Yurt Update – Sanding and Being Easily Confused

We’ve been working away on the yurt since my last post. We finished drilling all the holes and then  there was a scare because I figured out that I had cut all the pieces the wrong size. I had thought something was wrong when we were drilling the holes and the last one was right at the end of the board. So I looked back at the book and the length was supposed to be 78″. I had cut them to 7′ long. Luckily, that means they are supposed to be 6.5′ long. So they were too long. But that’s much better than too short. So I cut them all down to 6.5′ long. Next up, sanding.

Just to be clear, we are making what is called a Mongolian ger. The word ger rhymes with air. Mongolians do not call their dwellings yurts. But since most people know these type of dwellings as yurts, I think it will be simpler to keep calling it a yurt.

Belt SanderWhen I wrote my last post, Ann had suggested that I use a stationary belt sander. We have a hand-held one but not a stationary one. So Dennis rigged up a way to use the hand-held sander upside down. It is clamped on to a piece of plywood on a saw horse.

Making Out Belt Sander Stationary

The small piece of wood on the right hand side of the photo is used to keep the sander button pushed down. Normally, you have to hold it down the entire time you are sanding. But that wouldn’t work in this position. So the wood holds the button down for me. I’m sure this whole process is not the way you are supposed to use a belt sander. Perhaps I should have a warning of “Don’t try this at home.” 🙂

SandingSo here I am sanding a wall rod. It takes between 5-7 minutes to sand one rod and I only have 110. I’ve done 20.

Sanding Wall RodThis really does make the sanding much easier. Thanks Ann for your idea. It works perfectly.

Sanding the EndI even sand the ends. I want everything to be nice and smooth before we paint the rods. I am wearing ear protection and my glasses but next time I am going to wear a mask. The sander puts all kinds of saw dust into the air.

Laying out the wallNext, I have to figure out how to put the walls together. I laid out the boards and the middle ones make perfect sense. It’s just when you get to the ends, that you have to figure out what part of the boards need to be cut off and in what direction.

Figuring Out the EndsAs you can see, the edges are not right because I haven’t cut the boards shorter. The book says we need 8 up (6), 8 down (6), 7 up (3), 7 down (3) etc. After laying the boards out, I think I have it figured out but I really don’t want to cut them wrong. So I guess I’ll do one wall first so I don’t cut them all wrong. So it’s just a bit confusing and being easily confused doesn’t help the matter! There will be four wall sections when we’re finished. Wish me luck!

After I get one wall section completed, I can begin the felting process. I need to know the exact dimensions that need to be covered before I can make the felt walls. I would hate to do all this work and end up with the wrong size. So felting will begin soon, I promise.

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18 Responses to Yurt Update – Sanding and Being Easily Confused

  1. This is a huge and very interesting project. Thanks for sharing the experience

  2. craftymadre says:

    Amazing endeavor! Some students built a yurt on my college campus as a final project when I was there. That was almost 20 years ago and it’s still standing.

  3. Marilyn Nelson says:

    Good luck! Are you tracking time spent? It’s is certainly a major undertaking. I look forward to seeing the project develop.

  4. Looks like everything is coming along. I am glad the sander idea worked for you. the up and down sounds very confusing.

  5. Lyn says:

    The incorrect length must have been a bit of a heart-lurch – lucky it was correctable.

    This is an interesting project to follow!

  6. zedster66 says:

    I was thinking the same as Lyn, I hate that feeling! It really does seem confusing and the kind of thing where you can only understand by doing and trying. I hope it becomes clearer 🙂

  7. You really need your own reality show, Ruth. Mercy me!

  8. kwinter12 says:

    Maybe you’ll give up felting and take up woodwork by the end of this? 😉

  9. Billie says:

    I was a little worried when I saw you weren’t wearing a dust mask but then read your post that you were going to add one the next time you sanded. I know people say this all the time but it’s a shame that we don’t live closer. We have a wood shop with all kinds of equipment. Regarding those 1 foot scrap pieces that you first cut off. You could stack them, 2 by 2 alternating direction, install a lamp kit in the top and felt a shade. Love the yurt updates.

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