Need help with a tower structure

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.

Need help with a tower structure

Postby shiznicks1 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:26 pm

Hello all! This year I plan on bringing a van with a roofrack to the playa. I think it would be much better with a small lookout tower attached to the roofrack. Nothing too crazy, maybe ten feet high or so. And of course, I need to be able to break it down so I can transport it. This will be my first structure, so I want to keep it easy and safe. Anybody have any advice on this? Ever put one up before? I think scaffolding might be the way to go, but I am open to ANY ideas or advice. Thanks!
shiznicks1
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 5:53 pm
Location: Corona, Ca

Postby EspressoDude » Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:35 pm

scaffolding is way too heavy to put on a van roof. look at hunting stands at herters, cabella's, etc

you won't get something on a van roof that will hold more than 1 - 2 people.

the problem will the attachment to the roof rack
Is 4 shots enuff? no foo-foo drinks; just naked Espresso
Tactical Espresso Service http://home.comcast.net/~espressocamp/
Field Artillery Tractor
FOGBANK, GOD OF HELLFIRE
BLACK ROCK f/x Trojan Horse,Anubis,2014Temple
burn shit and blow shit up
User avatar
EspressoDude
 
Posts: 4713
Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:30 pm
Location: the first Vancouver

Postby shiznicks1 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:50 pm

Ya maybe wood will be a better option. I was looking at some hunting stands and they look pretty simple and cheap to make. I would like something to attach to the roof rack though. I guess I should wait until I have the vehicle with rack to actually plan. Im just excited and trying to get the brainstorming going. But if I did scaffolding, it would only have to be four supports, crossmembers, and a platform on top. I cant imagine it would be too heavy. Only a few people would be on it at a time. It will be a former school district vehicle, and they usually put pretty beefy roof rack on them.
shiznicks1
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 5:53 pm
Location: Corona, Ca

Postby Ugly Dougly » Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:23 pm

Google up "Boy scout pioneering". Lots of ideas for wooden towers.

Strap it down to the ground, or the wind will take it.
Please to visit PAGE TWO.
User avatar
Ugly Dougly
 
Posts: 16302
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 9:31 am
Location: San Jose, CA
Burning Since: 1996

Postby shiznicks1 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 3:28 pm

Oh wow! I guess I never got that badge haha. Thanks for the amazing and probable resource!
shiznicks1
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 5:53 pm
Location: Corona, Ca

Postby Ugly Dougly » Wed Jan 27, 2010 5:32 pm

Probably amazing:
http://www.pioneeringprojects.org/resources/index.htm
:)

Maybe I will make a City Park for the Metropolis citizens.

Or a wild space preserve, fence off a square of Virgin Playa for the tourists to be amazed at.
Please to visit PAGE TWO.
User avatar
Ugly Dougly
 
Posts: 16302
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 9:31 am
Location: San Jose, CA
Burning Since: 1996

Postby shiznicks1 » Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:20 pm

Cow stanchions!!! The things cows put their heads through to eat hay. My friends dairy closed down and they have a bunch that I might be able to buy for scrap steel prices! Hopefully this will work out, theyll be perfect. Cheap, sturdy, easy to build and collapse, and safe. Fingers crossed
shiznicks1
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 5:53 pm
Location: Corona, Ca

Postby TomServo » Wed Jan 27, 2010 7:52 pm

Wood is on the heavy side, but I've used it with good results. And, oddly enough, it was next to, but tied TO my van and the roof rack. Maybe a 4'x4'x10' tower? Using 4x4 supports, 2x6 horizontal beams, 2x4 decking and the steel framing parts, that almost always seems to be by HomeDepot's restrooms.
I buried each support leg about 3 inches into the playa, but also had tarp walls. Went to work a shift at the DMV, before tying it all to my van. And when I returned, a few hours later, my camp had sailed, about one foot...digging a foot long trench at each leg.
I hate em, but use serious guylines! Best of luck!

P.s. this was built on the playa
anything worth doing..is worth overdoing

Vor Gebrauch Sprengkapsel einsetzen
User avatar
TomServo
 
Posts: 6017
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 2:17 pm
Location: Marshalltown, Iowa
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: BloodBath&Beyond

Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:14 am

Guylines can be bothersome but necessary on tall structures.
How about rebar candycane secured at the base of the posts?
Please to visit PAGE TWO.
User avatar
Ugly Dougly
 
Posts: 16302
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 9:31 am
Location: San Jose, CA
Burning Since: 1996

Postby TomServo » Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:23 pm

I've thought of driving rebar, next to each support leg...duct tape it all to gether, and no digging. I use t posts the same way with my canopy...no guylines needed. But then its not a tower.
Had a silly idea of taping foam rubber pipe insulation, about neck height, on the guylines, to prevent nasty rope burns. Its one more thing to bring, but I really hate guylines.
anything worth doing..is worth overdoing

Vor Gebrauch Sprengkapsel einsetzen
User avatar
TomServo
 
Posts: 6017
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 2:17 pm
Location: Marshalltown, Iowa
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: BloodBath&Beyond

Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:25 pm

Hang some colorful flags on them.
Please to visit PAGE TWO.
User avatar
Ugly Dougly
 
Posts: 16302
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 9:31 am
Location: San Jose, CA
Burning Since: 1996

Postby TomServo » Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:30 pm

Or that.... if a full sized van's involved, it can probably be done without guylines..just not on top of the van.
anything worth doing..is worth overdoing

Vor Gebrauch Sprengkapsel einsetzen
User avatar
TomServo
 
Posts: 6017
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 2:17 pm
Location: Marshalltown, Iowa
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: BloodBath&Beyond

Postby mdmf007 » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:31 pm

10 feet isnt too tall at all.

