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Poop 06-15-2017 01:25 PM

poop's double top secret secret project
not very chopper at all of me, perhaps, but i have been working on a different kind of project for a while (quite a while) now. it's for my son, who i've discussed some on here in the past.

those of you on my facebook already know where this is going. for the rest of you, i'm sharing, hopefully to stir up a little more traffic here in the lounge, and open up the scope of projects to be shared here amongst friends.

so, maybe a photo or so a day here, starting with:

Rhode Warrior 06-16-2017 03:24 AM

What is it?

Poop 06-16-2017 10:13 AM

double top secret secret project.

Tortolabob2 06-16-2017 10:58 AM

Ramp? Wheelchair assist?

Rhode Warrior 06-16-2017 12:22 PM

Motorized conveyor

Rhode Warrior 06-16-2017 12:22 PM

Why would he need a wheelchair? I'm guess I'm out of the loop

Poop 06-21-2017 06:03 AM

nah, no wheelchair stuff. sorry for no updates for a few days. site wasn't working for me.


Poop 06-22-2017 11:59 AM

what? no more guesses? lol...

Tortolabob2 06-22-2017 12:27 PM

Would it be a Car lift?

Miamio96 06-22-2017 05:46 PM

american ninja warrior course?

Poop 06-22-2017 07:16 PM


Poop 06-23-2017 04:02 AM

someone will get it after this, maybe.

Poop 06-24-2017 03:37 AM

no takers, huh?


Rhode Warrior 06-24-2017 08:09 AM

You don't fool around do you?

chopptrike 06-24-2017 09:09 AM

The suspense was killing me, lol. First thought was a pole dancing platform on rollers, Second was treehouse, now I'm sayin deck in tree (with pole?)

ecir45 06-24-2017 12:25 PM

wait its not going to spin.

Poop 06-24-2017 07:27 PM

Poop 06-25-2017 03:21 PM

i wanted to have the platform extend out beyond the knee braces, but didn't want to anchor a bunch of cantilevers to the tree--the more points of contact with the tree, the more injury to it. so i came up with this idea, to extend one board each beyond that point of contact, to another bracket on the outer edge that would close a new triangle on the outside. took me back to my days of high school math to figure out some of the angles (ref: law of cosines), but it works and i'm stoked.

Poop 06-26-2017 07:32 AM

modular, baybuh.


Poop 06-26-2017 07:41 AM

sorry for the watermark on this one. i don't edit videos ever, and didn't want to pay for an app or program or whatever. ladies and gents, poop's pops, and of course me, "big dummy."


Tortolabob2 06-26-2017 07:44 AM

Bad Ass Poop, Great idea and execution!!! You must have been watching Treehouse guys on TV

Poop 06-26-2017 07:51 AM

at this point of the build, not yet. but enough folks made the same remark that i finally watched a couple episodes and learned a couple of things, got ideas. so i kept watching them, though i generally loathe "reality" programming.

and thanks!

Rhode Warrior 06-27-2017 02:54 AM

That's going to be a serious tree house. Did you use spray galvanizing?

Poop 06-27-2017 07:58 AM

no i drove it to a commercial galvanizing place and hour or so from here, they dipped while i waited, drove home that afternoon.

had to make a couple of extra structural brackets later on, for roof rafters, sent my office secretary up there again for that trip.

and, on that note, let's take time for a special message from a very pertinent sponsor...

Poop 06-27-2017 08:26 AM

okay, now back to work. the idea is to suspend this platform on six knee braces, and hopefully we can shim it to level.

we started out lifting at three points, two by chainfall, and one by the tractor bucket. the bucket didn't reach high enough, and so we put blocks up there, but it was a big dangerous hazard in the sky.

sooo... after that, i called in a favor with a cc member i grew up with who runs a hoist and crane business called... hoist and crane. as it turns out, my step-mama was crane certified during her time in the navy, and she helped us wrestle it in to position.

just to be clear, friends like this are hard to come by. this guy is truly one in a million.


Poop 06-28-2017 05:56 AM

wrestling 6 x 6 knee braces into place...

and now, all six in, shimmed, drilled and bolted, with platform skeleton level.


->Bullet<- 06-28-2017 07:34 AM

...where's the LIKE button ? ;)

Poop 06-28-2017 09:41 AM

finally, the last two "major" or "skeletal" joists are added. pardon my illiteracy in structural terms; i'm neither an architect nor builder by trade or training. these two last joists lock the structure in space around the trunk, and prevent it from twisting, or as ecir45 preferred, spinning. sorry, bud.


Originally Posted by ecir45 (Post 1280437)
wait its not going to spin.


Poop 06-29-2017 03:19 AM


Originally Posted by ->Bullet<- (Post 1280528)
...where's the LIKE button ? ;)

thanks, bud!

