Monday, September 17, 2007

Leveling the platform

I headed back to the farm in May to check on the platform and do a little work. Since I could only get away for a long weekend, I didn't plan on making much progress. I hoped to level the platform and add a few more attachment points. Having a backup attachment point on each trunk would add some piece of mind.

I was also curious how things held up over the winter. My dad had put a tarp over the platform after I left last fall to try to keep things dry.

There wasn't much debris on top, and the tarp looked like it had held steady over the winter. There was no obvious rubbing on any of the trunks, and things generally looked great. The galvanized hardware was looking brand new.

I'd brought a bunch of wire rope slings to use as backup attachments. These were drastically cheaper than chain and were rated plenty strong for what I wanted to do.

I quickly realized that they would not fit onto the same clevis as the turnbuckles. Since I hadn't brought extra clevises, I had to give up on adding the additional attachment points this trip.

We switched our focus on leveling the platform. When I'd left it last year we couldn't quite get things level using the turnbuckles. In order give us enough play we had to cut a few more lengths of chain. You can see in the below picture that we were completely at the end of travel in one of the turnbuckles.

We also swapped out one chain/turnbuckle combination for a wire rope sling. Since one point could be a static length, we thought we'd save the turnbuckle for some other task. Also, we wanted to see what the wire slings looked like on the tree!

We managed to get everything level, and leave about half of the throw in each remaining turnbuckle. This way if things change as we build onto the platform, we'll have a bit of leeway to level things out again.

We buttoned the tarp back up, and I took off, hoping to get back in October to actually build some walls and a roof. That looks like it's going to happen, and I'll have a few more helpers this time. Hopefully the next entry will have a lot more progress!