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Ethan 02-21-2014 08:21 PM

Building 30ft yurt
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We (Ethan and Hannah) have finally started construction on a 30 foot yurt and would like to bring YurtForum along for the ride. If people are interested in following this I will try to keep you up-to-date with pictures and info from the project, that way if anyone has tips, comments, tricks or advise you can feel free to share. So let us know what you think!

Now to get things started. I have been making trips for the last few weeks to Home Depot, Lowe's, and local lumber yards collecting all the best plank from the 16ft piles. Im looking for straight unwarped boards with as few knots dime size and under. Searching for good wood is more difficult then expected, there are 4 piles I look through at each store 6,8,10 and 12 inch wide plank, if your really lucky you can pull 3 plank from a pile but its not unusual to leave a store with nothing at all. I have started ripping some of the lumber and will continue tomorrow.

Again feedback is welcome. I will post more soon.

Stopped at 4 different stores to find these seven 16ft boards, theres enough here to make 8 rafters and a few lattice pieces.

Bob Rowlands 02-21-2014 10:44 PM

Re: Building 30ft yurt
I scratch built a 16' yurt from wood purchased at Depot and Lowes. You do need to be very picky about the wood the wall laths are made from. I spent ALOT of time picking through the bunks finding the most clear lumber, and still had plenty of rejects. My lath is only 5/16ths thick, and any knot bigger than 1/4" dia. will substantially weaken such a thin lath. Fortunately the redundancy in wall laths makes the wall stronger.

Have fun. Work with care. Good luck.

Ethan 02-22-2014 07:42 PM

Re: Building 30ft yurt
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In two days of work I have ripped down almost all the wood needed for lattice and rafters. The rafter are 4 5/8inch wide and lattice is 3/4in. By using these two sizes there isn't really any wasted lumber. With 16foot boards a 2x10=2rafters 2x8=1rafter and 4lattice so-on.. I have also used many 2x4x8 which makes 4 lattice. We will need about 160 lattice and 50 rafters.

We are working on deciding roof pitch and ring size tonight. We want the pitch somewhere between 32and 40 degrees, with a roof ring up to 7 foot across. with a 40 degree roof the top of the yurt would be 18feet high which is rather tall for a yurt but hey there will be plenty of room for a loft!

Bob Rowlands 02-23-2014 01:18 AM

Re: Building 30ft yurt
I'm a carpenter. To solve rafter angle and cut length problems, and to get a visual of what the roof profile of my yurt would be, I drew a full scale blueprint style 'yurt section' on our garage floor.

First, I snapped a yurt floor baseline. I then drew the exact wall height perpendicular to the floor baseline. If you don't have a framing square, 3-4-5 it off the baseline. Then from the wall/floor intersection on the baseline, I came in half the yurts diameter to the yurts focal/center point, and projected another 90 degree line up through the center of the roof ring. I measured up from the floor baseline and marked my proposed roof ring height, and drew the ring in section, parallel to the floor baseline.

I then layed an uncut rafter in position on the drawn layout. This gives a good 'real life' look at what you'll actually see, not a computer drawing, or scale drawing on paper. You can easily adjust the ring heigth up and down. You can check head room at the rafter angle, etc. To adjust roof pitch, simply shift the ring heigth up and down. Move the rafter around on the garage floor layout until you get what you want. This is a simple easy way to solve the problem.

This full scale approach reveals EXACTLY what the angle and rafter length are without resorting to doing any complicated error prone math. You literally transfer marks from the garage floor onto the rafter.

I have a full circumference compression cable. I calculated the exact cable length based on the yurt circumference, using 3.14x r2. When I made up the cable, I installed a loop in each end and joined the two with a carabiner. When installing the cable on the yurt, the rafters were indeed an exact fit. No rope snugging and cinching necessary. Install the cable atop the wall, and stuff the rafters up into the ring. Wallah, an exact tight perfect fit, with no adjustments. All simply from laying out the yurt section on the garage floor.

I hope this helps. Good luck

Bob Rowlands 02-23-2014 01:23 AM

Re: Building 30ft yurt
Make that cable length, pi x d, not pi x r2. :D

Ethan 02-23-2014 07:11 AM

Re: Building 30ft yurt
Sweet, yeah I started drawing it out to size on the wall then realized there wasn't enough hight in the room I'm working in to fully erect the yurt. So we mathed it all out and will just have to build roof and walls separate for fitting the cove. We will probably go with something close to 40 degrees for the roof

SeverTheTether 02-23-2014 11:16 AM

Re: Building 30ft yurt
At the lumberyard near me they have a bid called 'select' wood, that has very few knots, and all of them are tiny. You pay about 6x as much per board, but these boards are very nice. Most of the wood at home depot is structural wood that isn't intended to look nice, or be knot free, because it will be hidden in a wall or floor.

Make sure you are getting the proper grade of wood!

Bob Rowlands 02-23-2014 12:28 PM

Re: Building 30ft yurt
10 in 12 pitch. That's gonna give your yurt the upscale 'McMansion' look. :D The pitch on mine is 23 degrees. Next to yours mine would look like Jeeves quarters. :D

Ethan 02-23-2014 05:23 PM

Re: Building 30ft yurt
1 Attachment(s)
Ha right on Bob!

Today I cut everything to length and cut a 40degree on one side of the rafters. Later in the week we are going to sand down everything and put a finish coat of some sort of waterbased polyurethane. I'm going to test the polyurethane with some dye mixed in, does anyone know if that will work? Goal is to stain and finish everything with one coat.

Stacked the wood like this to get max airflow and even drying. im not really sure it will keep stuff from warping, that's the idea though, any thoughts on keeping wood straight?

Bob Rowlands 02-23-2014 06:55 PM

Re: Building 30ft yurt
Unfortunately the only way to keep todays standard grade lumber straight is to keep it banded. Once unbanded, good framers quickly install what they need and leave the rest undisturbed in the bunk. Nested tight in the bunk help keeps it straight, and slows moisture loss. That's especially true here in the arid western U.S.

You have a nick neat pile of lumber there, nicely stickered. Good work. Fortunately you have picked good stock to rip, that is relatively knot free. Unfortunately, if the grain isn't dead straight and without internal stress, it will start warping twisting bowing as it dries. Knots are what's a real killer. Some warpage is no big deal.

I have some 1x3 rafters so twisted they are vertical up at the roof ring, and have a full 45 degree twist down at the wall. Unsighly, but they are fine as the snow load here is pretty marginal. Up at a ski area in the Rockies would be a different deal. I'd want them real straight up there.

Sorry, can't advise about stain and seal in one. Never done it.

Keep up the good work.

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