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Bamboo Ger!

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Old 08-06-2014, 08:54 PM   #1
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Default Bamboo ger!

So after much deliberation I have decided i want to build my ger out of bamboo. I have been reading and getting some advice from Bob Rowlands on his build. (thanks again Bob) Also i am using recycled plastic pallets and plywood with

insulation

for the base. I am going to try and adapt Bobs plans to the 21' size. My issue is coming into play making the crown of the ger. Im curious if there is any efficient way to do this with bamboo. I have some ideas but i want to make sure it will work. Does anyone have any ideas? I am also thinking of a 4 foot crown rather than the suggested 36 inch. Any help will be appreciated! One more note. I plan on not using bolts for my lattice work. I was thinking 550 parachute cord. As the person did in the book i am reading by Bruce Sargent.(For Love of Yurts.)

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Old 08-07-2014, 08:21 AM   #2
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Default Re: Bamboo ger!

Wow! Congrats on your new adventure. I wish I had some advice for you on this but I don't. I am just excited to see what you come up with. Could you tell me what type of weather environment this yurt will be living in?

I think Bamboo would make great bones for a yurt, especially in an area with little to no snow load. Please be sure to post pictures of your progress.

- Jeff
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:44 AM   #3
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Default Re: Bamboo ger!

Hey thanks for the response! I actually live in an area with heavy snow load... Do you think it would have bad structural property's? Another issue is I do not have much experience with bamboo.. Should I use 1x4 rafters and bamboo lattace orbforget about it totally
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:49 AM   #4
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Default Re: Bamboo ger!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ktm2racing2001 View Post
Hey thanks for the response! I actually live in an area with heavy snow load... Do you think it would have bad structural property's? Another issue is I do not have much experience with bamboo.. Should I use 1x4 rafters and bamboo lattace orbforget about it totally
I don't have any experience with bamboo other than seeing it used for flooring and what I have read. I would ask someone more experienced about it's strength properties.

Where my yurt is located, we get a LOT of snow. My rafters are 2X6 and I wouldn't think of using 1X4's at all. Are you going to live in the yurt full time? A properly pitched yurt that is heated will slide the snow load off naturally. It usually becomes an issue when the yurt is left unheated.

As for the lattice, I think bamboo would probably be perfect. The lighter the better IMO.
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:28 AM   #5
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Default Re: Bamboo ger!

Yea I will be living in it full time how big is your yurt? And does it have rafters every horse head? Or is it more the Colorado yurt design with rafters resting on the tention cable every other? My 21 foot ger is going to have around 68 rafters I'm not near my math for exact count.. And it would be 5/12 pitch. How does this sound? This is my first ger and going to be my primary living quarters so I am very nervous! Thanks!
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:38 AM   #6
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Default Re: Bamboo ger!

I am using a Pacific Yurt. The rafters pin into the

center ring

and then are notched on the other end which sits on the cable. I believe my 30' yurt has 50 rafters.
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Old 08-07-2014, 11:46 AM   #7
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Default Re: Bamboo ger!

Thanks for the nice comment.

Paracord, huh? You're gonna be tying one heck of alot of knots it's a good thing you're young and don't have arthritis. lol

Solid braided paracord-not the cheapjack 'sheathed' (not solid braided cordage typically found) will probably work ok. Consider you'll be feeding literally hundreds of short pieces of short flexible cordage through hundreds of small holes, in hollow bamboo. Now that IS gonna try your patience if you keep the holes small so the knot doesn't pull through. I suggest torching the ends of the cordage because it will fray and blow apart immediately after you cut it. Torching and rounding the molten ball into a cone shape (use gloves!) will definitely aid the tie up.

I can tell you for absolute certain you are in for a TREMENDOUS amount of work there buddy as opposed to using bolts. I've built two complete sets of lattice and know what I'm talking about.

Also, regading a fraying type material like nylon cordage, remember bamboo is hollow, and you won't be chamfering the holes. With the loose joits cordage is going to give you, and the frame frame swaying in the wind, means the likelyhood of the cordage abrading over the long haul in a primary residence is going to happen. Flat lattice, or solid sapling, would be my choice for nylon cordage.

