A House In The Trees: Part III

On the second full weekend of tree house construction I was slightly hampered by the children’s social engagements on Saturday and Father’s day on Sunday. I only managed to get to the tree house on Saturday afternoon, yet I did try to make the most of it.

Eyeing down the bolts.

The first thing I did was install the next two mounting bolts. These will catch the northern of the two long beams. While both bolts did ultimately install fine and bit into the tree like crazy, I was somewhat surprised and concerned to find that when I was drilling out for the bolt in the westernmost tree once I was about 5” into the tree (it’s a 6” deep hole that gets pre-drilled) the self-feeding auger bit I was using stopped self-feeding. After I cleared the hole of chips, I was able to push the bid that last inch. When I pulled it out, I found that rather than chips clogging the flues of the bit there was instead an applesauce consistency pulp in the flues. Once I cleared the hole out again, a tiny trickle of water came out. At this point I asked twitter if there would be a problem and also checked with my Dad (he had decades of carpentry experience on me). The answer from both place was that it would probably be ok, but be careful and watch the tree.
Note the small trickle of water.
Once the water draining from the hole completely dried (only a few minutes), I proceeded to install the attachment bolts.

The next step was to take down some trees. There were three (3) dead trees in my backyard on Saturday morning. While none are in the way or part of the new tree house, I wanted to take them down before I begin building the treehouse so that they don’t fall down onto it after it’s done.
Almost down.
Since I was the only adult around, I began with the smallest tree. With the help of a cheap come-along I bought from Harbor Freight for the task, I was able to get it down and in the direction I wanted (after getting it stuck in other tree branches). I may take the next tree on myself also, though I’ll definitely need help for the last and biggest one.
The final thing I managed to do for the tree house was paint the bracket that will hold the main beams on the support bolts. For this task I’m using some brackets Home Depot sells to attach 2”x4” railing posts. Even though they’re meant for exterior use, they only come with a zinc coating. I know it’s a losing battle, but rather than see them rust right away, I decided to paint them. At least this way they’ll wait a few weeks before rusting.
Primed and ready to go!
When I first bought the brackets, I also picked up a small can of flat black Rustoleum, with the intention of hand painting them. Now that it was time to do it, that seemed like way too much work, so I picked up some Rustoleum spray primer and paint. One coat of primer and four coats of paint later, they brackets are all black.
Four coats later.
The next step is to get back to cutting down trees. Hopefully I’ll get the next two down during the week. Then I can begin with the framing. I can’t wait to get all the double 2”x8” beams off my shop floor.
After writing this, before posting it, I did get the 2nd tree down.