Happening Now in the BSR Studio - May 21, 2018 at 09:13AM

Thanks for stopping by the blog. Here's what I'm up to today in the BSR Labs. If you're curious about this project and can't find a tutorial on my blog, leave me a comment and I'll do my best to get back to you. Straight from Instragram to you:


It’s nearly complete!! Just a few more details and I can start on the first treeHOUSE. https://ift.tt/2wZff67 . . . . #treehouse #build #maker #makersgonnamake

Tree Platform - It's Almost Finished!

Helllloooo from the trees!! Ok, I wish I could blog from a tree but that's not going to happen for awhile so I'll just stick to reviewing pictures and blogging about my days in the trees.

This weekend we got to head out both Saturday and Sunday. Mr BSR had to be back in town for a show on Saturday so it wasn't a super long day but it was enough to get a bunch done and have some fun. On Sunday, we got a late start and needed to get the kids back for bath night and reasonable bedtimes so it was actually a pretty short day but worth the drive.

I didn't take any pictures along the way today but when we were ready to head out, we tidied up all my work areas and I got to take lots of pictures before we left.

I'll start by sharing a few of Mr. BSR contemplating life.

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The camo cording I strung through eye screws to fill in under the railing is nearly finished. I just have one last side to do. Here you can see one of the completed corners plus a view of the picnic table.

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I added some short pieces of 2x2 pressure treated cedar under each tread to give them more stability. Mr. BSR was kind enough to cut all of those.

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See how that basket hangs near the fire pit? It's not too close that it's going to get in the way but it will be pretty handy for sending fresh cooked s'mores from fire to tree. 

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This little boy loves the thrill of swinging out over the little gulch. It's just a few feet down but it's a bit surprising to find yourself higher up after launching from the top of the slope.

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Two of my sweet tree huggers. I asked for this picture to demonstrate how big this tree is.

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Oh look, a treehouse imp.

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Thank you for reading,
Julie



Tree Platform - Post 5

Hi there! Have you gotten to go to the mountains to build a treehouse lately? I have! It's been so wonderful. First of all, on the Saturday before Mother's Day, we packed up our stuff and spent not just one meal but two meals out at the property. It was our longest visit yet. The weather is getting really nice, a bit hot some days, but I'm not complaining. We got there a little after 11am and stayed until after 7pm.

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They played, relaxed in the hammocks, walked to the river, and just enjoyed the property and the area around us while I worked. I'm perfectly content to build without help but it is really nice when Mr. BSR is out there too because sometimes I need a little extra muscle plus he's fun to hang out with.

I didn't get a ton done that day as I was mostly spinning my wheels on just a few tasks but those days happen, it was still a glorious way to spend a sunny Saturday.

I wasn't sure I'd get out during the week but then managed not one but TWO trips out without anyone else. On both Wednesday and Thursday, I had my tools unpacked from the back of the car and I was working hard by 10:15. One thing that really appealed to us about this particular location in comparison to our home was that we will often be traveling against traffic. I sped north on the highway as I saw nasty bumper-to-bumper traffic heading south both mornings. It was so invigorating knowing I was heading to the mountains, not sitting in traffic dreading my day.

I didn't take a lot of pictures on Wednesday but I tried to take some parting shots on Thursday. I'll walk you through the progress so far.

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I took the above picture as I was leaving. As you can see, I started on the railings, hung up the climbing net, added solar light post caps, a bucket pulley system, and more.

Railings:

I only have 2 of the 4 railings up but the wood is all up top, waiting to be secured. I'm using scrap pressure treated 2x4s for the railing as well as a base rail (not sure the technical term for that) but in an effort to keep it more open, I've added eye screws which I strung with camouflage cordage. It's really hard to see but that's kind of the purpose, isn't it? There are 2x2 posts on either side of the climbing net so the kids can get up and over the edge.

Tree platform update 5/17/2018

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Climbing Net:

This was something my brother gave to the oldest kiddo a couple of years ago for his birthday. We've tried putting it up in various spots around our home property and nothing had really worked out. Boy is it ever perfect on the tree platform though. I'm so glad I was able to find all the installation parts and get it set up securely. It's bolted to the top and then the bottom ropes are tied around a tree that's secretly bolted to the support posts. It's handy having all sorts of fallen trees to work with as I build.

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 (Ignore the plywood storage, it's the driest place to stash extra stuff right now.)

Solar Light Post Caps:

There I was, late in the evening, cruising Home Depot on Mother's Day when what do I see but a "bonus buy" sign and some solar post caps. YES PLEASE!! The only thing I love more than seating is lighting. I can hardly wait to be out there at night to see how they look.

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Looks like I might need to straighten this one a bit.

