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Calling all Ger/Yurt makers...!

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posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 07:10 AM
Hi there peeps...

I have not been on ATS much this year as have been working hard to achieve a goal. But I need some help and advice and usually this is a good place to ask...

So I hope you do not mind but can I pick your braaains...!

Myself and my partner are in the early stages of planning and resourcing materials to make a Ger (true mongolian word for yurt - they would be offended if you called it a yurt!)...

We live on a very low income and would like to try and source things as locally and as economically and ecofriendly as possible...!

We live on the tip of the most North Westerly point in the UK. The Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides... So many of my questions are about strength and durability of the materials for making a Ger.. Our Ger would only stay up in the summer months as there is no way it would survive here in the winter - last winter we had winds exceeding 140mph...! So our Ger needs to be super duper strong as we do get high winds in the summer too. It also needs to be able to withstand A LOT of rain/sea spray/salt...

This is the most north westerly peninsula UK..

And this is the ex RAF camp we live on which is to the left of the above picture.. On one of the rare serene days..

Now I know traditionally Larch is used as it is very strong but flexible. There is no Larch where we live and no Ash (which I have heard peeps use for the khana - walls). But we do have Willow - which can be used for roof poles and the trellis..

There is however a sawmill on the other side of the Island. And we were wondering if we could use 2x1/2x2/(or even)3x2 lengths of timber (soft pine) for our roof poles and the khana..? This would be ideal for us if it could work - as it is not far away/cheap/sustainable... I have seen people using 3x2 timbers for making a more permanent Ger - but I just wondered if there are any downsides to it..

Another question - the canvas..! In the Ger plans I found online for a 12ft Ger (which is what we are thinking of) calls for 12oz fireproof/waterproof/rotproof canvas.. I have just luckily found an item on eBay which is 3m2 shy of what we need. However this canvas is 20oz.. Would there be any disadvantages to using 20oz grade canvas for a 12ft Ger..? Apart from the obvious - it would be much heavier..! But our Ger needs to be strong and withstand the elements...

Next question - the crown/wheel.. What is the best wood to use for this..? And do you have to use wood...? We saw an old metal wagon wheel outside a derelict old croft house and wondered - could we use one of those for the crown...? If using wood we would need a steambox.. As far as I am aware there is nothing like that here locally - however I see you can make a steambox yourself.. But would I be making a mountain out of a molehill...?

I would like to make this Ger as resourcefully and as environmentally aware as possible.. But I do not want to overwhelm myself with an excessive amount of work....!

If there is anyone out there who has built a Ger or has any knowledge/advice/tips - it would really be so massively appreciated...!!!
Apologies for the long wall of text - but sometimes things need to be explained...!

Thank you and thanks again if you got to the bottom...

Happy days

Fluff x)
edit on 29-9-2014 by fluff007 because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 07:25 AM
a reply to: fluff007

My buddy,his son and I made this bad boy with a trampoline frame tipped upside down.
I know you said traditional but this seemed to be the easiest way to get it done.

Good was a lot of work.
Ask me anything and I will try to help you.

This is after the elevator blankets were installed as well as a rocketstove for winter.

edit on 29-9-2014 by DrumsRfun because: (no reason given)

edit on 29-9-2014 by DrumsRfun because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 07:36 AM
a reply to: DrumsRfun

Hi there

Thanks for your reply... Thats a neat looking Ger...! And a lovely garden...!
I see there is no khana (a wooden lattice/trellis wall) could you tell me what was or how they supported the poles-roof section..? It looks like they have have used 2x1/2x2 timbers for their roof poles aswell...

Yes we are aware it is a lot of work - but having a Ger is part of our plan to become self employed - so we have to build one...!

We are certainly interested in all sorts of ideas and suggestions.. Anything that could make it easier for us we will look into..

We are definitely going to have a stove in our Ger. It will definitely need it here...!

Thanks for the update and for your help...

edit on 29-9-2014 by fluff007 because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 07:38 AM
Concrete with rerod and fiber will make a very strong building. The half sphere shape will help to make it strong. This way you won't have to take it down and assemble it every year.

