Making a cargo net for treehouse

Started by Okanagan, May 05, 2022, 10:17:55 PM

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My son wants a cargo net for his grandsons and my great grandsons to climb up.  It will be attached to the treehouse in a huge cedar tree in our shared yard.  I said, "Sure, I know how to make net knots."   :laf: :confused:

In half inch diameter polyester rope, it turned into a bigger project than I expected but is fun and I'm 3/4 done.   It took a lot more measuring and calculating than I expected, including how much length of rope each knot adds to each cross piece.   We went with half inch to make it easy for the boys to grab, though smaller diameter would be plenty strong. 

Both sides of the cargo net knot, below.

Tree and a bit of the treehouse.  My grandkids enjoyed it all of the years they were growing up and now it is being refurbished for another generation. 


That is one well used and tired looking tire swing.

Hawks Feather

That cargo net you are making is really impressive - very tight and evenly spaced. The half-inch material might be overkill for their weight, but I am sure that the kids will like grabbing that more than a smaller diameter. Speaking of diameter, that tree looks HUGE!


That tree is magnificent! What species is that? Kudos on the net from an ex commercial fisherman :yoyo:


Quote from: nastygunz on May 06, 2022, 07:30:14 AM
That tree is magnificent! What species is that? Kudos on the net from an ex commercial fisherman :yoyo:

The tree is Western red cedar, best known in shakes and shingles.  A tree expert told us that he thinks it is seven cedar saplings grown together into one main trunk with a bunch of separate tree trunks that divide and keep going straight up.

I just did a conservative estimeasure and it is at least nine feet diameter above the swell of the roots and probably quite a bit more. 

Thanks re the knots and net:  my first.  A big factor was making the openings too small for a little kid to get his head through one of the squares.  I measured, tried my first row on the head of the littlest kid, then tore it out and made it smaller.  I made a size gauge like I've seen old Indian ladies use and checked each side of each square.  This a different knot and different technique from gill nets and usual fishing nets I've seen, no net needle on this, just fingers and pull tight.


I'm thinking you don't need to wear slip on shoes like some of us. :doh2:
I say what I think not think what I say.


Hawks Feather

I didn't think about one of the kids getting hung up in the net. Just one more reason, besides not being talented enough, that I should stay away from things like this. I do like the looks of it though.


Got the first section of net up today.  Am expecting to add more net another 12-15 feet around the curve of the treehouse platform, to the left in the photo below.  Will probably go with 3/8 inch rope, 4800 lb. breaking strength, much lower cost and easier to work with.  This first section of half inch will be the main place to climb up.  The net angles out from top to bottom so it is not a vertical climb till near the top, and if a kid falls, the net catches him and he rolls down it.

As the pic below shows, the top end ropes of the net go through 5/8 inch holes in the treehouse floor joist (?) with a knot on the end to secure them to the treehouse.

Five little kids from 15 months old to about 5 or 6 discovered the net today and loved it.  Gotta get more safety net up, but the ground is pretty soft deep duff and bark debris, not too bad to land on from 6 or seven foot drop. 

Hawks Feather

Looks great installed and it is even better that it is already being inspected. Looks like it passed the 'Kid Approved' inspection.


Nicely done, sir! I made a short rope ladder for a tree house once. It was a lot of work, and took way more rope than I expected.  :doh2:

NRA Life Member

"On the plains of hesitation bleach the bones of countless millions who, at the dawn of decision, sat down to wait, and waiting died." - Sam Ewing


Quote from: coyote101 on May 09, 2022, 12:00:11 PM
Nicely done, sir! I made a short rope ladder for a tree house once. It was a lot of work, and took way more rope than I expected.  :doh2:


Thank you! 

Yep, it was amazing to me how much length of rope this net sucks up.  There is nearly 400 feet of rope in this net shown below.  My son and everybody likes the half inch polyester so we will pay a little more and stay with that to extend the net another 7 feet on around the tree to the left.  Once the kids discovered it they didn't play with anything else and eventually had to be ordered down.  Three kids from another family were visiting after church and their little girl scrambled all over it. 

Will add the complete pic below of the 14 month old great grandson.