We finally purchased the wood to begin making the yurt frame. I can’t begin felting until the side walls are made so I know the correct size to felt the cover. The yurt frame is made up of 4 lattice sections (think baby gate here) and then the roof poles attach to the top of the lattice and insert into a round piece called the tono at the top of the yurt. We are following instructions from a book by Paul King. If you click on the link, you can see what a professionally built yurt looks like. Hopefully, ours will be close.
Our plan is for a 16′ diameter yurt made in the Mongolian style. We bought 162 1″x 2″ x 8′ pieces of wood. 110 of these are for the side walls and 52 for the roof poles. The side wall pieces needed to be 7′ long so I cut off a foot with the table saw. Do you see that pesky warped piece. It didn’t look like that when we bought it but without any pressure from other boards, it warped like that in about 30 minutes. That will be a short piece for sure.
This isn’t the best photo but here I am sawing away. I did take shop class in high school but it’s been a while since I’ve used power tools. The ripping fence kept moving and I sawed several pieces too short. Luckily, we need 44 pieces that will be shorter than 7′ long for the ends of the lattice. Dennis finally figured out how to attach the fence properly and I got all the pieces down to the required seven-foot length.
Here’s the pile of ends after sawing. I’m not sure what we’ll do with these scraps but I’m sure we’ll think of something.
We had to separate out all those short pieces and then figure out what sizes they need to be to fit on the ends of the lattice where you don’t need a full piece. There’s something about counting the holes; we need two 8 up lengths and two 8 down, four 6 up and four 6 down etc. I have read that part of the book three times and I’m still not sure what he means exactly. I think we’ll have to lay out one lattice section and see exactly where we’re supposed to cut as we really don’t want to have to go back and buy more wood.
Next up was the drilling process. The lattice has to be connected together at all the crossing points on those 7′ long boards. So each board needs to have 10 holes drilled into it. 10 holes in 110 boards or 1,100 holes drilled. Exactly 9″ apart and then holes need to be vertical or the lattice won’t operate properly. Thus the need for a drill press. In the instructions, Mr. King kindly explains how to make a little jig or pattern to follow. The first hole is drilled at 2″ and then each hole after that is 9″ apart.
Here’s the jig we devised from his instructions. The mark to the left of the drill hole is 2″ so you line up your board and drill the first hole. Then further over to the left, you’ll see a nail. Once your first hole is drilled, you lift up the board, put the hole you just drilled over the nail and then drill the next hole. The nail is exactly 9″ from where the drill bit goes in. And then you just keep moving your board down and putting the hole you just drilled over the nail until you reach the end of the board and have drilled 10 holes.
Here is a board being drilled. I drilled for about 4 hours on Sunday and Dennis drilled for another hour or so. We are about 1/3 of the way through our 110 boards. Then they’ll need to be sanded and we’ll have to figure out the cutting of the short pieces. Some have to be cut square and others at a 45 degree angle. The ones cut at the 45 degree angle go by the door frame. I did buy a 5 gallon container of orange paint to paint all the wood. That should brighten up the inside. So I’ll keep you posted on our progress. We’re going out of town next week but I hope to get all the boards drilled before we leave.
P.S. I still have all my fingers! 🙂
P.S.S. If you’d like to see an update on the umbrella tree, see my post on Permutations in Fiber.