Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Treehouse Diaries, Vol. 2


Since I was able to step outside today without immediately passing out from the heat, I figured I’d spend the day working on the treehouse. I already had part of the frame in place (see details in Vol. 1), and my goal for the day was to complete the frame. To do that, I was going to have to dig two post holes and attach the final three pieces of lumber. Unfortunately, some unforeseen difficulties kept me from meeting that goal.

The day started off well enough, as I got the second piece of the frame (a 2x8x8) attached easily enough to the 2x8x12 that I had already secured to the tree.

That proved to be the easiest part of the day. Next up was the first post hole. I borrowed an auger and a post hole digger from my friend Robert, and figured that getting to my desired depth of a little more than two feet would be no problem (unless I encountered some roots). I didn’t have any trouble with roots, but discovered that since we haven’t had much rain lately, the ground was incredibly hard and the auger had a hard time digging through it. I had to run the auger for a little bit to loosen up the dirt, then use the digger to remove the dirt from the whole. It was laborious work. Finally, I was close to reaching my depth when another problem surfaced.

Here is one end of the auger’s starter cord:

and here is the other end:

Yes, the cord broke on me as I was trying to start the auger. Just call me Superman. I know I’ve been working out more lately, but I didn’t realize how drastic the results would be. In reality, I didn’t pull the cord that hard, but it broke anyway. So that was the end of my digging for the day. Fortunately, I was able to finish the job with the post hole digger and returned it to Robert, while I will take the auger to another friend tomorrow to have him fix it.

I then planned to attach the 2x8x8 to the post, but discovered another problem: the hole location was a little bit off. That meant that if the post were level vertically, the 2x8x8 wouldn’t be square with the 2x8x12. You can see from this picture how it’s off a bit. It’s level, but it’s not square.

So now I have to make a decision. I haven’t set the post in concrete yet. If I want the frame to be both level AND square, I’m going to have to do some more work on that post hole when I can get the auger fixed and borrow the post hole digger again. Or, I can say, “To heck with being square. It’s a treehouse and it’s level, so that’s good enough.” I haven’t decided yet which route to take. If you have construction expertise and would like to offer your advice on the matter, please feel free to do so.

Regardless, I here’s how it look when I finished work for the day:

Up next will be to dig the second post hole once I get the auger fixed (and after I water the area a little bit for a couple of days to make the ground softer. Lesson learned.).

Categories : Treehouse


  1. Bill Nettles says:

    As long as the post is vertical, that’s what’s important. The 2×8 is going to bow and flex anyway, getting it square might not be strictly possible. When you put the decking down it will overlap the 2×8, plus you are going to put a few more joists in the deck. And like you say, it’s a treehouse.

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