Build a four legged structure, and splay the legs out at 25 or more degrees, and you wont even need guy lines.
User avatar
mdmf007
Moderator
 
Posts: 4771
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:32 pm
Location: my computer
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: ESD

Postby TomServo » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:36 pm

Its suitable for a watch tower. I wanted to build a shower on a scissor lift..or maybe a gradall..



But then Pape material handling fired me...no free rentals
anything worth doing..is worth overdoing

Vor Gebrauch Sprengkapsel einsetzen
User avatar
TomServo
 
Posts: 6017
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 2:17 pm
Location: Marshalltown, Iowa
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: BloodBath&Beyond

Postby brigitami » Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:50 pm

I need to build a tower (not on a van) and i need cheap & easy and, as much as I would like to be, I'm certainly no boy scout :)

so, what IS the deal with scaffolding? There's certainly a lot of it around (both on playa and in this world). My friend said its easy to put up.....but how high can i safely go? and you think guylines & rebar candy canes would do the trick? (because i can practice putting it up here but i won't know if it will hold out there with the high winds)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Heather the Goat
Campoline---going Hobo for 2010
8:30 & portapotty

"If you are not sure if its portapotty safe then just eat the MOOP"
User avatar
brigitami
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:54 am

Postby mdmf007 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:22 pm

When supported against a building, you can take scaffolding 30 - 40 stories high easily.

Unsupported it is still very stable, but needs to be anchored somehow. I would go more than 2 sections high freestanding, after that I would anchor into the ground, guy wires, or build a scaffolding structure with a larger footprint.

Scaffolding can be rented pretty cheap weekly, but it still adds up quickly when you add all the little parts in and sections.
User avatar
mdmf007
Moderator
 
Posts: 4771
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:32 pm
Location: my computer
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: ESD

Postby Bob » Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:23 pm

One tier of scaffold can kill someone if it topples over. Don't fuck around.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

"Let us say I suggest you may be human." -- Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam
User avatar
Bob
 
Posts: 6762
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 10:00 am
Location: San Francisco
Burning Since: 1986
Camp Name: Royaneh

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:01 pm

Once again, thank you Bob.
Simon's real sig line?

Embrace the Sock

Winners never quilt, quilters never win...
User avatar
theCryptofishist
 
Posts: 37396
Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2004 10:28 am
Location: In Exile
Burning Since: 2017

Postby TomServo » Sun Jan 31, 2010 1:25 am

brigitami wrote:I need to build a tower (not on a van) and i need cheap & easy and, as much as I would like to be, I'm certainly no boy scout :)

so, what IS the deal with scaffolding? There's certainly a lot of it around (both on playa and in this world). My friend said its easy to put up.....but how high can i safely go? and you think guylines & rebar candy canes would do the trick? (because i can practice putting it up here but i won't know if it will hold out there with the high winds)


The Sportsman's Guide sells a 13 foot tripod stand for about $160. It has a capacity of 300lbs, so is one person only. Even has a padded swivel seat. As mdmf007 made mention of, it has slanted legs, so guy lines probably aren't needed. But for shits n giggles, id use em. I'm sure a small art car could knock it over. For an extra $50 they sell 3foot extensions, so 16 foot overall.
anything worth doing..is worth overdoing

Vor Gebrauch Sprengkapsel einsetzen
User avatar
TomServo
 
Posts: 6017
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 2:17 pm
Location: Marshalltown, Iowa
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: BloodBath&Beyond

Postby brigitami » Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:32 pm

The Sportsman's Guide sells a 13 foot tripod stand for about $160. It has a capacity of 300lbs, so is one person only. Even has a padded swivel seat.


I would need something that could hold more people. My objective is to provide a beacon for the lost & weary as well as being a nice place to share a sunrise with folks.

I would have smart & capable people with me to help put it up. I don't want anything fancy muckin' up our hobo jungle so the more it looks like it was pulled out of the trash heap the better. (now if I could somehow make it look like an abandoned traincar.......)

My boyfriend was thinking the double tower scaffolding with a plank joining the two would provide more support but that sounds more involved than what we may have the capability of doing.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Heather the Goat
Campoline---going Hobo for 2010
8:30 & portapotty

"If you are not sure if its portapotty safe then just eat the MOOP"
User avatar
brigitami
 
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:54 am

Postby shiznicks1 » Thu Feb 04, 2010 10:51 am

Pallet racking! Just came up on some for free and each tier can hold around 5000lbs. For those looking for something easy to set up and very safe, look into it. You can get it used for pretty cheap. Google/craigslist, used pallet racking.
shiznicks1
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 5:53 pm
Location: Corona, Ca

Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:30 pm

Something like this?

