Friday 14 April 2023

Swiss Family Baumwächterhaus

Did I mention that Gdau.I and Gdau.II are visiting their aged grand-parents around Eostretide? I did. The two small people have been there before. But since the 100-acre wood was cleared a bit, they have made it their kingdom. At the end of last Summer, after they left, we discovered a roughly circular brash-fort, which would be defensible against any attack by zombie attack rabbits. It was either the work of human hands . . . or an enormous ground-nesting raven. 

Every child needs a tree-house! Nothing would satisfy their Auntie Dau.II but that she we would construct such an edifice. It is a known fact that zombie attack rabbits are at nothing w.r.t. aerial assault, so really anything off-ground will work. But Health and Safety has moved along a piece, since I nailed an old pallet 6m up in the fork of a large ash-tree 20 years ago. The flooring and balusters were actually quite stable but 6m is a looonnng way down even for light, bouncy, flexible humans.  If you have a spare €1,000, you can get a flat-pack tree-house and put it up in your treeless suburban garden. In my thrifty, make-do worldview all tree-house should be made from scrap. Ideally, they should be made by the relevant children. Gdau.I and Gdau.II have proved their brash-fort groundwork chops. We have a compromise: a structure sufficiently engineered to satisfy Health&Safety but austere enough that the girls can give it their own stamp.

An initial scoping survey through the woods located 4 ash-trees forming the apexes of a wonk 1.5m quadrilateral. ash-trees are done for anyway because of the cursed ash die-back, so I have little compunction about giving them a second life as the pillars. When we ordered up the matériel for the 2016 wood-shed we calculated needing 130 6x1 = 150x25mm cedar planks each 8ft = 2.4m long of western red cedar Thuja plicata boards for the hit-and-miss walls. My calculation included a little excess for cock-ups && the supplier threw in a few planks-for-luck && all the planks were at least 2.4m long && we were able to get use from some off-cuts. Therefore we had clutter a generous stack of boards left over when that project finished. Some of those boards contributed the basic structure which we have anchored to the selected trees with coach bolts.

You really want your sea-legs up there when it's breezy! And that's a good argument for allowing some play with the fasteners. If I was a proper salty dog, I'd construct the whole thing from spars and cordage. otoh, the advantage of a flat floor is that it is realistic to install two small chairs and a dinky table for the tea-party.

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