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This is  Derek “Deek” Diedricksen’s last video for us. And it’s…a little different. He pokes fun at his rather sketchy looking single-pole tree house, which he jokingly has dubbed “The Lollipop Fort Of Death.” It looks less than safe, but he insists it is. The song he wrote about it sure is catchy.

Have a look and a listen:

If you want to build your own Lollipop Fort Of Death here’s how Deek did it:

Basically, I was messing around with a concept for inner-city kids who might want a tree house-like experience, fort-wise, but might not have access to trees on their lot, and might additionally be dealing with limited space.

Its a real simple project, like most of my others, and I began by simply setting a long 6″ by 6″ pressure treated post a little over three feet into the ground, and anchoring it in place with a few bags of concrete. Once this pole was plumb and set, I then took a small plywood base I had prefabricated, and spaced/built its joists so that they tightly cradled, or hugged, the post. After raising this platform and screwing and gluing (construction adhesive) it in place, I then added four simple 45 degree knee-braces beneath it to not only stabilize it, but strengthen the platform too (it worked very well- Hurricane Sandy gave us 70 mph gusts of wind and this thing came out unscathed). After this, it was just a matter of screwing four simple, pre-built, walls into place, one of them containing a viewing window (free from the side of the road), and another a small homemade half-door (built from scrap wood I had laying around). These walls, so as to keep the structure strong, but light, were framed out with simple 1.5″ by 1.5″ lumber, and then “skinned”, or covered, with light, but strong (enough) tongue and groove cedar. Pine or plywood would work well, and normally be less expensive, but I happened to have a pile of Vermont White Cedar on hand (from a really affordable mill called Goodridge Lumber in Albany, VT (I get asked ALL the time)).

The Roof: It’s a simple one-pitch set-up, made from 2 by 4′s clad with rough cedar (1″ thick) and set to create some rain coverage on the front and back of the structure as well. Since the rooftop was a good 13′ in the air, and wouldn’t be seen, I covered it with mere tar paper. Ideally, metal roofing, or corrugated plastic (Tuftex) would be preferred, but I had a roll of tar paper I was looking to use up, and it works well enough…..and that’s the gist of this one.

All in all, I weigh about 220 pounds, and this thing has held me without problems, I’ve even stood atop the roof for a few photo shoots, and while it may wobble a little in that case, its handled a top heavy load without problems.

Stett Holbrook

Stett is a senior editor at MAKE with abiding interest in food and drink, bicycles, woodworking, and environmentally sound human enterprises. He is the father of two young makers.

He is also the co-creator of Food Forward, a documentary TV series for PBS about the innovators and pioneers changing our food system.

Contact Stett with tips and story ideas on:

*Food
*Sustainable/green design
*Science
*Young Makers
*Action sports


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Comments

  1. Disappointed. I like the little house videos so far… BUT I am sure parents like myself will really like their kids reading Make’s blog and seeing this video by accident and seeing something that they don’t want their kids seeing. A** and Middle finger is not what I expected. Big Disappointment. Free speech is good.. but do you really absolutely need to say it that way to get your point across?

    1. chuck says:

      I understand where you’re coming from, but in an internet world that has Stormfront, 4chan, and an endless pornucopia of every rule 34 possibility, this is the mildest of the mild (except maybe Hello Kitty Island Adventure). I personally prefer parental control and communication over a watered down ‘safe’ online experience.

      1. Robert Britt says:

        Great video. Made me laugh and share.. This would probably be a child’s initial exposure to a middle finger, as this is, I think the first one on-line.

      2. tylerh says:

        If you’re only interested in appealing to people like yourself, great. But if you want your videos to have an impact on other people’s children, you are probably going to be more successful if you are sensitive to other people’s sensibilities.

      3. You can be funny without being profane. I assume wrongly that Make is one of the safe sites that I can trust to NOT have to go through with a fine tooth comb. Deek can make what ever videos he wants. Make and specifically Mr. Holbrook should maybe put an alert as to this video’s contents are not for your 5 year old who likes to read the Make blog. Have some common sense. You don’t expect Yo Gabba Gabba to suddenly start dropping F bombs in their videos on Netflix do you? This is especially true now that Make is promoting child participation with their Maker scouts. I don’t let my young children read HackADay because I know what I can expect from HAD however Make presents themselves as child friendly and now I know I can expect from Make too. I have had similar issues with Make’s content before (grafitti law breaking projects) but at least there was no profanity in them. I am just disappointed big time.

  2. tyson says:

    You should stick with the format you have used for previous videos…I enjoy those. This one was dumb.

  3. chuck says:

    I just found myself in the shower singing ‘Lollipop Fort of Death’. Thanks a lot for the earworm, Deek! Now I have to listen to ‘Loving You’ by Minnie Riperton to flush it out, but then that gets stuck and I’ll have to play ‘Walking on Sunshine’ and on and on in a vicious circle.
    Then wintertime rolls around and the gorillas simply freeze to death.

    1. relaxshax says:

      Lol….thanks man….check out my other tune “pickle jar window” on itunes……possibly another future music video……

  4. ameyring says:

    Why is this Deek’s last video for MAKE?

  5. Kenn Oldfield says:

    Excellent fort. Where did you get the Sleestak mask?

  6. Goli Mohammadi says:

    Big up, Deek! Personally, I think the video is hilarious as always, and I respect Deek’s right as an artist and maker to PLAY. We’ll miss you Deek! <3

  7. relaxshax says:

    For the record, there is no middle finger in this video…. And to Goli and others who dug/saw the video as mere self-deprecating fun, thank you. Yes, my last video for Make….thanks for the fun/good run! And Tyson, the video IS supposed to be dumb….I wasn’t going for “Scientific America” with it…..lol…..but thanks for checking the videos out. -Deek

  8. Flash Bazbo says:

    no middle finger, just a lad holding two nails.
    said the word ‘ass’ shock
    dude this was cool.
    def earworm material

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