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Discussion Starter #1
So i haggardly and kinda childishly draw up a stand I want to build this weekend before opener and was wondering if anyone thinks it may fail either during install or over time. It will be 15' high attached to hopefully a strong pine with a wood ladder. Its 4.7' deep and 3.7' wide. The base is made from a pallet that was shipped with some equipment from my work. Pallet is from CHINA so i'm not sure what the wood is. Below is plan and real pictures at 15'. Be rude, be honest, be true, give me your honest opinion but don't tell me to go buy a stand. Thanks
stand.jpg 2012-09-18_10-09-37_999.jpg
 

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I wouldn't trust the pallet. I have seen what we would get in at work from China. Also, some of them stink from a chemical treatment used to prevent bring in bugs into the country. It wouldn't take that much to make a strong platform you could trust.
 

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My only question is why? If it's just cause you wanna build something, then that's cool. But you can get 2 man ladder stands for $100. I'm sure your cost of building it would be close to that. Maybe not if you're using a pallet, but I'd sure trust the it better. But I'm no carpenter :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The reason I am building it is the property I hunt is 3 hours away and not my own, so I don't trust the neighbors. I have all the material already so it would just cost me labor. thanks for the input!
 

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what is the rachet strap connected to cause the strap and what its connected to is gonna have most of the weight. Also is this stand a permanent stand something that you will leave up for years to come. if you do plan to leave it up then i would probably put some more bracing on there(never can have to much when it comes to your life). As far as the pallet goes what was shipped on the pallet thats the real question when it comes to whether or not a pallet is a good idea. Also I would use treated lumber yes it has a smell... no you probably wont be able to use it this year do to the smell but next year i would imagine that it will be good but treated lumber will last a lot longer
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I planned on screwing in I-bolts where ever the most pressure is. In the picture of the high-lo with the pallet there are these big vessels in the background that weigh around 800#. I beleive it is treated but not necessarily for the elements. This will be a permanent stand to leave for quite some time. Other the right in the middle should i brace from the rear of the pallet to the first brace? I have all the materials so there shouldn't be any cost, trying to save some money.
 

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the way i would brace it would be having to angled pieces that go from the pallet angled down to the tree and probably do 2 of them if the tree is big enough. I would build it so that essentially you wouldnt need the ladder to help hold it up or with the weight. Ok well since the pallet was used to ship that and as long as the wood is still in good shape then i dont see any reason why the pallet wouldnt work
 

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It will work but you're going to need a few guys to heft that rig into position. When installing it, it will want to slide around the tree before you get the top/pallet attached with your ratchet strap. Don't go thinking those center supports from the ladder assembly to the tree will hold it. It is going to be real top heavy. Just be careful.
 

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I would first place a brace from where the mid brace connects to the back of the pallet on the tree side. This will help prevent the pallet from collapsing at the ladder attachment.
Depending on how high off the ground, you may need more braces. I would go no more than 6' per brace to the tree.
so 15' would need 2 braces
As to how long it would last in the elements ... well i would not trust it past 2 years without treated wood
 

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Many years ago, a friend and I built a 5'x10' platform nearly on top of a 300' cliff in a rainforest, out of carefully selected heavy duty pallet wood. It lasted about 3 years before I stepped through a board. We didn't have a freeze/thaw cycle to deal with, so YMMV. As others pointed out, use lots of bracing of the platform to the tree. If you are looking at a max service life of 2 years, it could work for a stand with practically no investment 3 hours from home.
 

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Sounds like there have been some "missing equipment" episodes--and I understand why you don't want to put a "good" one there--

I've built 2 stand, similar, but instead of the wood ladder, I used 10' sections out of an aluminum extension ladder I was given. Heavy, but 1-man workable.

 

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Find a good oak paLlet. I did this few Years ago. Lasted for About 7 years. I used an exteNsion ladder
 

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Pallets for tree stands?...been there....done that. Life expectancy of pallet was 5-to-7 years then they started falling apart. I wouldn't hesitate to use the nicer injection molded plastic/fiberglass pallets for just that reason. Got tired of replacing the wood ones....replaced them all with fabricated steel units. Have steel stands that are still in use after 25 years.

As for how to lift the units up in a tree?......we use ATV's with winch cable thrown over high limbs, then simply pull the stand up with the winch. Works pretty slick....some of the metal stands can weigh quite a bit.

 

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pallet not a good platform, i was thinking about it... not a good idea heres some plans and what it turned out like when i just made one ratchets and all... notching the flat area that rests into the tree is a must for a nice tight ratchet securely to the tree...like 7- 2x4 x12 and 3- 2x6x8's 2x6 not necessary but man is it sturdy. here are some photo's under 40 $ not counting beer drank
stand3.jpg
stand2.jpg
stand.jpg
stand4.jpg
 

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in all reaality, my design was flawed I used a 6' angle support from under the seat to almost half way down the ladder as seen barely in one of the pics. design looked good but didnt feel safe enough for my standards
 

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I would say it is definately doable. Biggest things to consider here.

1) Need to make your bracing that runs upward from the pallet very secure to the pallet. This is going to do most of the supporting.

2) I like your idea of lag bolts going hooking the pallet itself to the tree. Just keep in mind that overtime, the bolts stay the same place in the tree as the tree grows. This means the bolt heads will eventually pull through the pallet boards. Something that should be checked each year before climbing into the stand for the first time.

3) The ladder will help to support the pallet a lot more than you think. Especially since you are running a brace from the ladder to the tree to keep it from kicking out more.

I think you are good and seem smart enough to pull it off. Just use your head and don't be stupid by taking risky chances. Homemade tree stands are a heck of a lot safer than most people will give them credit for. 90% of my stands were built by my Dad and I have yet to have an accident. We just use our heads and make sure everything is sturdy the first time we climb up each year.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well I plan on working on this stand this upcoming weekend so thank you for all the suggestions. Here is my tree stand I made last year, I just much rather have a DIY stand then go buy one.
stand hang.jpg
 
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