I believe lattice was traditionally joined with rawhide strips. That stuff is WAY tough than any braided cheap cordage. I know some people have joined with paracord. How long it would hold up on a primary residence remains a question to my way of thinking.

As for yurt ring made from bamboo, you are making it tough on yourself all around. Possibly ripped in half, steamed and flattened, bamboo could be laminated into a traditional style vertical ring by those that have a shop with clamps a steamer etc. Certainly any kind of bamboo in it's round state will not lend itself to being bent into a 40" circle without a substantial amount of work. The nodes themselves would need to be sanded flat for a good glue joint.

Round laminated yurt rings are fabricated from thin steamed FLAT wood strips laid up in a form, glued and clamped.

If you do attempt some laminated ring, use hide glue. Do NOT use any woodworkers glue like Titebond or other that has a fast tack time. Franklin hide glue sets very slowly. We carpenters use it to fabricate bent rail due to the long working time neccessary to clamp up the rail.

IMO you are making this very tough on yourself regarding the ring. There are much easier rings for the amateur to build besides the steamed heated laminated glued clamped and finally bored variety. Have you got the tools to do so? The ring I built is easily made with just a few simple tools, fantastically strong, and quick to build. For a first build I highly suggest making it easy on yourself. It's almost like you're trying to build a bamboo flyrod when a simple cane pole would suffice.

Either way, good luck.
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Old 08-07-2014, 04:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: Bamboo ger!

Personally i like the bolts i make some longer in certain areas so i can hang coats and stuff on them.the thought of threading all that cord through 4 holes to make one joint and then repeated a couple hundread times just blows my mind. And i hope you don't get a bunch of snow where you are building your yurt snow is heavy and i would be afraid of bamboo for roof trusses. just my 2 cents worth
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:24 PM   #9
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Default Re: Bamboo ger!

I would not be building the crown from bamboo. I was going to copy Bobs plan with the crown which is built by plywood and 2x4's but instead of his suggestion which would be 36 inches i would like a 4 foot one. thanks for the advice on the para-cord the book i read said it worked for him for at least a year but i agree that it will probably fray. The People i have found who did the bamboo lattice and lived in them did not drill holes because it would lead to structural damage. They wrapped each one. Keep the advice coming! Thanks.
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Bamboo ger!

I am not well versed in the history of the early yurts, what materials they were built from, how they were assembled etc. I've watched some vids on YT, and done some reading on the net, and my wife bought a copy of 'the yurt book' by what's his name. lol.. This hardly makes me a know it all-although my wife says I come off like that. heh heh

My thoughts about what early yurts were made from, etc., are all speculation based on computer research and from the common sense view of a carpentry career spaning four decades. And of course, from building two yurts from scratch.

It's possible the earliest frames were tied. How they did that, and still get the 12 cross lattice typical of todays Mongolian yurt to open and close, is a real trip to contemplate, for two reasons.

Typically when you cross two sticks together at 90 degrees and lash them tightly to make a frame, the joint becomes quite immovable say past 45 degrees of bend, or, half of a quarter turn. You have to force the joint open to get that much bend.

So that means the lashing must be loose. To my way of thinking that means the individual pieces of lattice could slip from position and bind up during opening and closing.

Now, even loosely tied, if you extrapolate that lash concept to the hundred or so joints in a typical yurt wall section, and get it to open and close easily enough like the 'knotted cord' version I have seen in YT vids, well... that blows my mind. I'd like to see it in a vid.

All I know is I really had to 'persuade' my lattice into position to bolt it together. I used super premium straight, strong, 5/16ths by 1.5" (ripped 2X) lattice strips that I made myself, that were VERY accurately drilled. There was some definite cussin going on lemme tell yuh when things started getting out of control.

I'm just saying I guess I'd go 'Well, how 'bout that!' if I saw a lashed frame open and close with no problem, based on my experience of building and erecting nearly a hundred feet of lattice.

As for a four foot diameter ring, good luck with that. You might consider opting for a sheet of 5/4 plywood instead of 3/4. Or, double up the 3/4 so each of the two rings ring is 1.5" thick.

I'll close with the expression, "When you are up to your a$$ in alligators, it's difficult to remind yourself that your initial objective was to drain the swamp."

Good luck. Perserverance furthurs.
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