Tree Ladder - tree house
I want my son to have the joys of tree houses I once did when I was a nipper. My brothers, sisters and I spent many summer days constructing quite complex structures in the trees around our house. We had pully systems to lift supplies and rope bridges between. We even had an emergency evacuation route in case we were under attack. We were Huckleberry Fins.
We had three tree houses in the sycamore in the garden, two for us and one for the cat who had decided it was better to sleep in the tree after he was attacked by a pack of dogs,
Now, our tree houses have long rotted away and I pulled out the remains when I was removing ivy which was strangling the tree. The branches are still there and so I think it is time for a rebuild for the next generation. It will be a long-term project as I scrounge some materials to make it form.
But this evening we started. The first branch is quite high and so we needed a safe way to get to it. As a material we had found some wooden stakes thrown in the river and I pondered over the last few days how to use them to make some sort of ladder.
The stakes were only around 1.5 meters tall so I made what I believe is a lap joint to join them into one single tall pole.
Then we needed to work out the steps. After some trial and error, we settle on a step size to suit little legs and I cut lots of little logs to 32cm each.
I wanted to make sure that there would be a bit of reinforcement at the lap joints and after lots of playing around with positions we came up with a plan on how to best use our wood to give the best strength and egonomics.
Screwing the logs onto the central pole and then together made the whole structure nearly three times as thick and then rung by rung we made our steps.
It was also a bit of a sculptural project. We wanted it to look nice also and the funny thing is that form and function really complement each other.
It was late when we finished. Fintan was already on his way off to bed when I finally connected it to the tree. I buried about 150mm into the ground and then lashed some rope around where it came to the top in a V between two branches.
Of course, sleep could wait and I got my son back out for a test drive. He knew exactly what to do as he climbed to the top like a cat.
Now, all we need to do is make all the rest of the house. I spent so much time in this tree when I was young and I really want my son to also. My wife is asking for a harness and other things to make it safe. I will make it as safe as I can but I also know that a little danger is exactly what a young boy needs.
I'll update you on the next phase as this story continues.