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Step 2: Dimensions and background

Over all DImensions:

Tent Diameter: approx 15' ( 5 meters) across.
Tent Height: approx 10' (3 meters) in the centre, and 5'6" ( 1.6m) at the edges.


My Yurt Components (A reference guide for later) :

Wall Timbers: 8'(2400mm)long x 6mmx35mm Slats (see below) Quantity: 70ish

Wall Bolts: 1" or 1&1/2" long x 1/4(6mm) bolts Quantity: almost 300

Main Roof Supports: 8'(2400mm) x 45mmx35mm Beams Quantity: 8

Secondary Roof Supports: 8'(2400mm) x 45mmx16mm Beams Quantity: 8

All roof supports and wall slats are cut-down from 90x35 F8 or F12 pine framing timber - see below for details.

Roof 'HUB': Constructed from metal (see later steps)

Wall Canvas: 8oz canvas - preferably "proofed", but I used untreated and unbleached canvas and treated it myself (see details in later steps)

Roof Canvas: 12oz canvas - MUST be "proofed" (water proofed, and anti-mound treated) ...don't use 8oz or you'll regret it. If you can find a really strong and properly treated 10oz canvas(I couldn't), then that will probably do, but it might sag a little.


UNRELATED ASIDE: If I was going strictly "traditional" I wouldn't be using zinc plated bolts
(or any bolts), I'd be lashing saplings together not using machine-sawn timber, I'd be using
natural felt made from sheep and yak fur mixed and pressed with oils (linseed and boiled
animal fats) not water proofed and anti-mould treated canvas. I wouldn't have a tarpaulin on
the floor, it would be dirt, and there would be a rock-surrounded fire-place inside the tent
for warmth (and smoke). The door would always point south, the north inside wall would have
a religious idol/importance. The men and visitors would always sit/sleep on the west, the
women and children on the east, you would always stop for a meal when passing, you would
always ask 'How are you?' '..And your family?' '..And your flock is fat and well?' (and the
answer would always be yes even if it's not true) I'm not THAT anal about "traditional"
form nor am I a "historical" nazi.

