III. Tree House, From the Bottom UpPart III
Once the boys had the base standing suitably, with the first three horizontal support tiers and all respective stiffening cross pieces installed and tightened, it was time to position it. Eddy asked me where I wanted it, not only the spot on which to place it, but how I wanted it arranged in respect to the trees and the porch. I figured the best way to decide this was to climb inside, stand directly in the middle and look straight up. Doing this, I pointed in one direction then another while calling out for them to move it a few inches this way and that, as well as having them turn it on its axis so that the largest tree limbs would not have to be cut back. My goal was to adjust it so that once the tower was raised to full height it would poke straight through the middle of the three trees and into the sky.
In less than a minute or two I had it exactly like I wanted it. I extricated myself to have a look at the result, curious to see how it would look from the porch entrance. With only a slight adjustment more I was satisfied. The stairway entrance would be in an ideal spot, and the tower base was still set so that the eventual topside would poke through the tree branches unencumbered.
After that, I ran out of money. I needed another week or so to wait for a check to clear in my local dollar account before we could proceed. The banks here rip you off in almost every way to include what should be the simple function of transferring money into local accounts from stateside ones. We normal “little people,” those without the necessary connections and clout, have to write checks and then wait for about a month for the money to “clear.” In reality, the money “is there” almost immediately, taking no more than a day or two for the electronic transfer to take place, but the bank holds on to it for weeks to use as they see fit. Sigh. It’s just one more of the many little (and not so little) inconveniences foreigners have to put up with for the privilege of living in “paradise.”
The next step was to provide a robust foundation. I sure would hate to be standing on the platform some 45 feet up only to have a strong gust of wind topple the whole thing over. I could just imagine what it would look like; probably like a tall tree falling after a lumberjack had his way with it. “TIM-BERRRRR!” No thanks. We made sure it was “set in stone,” so to speak.
Eddy marked the exact spot where all four supports would stand, had the tower base moved out of the way and then had two of his lads dig a squared off pit at each of the carefully marked spots where the four legs would ultimately stand.
At the same time he had the other two of his progeny cutting round bar into a host of separate pieces to weld up a cage of metal destined to be set into the concrete that would be poured into each of the four 3 feet deep pits. It seemed to me that he was over-engineering it, but I that was fine by me!
When I came home that afternoon he had all four foundation cages completed with one already in its pit and ready for immersion in concrete. I was impressed at the thought that went into the design of the cages. Each was wide at the bottom with its own base; rising up from that base a rectangular column of long threaded bolts poking through and in turn were welded to a base plate designed to sit directly atop the concrete. The four primary vertical support legs would then be welded to these
I never did get to see them cement the cages into place. By the time I got back the next afternoon all four were already in the ground and curing. Things were moving steadily along, just as they always do when Eddy “The Man” is in charge of a project!
Labels: tree house