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.
The record books, that are put out by Boone & Crocket and Pope & Young and where I live is Henry Kelsey they are a great way to research a state or a province for big game. This does take some time but the knowledge it gives you, can be very valuable. Not all hunters have their trophies recorded, as where I live after the Hanson Buck became the new world record typical Whitetail, we saw a flood of hunters and now that has happened, some hunters are shying away from the record books but...