Ditto on all the good advice, I've owned Summit, API and now a Timbertall Climbing Treestand and they all are great! Check out http://www.treestand.com they seem to be the online authority on treestands, parts, accessories and advice!
For all the effort and expense you have to go through to make one, why not buy a solidly built Gorilla 49 dollar loc on at Wally World????
Tell you a little story about homemade loc ons. A hunt club member of ours graciously offerred to supply a half dozen bowhunting loc ons one year. A month before the season there we were hanging stands. The member was trimming a few high limbs above the stand for head and bow clearance when all the sudden the platform gave way and he was left hanging from his safety harness.
Trouble was.......low grade bolt mixed into the high grade bolt bin. The bolt sheered off cleanly. Had he not been in safety gear, he would have fell 25 feet.
Wood stands.... Thats just plum crazy anymore given the excellent and affordable options out there.
Here is an inexpenive and effective deer feeder I made recently.
No batteries to go dead, no hoisting it up in the tree, plenty of capacity, very easy to fill - so far, I love it.
I have made two of these and they are easy to build.
An empty 55 gallon drum, some 2x4's, some PVC tubing and fittings, a little bit of hardware and some paint - and you are ready to go.
I designed it so you can stand on the lower rung and fill it - the top is about 6.5 feet above the ground.
It holds about 375...