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Help Building a Tower Stand
Guys, I just built a 4x4 box stand, but now I want to build my tower... I purchase four 10 foot 4x4 posts and a few 12 foot 2x4's for bracing and/or ladder. I'm not sure where to begin though... do I need the posts to go up at an angle? If so, I'm not sure how I'd attach them at an angle. Do I build the tower, then hoist the stand on top of it... or build the tower, attach it while laying on it's side and somehow raise the whole thing? Any help/tips would be appreciated!
I'm about to build a tower for practice and have been looking into it some. I remember watching Keith Warren's hunting show and they had a sponsor that made the metal corners for the tower platform. Apparently they bolt onto a square platform and provide the pocket into which the 4x4s are inserted providing the perfect angle for stability and strength.
I'm going to look at that show on my DVR tonight and get the name and number...might be able to get it from his website www.keithwarren.net.
Now that I think of it, I think Bass Pro has something like that too.
We just finished our bag target holder this weekend and will be starting our tower very soon.
I put a post on his website - let's see if we get a nibble:
I just reviewed your post on that site, and you have a response that says the braces are here: http://www.shadowhunterllc.com/index.html
Thanks for that... this looks like it may work a whole lot better that mounting onto the box base... especially if you're trying to mount them at an angle.
I'm looking at those brackets and called... they have a compound 8 degree angle and retail at $79 for a set of four. That's a lot just to get an angle... I wonder if I should go ahead with straight legs and just bolt them to the base frame of my box stand.
That are cheaper here: http://www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=272804
This is not a tough cut to make with a good circular saw... Take a 1.5"x3" notch out of the top of the 4x4 so you have something that the blind (2x4's) actually sits on rather than just relying on the bolts. You can angle it both ways also. Make your horizontal cut first at the desired angle 1.5" deep, then come in from the top of the 4x4 with a cut that meets up with the other, again at a slight angle about 3" deep. I wouldn't use lag bolts, use a 5-6" bolt with washers and nuts. There are also a ton of different kinds of 'joist hanger' type brackets at most hardware stores that you could use. I would also brace the 4x4's together about halfway up with 2x4's. The angles of your 4x4's should be the same, no cuts neccessary, so just slap these on with deck screws for stability.
They look like great brackets and would work well, but that is an outrageous price. If I needed somthing like that for a deck that had to be purdy and last for 20 years, that may be different. But not for a box blind...
Another option.... We have a 30 foot tall tower that is about 8' x 10' wide. It's by the cabin and is just a 'lookout tower' for watching the fields. It is straight up, no angle cuts, but it's cabled to the ground.
They make some ground anchors about 30" long that screw into the ground with an eyelet at the top. Put em 6-8 feet away from the blind. Then put an eye bolt in the top of the blind somewhere and cable them together. You can use a turnbuckle on each to tighten them. Works great, and it will not tip over. Only probelm is that it can cost a lot for all of these supplies also. We got all of ours for free, including the entire tower lumber, my uncle picked it up on job sites.
Just throwing out some options...
Hadn't thought about notches for the box base frame to sit on... that's a good idea, but I'm not getting how any side of the 4x4 post will be flush with the 2x4 base frame... which would be required for bolting in place.
You are right, those Elevator brackets are a bit too expensive for a box blind... other than the fact that they could obviously be reused on any new blinds once that one is scrapped. So, even though the blind won't last 20 years... you can certainly reuse them for over 20 years.
Wish I could explain that better.... It's just a matter of making the correctly angled cuts. It's not tough, but if you can't 'see' it before you do it, the hands won't make it happen... 8*)
Honestly though, you may not even need to angle them. Put the bottom of the posts a foot or so in the ground, and you'll only have the blind 8 feet in the air. Still notch the 4x4's, just straight cuts instead. Use the 2x4's to brace it well, maybe X them on the inside and outside of the 4x4's. You could use 1x4's also and use the 2x4's for your ladder.
Check the ILLINOIS State Site...I have a thread there with photo's as we have been building my wife one. The "thread" was started by someone else...I think it's "TOWER or BOXTYPE DEER STAND"! Good Luck guy's and it does get exspensive. But it'll last a lifetime I think.........Herm
We use 2 carriage bolts on each side connecting the 4x4 to the 2x6 (total of 4 per corner) one on top, one on bottom. Then we shim the top of the 4x4 with 1/2" plywood making sure the top carriage bolt goes through the plwood shim.
No shim on the bottom, using the carriage bolt to suck the 4x4 tight to the 2x6. This causes a consistant angle from both directions so long as your shims are the same size.
X bracing & a bottom brace around all 4 sides measure to make sure all is square. Assemble it on its side & stand up with the loader bucket on a tractor. Dig 4 post holes about 1.5-2 feet deep, walk the stand into the holes & backfill. Just make sure the bottoms of your holes are all at the same elevation or your stand will lean and it is tough to get the stand back out of the holes once it is set in. We have one that leans a little.
We also use rubber roofs, plexi glass windows and paint all of the blinds so they last a little longer.