Proper ventilation is necessary, lining the inside with something would be advisable. Something that seals and also keeps the moisture from forming on the concrete. Moist air condensates when it hits the cooler concrete then it can cause problems.

Yurts are cute and efficient but they need some special situations to be viable.

If you could panelize the construction of a regular Yurt, it would be nice.

posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 07:42 AM
a reply to: fluff007

The trampoline that was used was one that had a safety net on it so the kids won't fall out.
So it was a trampoline with poles around it to hold the net.
We took the net off and tipped the trampoline upside down and used that as the base and the main frame.
A wooden floor was built from plywood to fit the trampoline frame.
The top pieces were just 2x4 cut to fit.

The opening at the top was one of those small one person trampolines that we attached the 2x4 to.

I hope that helped...if not,keep asking and i will try my best to answer.

posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 07:45 AM
a reply to: rickymouse

Thanks for the reply..! Lol well we live in ex RAF concrete bunkers... We are wanting the Ger to be portable as we leave the Island 2/3 times of year and we thought a 12ft one was a good size for that - it would mean we have a base when going visiting.. And as a Ger is a temporary structure with no foundation we bypass the planning laws and applications..

Also if we make this Ger work for our plan. Then when/if we decide to build more we will know from experience whether the Ger we have made is able to withstand the environment up here... Then we can modify our design possibly being towrds a permanent structure..

There are Gers here. Not many, I personally have seen maybe 3 or 4 and they stay up for the summer but are taken down in the winter - used as accommodation for tourists... However where I have seen them they have not been situated on top of a cliff surrounded on 3 sides by water...!

posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 07:49 AM
a reply to: DrumsRfun

Aah I see...! Wow thats actually pretty clever - kudos to yous...!

Thank you for explaining.. I could not quite work out it out watching the vid. Makes sense now...

posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 07:57 AM
a reply to: fluff007

If you want to make it portable,just don't make the wooden floor.
That was made to stay might have other plans from what I read so adapt for what you need.
It really was the easiest way to make it though,frame was already done for us by using the trampoline.

Again,good luck,it was a lot of work.

posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 08:01 AM
I always thought of a variety of ways of constructing one, if we ever did. And I 'd like to put a cedar yurt at the back of our property for a studio/older child's room. Even a small studio/store.

But when I'm thinking of projects that might include land for friends or family, think of yurts being constructed out of panels that interconnect and can be taken apart, almost like puzzle pieces or leggo's, from different alternative woods, such as hemp lime, flaxwood or bamboo, and have thought of paper crete blocks instead. Then they'd really be leggo.

I thought of using aluminum tape for insulation over sections of plastic that contained tin cans to heat up that may or may not be filled with commercial hemp for insulation.

I saw blocks and plywood, and would prefer it larger than the 14 foots trampoline. But that is an excellent idea for a tent one.

Also, was exploring ways to make roofing, ie. artistic treatment to age and make almost Italian finishing on basically tin can roof tiles. And recycle. This would also hold heat. And thought if it was done, ie fabric or felt, or even twig framing, basket weave or thatched, one could use natural grasses in construction or hay. And thought of having metallic tiles made out of aluminium cans on the outside kind of like armour and for heat. They could be done in tiles or even in a kind of frame like a yurt shape or dome shape covered in home made solar with tin cans.

Heating Seattle backyard studio with soda cans as solar panels

could see the roof, or sides looking like this with windows and doors.
edit on 29-9-2014 by Unity_99 because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 08:15 AM
I'm trying to find the one where someone uses recycled aluminum coffee cans, the big ones, to make roof tiles and finishes them in a really artisitc manner, earth tones, metallic, aged look. But while looking I found this out of pvc pipe. And of course you can use that to make frame, for that matter, floor looms and anything. But this would also cover an entire yurt and make it weather proof.

Installation video of PVC roofing tiles how to install the Plastic roof tiles for building

Not conventional, but I would never go conventional. This also brings up pebble tiles that could be made.

