Lee Valley Tools    Woodworking Newsletter
   Vol. 7, Issue 2
   November 2012
 
   The Story of the HemLoft
 

The HemLoft
A newfound obsession with wood and woodworking motivated Joel Allen to build the HemLoft, a tree house built in a remote, secret location in the mountain woods.

Wood, as innocuous as it may seem, possesses the power to make grown men do crazy things. My passion project was a streamlined egg-shaped tree house built in the backwoods of the ski-resort town of Whistler, British Columbia. Land in Whistler is highly coveted and commensurately expensive, so I decided to look for a spot in the woods. It took me two months of tramping through the forest to find the perfect tree in the perfect top-secret location.

My design goal was to avert the clunky understructure of beams and joists that burden traditional tree houses. I had toyed with a number of design ideas, but none of them stuck until a friend suggested an egg shape. I was captivated. It seemed unusual, elegant and most important, the structure could be tidily concealed within the form. Despite my lack of experience, I could hardly wait to start building it!

Location and Design
The chosen location for the tree house was on government land, about a five-minute walk from the nearest road. Because of my challenge-driven personality, the logistics of building an experimental orb in a tree standing on a sheer slope with no access to electrical power didn't daunt me. Building secretly on land I didn't own posed an entirely different challenge. None of the practicalities seemed to matter though when measured against the excitement of a forbidden treasure in the woods.

I started late in the summer of 2008 and worked like a demon to complete the structure before winter swept in. It was designed to be a cage of curved ribs encompassing a single tree and intersected by a floor. The floor was intended to hang between the ribs and the tree. I first built a provisional one using temporary knee braces to give myself a level surface to work on. Before the permanent floor was built, I lost more than a few tools and many hours chasing my belongings down the steep slope and onto the boulder field below.
 
 
               
Previous Page
Go to page:
1
Next Page
 
   Other Articles from this Issue
 
     
 
  • Build Your Own Cajón Drum
         
     
  • Return to Newsletter Home
         
     
        What's New in Woodworking
     
    Veritas® Prairie Dog™ Chain-Saw Multi-Tool Wera® Screw Grabbers Wera Kraftform Kompakt 50®
     
    Veritas®
    Prairie Dog™
    Chain-Saw
    Multi-Tool
    Wera®
    Screw Grabbers
    Wera Kraftform
    Kompakt 50®
     
        What's New in Gifts
     
    Veritas® P1027 Plumb Bob Britannia Compendium of Games Ripple Towels Veritas® Miniature Block Plane
     
    Veritas® P1027
    Plumb Bob
    Compendium
    of Games
    Ripple
    Towels
    Veritas® Miniature
    Block Plane
        News & Events  
     
     
         Christmas Catalogs
     
     
        Features
     
      From the Collection
     
      Featured Patents
     
      From the Archive
     
      Customer Letters
     
      What Is It?
     
        Subscriber Services
     
     
     
      Subscribe

    Privacy Policy

    Newsletter Archive