Build a Yurt Part 3: cord work
Welcome to Part 3 of a series of posts showing you how to build a Yurt.
The new yurts we are making will be available to stay at Crann Og Eco Farm during the spring, summer and autumn months as part of our ecotourism experience in the Irish wilderness. In Part 1 & 2 we prepared the wall lattice slats and the roof poles. Part 3 is all about the actual building of the wall lattice structures.
We are using 4mm diameter hemp cord to tie together the lattice slats and make loops in the end of the roof poles. The cord was precut into 17cm long pieces to give us sufficient working length for knotting and threading of the slats The roof pole loops were precut at 25cm length. As hemp is a natural fibre it can not be melted to stop the ends fraying, which they will do immediately.
So we dipped the ends of all the precut cords into melted wax and then shaped them by fingers. This stops the cord fraying and creates a needle like end for easier threading through the 5mm holes in the slats and poles. The pieces for tying slats were dipped to 2.5cm in wax at both ends, the roof pole loops approximately 6cm at either end. This is very time consuming work, but the time and effort put into dipping and shaping the precut cords makes the construction of the lattices so much easier. This is a long process and tedius so anything one can do to make it easier is very, very wise!
Next step is to lay out a number of lattice slats and commence tying together by tying a knot in one of the 17cm long cords, threading through two overlapping slats and then knot on the opposite side. This leaves quite a bit of excess cord, but it is neccessary in order to have enough cord for tying the second knot, especially if you have big fingers. The excess is then trimmed off for tidiness. The lattices consist of 3 sections of 11 overlapping pairs of slats for the 4.2m yurt, and 3 sections of 13 overlapping pairs for the 5.5m yurt.
The final step in the wall lattice construction is to correctly fashion the ends of the sections to make perfectly fitting joins of two sections, such that they come together in a way that makes the join difficult to see. Trust me, the first one you make takes an age to get right and understand, but once you have it then it’s really quite simple. Like everything else, you need to do it to really learn it, and it seems terribly difficult at first and quite frustrating. But the end product is worth the mental gymnastics!
To finish off this post it’s then time to make the roof pole loops, which is simply the case of threading cord through the holes in the butt ends of the roof poles and tying them such that it is still possible to comfortably loop over the wall lattices without too much effort. It’s handy to have an off-cut of the wall slats to slide into the loop cord as you tighten it up to get the correct length.
Coming up soon in Part 4 is the roof crown and door frame assembly!