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Projects for beginners, with or without trees

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Projects for beginners, with or without trees


Tools for treehouse construction

Treehouses involve lots of parts that need to be shaped and fixed together. Certain tools are essential, such as a saw, but due to the number of cuts involved some jobs are better done with powered tools. You don't need to have a fully equipped workshop to build a treehouse because they are usually not very complicated to construct. The key is to save time on repetitive tasks and ensure your measurements and angles stay accurate. You should be able to get all the tools you need to build for under $300. Cutting wood materials to size with a circular saw saves huge amounts of time and effort.

As well as time, accuracy is an important part of a successful treehouse. You need to be able to cut beams, joists and studs at a consistent 90° so they can join tightly together, so a speed square is better and faster than guessing by eye.

Hitachi cordless drill

Hitachi 18V Li-ion cordless drill

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An ideal drill for the majority of treehouse tasks, this is a great improvement over NiCd alternatives. It is compact, but still has plenty of torque for driving 4" screws and drilling ¾" bolt holes. The weight saving over a larger, NiCd-powered drill is worth it alone. It also comes with two batteries so you don't have to stop work when a battery needs to be recharged. For drilling larger holes into the tree for support bolts you will still need to use a corded drill, or heavy duty cordless drill.

Bosch cordless drill

Bosch 18V Li-ion cordless drill

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A similar drill to the Hitachi above, this is another compact Li-ion design from a reliable manufacturer.

Hitachi circular saw

Hitachi 7¼" circular saw

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Accurate and robust saw that will find many uses preparing materials. If you currently use a hand saw you will make huge time savings using a circular saw. Easy square cuts for supports and fast trimming of sheet materials for cladding the walls and roof.

DeWalt cordless saw

DeWalt 60V cordless circular saw

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A full sized cordless saw (7¼" blade) with two 60V li-ion batteries for plenty of torque. Considerably more expensive than the corded versions but ideal if your treehouse is in a remote location without power or a generator. Smaller cordless saws are only suited for lighter materials like plywood, but this will easily trim structural supports too.

Pair of saw horses

Folding sawhorses
$60 for two

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Lightweight and folds flat for storage, but with plenty of stability to support beams when making cuts. Can also be used to support a table to keep tools and parts off the ground.

Speed square

Swanson 7" speed square

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Important for marking straight end cuts on joists, beams, studs, etc. This square is marked with angle points so you can easily mark a 60° cut, for example.