somebody is going to tell me to go down to 4 feet 6 inches, but 4 feet 2 inches is all i’ve got. it’s basically impossible to get last 4 inches with the post hole digger i have. i had to cut through some small roots but got very lucky i was able to dig down and just miss a very large root that i wouldn’t have wanted to damage.
hi. ho. if the frost goes down that far, it wins.
i found a piece of a glass bottle 3 feet down which seemed like a long ways down to be finding glass.
having procured the pole to build the staircase around, it was time to test the first step. i’ve spent endless hours trying to figure out how to build a secure staircase without spending thousands of dollars and i settled on a very basic design that uses heavy duty 20” angle brackets from home depot that are rated to hold 600 pounds. i hoped to get away with using one for each step but there was, predictably, a bit of wiggle when i attached the 12″ wide tread to the 1” bracket even when using some beefy lag bolts.
i was ruminating on how to make it more sturdy and odin said, “use two brackets?”
of course! it’s a little tricky to get the brackets lined up with the curvature of the pole and exactly in the right spot on the tread but it’s sooooooolid!
the brackets are $10 a piece and the most expensive part of the staircase so using two per step doubles my cost, but it’s worth it to ensure a stable step that will last for years and it’s still 1/10th of the cost of getting a custom staircase kit. i’m not happy about the white color but if you want a 20” angle bracket rated to 600 pounds you can have any color you want as long as it’s white.
this is just a test step. the pole is going to get sunk 3.5 feet in the ground and i’m going to build the staircase from the top down.
i’m making progress on the treehouse spiral staircase and found a suitably long pole to build upon. and now i’m either going to make it 35 miles home with 7 feet of a 16 foot pole sticking out of my car without incident or I’m going to have a really good story!
the hardware store lumber dude who helped me load it in the car with a forklift exclaimed, “THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING!” which i took to mean he did not often load 16 foot poles into cars.
the optimistic twine amuses me. i don’t really think it’s going to do much to stop the pole from sliding out of the car on a steep hill ( and there are a lot of steep hills between the store and home ) but i felt like it had to do something.
[ later] well that was exciting! I forgot to bring something to weigh down the pole in the car. with about half of it out of the car it was on a natural pivot point so I had to actively hold it down for 35 miles which made shifting pretty tricky! If I ever find myself in need on transporting 16 foot pole again, I’ll definitely remember to bring something to weigh it down!