Treehouses and other Cool Stuff: 50 Projects You Can Build Paperback – Feb 22 2008
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About the Author
David and Jeanie have been writing how-to" books together for the past twelve years. Most recently, the couple built a treehouse on The Today Show in Rockefeller Center in New York. They divide their time between New York City and East Hampton, where they live in a barn they renovated together.
David and Jeanie have been writing "how-to" books together for the past twelve years. Most recently, the couple built a treehouse on The Today Show in Rockefeller Center in New York. They divide their time between New York City and East Hampton, where they live in a barn they renovated together.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This book I bought later, and it contains the original A-frame treehouse among other designs and indeed 'other Cool Stuff', e.g., accessories for the treehouse, a working cannon for kids, a simple boat, unusual swings, homemade toys etc. There are some color photos of the creations, cute drawings, and the simple schematics. There's info on basic construction and woodworking and they give you just enough to put it together. I learned as I went. I own their other book 'Treehouses you can actually build'(never used it-intended to- until now), another Stiles' gem, and found it very helpful.
A few suggestions from a total novice:
1.Right tool for the right job. Few tools are needed. They list them for you, e.g., circular saw, jigsaw, 2 electric drills, level, and so forth. Buy good equipment, good blades-lots of teeth, screws- I like the ones with star head inserts, less slippage, etc.- it helps immensely.
2. Get help- to hold poles, lift frames, give insight. I built the A-frame treehouse alone, Lone Ranger style- doable but somewhat hard. Stay focused; keep attention to detail, review every aspect of the drawings. Not all the minute specifics are given. You must think out your steps, review different types of screws and materials and how to approach the next task especially if you don't know anything like me. The Home Depot/Lowes' crews helped in that department plus Googling.
3. "Plumb and Level"- get the foundation and the frame right and the rest is much easier;
4.Plan for safety- soft ground cover like chopped, colored rubber; a higher railing for the treehouse patio; extra wooden bars for the windows if kids falling out is an issue;
5. Modify the plans if reasonable- my wife suggested the staircase rise up into the treehouse not alongside it with a 'secret' hatch(the Stiles recommend similar in their other book); I used redwood instead of cedar railings, added another small window in the back with a bell to ring...
6.Take your time and have fun or do something else!
Well, "promising" just about describes it. There are two Tree Fort plans in this book that fit the bill for my kids, and these come with material lists, but the detail - especially for building the roof - is simply not there. I've never built a house, so am unfamiliar with construction techniques for building a roof. Additional research will be required to build either fort.
(In How to Build Treehouses Huts and Forts, there is a scant page dedicated to roof construction, that may be sufficient for me to get started.)
Flipping through the rest of this book, I found several projects that might be fun to do with the kids. But, building an exploding cannon that uses a CO2 fire extinguisher to propel a cannon ball? Not so sure...
The instructions are just wordy enough and the illustrations look quite easy to follow. I'm going to give this book as gifts. It would make a good gift for a Mom or Dad with young children, or for active grandparents, come to think of it.
I do like the ideas in this book, without describing anything specific I would say that they remind me of the "good old fashioned fun" that I had as a child, growing up in the country. Sure, some things might seem a bit dangerous, but there will need to be a tad bit of danger involved if we want the kids to get away from the video games and play outside, right? (Nothing in this book is super dangerous, just exciting).
Only reason for the 4 stars is - I don't think it's clear by the title and description that this book is NOT for a beginner.
Most of the ideas are fun and cool looking, but I was expecting much more details out of it.
I am building the cannon right now, and it's not a difficult project, but if I didn't already know how to do most of it, this book would not have been much use.
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