Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Scouter99

Any experience with the tripod tower?

Recommended Posts

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/downloads/Scout_Engineering.pdf:

fVY6q0Y.jpg

 

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...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

*poplar -and- oak saplings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Way to act like a pro e92.

 

The note refers to monkey bridges. The crux of which cannot exceed 5'. That means the stays are gonna be at least 10'. So, you would need to contrive an 11' rig to support the stays. That's about the proportion of the plans shown.

 

The boys cannot work at that height. (Unless they are properly supervised and harnessed.) But they can certainly build a tower that tall. (Hint, the Egyptians didn't build their obelisks upright.)

 

And once erect and proven stable, they are certainly allowed to climb it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...