Tag Archives: tree fort

Fort Project: The Grand Finale

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I put on the rail last week (between hail storms).

The fort project took just under a year to complete, but it’s finally done, and I’m happy with the results. The kids are pleased. Holly is pleased. Dad is exhausted!

Kidding. After all, I took a year to finish.

Here is a guided tour:

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Inside, looking toward the front porch, with escape hatch.

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Looking up the hatch.

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The main entrance.

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Looking down the rope ladder.

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The view from the hammock.

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The long climb.

All I can say is I must have wanted one of these when I was a kid. Otherwise, why would I have spent some much time and energy building it?

What a fun project!

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The Fort Project: 2008

I have been meaning to get a current picture of the progress on the fort. I got it to about 95% complete late last summer, and then somehow never got around to the rest. As soon as we get some sunny weather, I’m going to attach the rail around the front porch. Note the gable roof, rope ladder, mail box and street address. You can’t really see it, but there is a hatch on the far right of the porch, where the rope hangs.

The kids use my old wood ladder because the rope ladder is difficult to climb. Somehow they’ve managed to move chairs and a table up there. Holly doesn’t like the two-tone roof roll, but I think it gives the place a real down home feel. I still can’t believe I was able to pull this together. You never know what you can do until you try.

If you look close, you can see the neighbor’s tree fort down the block. Keeping up with the Jones ain’t easy.

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Fort Project: Update Three

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Even this latest photo doesn’t capture the current state of the project. I’ve got tar paper on the roof, all the siding attached, and rope ladders hung. I’ll get a picture of the finished project as soon as I get everything done.

We actually had a surprise visit from the building inspectors from our town. Apparently one of my neighbors snitched me out, but the inspectors said they didn’t have any codes for tree forts and we weren’t violating any other rules. I am glad. I would have been very disappointed had they asked me to demolish my work!

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Great Summer Fort Project: Update Two

Here is a screen capture of the plan for the remainder of our tree fort.

I’ve been using SketchUp, Google’s vector drawing program, to draw up my plans. It’s very intuitive and fun to play with. But like all vector drawing programs, it can be maddening at times. Once you learn how to do things the SketchUp way, it’s a satisfying and powerful tool. Google offers the software free for non-business use. If you look closely, you can see Kennedy has used SketchUp to add furniture to our plans. A bit more obvious is her decision to apply bit map textures to the walls and rails.

In the real world, we put up the other two legs, the remaining 2×8 crossbeams, added joist supports, and screwed down the floorboards since our last update. We have the hole for the secret trap door, but still need to assemble the lid and the rope ladder.

My right arm has become the limiting factor. I’ve developed some sort of repetitive stress injury, where doing even an hour of screwing with the drill can become very painful. It sucks to get old.

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The Great Summer Fort Project

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I am exhausted, but wiser.

I spent the weekend working on a fort I promised my daughter. I am terrible at these kinds of projects, so I rarely take them on. I don’t even own many tools. So why am I building a fort?

Here is how it happened: Last year I built a shed, which is really just a corrugated roof attached to the side of my house. Although it was a low stakes project, building it made me feel bold. In a weak moment, I promised Kennedy that we would build a fort this summer for her and Aaron. I immediately forgot all about it, but not Kennedy. Over the winter she occasionally reminded me. 

This past weekend, the rubber met the road.

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