Poop 06-29-2017 07:12 AM

now it's time for what i call the secondary (or minor) joists. these are mainly to support decking, as the major joists provide a structure that is geometrically rigid.

it was a major pain in the asses, though, because of the odd slight angles that needed to be cut, and few had even the same angles on both ends, and none were exactly alike. so it was a lot of climbing up and down, measuring, and making weird tight-angle cuts with basic saws. a fancier, big, sliding mitre saw would have been nice, but we ain't got one. so this shit took days and days, stretched out over weeks.

also, i figured it was good to go ahead and get those posts up before decking, so i cut and chiseled those. again, not the best tools for the job, but we got it done.

getting our tree-legs:

these trunks will be fun to have right in the middle of the treehouse later, despite the TON of extra work it is to incorporate them correctly.

finally, all in, flat and level.


Rhode Warrior 06-30-2017 02:39 AM

Impressive work.

Poop 06-30-2017 04:53 AM

thanks, bud!

Poop 06-30-2017 07:30 AM

for decking, we decided to go with 2 x 6, instead of the typical 5/4 decking boards. they shrink too much, split, splinter, and warp. besides, everything so far is kind of overbuilt, so we're keeping it husky.

Tortolabob2 07-01-2017 06:16 AM

I love this project! Are you building in Virginia?

Poop 07-01-2017 02:29 PM


Originally Posted by Tortolabob2 (Post 1280558)
I love this project! Are you building in Virginia?

thanks! and i am, in suffolk.

Poop 07-01-2017 02:56 PM

as i've mentioned here before, my son has autism. among the various aspects of his development are some struggles with anxieties, fears, and hangups, some of which this treehouse challenges head on, as i try to do in varying doses with many of our activities.

additionally, a very typical concern for children with his diagnosis (though i should point out the spectrum is wide, and no two face exactly the same struggles) is the difficulty of social interaction. beyond the common language difficulties, people with autism often struggle to detect and join the "rhythm" of social interaction. picture your first school dance and you can't dance and you feel awkward as hell and everyone can see it and you maybe you can feel how out of sync you are by the second, or maybe you can't, but you are painfully aware that you often come across a little off at these things. oh, and that's your everyday, all day, because instead of school dances being the weakness, it's most all social interaction, which for most kids is pretty much most of their life.

it's stressful, exhausting, frustrating, and many of these kids swing and miss, a lot. my son does, and as we've figured out what his comfort zone is and isn't, we use that information to toe the line on a daily basis, constantly seeking to be in arm's reach of the comfort zone for when he overloads, but also constantly venturing off into those areas of discomfort, to build daily a tolerance and ethic for pushing himself, being brave, polishing skills in weak areas.

so, what does any of that have to do with this project?

Poop 07-01-2017 03:16 PM

a lot. when i started this project, i'd see my son swinging and missing on the playground. when he meets new children, his conversation is strange to them, and those always-awkward initial meetings that are the basis for every friendship are even more awkward. many times, i'd see a child approach my son and try to play with him, and my son would be trying to interact, to find that rhythm, but would answer questions in such an unusual way that they were mostly nonsensical answers to someone who didn't know him closely. or he just wouldn't understand what was being said, and the children he was playing with, they didn't have the skills to slow down and rephrase and better explain what they were getting at. they're just kids, too. and usually, being at a playground, and there to play and all, they'd just move on.

we work hard on the skills it takes to play with other children. countless scenarios are designed in therapy to teach empathy, to build a script for an initial meeting, to develop a growing arsenal on conversational techniques, from canned answers, to more complicated and spontaneous responses. but it all requires practice, practice, practice. and, not just with adults. that's not the same. he needs that social interaction with peers. and new ones, constantly, in addition to the friendships he builds with kids he sees regularly at school and therapy.

a cool ass treehouse, then, can be a pretty helpful tool for getting that practice. one technique used by the people who work with children like my son is to give the child who struggles most socially a "preferred toy," something the other kids want, so that they will approach him, engage him, ask for it, interact with him. it's a similar setup with having a cool treehouse, i think. this can be a tool to help him for years. more reason for parents to schedule playdates. more reason for children to spend time playing with him. a reason to try a little harder when conversations stumble along a bit. more opportunities for my son to get the practice he needs to find his rhythm in future conversations and other interactions.

it's been the driving idea behind this project for three years now. even so, i've had my mental health and emotional maturity questioned hard for my obsession with it. and for those who know me, of course those concerns are valid. :rolleyes: but i've persevered, long after the partnerships along the way fizzled out. from decking this thing on 105 degree days with steambox humidity while i had neck glands swolled like plums from mono... to 20 degree days climbing icy walls to fit and refit roof joists alone with burning tendonitis... i've felt like noah building an ark. an oddity, an insane obsession with a plan that seems to only make sense to me, but sense so clear and so important that i don't give a rat's ass whether anyone else gets it or not.

Poop 07-01-2017 03:18 PM

and there have been some of those days. they turned out to be good ones for he and i to venture on up and taste the solitude a bit (is it solitude when there's two of us?), to face a fear of heights, to find our "tree legs."


ecir45 07-01-2017 05:19 PM

damn poop, your kid is lucky to have a father like you!!!

joshk 07-01-2017 06:18 PM

Just signed up to say damn dude. That's something special. I hope it helps your boy.

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