Bucket Pulley System:

The post cap picture brings me right to what will surely be one of our favorite features and that's the bucket pulley system. I don't have a crank for it (yet) but if you don't put ALL your tools in the bucket (ah hem), it's quite easy to manage. I need to find us a better bucket or basket or something because the cat litter bucket isn't the prettiest thing. I think it would be nice to have something that drains and won't hold dirt too, a wire basket maybe. Hmmmm.... I have some hardware cloth. PROJECT!

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Rope Swing:

This was another unloved toy from the home back yard. When you have 2 little boys, a multidirectional swing is a terrible idea. This disk came with our play set but I never figured out how kids wouldn't run into one another if this was hung up anywhere near the regular swings so in an attempt to avoid collisions, we never hung it up. Well, once I realized it would be perfect out in the forest, I installed it off the back side. I'd actually like to figure out a way to make it hang out from the structure more but for now, it's there and the kids can swing out over the gulch a little bit.

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Hatch and Ladder:

This was a big part of yesterday's work. I still haven't taken the generator out to the property so most wood cuts have either been by hand or with the chainsaw. Yesterday I was surprised to find I could cut through 2 1/2 feet of plywood pretty quickly with my Irwin saw (affiliate link). That thing is a beast! So, I had to cut the plywood down not once but twice. It was originally a very tight fit but I had to cut once to make it a door and a second time to ensure the door would open and close, even in damp weather when the plywood would swell a little bit.

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The hatch and ladder-to-be are on the back side which will likely create a problem for the swing placement but I like that we don't have to look at the ladder from the fire pit side of the setup. I wanted it a little hidden away. I may end up switching the direction of the ladder though. The more I think about it, the more I think perhaps it should attach to the opposite side of the hole. Either way, I did manage to cut some really precise angles without actually measuring them. I did a lot of marking parallel lines and it worked. I was elated when I made the cuts and leaned the side-beams in place. I'll be adding treads on our next visit out, hopefully tomorrow. Yippee!!!

I think that's it for now. I'll leave you with a picture I took from the car as I was leaving. I absolutely love this (although, to be honest, it takes a certain amount of focus to ignore the stack of materials under the black plastic in the foreground; that stuff will be used up soon).

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Have you ever built a treehouse or a tree platform? Do you have any suggestions for features I should add?

Thank you for reading,
Julie



An Update on the Tree Platform

Wellll, I got so busy building, I didn't have the time nor energy to blog for a few days. I'm not sure how many more times I've been out since my last post but I think it was one day with the family (work is slow and not very productive at all when the kids are 'helping') and then just a few more hours spread over a couple of weekday visits.

To review, here's what I had completed on Friday, April 20:

Day 3 platform build

We went out to to the property as a family on Sunday and I took advantage of the extra adult help by loading the car up with lots of plywood. We decided that using plywood for the decking would be the way to go for now since it's affordable and with a coat of porch and floor paint (or two), it would hold up for at least a few years.

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We installed two full sheets of plywood then also discovered that the two partial sheets a friend had given us fit really well to finish off the sides. I'd just need to take measurements and cut the two remaining pieces at home (I still haven't taken the generator and power tools out).

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I also installed several of the railing supports I had found on the side of the road a  couple of months ago.

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Big kid even joined me for a bit but he was content to just sit and stare out at the forest. This made my mama heart very happy.

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The dog wasn't helpful one bit.

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The next day, Monday, I returned and got so wrapped up in building that I failed to take many pictures. I did, however, get two coats of porch and floor paint on the platform after I installed the final two pieces of plywood. Then I started building a counter/firewood storage area using scrap lumber and composite decking I had hauled out with no real purpose in mind.

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I completely love this space now. The firewood stays relatively dry here and the counter is super useful.

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I even found a good use for one of the trellis panels a neighbor gave me.

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There was just one problem with the build so far and that's that the back corner of the platform was starting to droop a bit. I wondered if I'd need corner supports and tried to get away with not using them but it's not ideal. I didn't have the materials to fix the problem on Monday so I shoved a scrap piece of pressure treated 2x6 under the corner to hold it until I could return with a plan and some supplies.

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I managed to sneak back out on Wednesday which was a huge relief since my mind was spinning with worst case scenarios around the platform. It turns out that was all for nothing as my brace had done a great job holding everything up and I was able to install a 4x4 post in a new concrete footing.

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I dug a nice deep hole, fit it with a concrete tube, placed a big rock in the bottom, set the post in, checked for plumb on all sides, then poured in the fast setting concrete mix and added water. It had already set by the time I left 2 hours later but it'll take a bit more time to fully harden. I left the extra post in place for a couple of days while it cured.

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Besides that major fix, I tinkered around a bit. I secured the Trex scraps to the rails for the counter top above the firewood and a few other things. My big goal for that visit was to get the corner post set so having done that, I was feeling pretty good.

I think that pretty well summarizes how things are moving along out there. Here's one final picture for you:

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Thank you for reading,
Julie



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