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Any experience with the tripod tower?

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  • Any experience with the tripod tower?

    I suppose this belongs in the Program forum, but that's broken, so I've placed it here.
    We've got a scout show coming up, so I asked one of the boys to take charge of building a tower, and told him to pick a design and lead the boys to build it. He called to say he'd picked one, and emailed me the design. It's the tripod tower.

    If you're unfamiliar, here's a drawing, taken from the "Scout Engineering" pamphlet, p 14 http://www.truthistreason.net/downlo...gineering.pdf:


    If you ask me, it looks like a death trap. They boys are certainly capable of building it, and I don't plan to stop them, but . . . well it's not the tower I would have picked. I've seen them on paper, but never in practice. Does anyone out there have any experience with these? Are they stable/safe? How long it might take to build? Sundry advice...

  • #2
    Did one when I was a scout. Lot"s of fun.
    Way safer then leaving those sticks lying around for someone to beat someone with or that rope for someone to lose hold of while trying to climb with!
    Time depends on skill, if the boys are cutting down their own sticks, making their own rope, etc ...
    My suggestion: have the boys work on the ladder at a meeting. They'll get faster with the lashings as they go along. They will also get a feel for how tight things have to be, and the teamwork involved. Then they'll have an idea of if the tower would be a half day or full day project.
    Safety? Hard hats I guess would be a good idea. I'll let others weigh in.

    Comment


    • #3
      I think the determining safety factor is height. Are they planning a 20' tower. I would suggest 4 or 6' first. The other thing is the quality of the sticks. Who is going to determine if they are sturdy enough ? Is that person qualified to make that call ? Your best bet is to check and see if your district or Council has a pioneering kit you can check out. Ours does but it requires a one day training class for the leader to get certified with it.

      Worst case get some video and you can submit it to the Discovery Channel's Modern Marvels: Pioneering Disasters 23 "Scouts Not So Tough Anymore"

      Comment


      • #4
        Time will be cut down a lot because we have a set of spars, mostly Bradford Pear branches, with a smattering of poplar oak saplings (chill out, No-Tracers, I got the saplings when the railroad bush-hogged the rail bed).

        The height really is my concern, the plans call for 16' spars, which places the platform ~13' in the air. I also just don't see how you can hang a ladder off one side and not pull the whole thing over when climbing onto it.

        Comment


        • Scouter99
          Scouter99 commented
          Editing a comment
          *poplar -and- oak saplings.

        • eaglewolfdad
          eaglewolfdad commented
          Editing a comment
          Agree with Scouter99, The Bradford pear wood is simply not strong enough. I have cleaned up way too many after ice and wind storms

      • #5
        Guy lines are mentioned in the instructions. Those would certainly help in keeping it from tipping over.

        Comment


        • #6
          We built a variation of this, and it is quite safe. The tripod lashing was more to the top and we didn't stand on top of it as that was where the steel rope for the bosun's chair was connected. Also the ladder rungs were integrated onto the tripod and not somewhat detached. We would build a 25'-30' tower on one end, connect steel rope to it and another 20'-25' about 10-25 yards away, and anchor them with guy lines and 2 cars. Hook on your bosun's chair, and you got a 20-30 minute wait for a 30 second ride.

          Unfortunately BSA now bans any pioneering projects that people will climb on that are over 5 feet. Page 77 of the current G2SS states that.

          Comment


          • qwazse
            qwazse commented
            Editing a comment
            Rick
            First, it's six feet.
            Secondly, have you ever seen bridge height signs? That's the height to the BOTTOM of the bridge (the space a vehicle has to pass under it).

          • Rick_in_CA
            Rick_in_CA commented
            Editing a comment
            OK, I see they changed it from 5 to 6 feet. However, it doesn't say to the bottom of the bridge, it says "Note: Pioneering projects, such as monkey bridges, have a maximum height of 6 feet. Close supervision should be followed when Scouts are building or using pioneering projects.". Which tells me that all pioneering projects have a maximum height of 6 feet. Not a maximum height to the bottom of the bridge of 6 feet.

            That is why at our local Scout-O-Rama the one pioneering project on display (a monkey bridge) was only six inches off the ground in the middle. They weren't allowed to make it any taller.

          • qwazse
            qwazse commented
            Editing a comment
            If the bridge any longer, you guys would be in trouble for digging too deep a trench so the rope would hang freely!

            Pity you didn't interpret G2SS the way these folks did:
            http://www.flickr.com/photos/boyscou...2434/lightbox/
            Or these guys:
            http://www.flickr.com/photos/boyscou...2042/lightbox/
            Last edited by qwazse; 08-12-2013, 08:57 PM. Reason: Added a 2nd example of pioneering projects sanctioned by National.

        • #7
          Thanks for all the input!

          Comment


          • #8
            Cool! If we built one, the Scouts would want to sleep up there.

            Comment


            • #9
              The only experience I have had with the tower is as an observer. Back in 1993, at a Scoutfest show, a troop made rope and then lashed the tower. It was at least 15' tall. They used a rope ladder they had made and it was built on a level cement floor of the civic center. Nothing anchored it. Boys built it in the morning and spent the rest of the day going up and down, keeping the number of boys on the platform to 2 at a time. It was really quite impressive. I did notice that in comparison with the picture above, the cross center of the poles was a lot higher than midpoint. It made for a very substantial base and smaller platform. It kept it stable and didn't allow for the boys to overweight the top to make it top-heavy.

              Comment


              • #10
                Check with the OA to see if they have poles you can borrow. They usually save their poles and are varied in lengths. Barry

                Comment


                • #11
                  Here is my version of that tower from a couple years ago:

                  Last edited by EagleScout441; 08-07-2013, 04:06 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Can't get that picture to work, sorry. Our version had bars at the top, just like the ones at the bottom, that we used as seats, and did not have a platform or rope handrails. We also had a rope ladder.
                    Last edited by EagleScout441; 08-07-2013, 04:09 PM. Reason: Grammar

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                    • #13
                      Don't let RichardB see those. LOL.

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        Who is RichardB? And why shouldn't he see those photos?

                        Comment


                        • Rick_in_CA
                          Rick_in_CA commented
                          Editing a comment
                          RichardB is a health and safety person at national that occasionally posts here. And the reason he shouldn't see those photos are that they are all violate BSA rules (no pioneering project can be higher than five feet, not to mention scouts being more than four feet above the ground without suspension harnesses - see the GTSS).

                      • #15
                        I don't see no scout (Uniforms).. just boys learning how old school scout would have done things
                        or i think his memory is wrong..those are just scans of pictures from the 70's and 80's

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