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10' Yurt Questions

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Old 10-21-2013, 06:48 AM   #1
Kai
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Default 10' Yurt Questions

I have been reading for the past 3 years everything I can about yurts, and looking at all the various methods that people have used to construct their yurts. I even built a small miniature model at some point. I've decided at this point that I need something that is extremely portable, and that I can build on a $150 budget, if not for less than that if I can manage to scavenge most of my materials. I know this can be done because I've read so many various methods of constructing a yurt, but what I don't know is the specifics for building the type of yurt I need to get the goal yurt, as math and construction has never been my strong suit.

Because my money is so restricted and so limited I am afraid to take risks on anything I am unsure of. I've ready various books, but sometimes the numbers don't add up. Despite my budget being $150, if there is a material that is best to have or an alternative material that works I will scavenge and look for those materials or try and save up for it. What I'm really hoping by posting here is more clear specifics so that when I go out to buy the materials I do need for this yurt I can do so with confidence and less anxiety.

Restrictions:


1) Extremely Tight budget,
2) Limited tool availability (beyond on a hammer and some measuring tape this is all I have, it is possible that I could borrow a power drill from someone, but I'm not banking on that ability)
3) Needs to be extremely light and portable as well as easily constructable.

4) Needs to be able to withstand a lot of rain (I live in a rainy and sometimes windy + chilly area) during winter, and to keep cool during summers (gets very very hot).
5) Will not have a wooden platform.


Construction Goal:

To build a 10ft diameter yurt, with 4ft walls and a roof height of 8ft;

With these specifications and restrictions could anyone help me to answer the following questions that have me feeling paralyzed at the moment?

I.
Khana & Roof:
For the Khana and the Roof Poles I am thinking of buying a fence post from home depot and breaking that up and then tying it together. Preferably something that is easy to manage and carry around.

Khana & Roof Questions:

1. How many slats for my Khana will I need?
2. How many slats for my Khana could I get buy with?
3. How many roof poles will I need?
4. What kind of fence post should I buy if I go the fence post root? What sizes should I look out for?
5. Where would it be possible to find tree-saplings legally?
6. Can my roof pools be hooked and attached to the Toono in some way by string if not inserted?

II.
Canvas & Tension:

Canvas & Tension Questions:

7. How long would my tension rope have to be?
8. What canvas materials are best for this project?
9. How much canvas do I need to cover the Khana?
10. How much canvas do I need to cover the roof?

III.
Toono
For the Toono I am thinking of building a wooden, wreath-like structure using rope to hook the roof poles in, as I do not know how to build a toono construction wise and saw someone else do this and liked that idea. Felt like something I could manage as I've built wreaths before.

I thought about going without a Toono, using the roof poles to make the toono as I saw somewhere else on another site, but that seemed more complicated than I knew how to do and couldn't find anymore information on it. Right now the wreath-tono seemed like something I could easily make using materials on hand, that didn't involve sawing wood and drilling it together.

Toono Questions:
11. Does the Toono need to be a certain length? If so what length would I need?
12. Is the wreath method the easiest method to make the Toono without sawing etc. or are their other ways?

IV.
Misc.
My miscellaneous questions are and things I can figure out myself and have some ideas on at this point, but wouldn't mind some tips or advice for things to look out for anyway, still because there is so much information on the below it's not a highest of priority.

-Canvas Door: I am going to go with a canvas door as well, any pros and cons of a canvas door?
-Cooking (Dangers of cooking,

heating

and warming up a yurt) and the various methods of doing so off grid?
-Insulation (Keeping Warm and Cool), what are some good, budget-friendly ways to insulate my tent
-Electricity & Internet, does anyone go camping with internet, what methods of electricity and/or internet do they use when/if they go camping with those outlets?


Last edited by Kai; 10-21-2013 at 07:01 AM.
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Old 10-21-2013, 11:41 AM   #2
Kai
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Default Re: 10' Yurt Questions

Nevermind on the Khana, Canvas and the roof pole questions, I spent today drawing pictures on my future yurt (individual poles etc), and reopened up some sites and realized I'd need only 30 roof poles, this meant that I needed 60 Khana slats, and that came up to 90, when I added in the doors, and some extra wood pieces, my number came to around 96 (just to be safe), and then I suddenly understood why the instructions for a book I had mentioned that I would need 97 wooden rods. With that figured out all the rest of the instructions made sense, and I feel pretty confident now. Especially since I read somewhere else today that it's really hard to get putting together a Yurt terribly wrong---is this true?

