From the Ground Up

We'll be the first to admit, thing's have been a little crazy lately. And out of all of this craziness, a new home has come into our existence! After some hard work and raucous play, we hunkered down for however long it would take to build our lifestyle upgrade-- a platform for our 16 foot bell tent.

Byron began by setting up the foundational beams to form the perimeter of the platform. Just to move these beams into position from where they were offloaded was a feat! Each eucalyptus beam has a length of 18 feet and weighs about 200 pounds! So we rigged up a little pulley system to hoist the beams off the ground and glide it through the trees on a zipline (check out the upcoming video on that)!

The beams were fit together with traditional joinery, aka, Mortise and Tenon technique, meaning notches are cut into the beams to lock them together.

They were then lashed onto the trees of the surrounding clearing.

Byron even went so far as to custom cut some metal tools for his lashing technique. What a maniac.

   On the other hand, I was busy pulling wooden pallets apart to build the base of our new compost toilet! Quite the contrast to my expert carpenter comrade, this toilet (aside from a few prefab assemblies) was pretty much the first thing I'd ever engineered and built from scratch.

...And be it just a toilet, when you are in the forest all the time, a solid toilet is a glorious thing.

 We even put up a little tipi to create an outdoor bathroom.
Back on the tent front, Byron pushes on, maniac that he is, and adds to the frame in a pie slice manner. The smaller support beams are joined to the perimeter beams on the outside and to each other in the center with that same magical Mortise and Tenon technique.

Pretty soon, this thing is jumping into reality and our minds go crazy while we imagine what it will be like when it is completed!

The next step was to attach the decking boards, which I had previously coated with waterproof sealant, to the frame. Our awesome neighbor, Kai, loaned us a skill saw to cut the boards so that they fit together seamlessly. 

Our friends, Darren and Noheia, loaned us a badass power drill to attach the boards and create the face of the platform.

This whole platform thing was getting pretty real. 

We were feeling stoked to be close to finishing.. 

                                                                                                               ...And also a bit tired.

Without fail, the next day came and we pressed on, the platform growing ever bigger.

We raised a toast to our new structure as the final boards went on..

The moment of completion came like any other before it. We stood there, looking at the finished platform in semi-disbelief...

And then we went into full on frenzy mode. We swept up and began busting the tent out of the shipping package like it was Christmas morning.

We even donned the packaging ribbons since we were already in a crescendo-induced altered state of consciousness. 

The thing went up in about 15 minutes.

 After three long weeks of constant work on this project, it wrapped up so quickly, we barely had time to understand what was happening...

But then we went inside and Byron climbed to the top of the central pole and everything seemed to make sense. 

With this beautiful tent adventure coming to a close, the doorway opens for countless new endeavors. 

After taking a nice little break to soak it all in, we are off to the races again! 

Byron is currently in Waimanu Valley working on the trees for Department of Land and Natural Resources and I am buzzing around the land, whipping things into shape. 

Till next time... 


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