This is not a yurt but they've used recycled tomato cans to make similar tiles. The ones I saw out of the coffee had the real roof tile shape.

But have to add, this sell of tiny spaces and tiny fridges Well I have 5 boys, a border, who I consider like a son. And even And think big, not small. Our regular sized fridge is too small. We need two of them and don't have the space, and 2 freezers, lots of overflow space so people are separated and quiet and do their own things.

Not buying Agenda 21 at all, EVER. Big spaces. That they take all the ingredients and resources of earth to create gruel instead of a wonderful upgraded school with clean technology and lots of beauty and space for people, that is their crime and sin. Not mine, because my world is incredible and there are no poor and no wars and no slavery. With the same ingredients you can turn out a masterpiece and what these hjacking mismanagers don't realize is. They're not our testers, they're in the tests, that is the first ego thing they need to overcome. That with more power (stolen from us) comes more responsibility to do right, and they're off no hooks ever. They cannot progress in their state. We can, they can't.

This is for, 1 person. Have a child and you're going to need more space.

Salvaged tiny homestudio: tin can siding, paper bag wallpaper

edit on 29-9-2014 by Unity_99 because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 10:56 AM
a reply to: fluff007

Aren't you kind of concerned that it may blow off the cliff into the water with you in it. Well, I am sure you can make sure you have a set of ancient English leg irons to put around your leg at night anchored to the cliff so you don't blow off into the lake with the yurt.

posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 11:30 AM
a reply to: fluff007

Okay, I have NOT built a Ger but I have been doing a lot of researching on different building types and what would be best to use in different climates etc. What I found to be the best solution so far is to build your own Cob house with a stone foundation. The stone foundation will keep the house from staying wet in rainy areas and cob has been tested in tornado type winds and in earthquake shocks in labs. It takes damage yet stays up which is what you need to survive. They stay cool in summer and warm in winter. Due to their domed shape winds don't really bother them. This is a very old building method where houses have lasted for years and some still are standing to this day. I don't think if you are in it for the long haul that you could do better than that. You wouldn't have to take it down seasonally. It would be permanent. You could live in it year round. There are many videos on youtube about how to do it and there are classes you can take where you go help build someone elses for a week or two for hands on experience. Good luck to you, I hope whatever you decide it is successful.

posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 06:43 PM
a reply to: Unity_99

Hi there Unity... You got some good ideas there...

A good way for insulating a Ger is to sandwich a layer of bubblewrap in between two layers of reflective foil.. My renewables enginner friend made a yurt and he used duvets as insulation - and it worked...!

Traditionally they use felt. But these days peeps are using the reflective foil/bubblewrap insulation..

posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 07:00 PM
a reply to: rickymouse

Loool...! Ofcourse I am concerned Mr Mouse (may I call you that)...!

Our main objective is to make the Ger strong enough to withstand at least our summer winds and rains.. Now since I have lived here (4 years now) I have yet to experience severe summer winds.. We get gales in the summer but only at about 40mph... There have on occasion been winds exceeding that - but not many...

Our plan is to make our wooden frame of the Ger as strong/durable/flexible as possible.. I have spoken to 2 of my friends today - one has made 2 Gers and the other friend makes Gers for a living (i have been dying to speak with him for a while!)... Now they both know where I live and are aware of the environmental implications on the Ger - but if it is only up in the summer months - both friends have said the Ger should survive no bother...

My friend who makes Gers has made one for someone who lives in Orkney which is an island about 40 miles North of the tip of Scotland... Their Ger is up in the summer months and has reportedly been doing fine...

I think the trick is anchorage.. On your last layer of roof canvas (the crown cover) can have 4 bits of canvas coming down either side at even points that anchor to 4 stakes in the ground. Secondly you can sew loops of rope into the roof canvas where it sits over the joining of the wall canvas.. You can then use these as anchor points too. Thirdly there is a method of using rope and eight 1metre stakes to anchor the tops of the wall poles (even spaced and distributed) to the ground...

