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Leveling posts for a deer stand

 
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I've got a plan to build a deer stand on some new property I have purchased.  My problem is. I cant figure how to make the tops of the 6x6 posts so they are all level.  There are 3 rows of 3 posts.  They are going to be cemented into the ground.  And that's where I'm at a loss...they all have to be at the same height in order for the platform on top to be level.  I just can't seem to figure out how??
 
pollinator
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- Run either a string line with a line level between the posts,
- A  water level or a lazer level across the area.
Posts are normally concreted in place, cement is an additive to concrete!
 
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Building isn't my strong suit, but we have to do stuff like this on the farm a lot.

Make the posts longer (like a foot) than the goal.  Burry one end in the ground.

Tie a string at the right height on one of the polls, then useing a level (like a bricklayer might have) that hangs on the string, or set up a plumbob, take the string to the next post (one end is still tied to the first post) and you can tell what height using the level.  I tie the string around all of them, making any needed adjustments.  Mark the posts.  use saw to cut to the correct height.  

I suspect there are higher-tech ways of doing it.  I just use the pumbob because there's always something on hand I can hang from a bit of string.  
 
r ranson
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I also should mention, sometimes post settle or move if we don't build on them right away, so we usually level them off just before building or putting up the fenceboards or whatever.  
 
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Depending on how you plan to build the platform, you may not have to get the heights extremely close. Usually the boards that attach to them can even it out to be level.

9 6x6s would be quite stout, unless it's a very large stand. Are you sure you need them? If you are purchasing lumber, they are astronomical right now.
 
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Agreed, thats a lot of posts. You could park a Volkswagen on top. How high and how far apart?
 
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The other way is to level the bottom of the holes.

Put something at the bottom that will take the weight, flat block maybe, set the posts,
should be within 1/2 inch height of each other at top.
 
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I think it depends how the structure sits on those posts.  I'm guessing they'll be high in the air so a bit of a pain to get to.  I'd aim to get them close (within 4").

If they need to be level, start with the lowest one and use a long enough level that can reach the two nearest posts and use that to mark a level spot on those.  Cut them off with a chainsaw or other saw, then move on to the ones after that.

If the tree stand base is a frame of joists that lag bolt onto those posts, the height of the posts doesn't matter (as long as it's close).  Just attach the joists to the posts so they are level and cut off any post that sticks out above them.

I agree that 9 6x6s is extremely overkill for anything but a tiny home on stilts.  Most I see have 4 4x4s holding them up.
 
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You shouldn't need more than 4 posts, but regardless, the top of the posts don't need to be level at first. After setting the posts, run a string line around the perimeter at the desired height of the rim joists, level using a line level, and mark the locations on the posts. You can then cut off the posts at the correct height.
 
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I tend to agree with Sam.  To up the thought a notch, I am having trouble seeing why it needs to be level.   I agree, it doesn’t need to be at a 45 degree angle, but eyeballing it would be adequate for my purposes.  
 
Cheryl Oleheiser
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Well, I'm following a plan.  Its an 8x8 stand, built for 2 or 3 hunters.  So the plans call for 6x6.  Think 4x4 would be ok??  Yes, I know concrete...guess I just use them interchanging.  The height was/is my main concern....LOL...I just figured I was missing  how to get them level...I couldn't wrap my brain around any way, except climbing up and cutting them.  Thought maybe you all might have a trick I was missing!
 
Cheryl Oleheiser
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Oh!  They are 8ft posts, buried 2 ft.
 
Sam Benson
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Cheryl Oleheiser wrote:Well, I'm following a plan.  Its an 8x8 stand, built for 2 or 3 hunters.  So the plans call for 6x6.  Think 4x4 would be ok??  Yes, I know concrete...guess I just use them interchanging.  The height was/is my main concern....LOL...I just figured I was missing  how to get them level...I couldn't wrap my brain around any way, except climbing up and cutting them.  Thought maybe you all might have a trick I was missing!



I'm curious to see the plans and also curious to know where you got them. There should be no reason to have a post in the center of the stand. And nine 6x6 posts is extremely overkill. I am no structural engineer, but I'm 99.9% sure you should only need four 4x4 posts. Attach joists to those for your floor. Connect the posts to each other with cross braces for stability. I hope this helps. Good luck, be careful, and have fun!
 
Jordan Holland
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It's difficult to envision without seeing the plan ourselves. If the posts are too tall for you to cut, you can make a mark, say, 4' from the bottom of each post and use those marks to check level rather than the tops of the posts.

I agree there is not usually a reason to have a post in the middle, and an 8' span isn't really all that much to need supports halfway between the corner posts. Usually, 4 posts of sufficient strength would be used for the corners, and the rest of the structure (mainly joists) would be scaled up to however strong they need to be to support the load. I suspect 2x8s would be sufficient for that span, but you could use 2x10s or 2x12s if you want it stronger. The joist spacing is also something to consider. More joists is sturdier.

It seems a bit short unless the platform sits right on top of the posts. Is there a rail around it? If so, the posts themselves would typically be tall enough to support the rail. It's difficult to imagine the design here based on any type of construction I have ever seem. Is this plan posted online somewhere we can see?
 
Cheryl Oleheiser
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I think this is the link to the plan

https://myoutdoorplans.com/hunting/elevated-8x8-deer-stand-plans/

Thats for the main part....Roof is separate
 
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I was just going to post that link.

We build portable deer stands that look similar to the top half of that plan.

They are made out of plywood and have a flat roof.  

The way we make them they fold flat to be easily transported in the back of a pickup.

Our stands don't have the advantage of being higher off the ground.

 
Jordan Holland
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So it is a tiny house! I would say those solid walls and roof are why it's so heavily built. A heavy wind would put quite a strain on the foundation, though I think this could take a near gale force wind still. If you look at how they attach the 2x6s to the tops of the posts, you can see how they can be slightly higher than the post tops, which can account for a slight unevenness of the posts. Alternatively, if you are going with the full set of posts, it may just be simpler to attatch and level the 2x6s by the lowest post, and then lop off the excess of any post that is slightly high with a chainsaw.

That is quite an undertaking, good luck!
 
Cheryl Oleheiser
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I think this is the link to the plan

https://myoutdoorplans.com/hunting/elevated-8x8-deer-stand-plans/

Thats for the main part....Roof is separate
 
Cheryl Oleheiser
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Yeah.  It's going to be permanent!  And I'm in Minnesota. NORTHERN part.  It gets cold and windy.
 
Sam Benson
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Cheryl Oleheiser wrote:Yeah.  It's going to be permanent!  And I'm in Minnesota. NORTHERN part.  It gets cold and windy.



I'm in Minnesota, too. Southeastern part. We have a cabin in Cass Lake. It definitely gets cold and windy.
 
John F Dean
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Yes, you have something far more elaborate than I normally see in a deer stand.
 
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Hi,  You could dig the holes and have short  3 foot scrap lumber or logs. Level the top of the wood by adding dirt or digging deeper to level the bottom of the hole. That way you don't need to climn a ladder with a saw.
 
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