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Tall Staircase?

861 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  carpdad
Hello everyone, I have a little project I am working on that has completely stumped me. A buddy of mine wants me to help him build a tree stand (essentially just a big wooden platform between two trees) about 20 ft off the ground. Normally, this is no problem, and it only took me a few hours to get the platform design completed and get a materials list together. The issue I have run into is that he is afraid of heights, so he isn't comfortable with the standard 2x4's in the side of a tree method of climbing up. He said he wanted to build a staircase with handrails to get up there. I know it would be a big project, but is it even possible? I'm starting to doubt it myself. I have no idea how you would make stair stringers that would get you up 20' in the air, much less add handrails AND make it stable. I'm about to write off the idea and try to convince him of another way, but I figured it couldn't hurt to see what other people had to say. I am by no means an expert at any of this. Maybe average at best, so any input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Please get your buddy over here to clear some things, like:
- If he is afraid of heights, why does he need such a platform in the sky?
- What's wrong with a fiberglass ladder, attached to the tree, to reach the platform?
It’s for hunting. He wants to hunt out of a tree stand, but is too afraid to go with the regular ones on the market. They’re too small and not stable enough. He also said he would consider a ladder, but he doesn’t like climbing ladders because of the steep angle. The staircase would be a luxury if doable. Not a necessity.
Build him a periscope so he can sit on the ground and look around.
Attached to two trees, how did you accommodate for differential swaying in the wind?
Is your buddy heavy? If not then a 16' extension ladder can set out far enough to avoid the steep angle.

Afraid of heights, that platform at 20' will set off alarm bells.

Does he own this property or have permission to build a stand, obvious question but needs to be asked?

Two sections of 2x6 each going half way with 2x6 treads set on cleats or rabbited in will work. What is needed is support at the halfway point as opposed to trying to reach the 20' all in one shot.

Is this stand close enough to get the materials to the project.

There are several in my area, not mine, that are small houses as opposed to just a platform. Very comfortable and out of the weather. if this ia his property a permanent shelter up there will provide many years of hunting.

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A landing at 10' would divide the stairs and less of a climb. Since not a house, equal risers and tread or even litlle higher risers which reduces the footprint. Rope rails or real rails and balusters if must. That is some price to pay for hunting.:smile: I did find myself suddenly nervous about climbing to a patio roof. I used stabilizers, cleats and a fall harness. Soon got used to it, though. A harness and firmly anchored ladder with wide rungs and a good landing could help. The trick is getting back on the ladder. Recessed landing where ladder goes into the recess so the step on/off is super easy, maybe?
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