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"The Easy Way to Install & Remove Tree Steps"


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The Ultimate Tree Step Tool

If youíre an avid Bow Hunter you know full well how important it is to get your scent and movement well above the eyes and nostrils of your whitetail prey. You are also quite familiar with the challenge of lugging all the required gear into your favorite whitetail trail, finding a suitable tree near the trail and then climbing that tree safely. Since most trees donít grow with neat little steps to climb, you make your own steps by screwing in purchased steel steps to the desired vantage point. When you leave that tree at the end of your hunt for the day, you certainly donít want to leave those portable steps for someone else to use or take, so you take them back out again for reuse on the next appropriate tree climb.

 

Sound familiar? Steve Burdge, of Waterloo, Pa knew the routine all to well. After getting his safety climbing harness in place, removing the tree steps from a pouch, trying quietly to get them started in the tree trunk and then using sheer brut strength twisting the tree step until it is safely into the meat of the tree was exhausting at best. At days end the process was reversed as the struggle begins to turn those steps back out of the tree. It seemed sometimes that the tree was very reluctant to release its new handles.

 

Searching for a way to make the climbing process easier and faster so he could be less fatigued and have more time to hunt, he purchased his first tree step installer. It weighed 3 pounds and was quite long. Add that 3 pounds to your back pack, tree stand, fifteen or more tree steps, a folding saw, safety harness, food, water and then the most important thing your bow with arrows, that 3 pounds felt more like a half ton till he got to his whitetail trail.

Looking for something lighter and shorter, his second tree step installer seemed to fit the bill until he actually tried using it. It turned out to be very hard to use and quite clumsy while hanging on his safety harness.

Continuing to search for a more practical tool, Steve found a third tree step installer that was much lighter and easier to carry. The only problem was this tool required you to use a cordless drill which attaches to the tree step installer and turns the step into the tree trunk. It was clumsy to use when attached to the drill plus the cordless drill weighed 5 lbs. which contributed to the weight issue. Upon using the tool the first time, the cordless drill ran out of juice and he had to install the last step by hand. Unfortunately, while doing this the cordless drill fell out of his fanny pack and dropped 20 feet to its demise.

Disappointed in his purchases of the 3 tree step installers, Steve decided to put some of his Yankee ingenuity to work. Being a self-employed mechanic with his own well-equipped garage he went to work to try and improve on the design of the three tree step installers he purchased. He discovered that by adding a handle to one of the units made it a lot easier to use. Steve soon realized that with some other redesign he could build a tool that would be very light weight, relatively short in length, strong, and would work with all of the common tree steps available on the market.

The concept of The Ultimate Tree Step Tool was born. Now all he had to do was to figure out a way to manufacturer these units. Steve solicited the help of his brother John who has a lot of machine shop experience and has his own machine shop at his residence. John built the necessary dyes for shaping the tools. The metal for the tool was purchased from a firm that can very accurately cut the tools out of sheets of metal with an automated laser process.

Steve modified a steel press he had in his shop to form the tool and built an automated welder for the welding required. Another brother Jim helped by operating the press. The next step was to ship the tools to a local firm that applies a powder coat for a durable smooth finish. Once returned, the rubber hammer is permanently installed on the tool that allows for starting the tree step quietly in the tree. When inspected for about the third time, the units are hand packaged and ready for shipment.

The Ultimate Tree Step Tool will easily install, and remove, the different size ďZĒ tree steps, the single fold and double fold tree steps, and includes the rubber hammer for starting the tree steps. The tool weighs only 12 ounces, is only 12 inches long and it will not bend while you are installing or removing the tree steps. In addition, Steve has available some custom-made leather pouches for carrying the tree steps and the tool.

If you climb trees by installing tree steps, you have to try The Ultimate Tree Step Tool to see for yourself how easy the tool makes the job. The tool was found to be very popular when exhibited at the 2006 PA Outdoor and Sportsmen Show in Harrisburg.

 

 

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