Bicycle Powered Tree House Elevator (Version 1.5)

If you have been following the treehouse world for at least a little while, you may have already seen this peculiar, yet practical, invention by Ethan Schlussler.

After building his treehouse nearly 30 feet up a tree, and getting tired of climbing a ladder “six and a half million times” a day, Ethan Schlussler built a bike lift for easier access. Designed for up and down along a chain, the bike elevator is activated when you pedal.

He was even nice enough to answer some frequently asked questions:

  1. How do you get off at the top? Very simple: I step off the bicycle, and onto the treehouse. Since the first video I made, I have cut a section out of the (temporary) railing to make this easier.
  2. What happens if you forget to anchor the bike at the bottom? It would go flying back to the top, but I can’t imagine how I could possible forget to do that, because it would be pretty obvious when getting off that something was wrong. But even if I did manage to do that, there will always be a ladder of some sort for backup.
  3. What if you fall/is that safe? Of course it’s not “safe”, but neither is walking across the street. That said, almost every part of the system is many times stronger than necessary, and there is no single part that would make it free fall if it broke. And even if it did fall, I would most likely survive; it’s only 28 feet (at most).
  4. Can you give us a tour of the tree house? Yes, as soon as it is finished.
  5. Can you do a tutorial? I could, but I think that would not be necessary. If you are capable of figuring out how it works (mostly from looking at it), then you can probably build this for yourself. And if you are not that capable, you probably shouldn’t be trying to build something like this…

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