I guess my only question now is tying the Khana together and the Toono. I would like to use string and would like to avoid drilling (due to tools, though maybe I can borrow a drill). Is it possible to tie a Khana together using only string in such a way that they don't need to be readjusted upon opening (like the zip-ties in the recyclable Ger tutorial online), or do I need to definitely drill holes to avoid extra work?

Next is the Toono, and the possible methods of creating a Toono without having wood-tools or wood-working skills, and some ideas next to string to attach the roof poles to the toono with these various methods.

Side note, I also realized that I don't even need to have a 10ft diameter yurt ^_^, but totally don't want to risk going any smaller and then feeling 'cramped'.
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Old 10-23-2013, 05:56 AM   #3
Kai
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Default Re: 10' Yurt Questions

Updated Questions:

Khana: What I haven't figured out yet is how to have a large amount of space in diameter with the fewest possible rods, while not losing any of that self-support. My plan was today to cut some twigs and build a miniature model today to experiment with some miniature models.

Khana Material: I'm also going with 5ft bamboo stakes, I'm not sure what quality this is all supposed to be. I chose bamboo because several people have said they are really really light, and they are also easy to roll, and the easiest I could find at home depot, and can get 90 poles for $30, which seems doable to me. I needed poles or rods to be able to roll the khana up, and while I have some ideas where I can maybe collect some 5ft tree saplings, I'm not actually sure I would be allowed to do this or where people find 5ft saplings just lying around in the woods (as you can tell up until recently I haven't been a huge outdoors person). So my second plan is to just collect what I need.

My updated Khana questions are:
1) Can you legally collect 5ft pieces of wood that have fallen in woods?

2) Am I shooting myself in the foot by using bamboo stakes from home depot?

3) Where do people legally find the materials they need from nature particularly if they don't own property?

4) Can I use ropes to bind the stakes rather than zip-ties? (As I haven't seen anywhere that talks about binding the stakes together using ropes, but I've seen places that talk about binding them rubber binders and zip-ties).

5) What are the consequences of using less lathes/rods for the same 8ft-10ft diameter?

Yurt with Crownless Toono: I am definitely thinking of going with a crownless toono, using the roof poles to create it. I've seen 3 different places that spoke about arranging the poles in such a way in which they become the crown, but I haven't seen any details on how to do this, and then how to get it standing, and the troubleshooting that might occur.

I've heard one person that said using bamboo for this was not possible, but then I saw somewhere else a person mention that using bamboo was possible, they just melted some rubber pipes and bent them after attaching them to the bottom of the poles.

Yurt with Easy Toono: I don't know how to wood work, and I don't have the ability to drill holes into metal (or maybe I do I just don't know how to use this drill I've found). So is there an easy way to make a Toono that doesn't involve using heavy tools, and what would be the repercussions of using these things, like using a 'wreath' structure as opposed to anything else?

Yurt without a Toono: I haven't seen anywhere that talks about making a Yurt without a Toono but I've seen some yurt variations like this thing called the Yaranga. I just don't know what are the consequences of forgoing the Toono altogether besides having either a smaller diameter or longer roof poles.

My updated Toono Questions are (summary):
1) What are some methods of making a crownless Toono with bamboo?

2) What are some easy Toono's I can make that don't involve wood-working and power tools?

3) What are the consequences of not having any toono at all (beyond effect on size and shapes)

Miniature models: Hoping to find some answers and advice here, and will be working on some small miniature models. My greatest worry is that in trying to reduce the number of poles I will make something that ends up collapsing like a deck of cards over my head.

Last edited by Kai; 10-23-2013 at 05:59 AM.
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Old 10-24-2013, 04:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: 10' Yurt Questions

Just be careful messing with the design it could come down around your ears. And change the durability of the fished project.
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Old 11-03-2013, 03:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: 10' Yurt Questions

I know this is the yurt forum but have you given any consideration to building a tipi. With limititations in all areas (budget, skills, tools, access/availability) your options are slim. A tipi is an excellent structure with limited resources. Simple in design yet very robust.

Back to the yurt option.

