Yurt Update – Painting Begins

Yurt Update – Painting Begins

The yurt making is progressing, although not as quickly as I’d like. We continue to work on felting the cover nearly every Sunday, the sanding is completed, the painting has begun and we bought a door for the yurt. After our weekend of felting in the rain, it took a while for the felt to dry out.

Drying FeltHere are three pieces of felt drying in the sun. The two long ones are wall panels and the one on top is a roof panel. The felt is hanging on our front porch railing so you can see the scale and how big the pieces are. Unfortunately, I figured out that I had made the roof panel the wrong size. I thought, “16′ diameter, that’s the size I need”. But I forgot about the 33″ of the tono and the amount that the roof poles rise. So the first roof piece was too small. Luckily, it didn’t get felted all the way because of the rain (silver linings and all that).

Pre Felt Roof - Too SmallSo I laid it out again and re-did my measurements. It needed another 1 1/2′ – 2′ of wool added around the bottom edge. I had planned on using three batts of wool for each roof panel but now I realized that wasn’t enough, I needed four per panel. So four bags short. But Ed and Sue from Sugar Loaf Wool Mill are coming to the rescue and making up four more batts for us.

Add a Bit MoreCan you see the line marked line on the right side of the tarp? That’s how much more wool was needed. I added that on and put wool on either side of the already partially felted piece. I was a bit worried about it all holding together but it felted right in.

Sanded and Drilled Roof PolesI finally finished sanding the roof poles. Dennis drilled two holes in the bottom of each one. That is where they will connect to the wall.

Holes Drilled to Attach to WallI reamed out the holes with my little rotary tool and sanded the ends again. Now they are ready for painting. System for Hanging Rods to Paint

This is s a photo of the garage ceiling (see the light fixture to the left?) where Dennis rigged up a holding system to paint all those boards. He used plumbing supplies and attached a cable.

Wall Rods Ready to PaintSo we just slide the boards on to the cable through the top hole. (Ignore the skis in the background.)

Hanging SystemAll together, the cable will hold about 15 boards. We decided we needed two cables so we could paint more boards at a time.

Painting BeginsDennis started on the painting process. Our original plan was to use the paint sprayer but Dennis thought it would be too messy. So he is painting them with a brush. I think I would have voted for speed and a mess but…

A Few Wall Rods CompletedHere you can see the boards drying (exciting watch paint dry, huh?). If you’re wondering about the orange, it is a traditional color for painting yurt frames. Either that or red. I decided the orange would go well with the brown wool.

Painting TonoDennis also started painting the tono. I am planning on decorating the tono with more intricate designs, but that may have to wait until we’ve gotten the rest of the yurt finished. You can see some traditional yurt tonos here.

Second Coat on the TonoThe nice thing about the paint is it covers up some of the less than beautiful joints.

Connecting RopesDuring the evenings while we’re watching TV, Dennis and I have been getting the cords ready for connecting the wall poles together. Each piece of cord is 6″ long, burned at each end to keep it from fraying and one knot is tied.

Only 350 More To GoWe only have 350 more to go.

Tied TogetherThis is sample boards connected together with the cord. To make the lattice hold together, the wall boards will be connected with these cords. Anyone up for a lattice connecting party? I thought I had taken a photo of the door we bought but couldn’t find it. We originally checked at our local home stores but a door was going to be $180-$200. That seemed a bit high. So we went to a ‘Restore – Habitat for Humanity’. They have used building supplies. We found a framed, already hung door for $40. Of course it isn’t bright orange, so I’ll need to sand it down and paint it orange. So I guess I lied about the sanding being completed 🙂














15 thoughts on “Yurt Update – Painting Begins

  1. Making a yurt is a lot more complicated that it seems! I agree that the wood is better painted with a brush even though it might take a little longer. Bit of a heart stopping moment when you realised about the roof panels eh?

    How did they manage in olden times in Mongolia without Dennis’ power tools?

    1. I’m sure if I know how complicated it was, I never would have started the project. I guess ignorance is bliss. I was not a happy camper when I realized I had messed up. Glad it worked out OK. I’m not sure how anyone got anything done before we had power tools and electricity. What a huge amount of work to make the shelter that you live in.

  2. Wow. It’s like reading a suspense novel every time you hit a glitch, but you keep moving forward and getting this big job done. Great work! I agree the orange is a good color. I can’t wait for the next chapter! 🙂

  3. Wow Ruth its coming along nicely and glad you manage to add in the extra wool, orange is my favourite color at the moment so to me it looks Beautiful and better than red ? , Looking forward to more progress and if I was closer I would definitely come to your lattice connecting party lol xo

  4. It really is interesting watching it happen, Ruth, I wish I could be there to help 🙂
    I know it’s a pain hitting snags, but it’s the kind of thing that could be really helpful for others trying or future projects. I think the orange is an excellent choice.

    1. Thanks Zed – I wish you could be here too 🙂 I am definitely learning a lot and I hope that my experiences will help others. I could find very little about felting very large pieces online so I’m making it up as I go along.

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