<p>I would love to see what all the disassembled parts look like on a trailer (or even just in a pile on the ground.) I.e. How hard is the yurt to pack up and move?</p>
<p>Would a rocket mass heater work in a yurt?</p>
Cool. I dont have the patience or cash to completely make this, but I might make a more... "impromptu" version at camp.
Traditionally (ie as far bac as the 1600's), the mongolians actually made the timber structure of these tents out of saplings (and small trees), which were lashed together with twine/cord, or bark that had been stripped from the samlings themselves, so making an "impromptu" yurt yourself from your available surroundings can be done!. Of course, cutting down 50-100 small trees, stripping the branches, etc, and lashing/waeaving them all together is a fair bit of work. The result can be a beautiful semi-permanent structure though.
<p>Native American tribes also made similar structures - wigwams and wickiups, both are best made with green or flexible sticks.</p>
Hi David, Very Imressive work you've done to document this! It seems that this yurt is covered with 1 layer of canvas, have you seen or thought to do one with the traditional felt? Having a small flock of sheep I was thinking a yurt would be a great fiber studio - would need windows tho. Do you think that windows could be incorporated into your process and how would you think to go about it? I would build this on a small deck. I'll have to look into the costs of something like Sunforger canvas since it would be up full time. For those thinking of using cheap tarp to keep costs down - they really need replacing often. We build pasture shelters using the strongest tarp available locally and they see only 1 year at best.
I forgot tot mention... Adding Windows is really easy, and is quite popular on all styles (modern and traditional), it's just a mtter of cutting a hole in the canvas where you want your window, and sewing a tie-over flap to cover the hole. if you were to simply cut a U shape (three of the 4 sides, leaving the top uncut), this flap will then "roll up", and can be rolled down again to close it. You will still need a way to "seal" the window, so either an extra strip of canvas (to cover the seam), or a zipper (for those looking for a modern approach), or both, would all work. THere is not normally any need to cut the lattice/wall timbers away from the window(unless you intend passing large objects through it) just the canvas, but you can do this too of you are careful about the overall structural integrity of the yurt.
<p>If you have the money, you can make windows out of marine grade ABS. Vendor's web site: http://www.perfectfit.com/256832/products/-Achilles-UV-Treated-Roll-Clear-VinylWith-Paper54-wide.html</p>
First of all, I would like to say that this is a truly exceptional instructional manual. I give it "two thumbs up"!!! I'm new here, but when I saw the post for this I just had to "take a peek" and boy, am I delighted I did! Thanks for all your hard work! I would just like to ask a question about sealing the window. I was wondering if you thought velcro stripping might work for that? God bless and good luck with your 4th yurt!
verlcro - no reason why it wouldn't.... any joining/window technique that can be used on fabric tents can be used on a yurt!.
Brilliant! I can envision a port hole window with a slightly larger flap and then ties to both hold the flap down or up. As for the felt - it may take a couple of years of collecting fleece but there is a youtube film on making a rug in the mongolian fashion which would certainly serve as a felting lesson. My thoughts are to keep the felt between the lattice and the waterproof outer fabric. Not traditional but practical (maybe).
If you live in a cold(ie snow) or windy and flat(ie stepps) area, then having extra insulation between you and the outside world is a definite plus! <br/><br/>Some of the ways I've seen previously used are:<br/><br/>1) wrap the latticework in bubble-wrap plastic sheet ( <a rel="nofollow" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubble_Wrap">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubble_Wrap</a> ) a couple of inches thick, and then put the canvas over that. (so it's canvas-bubblewrap-lattice from the outside to the inside). This method will easily cope with extreme temperatures like snow.<br/><br/>2) use traditional felt externally, as thick as you require to cope with the weather requirements.<br/><br/>3) use internal hanging fabric non-waterproof walls, that allow the air-gap between the external canvas and the internal fabric to act as an insulation barrier. (so it's canvas-lattice-air-fabric from the outside to the inside). not as effective as option 1, but lighter, and easier to assemble.<br/><br/>Your solution is a variation on option 1 above, just replacing the bubble-wrap with felt, and Im sure it will work just fine.<br/><br/>My current solution is to use option 3, but only when the weather is inclement enough(ie when it's the middle of winter!) to need it.<br/> <br/>
I though long and hard about making one out of felt, but it's just not practical for me for a number of reasons: 1) felt was traditionally yak fur, and yak are smelly and oily. The oil is a natural waterproofer which is good, but the smell is aweful. Washing the smell away removes the oil too, so would require re-adding synthetic waterproofer/etc. This seemed like a lot of work. 2) Mongolian's have been known to boil the guts of a yack to render out the fats, and use these to waterproof the felt. I don't have ready access to yak guts, and I'm VERY glad I don't, this is just Gross (Ew!)! 3) Storage. To be structurally as strong/waterproof, the felt needs to be up to an inch thick, sometimes thicker. This is how the monguls used to do it. Storage for this amount of felt would be a problem for me, as it becomes very big very quickly. 4) The felt was normally made in "tiles" up to a meter or two square, and these tiles were tied-down onto the framework. the process of tying down donens of heavy felt tiles every time I want to assembly my yurt didn't appeal to me. Modern manufacturing techniques might solve this problem, but not all the others. 5) Commercially, Felt is really expensive in the quantities needed, and few people (myself included) have sheep/yak/goat and also the desire to make our own felt. I am in awe of anyone that is keen enough to actually do this. Please send me picture if you do!. :-)
<p>assembly pictures? where?</p>