So between those three anchoring methods, the outward and downward thrust from the roof poles, the weight of the wooden frame (which we will make from 2x1 and 2x2 timbers) and the downward force of the compression ring at the top and the weight of the canvas (which could be 20oz instead of 12oz) methinks we will be bunkered down securely..

Our friend who makes Gers has said if we draw up and calculcte our plans we can send them to him to look over and he will give us feedback (and hopefully) the thumbs up....!

Btw... The body of water surrounding us is the Atlantic Ocean not a lake...! Thank you for your concern though Mr Mouse - we are trying to think of every little thing that will make a difference...!

posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 07:06 PM
a reply to: Dimithae

Thanks for your reply and link Dimithae..

Cob homes are absolutely beautiful...! However the reason for our wanting to make a Ger for our potential plans is to bypass the laws and applications of planning. And as a Ger is a temporary structure without a foundation we can bypass all of that. However if we were to build a cob house it would mean that we would have to apply for planning permission to do so...

I have friends on mainland Scotland who have built cob houses and also cob rocket stoves...! If we where to be building our own house somewhere we might be thinking along these lines..

Thank you again for your input and interest - it is appreciated...!

posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 07:13 PM
a reply to: DrumsRfun

Hello again DRF...!

Having spoken to our friend who has been making Gers for years - he advises putting in some sort of well anchored platform - this could interfere with us wanting to bypass the planning laws etc. As he has had issues with water. And up here there is plenty of that all year round...!

He has suggested that if we make the platform.. To first build a platform a few feet larger than the Ger and then build another platform on top of that about 3/4 inches higher the original platform so the Ger can sit on top of that. Therefore allowing less water to run underneath the Ger and creating damp... So you would have the wooden walls of the frame that sit snugly against the smaller slightly higher platform... Does my explanation make sense...? I hope so...

Do they ever take the trampoline Ger down or transport it..? If so how easy is it dismantle...? Are they able to take the metal trampoline frame apart...?

Thanking you kindly again for your input and interest....!


posted on Sep, 29 2014 @ 09:20 PM
a reply to: fluff007

Your welcome. Sorry I couldn't be more help on that. I do know that we have companies here that make yurts that they say can withstand winds of like 75mph. Perhaps you could look them up and see what they are doing to make them stronger? Thing is,those are probably anchored into the ground as well causing zoning issues too. I don't know. Good luck with however you go about it.

posted on Sep, 30 2014 @ 06:44 AM
a reply to: fluff007

Having spoken to our friend who has been making Gers for years - he advises putting in some sort of well anchored platform

Our anchor is the wooden floor that was built from plywood.
Not transportable but its anchored.

Do they ever take the trampoline Ger down or transport it..? If so how easy is it dismantle...? Are they able to take the metal trampoline frame apart...?

To assemble it with all the parts ready to go took an afternoon and 4 people.
It was built in June so no,we have not tried to disassemble it.
To take it apart would just mean unstrapping the tarp and removing a bunch of screws but it would be tedious putting it back together and a drag to transport...pun intended.

It would be easier to transport it without a floor but than comes the big question...what do you anchor to?

posted on Oct, 5 2014 @ 04:15 AM
a reply to: Dimithae

Thank you for your input anyways...! Thanks for the luck too...

Yes my plan is to research as much as possible and get tips and advice and ideas from peeps.. The more info I have the better decisions I can make for my Ger...

posted on Oct, 5 2014 @ 04:21 AM
a reply to: DrumsRfun

Thanks for you reply...

Hm well having spoken to my Ger making friends again, they have said the only real issue they have is with the wet...!

My friends live on mainland Scotland which is known for being wet. But where I live in the Outer Hebrides it is incredibly WET for a lot of the year.

To attempt to combat the rain running on the wooden platform and under the canvas into the Ger. They decided to build another platform on top of the one they have about 2/3 inches higher - this seems to have helped them with the water run off issue...

So we might think of doing something like that. But I am not sure how much a wooden platform would interfere with bypassing the planning laws...

For all intents and purposes I think we will plan on anchoring into the bedrock...! As there is only about 1ft or so of peat and then you hit bedrock. So we guess anchoring to that should be pretty sturdy lol...!

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