You could have probably bought some used construction scaffolding off e-bay cheaper; put your box on top; and saved yourself a lot of grief. It's already engineered too. You wouldn't have to "make the sign of the cross" everytime you climbed it. (smile)
Does anyone have a good idea as to how high you can go with 4X4 posts. I priced out a tower stand using 6x6 but 4X4 would make it much cheaper if you want a tall tower.
I was also wondering if the height really should determine whether or not you need to angle your posts or just go straight down... I think if my tower was shorter than my stand or wider than my stand, then I could just use straight 4x4 posts... but I'm thinking I need to angle them since I'm putting a 6 foot box 10 foot in the air... but (for me) angling them seems like a difficult task.
If you're gonna go tall, just scrounge up some electrical power poles from a utility company. I had to rent a trackhoe to set them though 8^)
Black Locust also makes really good poles for these towers which is what I am going to use on the next one. There all over my farm and up to 50' tall. They hardly bear limbs at all.
I just received an e-mail from the manufacturer ([email protected]
) and he says you can order them direct for $65. I asked him about safety since I plan to use 16' treated 4x4s - still waiting, but he'll probably answer today.
I like the idea of shimming the post at the top on each side to get the angle - may do that, but will wait to see how they answer the safety question. Thanks for the tip!
Thanks for all the suggestions... I'm going put it up this weekend, so I can't order any of those fancy brackets to make it easier on me. It looks like I have about 3 options...
1) Angled legs with braces (no anchor or buried posts necessary) 2) Straight legs with braces and mobile home anchor 3) Straight legs with braces and buried posts
I'd like to go with option 1, but I have difficulty with angles... when I was framing my windows on the box, even though my angle cuts were perfect, I couldn't make a square frame to save my life... I kept having to shave the eges to get them to fit... took forever. With this tower, I won't really know if it's square until it goes up, and by that time it would be too late to make adjustments. If anyone can school me on how to do that, private message me and I'll give you my phone number to walk me through it... otherwise, I think I will go with the straight legs and mobile home anchor... will have to see how much those cost.
I got to be honest here, if your not good with the angled cuts, I don't think I'd go that route. It could get real frustrating. I think straight legs and some 3/16" cable with small anchors and turnbuckles are the way to go. It won't take much to stabilize such a small structure...
This is our project (Wifes Stand). Costly but nice and safe! I'm going to add a treated 2x4 ladder onto the deck up to the roof top. The Box is 8' x 8' and 8' tall! The platform is 7' off the ground.
Chris - did you get my PM? Shoot me your email & I'll forward you a line drawing of the legs/shims I described. Very easy to get a decent angle & you wont have to mess with cableing.
Cabling is a pain if you'll ever have to farm around it or just for walking into it in that dar in the AM.
Our box stands are all on angled 12' 4x4s set about 2' in the ground and they are very solid.
Got my response - 16' 4x4s w/brackets on a 8' square platform is safe.
The shim idea sounds easy. Just cut half inch shims and place them between the post (at the very top) and the box - easy. I have a power cross-cut saw and may just make angled shims so there's no dead space between the post and stringers/box; just sounds more solid.
I'll post pics when finished. You too Chris?
Hey, it just occurred to me I'll be tipping a 16' tower into place from flat on the ground. That may not be easy and I don't have a tractor. I do have a Polaris Sportsman 500 atv with a warren winch...maybe jack up the platform end and brace it up, pull back with the atv/winch while holding the other side from tipping all the way over with a second rope/cable?
Anybody ever stand up a 16' tall platform? Don't want to end up in one of those Darwin threads/emails.
Hey Bubba... Watch this!!!
We chain the stand to the bucket/fork attachement plate on a tractor and do a very controlled tip-up. Even at that when gravity takes over and the stand falls the last couple of feet it really jars the tractor.
16' legs, at least 6' of stand on top of it, thats a long ways up in the air. I'd build it in place up in the air before I attempted to lift it with an ATV & a winch. From my experience at least.
I see your point badlander. Probably wouldn't be able to move it anyway, so why not build it in place? Good Idea - set the 4 x 4's in concrete, plumb and straight,...could attach at least two of the end boards and set two posts at a time...gonna be hairy, but easier than tipping a 16' tower. Hmmmm...I'll give that some more thought.
I don't have time to build it right now with my son's allstar team - July belongs to baseball - but in two or three weeks (provided they lose some time soon) I could get to it.
Just curious, how much difference is there in tipping a 16' tower - vs - say a 12' tower? It sure would be nice to be able to build that platform on the ground.
badlander, You must have a small tractor. On our farm we use our cat 953 track loader and you wouldn't even know the stand is attached to the loader bucket. However you do need to be careful because you can do a lot of damage to your project if you are not careful while lifting the stand into place. The loader bucket also makes a handy work platform for any outside work on the stand. greg
Finished my tower and absolutely LOVE it! Should have done this years ago. I'm already tired of climbing the ladder, so in the spring I'll be adding a staircase.