Build A Yurt Series: Part 2 – Roof Structure
Build a Yurt Part 2: roof structure
Welcome to Part 2 of the Build a Yurt series. This post is all about making the roof poles which will slot into the roof crown and rest upon the wall lattices. This section shows the jig for processing the poles, chamfering and tapering poles with a power planer and end sanding to protect the overlying canvas.
Our two yurts will be of two sizes, one 4.2m (14ft) and one 5.5m (18ft) diameter. For the 5.5m yurt the poles are 2.735m long and for the 4.2m yurt they are 2.08m.
The roof poles started out as 2’x2’s, which were planed down to fit neatly on top of the V-notch between wall slats and slot into the holes in the central roof crown. Paul modified the Jig used for processing the wall lattice slats, enabling the edges of the poles to be chamfered uniformly, making two passes with the planer set to maximum depth. Planed edges and finish detail were then all hand sanded.
At the butt of the roof poles where they join the wall lattices, two 5mm holes were drilled, 20mm and 40mm from the end of the pole, through one of the chamfered edges, terminating in the opposite edge. These are for the hemp cords that will loop over the wall lattices when the roof poles are positioned correctly, to stop them slipping away as the yurt is erected.
The butts were then tapered first by power planer making successive cuts at 1.5mm while rotating the pole, and then finished off on the upturned belt sander for shaping and rounding. The ends were then finished lovingly by Flor by hand, to ensure a round and smooth finish to protect the canvas roof.
The jig was again modified to allow uniform tapering of the pole tops where they will slot into the roof crown. Exact and uniform tapering is performed by making a series of planer cuts of 1.5mm at 100mm, then 200mm, then 300mm, 400mm and finally 500mm from the top end.
Each planer cut goes all the way through to the top of the pole, the successive cuts resulting in a tapered end. The planing is performed on four sides of the pole, the edges then planed off with a light cut until a roughly circular end is created.
Then it’s back to the sander to shape and smooth the top ends of the poles bit by bit, checking them for correct diameter in the crown holes, until they are a perfect snug fit. In the case of our larger roof poles the absolute ends were shaped by hand with a sharp knife to make them cylindrical, before final sanding, again finished by hand sanding.
Coming up soon in Part 3 is the construction of the wall lattices and making the funky lattice section joins.