Steps to Installing a TAB
- 1. Determine the desired height of your platform at the point of attachment.
- 2. Determine the distance between the center of the TAB and the top of the floor. This may include the thickness of flooring, joists, beams, a bracket, and half the TAB’s perch, to be very precise!
- 3. Mark the center of the hole temporarily with a nail or screw.
- 4. If you need to mark any other holes on the other side of the tree or on other trees, do this now. If there is a straight line of sight from one TAB to another, then any standard level with a long straight edge will do. Otherwise, a water level (clear tube with water in it) will help you find level around corners.
- 5. Double check level before drilling (worth the time to avoid a critical mistake).
- 6. Prepare to drill. Use ladders & scaffolding, and/or safety ropes as necessary. A high torque drill is required, and as a result, make sure you are in a good position to safely handle all of the torque. It actually saves time to get set up properly before drilling.
- 7. Set up a guide line, if desired. Tie a string around the tree just above where you’re going to drill. Then stretch and tie it off in the direction that you want the perch of the TAB to stick out when you’re done. Use the line as a guide to aim your drill properly left to right.
- 8. Drill the 3” hole with a self feeding timber bit. I like the Milwaukee, but other manufacturers make similar models. For a 1x6 TAB, you’ll drill in about ¾” to 1” past the cambium layer of the tree (into the sapwood). For other larger TABs, you may drill farther, but there is no table for depth as it should be determined by the overall engineering plan of your treehouse.
- 9. Drill a 1 1/8” hole 2” deep.
- 10. Drill the 1” hole with a long ship auger bit. Before drilling, put a torpedo level on the bit to make sure you are drilling level. Also sight off the string you set in step #7. Drill to 6.25” deep past the 3” hole, to ensure that the back of the collar installs tight to the 3” hole.
- 11. Install the TAB. Turn it clockwise, the first few turns by hand. Then use either a large pipe wrench or a ¾” drive socket wrench with a 1 7/8” socket. Each tool has it’s drawbacks. The pipe wrench can damage the powder coat on the perch, so be prepared to file if necessary and touch up with black paint. The socket wrench can put the nut on so tightly that it is hard to remove – so put the bracket on before turning the TAB into the tree.
This is one tried and true method for installing Treehouse Attachment Bolts by Treehouse Supplies, Inc. We also have phone support if you have any trouble or further questions with installing your TABs!
Watch the below video for a visual demonstration for installing a TAB.