Friday, December 22, 2017

Platform project

A few years ago I built a play structure for the girls, which they dubbed the "pirate platform:" zipline onto the platform, slackline, hammock, etc... 
Lovely place to take your morning coffee.

Recently, my youngest daughter Mae asked that I build another, maybe with the possibility of adding a treehouse at some point.  We will see...
Main beams hoisted and bolted into position.  I was super thankful for my brother's help on this part of the job.  Each beam was super heavy, made of two 2 x 12 x 14' pressure treated (and wet!) boards.  Did not have a block and tackle, so it definitely took two people to get them into place.  Thanks bro!

 Joists now span the gap between the beams.  One challenge I had was after the end caps went on, how to adjust the position of the platform on the beams.  I laid boards out where I thought they should go, but on second look the whole platform hanging over one side more than I liked.  How to slide everything over?

Answer? Counterweight.  That board dangling just off the ground is tied to lines that run up through pulleys and then down to the joists.  This relieved just enough weight for me to push the platform around on the beams and center it.
 How to add the endcaps when I am the only one on the job?  Answer: use joist hangers upside down, which now guide the cap onto the joists, ensure the joists are equally spaced, and keeps the cap from falling to the ground.  Made sense to me at least...

 Not easy to screw those caps into place.  Climbing gear made the job easier, and fun.

 The client came by for a peak at the progress.  She seemed quite happy.  Love the overalls!

 Joists, end caps and blocking is done.  Feels pretty firm.  Time to start decking.

Final result.  Enough room to hold a party, though I gotta get railings and a staircase up before we do that.  But it has a nice view of "Blueberry Hill" across the way.
This was another big project, building a gravel patio on top of this hill.  Four yards of 3/4" gravel up there.  Had to rent a small tractor for that job...

Finished just in time for "Jug Band" Camp.  Here a few of us are sitting out on top of Blueberry Hill, on the new gravel patio, making noise.  You can see a six-person tent on the platform in the distance.


  1. Now THAT is some creative problem solving in action, Eric. Love it. Dad of the year!

    1. Thanks. Not quite like your timber frame design and build, but I do what I can.