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30 Ft Yurt From Scratch

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Old 05-31-2016, 07:39 PM   #1
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Default 30 ft yurt from scratch

Hello all!

First time yurt builder here to document my progress on a 30' yurt. While working on a shrimp farm in Hawaii this winter I had the opportunity to build the platforms for two yurts (a 16' and a 12') as well as take part in the raising of both yurts (shout out to

yurts of Hawaii

as both yurts used to be display models at their facility). This experience prompted me to design and build my own 30'er to use as a primary dwelling. Needless to say after spending time in the yurts I fell in love with the space and the idea and had to have one for myself. I am currently working full time and am buying materials as I save the money and working on it on the weekends.

I plan to use this thread to show my progress and provide a place for feedback from those more experienced than me as well as provide information to those other DIYers out there. This forum has been very helpful in the research phase but sadly no detailed complete 30' yurt builds.

As of this writing I have the platform mostly done and have turned my attention to the Khana lattice. I will post details about each aspect below and include pictures.

For now I am very excited to be making progress and am interested in hearing my fellow yurtforum members feedback.

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Old 05-31-2016, 07:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: 30 ft yurt from scratch

I chose a site for the yurt behind my barn on our twenty acre property. The septic line ran right underneath where I planned to build the yurt and as it was woefully outdated thin wall pvc I started the platform prep by digging out and replacing the old pvc with schedule 40 (as well as adding a "y" where my sewage will join the barns and head to the septic system and another "y" where a snake could be inserted in the event of a clog in the line) I then graded the area and laid out all of my 4x6 beams on the dirt on 4' centers so I could mark where I wanted the footers to go. After that was done I set the beams on 4x4 posts and leveled them before adding 2x6s on 4' centers on between the 4x6s. This is a plan I adapted from

pacific yurts

I believe. The original plan stopped with the 2x6s and called for 1 1/8" tongue and groove plywood on top of that. However it was hard to find a source for that thick of plywood so I opted to put 2x4s on 16" centers in between the 2x6s and then go with 23/32" tongue and groove plywood. (SIDE NOTE: when doing my platform prep I did not realize that tongue and groove plywood is "scant face" which means the tongue and groove are cut from a 4x8 sheet of plywood. When the two sheets overlap you lose a 1/4" of the 4' length. Wish I would have known but luckily the last sheet of plywood still landed on the 4x6 beam, although just barely)
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Old 06-01-2016, 05:18 AM   #3
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Default Re: 30 ft yurt from scratch

Looks great so far. Keep up the posts!
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Old 06-03-2016, 08:57 AM   #4
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Default Re: 30 ft yurt from scratch

I've started processing all the wood for the lattice wall and have a few pictures but I can't seem to upload more than one picture with a post. Help anyone?

Most people I've seen use Douglas fir to build their Khana wall but I explored alternate options. A sawmill local to me has an air dried lumber section and I decided to go with red oak. I love the color and I didn't want to stain the wood. The planks come in random widths so I began by ripping them down to just over two inches and then planed all the boards to a uniform 1"x2". I then routed the edges to a smooth curve and applied tung oil to protect the wood and bring out the natural color. My lattice has 7 crosses with the final cross being at the very bottom of the board where "L" brackets will secure through the Khana and attach to the

yurt platform

. I must say its very satisfying seeing the transformation from a rough cut plank to a perfectly smooth end product. I secured the lattice with 1/4" hex bolts.
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Old 06-03-2016, 08:59 AM   #5
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A close up view that of the grain
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Old 06-03-2016, 09:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: 30 ft yurt from scratch

It looks great.

Got to love that red oak, and there is something very satisfying about making things with your hands, there is no doubt about it.


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Old 06-03-2016, 01:53 PM   #7
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Looks awesome!
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Old 06-03-2016, 10:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: 30 ft yurt from scratch

That is one HD wall. Nicely done.
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Old 06-06-2016, 08:22 AM   #9
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Default Re: 30 ft yurt from scratch

Got some time this weekend to process almost all of the remaining Khana pieces. In addition I also began laying out the compression ring. Shown in the picture is one layer of what will be a three layer compression ring (with through bolts holding the layers together as well as wood glue in between). The ring is made from 12 2x8 cut with a 15 degree angle on each side. With all three rings sandwiched and offset so the seams don't all line up it will be 4 1/2" tall and 5'3" across. The outside gets trimmed to a circle and then it's all sanded and sealed with a lacquer.
I originally planned on drilling holes where the 2x8s meet and then using wood glue and dowel rods to hold them together, but I am looking for input from more experience carpenters on whether that is necessary. Each 2x8 will have a bolt on each side, and the middle 2x8 ring (which is sandwiched between the other two) will be offset so it bridges the seams. Do you think the through bolts alone will be enough? (Either way I plan on using wood glue to hold everything together until the three rings are made and I can bolt them together)
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Old 06-13-2016, 07:04 PM   #10
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I was working on getting bamboo planted this weekend, and as the weather is going to hold out for a little I uncovered the platform and got a decent updated picture. I still have to build a small 8x8 front deck and finish installing some corner pieces but I thought I would post an update.

For those interested in the bamboo, I used old mulch dye bins as planters (they are about 3'x3'x4' and have a spout at the bottom to drain water) which most places that make mulch will give away for free. I cut the tops off and transplanted the bamboo from a friends bamboo patch. This will provide a nice privacy screen when it fills in.
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