Alternatives - attachments/binding:

-rubber intertubes- (cut into strips, can be found used/recycled)

-nails- (only need a hammer, can bend over, inexpensive in bulk compared to other hardware/fasteners)

-rope/twine/military grade paracord- (paracord strong for thickness, baling twine (strong) could be found used/recycled)

-bark- (can be found in nature, can be braided for extra thickness/strength)

-nylon strapping (great for areas that need adjustable tension)

-bungee cords (simple tension binding)

-ratchet straps- ( another great option for adjustable tension)

-hoses- (garden, fire, etc., different types for multiple uses, both protective barriers and attachmets)

-Alternatives - roof/walls-

-saplings- (an option you mentioned)

-pvc piping- (an alternative to wood, easy to work with, variety of fittings to work with)

-lumber/ripped down- (need access to table saw, can save money buying larger boards to make lattice, etc.)

-bicycle tire/rim- (can be used in roof design, easy to obtain)

-Alternative Coverings-

-billboard plastic sign covering- (usually pretty tough stuff)

-military surplus tents/tarps- (can find good deals on canvas material)

-pool liners- (tough material for floor/other)

-tarp clips- (handy for quick covering attachment points)

-sailboat sail- (good stuff, lots of old sails laying around)

-Alternatives Insulation-

-mylar materials- (could even use emergency blankets for small portable structures)

-blankets- (wool would be nice, keep dry & clean to prevent mold)

-protective packaging materials- (could find used, bubble/foam wrap, etc.)

-cardboard/newspaper- (could fabricate a roll up wall with tape, large sheets HD cardboard and newspaper balls/sandwiched, houses in the past sometimes used newspapers/other believe it or not)

-Design Modifications-

The good news is that the nature of yurt design allows for durability with minimal materials. With that said, there are limitations especially when considering things like snow. There are many designs that have already been built and tested. If you have limited resources I would'nt get to experimental. You may end up short and dissappointed in your efforts. Wall designs can vary. Keep in mind that thickness of wall lattice/other will have to be sized up with stronger attachment points to make up for fewer cross members in count. If you simplify the wall structure to much the ability to have a small/circular structure will go down, limiting you to other shapes like a hexagon. Roofing can be reinforced with cross bracing between rafters and vertical bracing along walls. Don't overlook your roof and wall coverings. Make sure attachment points are reinforced and try to have a protective barrier in areas were chafe will be a problem. Also, keep covering as snug as possible, wind has a way of exploiting exposed areas quickly if not kept in check. Whatever heat source you use, remember to keep in mind protective barriers and good ventilation when necessary.

Good luck and have fun!!

Last edited by Nomadical; 11-03-2013 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 11-04-2013, 05:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: 10' Yurt Questions

I live in a small community. When I was in Highschool woodshop we'd do some custom work for folks, often at the cost of a pizza if they supplied the material. Several 2x4s ripped down will yield all the lath you need. Also, a buddy with a table saw may be willing to help ya out.
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Old 11-07-2013, 10:24 AM   #7
bss
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Default Re: 10' Yurt Questions

even cheaper yet to rip down 2x10 or 2x12's for the khana.
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Old 11-07-2013, 05:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: 10' Yurt Questions

I like to use the wider boards because you can get by with less knots. i use 2x6 most of the time easier to predrill holes before slicing.
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:36 PM   #9
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Default Re: 10' Yurt Questions

You need almost knot free 2x lumber for thin wall lattice. To get the gold that yields clear near knot free strips takes eyeballing a whole lot of 2x.

This is a where buying at Depot and Lowes is a huge advantage. You can dig through a bunk looking for the clearest pieces, and nobody that works there is gonna stop you, but be assured they'll talk about you. Yardmen at pro lumberyards won't let you rummage for more than a few sticks unless you are a regular customer, and know you'll restack the lumber neatly.

To find a dozen really good sticks you'll likely sort through half a bunk. Weekend warriors go through Depot and Lowes trashing the bunks on the weekends. If you look later in the work week, you might find a newly opened bunk to sort through. You can ask them to drop a new bunk. They just might say yes, if the supply is shoddy.

It's your money. Don't settle for knotty wood.
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Old 11-08-2013, 10:16 AM   #10
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Default Re: 10' Yurt Questions

Solid advice.
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