Pulley & Bucket
Two G.I Joes to beam up, Scotty
Pulleys are one of the six simple machines we use everyday to make our lives easier. Found in cars, cranes, ships, elevators and the extension ladder in your garage, it was only a matter of time before someone decided to tie a bucket to one end and use it to hoist their priceless valuables up into a treehouse. I couldn't help but laugh when I once saw a child put the family cat into one and lift it into the air toward the treehouse above.
Rope goes down, toys go up!
A pulley & bucket installation is one, if not the most common accessory I have seen on any treehouse; why do you think that is? Is it their uncomplicated and inexpensive design? The fun your kids will have finding all the things they love come up to meet them in their clubhouse? Maybe it's that pulley & buckets really provide a practical, safe use: allowing your kids to have their hands free while climbing up and down their treehouse. Hopefully, you have handles or a firm place to grab hold of when entering or exiting your treehouse, but what good are they if your hands are full of Barbie dolls and Tonka trucks? A Pulley & bucket will keep those redundant item carrying trips to a minimum and those hands in the ready for whatever adventure your little ones are currently set off on. To read more about treehouse safety, visit my treehouse safety page.
We're going to need a bigger bucket...
If the idea of a simple pulley & bucket system seems like it has much more potential, it does! Depending on where your treehouse is, a rope can be connect from the treehouse to a bedroom or kitchen window to deliver toys, snacks or cloths.
Are you and your friends getting a little hungry? Just give your mom a ring and in 5 minutes those delicious baloney sandwiches are scurrying along to your treehouse window, waiting to be devoured by the famished bunch.
If you're afraid that weight is going to be a problem with your pulley & bucket system with all that stuff getting movie around in the bucket, I suggest using a counterweight or compound pulley set-up. Check out this Wiki to see what I'm talking about.
You don't have to have a mailbox post or roof rafter to mount your pulley & bucket. Just tie the pulley to an overhanging branch and run your rope through that. Make sure to keep the knot a bit loose to allow that branch to grow.