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“Tree Gym” Made From Branches
Cliff Johnson is a woodworker, Master Gardener and back-yard builder with a passion for creative projects. Over the years he’s used vines, sticks and branches of every size and shape to build numerous arbors, trellises and pergolas. His latest effort is a combination jungle gym/treehouse that he built in his back yard.
    “My grandsons sort of inspired me because of their tireless efforts to climb trees and build forts,” Johnson says. “I really would’ve liked to build a big tree house high up in one of my 200-year-old burr oaks, but I decided something closer to the ground probably makes more sense. At least it makes more sense to my wife.”
    Johnson’s most recent project involved harvesting more than a half dozen 4 and 5- in. ash trees from his wooded acreage and using the sturdy stems as poles that reach up onto the large lower limbs of a giant burr oak. The poles were bolted to brace branches, and then 2 and 3-in. dia. branches were used as ladder steps and horizontal frame pieces. Step rungs were secured to the poles using 5/16-in. lag screws. The triangular platform was built using discarded cedar deck boards Johnson had laying around. In total, Johnson invested less than $20 in bolts and lag screws for the project.
    “My grandkids were delighted when they saw it, and they immediately started climbing and hanging from it in countless different ways,” Johnson says.
    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Cliff Johnson, 12820 Laurie Lane, Chaska, Minn. 55318 (ph 952 466-2288).

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2015 - Volume #39, Issue #3