Image

Not to rain on your parade, if it's used, it may not be safe to hold anthing? ;)
Caveat your emptor, you know. Do a load-test with the neighbor's kids first.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pallet_rack
But, yeah, it would bet leet to cover something like this with tarps or painted sheets. Make for a sort of urban look.
Please to visit PAGE TWO.
User avatar
Ugly Dougly
 
Posts: 16302
Joined: Wed Sep 10, 2003 9:31 am
Location: San Jose, CA
Burning Since: 1996

Postby Bob » Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:48 am

Pallet rack is probably more than twice as heavy as steel scaffold. If you happen to bring it, use lock nuts, and stake the legs & guy it off same as with scaffold so it doesn't blow over.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

"Let us say I suggest you may be human." -- Reverend Mother Gaius Helen Mohiam
User avatar
Bob
 
Posts: 6762
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2003 10:00 am
Location: San Francisco
Burning Since: 1986
Camp Name: Royaneh

Postby mdmf007 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:58 am

Bob wrote:One tier of scaffold can kill someone if it topples over. Don't fuck around.


3/4s of the shit at Bm can kill you. Clandestine firework shows (commercial grade stuff) unlicensed home buuilt pressurized flammable gas guns, MV's built in a garage by someone who knows nothing about building anything, 250KW generators with jury rigged power distribution, food from strangers, drinks from strangers, heavy equipment bopping around at night.

Scaffolding is EVERYWHERE at BM, Do it smartly and your fine.
User avatar
mdmf007
Moderator
 
Posts: 4771
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:32 pm
Location: my computer
Burning Since: 1999
Camp Name: ESD

Postby Sail Man » Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:34 am

brigitami wrote:My objective is to provide a beacon for the lost & weary as well as being a nice place to share a sunrise with folks.


If your idea is to place a beacon atop a tower that will guide home your peeps, realize you'll be competing with thousands of other beacons. Therefore shoot for something totally unique. Something that would never be seen, or has never been done at Burning Man before. Maybe something like this:































Image

Oh, wait. That's already been done. Well, never mind.

Next!
:lol:
Excuse me Ma'am, your going to feel a small prick.
_______________________________________

Algorithms never survive the first thirty seconds of patient contact
User avatar
Sail Man
 
Posts: 4500
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:03 am
Location: 20 Minutes into the Future
Burning Since: 2008
Camp Name: Kidsville: Delicious

Postby dragonfly Jafe » Fri Feb 05, 2010 12:44 pm

The suspension of your van will make the tower wobbly, especially if you plan on driving with it attached. If you will leave it parked, consider jacking the car up on each corner and adding jack-stands underneath supporting the frame. This will eliminate any sway associated with the suspension.

Bamboo is very light and strong, and can be tied together into fairly robust forms. A strong roof rack along with a bamboo truss structure should allow 1-2 people up top...
Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
Arthur Schopenhauer
dragonfly Jafe
 
Posts: 1882
Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 11:08 am
Location: the Oregon Trail

Postby shiznicks1 » Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:22 pm

Ya its exactly like that pallet racking. Its no longer going on my van, that was a terrible idea, but a spur of the moment one. It will be on the ground staked in and tied off. The last thing I want to be responsible for is harming someone or their property. Its heavy, but will def do the job. and its wayy easy to set up and take down. I really like the idea of hanging tarps and sheets from it, I cant wait!
Interloper Camp 2010, come one, come all
shiznicks1
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 5:53 pm
Location: Corona, Ca

Postby Captain Goddammit » Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:26 pm

A structure on top of a van isn't that terrible an idea, you get about a 6 or 7 foot height head-start, so your tower doesn't have to be as tall to achieve the same altitude. If you have a stout one-ton van it should be sturdy enough, otherwise Dragonfly Jafe is right on with the idea to use jacks under the van; they sell inexpensive little screw-top tripod jacks intended for stabilizing camper trailers that would be perfect. Until I had a one-ton truck, I used to use them under my pickup camper setup while parked at BM. Sometimes the camper didn't stay very still... dunno why that was happening... ahem.

The big make-or-break about the van-top idea is how you attach it. If your rack clamps to the drip rails, I'd be uneasy about the whole idea, but if it has plates bolted through the outer edges of the roof you'll be fine.

I always wanted to build a 2-man "Tuna Tower" on top of my Land Yacht from well-triangulated 3/4 electrical conduit, but the boat is an almost tricycle design with the front wheels only a foot apart and stability would be a huge problem.
"Whaoomph! Whaomph! Burbbleburbblepattpattpattpatt... WHAAAAAaaoooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa........!!!"
Top fuel dragster, by Elliot Naess
User avatar
Captain Goddammit
 
Posts: 4494
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 9:34 am
Location: Seattle, WA
Burning Since: 2000
Camp Name: Camp Fuck The Vehicle Passes


Return to Shelter & Camping

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests