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Build yourself a portable home - a mongolian yurt

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Yurt/Gher Construction 101

A guide to Building Yurts...or more specifically, how I built mine!

Based on Knowledge Gained from "Doing it Myself", and reading about it on-line.

I've now built three yurts, for myself and friends, and we go camping in Luxury in these a few times a year.

If you like the outdoors, but you hate having to crawl around in pokey little tents then this one's for you!

We sleep two of us in luxury in this tent, in a full queen-sized bed! Of course, sleeping on the floor, like a plastic tent, you could probably sleep 20 people, easily!. :-)

We have dedicated hanging space for our clothes so they don't crumple or anything, and lockable boxes for our belongings (or a lock on the door works too!)

When we invite other camping-inclined friends over for a party in our tent, we can confortably fit 15-20 people in, sitting around on cushions and lounging on the bed and on the rugs on the floor... now that's what I can a party tent! :-)

If you like pictures, please be sure to have a look at step 9 - it's got over 50 assembly photos on that step alone !
 
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Step 1: Overview of the parts and process.!

I'm going to cut right to the chase, and assume you know the following (in principle):

1) What a yurt is, and what it's made from.
2) How all the components should look when together.
If you've ever seen a yurt in the flesh, or photo's, or read a bit about them, that's enough.

As you can see from the photo/s, there are a few major components, so I'm going to write about each of these in turn, with some background info, and how to make them, and after that I'll show you how it all comes together for the assembly!

  • Dimensions and background.
  • Timber Components
- wall
- roof
- door.

  • Metal Components
- roof hub
- bolts, pins, pegs.

  • canvas components
- wall
- roof
- roof cap

  • Assembly!

below are a few sample pictures of some components, just for intereste sake:
ceswenson7 months ago
Looks good, but would an RV trailer work for emergency shelter if one has it?
tipkendundot10 months ago
This would be a great design for a arts/crafts fair tent as well. Sides down in good weather... Sides up if it starts raining. Also, add one of these http://www.instructables.com/id/Simple-Cheap-Air-Conditioner/ when the sides are up and you're in business!
gothking8511 months ago
I just saw a movie that had yurts in it, I find your designs, Brilliant!!!!
I hope to make mine as great as yours!!!
Ira71 year ago
Thanks for your time and effort with this, Dave. My name is Ira, and I live in South Florida.

I appreciate your efforts in posting this instructional!!!

A few years ago, I built an elaborate Teardrop Travel Trailer, an itty bitty thing that put me in the poorhouse and sleeped two people comfortably--if those two people were cadavers--plus a It was the coolest looking thing you ever saw, but TOTALLY impractical for proper camping. (Plus, you have to tow it.)

It had an elaborate kitchen/galley built into the rear hatch with sink, propane oven and stove, microwave, and a thousand other gizmos--all thing you don't really need to build INTO a trailer.

I nhave a tiny Suzuki Sidekick, soon to have an elaborate roof rack, and the first sensible camping solution I thought of was a Yurt. Somewhere in my house, I have a copy of one the VERY few books on building a Yurt--but I can't find it yet and my wife won't HELP me find it yet. (She ain't the camping type.)

Anyway, I want to build a Yurt, but here are my issues/questions about your designs:

1) I want to build a 12-footer at most. I know the walls will be short, but that's okay, because I'm short too. Only 5' 2". I plan to be using it solo 99% of the time in the Everglades, and if my wife decides to join me one weekend, I can still squeeze her in there. (Although I think I'm going to make her stand outside and watch for gators.)

So I need specs/measurements for a 12-footer.

2) There is no way in hell I can strip that much lumber myself. But I was also thinking, isn't there a plastic or PVC alternative for at least the lattice work? There has to be a source for this dimensional plastic with a certain tactile strength that will work--plus, it would be a ton lighter than wood.

And if there ISN'T a plastic solution, isn't there a 4 by 8 ply sheet solution that will work, cutting strips from that, albeit having to heavily treat all the edges and surfaces?

My optimum solution is to find the strips in the correct length at Home Depot. I believe the 12' yurt, or maybe it's the 10', which is okay too for me, only requires a 4' wall--but how does that relate to the math on the length of the strips needed for the lattice?

In other words, can I just buy 10' lengths of appropriate pine at HD...cut them in half to 5'...heavily treat them...and have that length work for me for a 10' or 12'? (Walls only--forget about the roof for now)



I know it's a bit late, but if you still need help with the measurements: http://simplydifferently.org/Yurt_Notes?page=1

This page has a VERY useful calculator for everything!
k5cqb Ira71 year ago
Here is a PVC yurt, looks like you'll have to come up with your own measurements but it looks like it works.
k5cqb k5cqb1 year ago
Doh! Here's the link;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sYpB3Zeiqo&feature=g-all-u
Ira7 Ira71 year ago
Forgive all of my typos.

I'm EXHAUSTED tonight.
Any thoughts on using cedar? I'm leaning this way for the natural rot and insect resistance... obviously more expensive but I figure it would be built to last, and worth it.
MikeCicc1 year ago
Sweet! I spent a month in Mongolia last spring and got to sleep in some of these babies, and we kept saying, "Man, we should build one of these back home!" Way to go.
sallyab1 year ago
I can't wait to try this. The only thing I'm not clear about is what the short prongs on the roof circle are for. I wonder too about putting windows in. A sheet of plastic within the canvas wall would be enough no doubt, and could be fancied up to not just give light but open too...Thank you for this manageable and inspirational Instructable!!! :-)))
irm2244 years ago
 Sorry but this sounds really confusing.  I thought it was easier to put yurts together, and I know there are more ways to put one together so what way is easier??
sallyab irm2241 year ago
You can't have read it thoroughly. It's very well explained and easy to follow. There's nothing in the least confusing in it.
.
sallyab irm2241 year ago
You can't have read it thoroughly. It's very well explained and easy to follow. There's nothing in the least confusing in it..
dzent12 years ago
I have been rather astounded at the snarkiness and acid tone of some of the comments about David's yurt. It's an awesome feat of building that he didn't have to share; many of us are extremely glad he documented the process so well.
You guys who quibble and sniff about terminology just come off as pathetic. I don't see any of you publishing your "correct" versions anywhere here, especially in this kind of detail - are you just so hungry for some kind of validation that you have to p*ss on the welcome efforts of real makers like David? Just sayin'...
rgrant4 dzent11 year ago
I love David's Yurt. I am interested in building one, though I am not sure where to source out the metal hub or some alternative.
sd-shit dzent12 years ago
well said dzent1, I love the info here and I'm on to off the grid living, peace, love and unity!
zzoe dzent12 years ago
Hear, hear!
triumphman2 years ago
some people are too wierd to make negative comments, I don't see any of thier 'ibles either! Strange how they can criticize from behind an internet web! Great job mate!
dare2baware2 years ago
WOW!! I could easily live in a yurt. ;-)
Yep, works VERY well for the nomad tribes of Asia! And, they've been doing it for several thousand years, too, so there's something to be said for the design, eh?
sugarsnout2 years ago
I really thought this was a cool instuctable. Until recently, I din't even know what a yurt was. My friend sent pics of his and I googled it.
I love this website and find so many great things to make. I am dissappointed at how some people make harsh or stupid comments about an authors attempt to share great ideas. I have lots of great ideas but am hessitant to share here.
Sharing an instructable plan or how-to should be an inspiration to others...if you want a perfect step by step plan of a perfect product then go buy a kit.
I believe that anyone who browses this site should have a spark of creativity or at least interest and should be thankful for an idea or another way of approaching a project. When others offer suggestions..it only makes it easier for another by tapping into their learning style . Critisizing or putting someone down for choice of pics or words is just wrong...(see nice comment policy)
i know how to make a traditional inuit tent in a couple of styles, perhaps I may combine the two and come up with something else.
THANKS FOR THE GREAT IDEAS AND INSTRUCTIONS...FAB PIC OF THE ORIGINAL MONGOLIAN HUT.IT INSPIRES ONE TO ADD COLOUR OR SOMETHING PERSONAL BY THE BUILDER!! GREAT JOB!! i HOPE YOU CONTINUE TO ADD MORE IDEAS:)

sodaking12 years ago
it all comes down to this haters going to hate. the only thing I can see is people finding fault with something they can't do. the guide look great, who cares what the first pic is or the last pic for that matter. The creator of this, did something that I only wish I could do. Its like the guy said, it's not about what my finished product looks like it's what yours looks like when its finished. Personally I would love to try this and have my own tent that's big enough but durable to move with out distorting the thing
tricker692 years ago
Awww Geeez, looks like Ive got "another" project coming in my near future, lol. Great instructable. The wife and I have been pricing yurts and been getting sticker shock at the commercial sites. I just want to say thanks for making it look so easy, a caveman can do it. Looks like a great winter project to enjoy in the spring and summer camping season.
mista.v3 years ago
If we can't exactly weld or anything, is it best to try to go through all the work of a wood hub or to make one with PVC or other pipe?
davidbuzz (author)  mista.v3 years ago
[sarcasm] If I can't fly an aeroplane, is it best to have someone else fly for me, for me to learn to fly, or for me to take the bus? [/sarcasm] Please just think about what you are asking before you type them, alright?
LMAO :D
i like it but needs clearer pic
FYI, the yurt in the presentation image (the one with an orange door), and the one described in the tutorial are not the same. The yurt with an orange door, the professorially made one, uses completely different technology to be built. The yurt (ger) with an orange door uses two-poles-ring setup, the traditional Mongolian way. Would it not be more useful to have an image of your final product instead of a yurt not made by you?
davidbuzz (author)  TinkerWorkshop3 years ago
All images in this instructable have mouse-over text that tell you precisely what it is, including the picture you mention. Yes, that's built by mongolians, in mongolia, and it's purely so peoplke can see that their finished product *should* look like when they are finished. It's for inspiration and motivation.
With all do respect... Your tutorial does not describe the way to build the yurt in your title image, building process is quite different. The reason I've looked a the tutorial is because of the first image. I found it quite misleading after looking through the tutorial.
first thing he says in his instructable is:

"this is a yurt made by real mongolians! (not by me). You can see mine in the instructable!"


clearly you didn't read through it.
davidbuzz (author)  TinkerWorkshop3 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
Great reply. All your "professionalism" just went out the window. Congratulations.
I gotta agree with tinker, using that image as the very first photo is misleading. It's cool you included it for inspiration, but maybe right there isn't the best place for it.
What is wrong with you guys????
The first thing that is mentioned in the instructable is that the yurt with the orange door isn't his but an original and what the final outcome should be and then he goes into detail about how to do it.

you guys are complaining that you read it and it wasted your time? you clearly missed the first thing he said.
"this is a yurt made by real mongolians! (not by me). You can see mine in the instructable!"
agreed it would be better and also i see no image comparable to the real yurt's picture I.E. a nice picture of the finished product.
[nods] what they said. using somebody else's finished product for your lead picture is misleading. then to discover that you don't even have a picture of your finished product at all was disappointing. please consider revising your instructable.
davidbuzz (author)  makalove3 years ago
I agree that not having a picture of my version of the 100% assembled "finished product" is unfortunate, but the simple reality is that I don't have a good one to upload at this time. Attached is a small picture, of a "tent city" with my most recent your ( red roof, white walls) on the left.
pastedGraphic-28.png
tim_n davidbuzz3 years ago
Appreciated to see your Yurt, but all in all it's a circular folding tent which to anyone else looks like a Yurt, but obviously you've attracted some Yurt experts. Shame they didn't post an instructable on Yurts first showing their take. Very much appreciated, ignore the negative comments, I'd prefer to see the lattice bits because that's the most complicated bit to make. Good 'ble and remember guys there's a 'be nice' policy!
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