For many years, I've wanted to build a treehouse or a treefort for my kiddos. I had collected plan after plan for seasons on end. When I moved four years ago, I tossed them because I figured I would never get around to eventually doing it. A couple of years ago, my younger brother put a piece of plywood on a couple of limbs of a tree (that I helped plant when I was a little girl.) He and my kiddos climbed up the swimming pool ladder and sat on top of the board and loved it. However, I was afraid that one of them would fall off backwards and get seriously injured or die. So, I needed to rectify that or take the board down. After some long indepth browsing on pinterest, I decided on what I wanted up in the tree (even though I wasn't really the carpenter type.)
So a couple weekends ago, we started the treefort project. First we had to cut down some limbs (which led to cutting down other limbs that were dead and needed to be taken down as well.) The piece of plyboard can be seen in this picture (I forgot to take a 'before' picture.)
Then we cut the limbs into smaller pieces and hauled them out to the road.
Making sure the plyboard was level.
We made the frames for each side. Since the plywood was a 4x8, I put the middle boards 2 foot across. Note to self, if you splurge on a nail gun, spend the extra money to get a really good one (ours kept jamming and took so much extra time between each nailing of each nail.) We learned our lesson.
Then we clamped each side down until we nailed them down (and made sure they all fit snugly.)
In addition to nailing down the frames, we also used these things to secore the frames to the bottom.
All four sides are now up. We left a gap on the side closest to the tree to allow room for the ladder (to get up and down) as well as the kiddos to climb out onto the limb (when they're older.)
We used a compressor to use for the nail gun. The only issue was the weather. It was cold and it took a long time to get the compressor going (and stay going.)
We bought picket fence boards to put along the sides. However, we needed them a certain length and had to cut each of the 48 boards. Of course, it was a labor of love.
Starting the sides. Luckily those Christmas hardware store giftcards came in handy! We got all the clamps and most of the boards with them (we had a stash of them!) It was definitely a family project.
There were a couple of places where the boards didn't fit exactly. We also cut the length of the picket boards to fit in those places. We didn't know what to use between each board either and used a pencil to mark each space inbetween them.
View from one side of the finished project.
And from the other side. We let my son decide how big the space was going to be. He also determined the height of the picket boards themselves. He gave us a lot of input and was a great help the whole way through.