bearer had his hand on my shoulder and looked over my helmet to give directional commands and what not. Technically you're not suppose to fire directly at someone within 25 feet or so to ensure safety as little things do pop out of the end of the barrel of the gun even though the ammo is blank ammo.

    I allowed the enemy to get within 5 feet and a few had passed around us already and because it was dark they did not see the two of us sitting on the ground. I opened FIRED and each time the Gun discharged a bright fireball emerged from the end of my barrel and easily lite up 20 yards or more. I would swing the gun left to right as it fired automatically and I squeezed the trigger for dear life. That is when I'd seen just how many there really were, 3 times as many as I could see with the Starlight Scope or I'd missed them massing to the right or our position.

    There was one guy directly in front of me, 5 feet, that let out a scream like a little girl as I put the fear of God into him; he just knew he was dead. This was a combat simulation to judge our ability to change our defensive positions and the 2 of us were the only ones out of the Foxhole everyone else would have been shot in the back as they had no clue what I was shooting at until it was too late. By the times others started to shoot we were already over ran. The Enemy started to advance around me as it was a non combat simulation so we were not supposed to be touching or anything like that. Didn't want any accidental fights to break out so no touching... LOL...

    In real life I would have gotten a lot of them but I would have also ended up dead because there was just too many. As soon as I was forced to reload I would have been cut to pieces. My actions may have saved some of the Platoon had they the sense to turn and fire with me but they all waited for someone to tell them to fire. Needless to say that was a good night. The next day it was noted that by the enemy evaluation that a small effort was made but would have been easily over ran so I did something... Then they went into great detail as to how we should have changed our positions and countered and what not... Overall that 6 week course was a cakewalk, or vacation, for me. The Recondo Badge is the only Badge I cared about because it was something that had to be earned.

    So with my first attempt at college behind me and my Army Reserve nearing its end, I had a decision to make, continue in the civilian area or go active duty and in Nov 84 decided to go on Active Duty, Army. My only option to get on Active Duty was to go Unassigned Special Forces and that is a Story for another day my friend... LOL... It's funny how life turns out, but the time you figure out what needs to be done there's no time left to do it... LOL... As always I look forward to your reply... Cheers Dennis...

    0
    vandyke2004
    vandyke2004

    1 year ago

    It IS amazing. I'd love one! (I'm 66). Can you give any idea of the costs involved. Even ballpark figures? Thank you. And thanks for sharing.

    0
    excelkeenan
    excelkeenan

    Reply 1 year ago

    I'm 74 ... did this 95% myself when 71 (just needed help placing the very heavy Gluam beams) ... and 1 week out of the hospital after I had a heart attack.
    Totally overbuilt, I am sure you could do it for much cheaper ... my problem was the town's requirements the total height of the tree house could not be greater than 15' (otherwise I would have made it 3 stories high), and that no part of the house could be connected to the Tree ... which is ironic because I have Farm Status and my qualifying product is Firewood for which I cut down trees !!!


    Windows 2306.39


    Lumber 5570.4411


    Lumber Materials 4445.1518


    Slides & Rock Wall 3500


    Mason Materials 332.024


    Electric Materials 1436.3812


    Roofing 1124.2887


    Siding 1112.8


    Landscape 71.62


    Carpet 403.88


    Paint 377.72


    Misc Tax 89


    Total @ $21,000

    0
    vandyke2004
    vandyke2004

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi, and thanks so much for prompt reply. The costing info is excellent. I didn't make clear before, but I'm a 66 yr old female, on my own, but with a very good friend who's in his 70s who does all sorts of woodwork building projects for me at pretty much cost price, just because he loves doing it! So I'm going to give him all your info and see if he thinks he can do something along those lines. Bear in mind, I live in Northwest England, so he and I will have to do an 'anglicisation' of your technical terms, but I'm pretty sure we'll get the general idea. And by the way, I'd like the tee house for me, not for kids! If my friend Dave can build it, I'll have a great view of the hills of North Wales from up there!! Thanks again. Shirley.

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    excelkeenan
    excelkeenan

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi Shirley ...
    Wow ... England ... my family tree indicates both my father's and mother's ancestors came from Ireland to England for 3 generations each before coming to America.
    In the USA we believe in 'women power' ... they can do anything ! My daughter swings a hammer and helps me with most of my projects ... we put a porch on her house and she built 1/2 of it ... but I created a monster ... now she comes up with more projects than my wife does ...
    Much of this project is very straight-forward ... its like building blocks ... the trick is not to turn the blocks into dominos ...
    Once the basic structure is secured and squared, anything can be thrown up on it ... go onto 'youtube' and look at various aspects of building a house to get an idea of the framing ... then you can improvise on the tree house design ...
    I always liked the Norweigan style log home structure ... very solid ... that's what my design is ... if you have the room and the funds, make it into a couple rooms ... my original design was for 2 stories, but the town limited me on height.
    If you put support posts every 6' or so to support the floor beams, you don't need the heavy Gluam beams to make a span ...
    All you really need help with in the framing is help installing the heavy floor beams ... once you install the header beams and the ceiling joists, installing the 2 roof posts in the center of each far end ceiling rafters, the roof's ridge beam is a piece of cake ... then you would probably need more help laying the roof and shingled.
    Just remember one thing ... if you have a tree coming thru the house and going out the roof, leave a little 'wiggle room' to compensate for the movement of the tree.
    Aside from 'anglicisation' of my technical terms ... I thought we spoke the Queen's English here (ha, ha)
    If at anytime you need any help at all with any part of the project, please let me know... I would be very happy to help.
    My direct e-mail is excelkeenan@optonline.net ... I would imagine you have to put a country extension on it.
    Thanks for your interest

    2
    PhillL1
    PhillL1

    1 year ago

    Impressive build but as stated above NOT a tree house!

    3
    Hrollur
    Hrollur

    1 year ago

    What a great idea. I'm not sure you can call it a "tree house" though, as it is standing on the ground. Maybe "tree-in-a-house". All the same, a great project!

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    Penolopy Bulnick
    Penolopy Bulnick

    1 year ago

    This is an amazing tree house and I love how you got the colors in there for the ceiling fan and the door :)