<p>Nice! Only a couple of questions at this point, How much room do you need to store it? Any pictures of the walls folded up?</p>
I think David did a nice job on this. I intend to build one soon, so I'm looking at ALL examples. So there.
<p>I 15 and in school im in the home program and we dicided to construct a ongolian ger for a trip that we do evry year would one canvas cover last at least 5 years</p>
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. <br>You guys who quibble and sniff about terminology just come off as pathetic. I don't see any of you publishing your &quot;correct&quot; 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'...
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.
David plainly said he works with metal and made it from several pieces of 2 different sized bolts. A metal shop should be able to weld one up for you
well said dzent1, I love the info here and I'm on to off the grid living, peace, love and unity!
Hear, hear!
<p>Mongolian Ger does not contain any metal pieces at all, however, it is great initiative and creativity by foreigner. 5 stars for your project!</p>
<p>Looks amazing!</p>
Thanks for sharing! Does anyone have a general idea what it would cost to build?
<p>I think it would be better if we have a video tutorial, Tks anyway</p>
<p>How is this portable though ? </p>
<p> <br> <br>New web site is <br> looking good. Thanks for the great effort.</p><p><a href="http://www.monacopropertylistings.com" rel="nofollow">appartamenti in vendita a Monaco</a></p>
<p>You have done an amazing job. It is great to see Mongolian traditional house is built by foreigners. It is not only a great experiment but also great entertainment. This Mongolian ger's main purpose is to be portable since Mongolians are nomads. Building ger requires more practice but you made it very easy. GOOD JOB AGAIN!!!!</p>
<p>Are you really ok with explaining this entire process in detail while neglecting to provide a photo of the fully completed project? I feel like I just ate cake and threw away the frosting. </p>
<p>Hi, i think this is great and you did a good job, where do you live and how much would you charge to come help me build one if i bought all the supplies, I run a women's group in my back yard this would be perfect to hold it in,but if i could have red canvas even better ,Thanx Yours Sandi.:)</p>
<p>Now to my opinion. Thank you for posting the pics and instructions. My son and I are planning on building a couple of Yurks for when family come to visit. Now I live on the Bay of Fundy next to the water and we get some serious gales and the occasional hurricane will fly in. Can they withstand a gale do you think or should they be anchored down by cables or what do you suggest? Also because I live in Canada on the East Coast we get cold winters, lots of snow, then wait a half hour and then we get freezing rain. Any suggestions on coverings or anything else to do to protect the Yurt or Ger?.</p>
<p>I am a historical re-enactor and one of my best friends has done a ger for many years. They are designed to withstand hurricane force winds and historically were used in -80F cold. A traditional ger has a thick felted liner underneath the outer cover for insulation. I do have a couple problems with his design in the hub ring and where the ridge poles meet the top. He has made them rigid which can be a problem in high winds where a little flex will keep poles from breaking. Freezing rain I'm not so sure about other than if you have a fire going inside it probably isn't going to stick</p>
<p>With all due respect Tinker had a valid point. Maybe he was brusque but the suggested answer would have been to apologize and state everyone is entitled to their opinion. I didn't get why he was removed from the forum.</p>
<p>With all due respect Tinker had a valid point. Maybe he was brusque but the suggested answer would have been to apologize and state everyone is entitled to their opinion. I didn't get why he was removed from the forum.</p>
VERY COOL Sir!
Pure genius
<p>I'm sorry if I missed this in all the comments- the first time putting it together/set up - how long does it take? As you get skilled/practiced how long is set up?</p>
<p>Muiiito legal!! Obrigado pelas informa&ccedil;&otilde;es. O yurt parece ser uma alternativa ecologicamente correta pois altera minimamente o ambiente circundante. </p><p>Humberto.</p><p>http://www.ecoviladamontanha.org</p>
<p>I wonder about making the lattice with 1/2&quot; to 1&quot; pvc pipe, drilled but instead being bolted, using long pop rivets. It might be expensive but it might also be pretty sturdy and still be lightweight. </p>
Looks good, but would an RV trailer work for emergency shelter if one has it?
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!
I just saw a movie that had yurts in it, I find your designs, Brilliant!!!! <br>I hope to make mine as great as yours!!!
Cool instructable! I had a buddy in Mississauga built something like this. I wouldn't need <a href="http://www.patcon-contracting.net/en/" rel="nofollow">contractors</a> for this. Thanks!
Thanks for your time and effort with this, Dave. My name is Ira, and I live in South Florida. <br> <br>I appreciate your efforts in posting this instructional!!! <br> <br>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.) <br> <br>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. <br> <br>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.) <br> <br>Anyway, I want to build a Yurt, but here are my issues/questions about your designs: <br> <br>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&quot;. 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.) <br> <br>So I need specs/measurements for a 12-footer. <br> <br>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. <br> <br>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? <br> <br>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? <br> <br>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) <br> <br> <br> <br>
I know it's a bit late, but if you still need help with the measurements: http://simplydifferently.org/Yurt_Notes?page=1 <br> <br>This page has a VERY useful calculator for everything!
Here is a PVC yurt, looks like you'll have to come up with your own measurements but it looks like it works.
Doh! Here's the link; <br>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sYpB3Zeiqo&amp;feature=g-all-u
Forgive all of my typos. <br> <br>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.

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