Sewing the canvas was both fun and terrifying. We ordered 150 yards of canvas from Traders of Tamerlane (http://www.tradersoftamerlane.com/) who shipped it to us on two 3-foot rolls.
Rolling out the canvas
We used an intense industrial sewing machine to sew the canvas. Never before have I seen a sewing machine with half a horse’s worth of power. I was afraid of sewing my fingers to our walls, so I was thankful that Mike did all the sewing.
Starting to sew
An overwhelming amount of fabric
Trying it on for size
It took a couple week of sewing to get it all sewn together.
Sewing late into the night
Stuffing the roof canvas through the tono required a few extra pairs of hands
The roof was just about finished at this point
Mike needed a break from sewing, so he and a friend of ours decided to install our stove (a 400kg Rayburn).
The tractor has come in handy
The yurt started to feel like a reality once the canvas was up.
Our little circus tent
Up next: Sewing the wool felt
The first step to building the floor was figuring out how we were going to do it. Crayons, sticks, and lots of sketches were involved.
A few trees were cut down and peeled for the base of the platform.
We used 2×6’s to build the frame.
Double-layered bubble wrap with a reflective shield was nailed to the frame and taped together.
We nailed down a plywood floor…
…and took a little break.
The Floor Part 2
Up next: Sewing the canvas and installing the stove.
Once the wall was up, we were able to figure out that we needed 32 poles for the roof. Mike built a tono (the centre ring) to hold everything together. He made a template, planed some planks of birch, and started cutting.
He laminated and doweled three layers of birch together for strength.
After a bit of grief, Mike drilled holes at an angle of thirty-something degrees.
The tono was sanded and oiled.
We started to assemble the roof.
With help from friends, we got the whole thing up.
Up next: Building a platform.
After reading about and researching yurts, we calculated that we needed roughly 120 saplings to make a 24 foot yurt.
We cut down forty 12 foot saplings for the roof and eighty 7 foot saplings for the walls.
After cutting the saplings, we let them sit for a few weeks to dry out. We peeled each of poles using a draw knife and rounded the ends with whatever knives we could find.
Each pole was then oiled two or three times with linseed oil.
Once all of the poles were cut, peeled, and oiled, we drilled holes in them and attached them to each other with nylon rope.
We assembled the wall in the middle of a field to check that it was what we wanted.
We ended up using around 75 poles to make the wall frame (some were cut out to make room for the door) which gave us a circumference of about 76 feet. All of this took a few months as we worked on it on and off throughout the spring and early summer.
Up next: Building the tono (centre ring) and putting up the roof frame.
After researching yurts and perusing our options for buying/constructing one we decided to do everything ourselves. Although we could have bought a kit and popped up the yurt in a couple of hours (very tempting) we went the slower route and spent a few months getting it all ready.
Our original to do list:
Mike and I worked on the yurt throughout the spring, summer, and fall. We are now living in it and working out the kinks. I tried to document everything while we were working on it so I’ll be blogging about it over the next few months.