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-   -   Crown shutting (https://www.yurtforum.com/forums/building-a-yurt-f3/crown-shutting-790.html)

PaulWhite 01-09-2015 07:56 PM

Crown shutting

I am still unclear how the crown opening is used. In none of the construction web sites have I seen any reference to this subject. The crown is never a solid piece as far as I can make out.

Does the crown ring stay open all the time? If so, what stops rain coming in and ruining everything inside.

Traditional Yurts with a fire inside obviously don't have stove pipes so they will need to have permanent ventilation, which presumably means the crown "must" stay open.

Possibly in modern yurts using stove pipes away from the centre or underfloor heating systems this is not a problem, but how is the problem solved in traditional yurts. Tipis have flaps to control smoke exhaust but I have found nothing on the web covering this subject for yurts.

Info greatly welcomed.


Knecht 01-09-2015 09:25 PM

Re: Crown shutting
Most "traditional" yurts now also use woodstoves with a pipe sticking out of the crown. They use a separate tarp with ropes in the corners, that they drag over the crown opening and tie down. My friend who lived with nomad Mongolians for a while said they even use this cover while firing the stove, they just make sure the covering tarp doesn't touch the stove pipe, otherwise it will catch fire. Some more luxurious yurts they make now have part of the crown closed with metal sheet that has a hole for the pipe. The rest is either left open and covered by the tarp when needed, or even filled with glass, so it doesn't need the cover anymore. That's what I did, made 1/4 steel and 3/4 polycarbonate on my yurt.

Welcome, BTW. I've found lots of info and advice here for my build.

PaulWhite 01-09-2015 10:03 PM

Re: Crown shutting
Thanks for the speedy response.

What you suggest seem to be real Mongolian methods, so I suppose they have worked for hundreds of years.

Maybe one could put like a small roof which is somewhat larger than the crown just above it. except if the wind is blowing very hard then rain would just drip off the edges onto the main roof. In fact one could use a ready made boat hatch which can be opened and shut as required.

I wonder too why the crowns are so complicated, made of several pieces. I would have thought that a nice thick round piece of plywood (maybe 3" or 4" thick) would do the job just as well. Getting really thick plywood can be difficult and also expensive, but when I built a boat I made my own for the hatch frames by epoxying several thinner sheets together before I cut them to shape.

I have also read that in Tipis the Indians hung a flap below the opening which didn't cover the entire space and stop the smoke getting out but deflected any drips that came in to one side.

What sort of a heater do you have? Is your yurt very big?


Knecht 01-09-2015 11:11 PM

Re: Crown shutting
There are far more experienced yurt builders here than I am, I'm just making my first one. You can read my thread here:
Plywood (2 rings, with spacers between them to form the rafter pockets) are described in the "Khama Yaminary" yurt plans, that are often quoted here. I'm sure someone will post a link to it soon.
The traditional crown has a strong symbolic meaning for the Mongolians, so they stick with the desing. If you want, you can use all kinds of materials and designs to make your yurt ring, incuding all-metal. Also depends on wheteher or not are you planning to use the baganas (ring supporting stands). If you're surely going to use them, you can get away with much lazier ring designs, as it won't really carry much weight.
My yurt is still not livable yet (I was delayed by flaws in the roof cover, just being solved by now). I'll be heating it with a cast-iron woodstove (army surplus from the 50's), plus a spark-catching box next to it, which will help to keep the heat in as well. My yurt diameter is 6m.

p.s. that thing the Indians used is called ozan (at least in some languages) and it was a triangle piece of tarp that served as sort of auxiliary inner roof that helped to stop rain drops that found their way through the smoke hole. What helped them a lot to get the smoke out was lining along the tipi wall. It was a long piece of cloth that was tied to the poles in about eye-height and what it did was it left an air pocket between the outer wall and itself. This not only helped to insulate the tent, but as fresh air was getting inside under the outer wall (sometimes they left a piece tucked up to improve this), it hit the lining and was deflected up. This air stream took the smoke with it. Also different air temperatures came into play I'm sure.

Bob Rowlands 01-10-2015 12:04 AM

Re: Crown shutting
Speaking of ozans, I draped a canvas tarp over and around my sleeping cot inside my yurt. It does keep that area warmer.

In the winter my yurts roof ring is covered with a sheet metal 'china cap' that centers over the roof ring. The stove pipe pokes up through the center of the cap. The heat stays in and the weather stays out. Made it for $5. :D

I't's likely that centuries ago yurts probably had a cloth or hide covering the smoke hole just as many do today. Mongolians have this yurt stuff all figured out.

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