For the walls you will need 65 rods about an
inch (25mm) in diameter and five feet (1.5m) long or slats of
sawn timber, these are traditionally willow. Hazel is stronger,
more durable and easy to obtain in many areas (Cut your hazel
between October and March as it will last longer, the tree will
have a better chance of recovery and there is no risk of
disturbing nesting birds). Broom handles or hardwood batons are
excellent, but a bit expensive and often from unsustainable
sources. Sawn green oak batons ½"x1½" (13x38mm) for
the walls and 1¼"x1¼" (32x32mm) will cost £140-200
and will make a yurt frame to last a lifetime. Sawmill offcuts
may be useful and cheap.
If you are using willow or hazel remove the
bark for an attractive light finish, this is most easily done
using a concave curved knife. Or leave the bark on for a more
rustic look. Use the wood green (unseasoned) so that any slightly
bent poles will be pulled straight as they dry. If using slats,
plane or sandpaper them to give a smooth finish.
Drill seven 3.5mm holes, exactly nine inches
(23cm) apart in each rod leaving two inches over at one end and
four at the other (Fig.2). If using poles of a different length
keep the 9inch spacing but drill more or less holes, as
Figure 2. Hole spacing for the rods of
the khana (wall section).
The easiest way to space these holes is to make
Take a piece of hardwood 11 inches long and drill two 3.5mm holes nine inches
(23cm) apart push a nail through one hole, after
drilling the first hole in each rod place the
nail on the fixture in this hole you can now use
the hole in the fixture as a guide to drill the
second hole. Repeat for the other five holes (Fig.3).
For an attractive durable finish treat the rods with boiled linseed oil.
Figure 3. Fixture used to ensure accurate spacing of holes.
The rods now need to be tied together to form
the two wall sections or Khana. Take 24 full length rods
and tie them together by knotting one end of the string, passing
it through the two corresponding holes in two rods, pulling it very
tight and knotting the other end. To facilitate threading
heat the first inch or so of the string and roll it between your
fingers to form a solid leading end, be careful not to burn
yourself. Burn, rather than cut the string to prevent fraying.
Repeat this process until all 24 rods are joined to form the Khana. Finish the ends using shorter lengths of rod
(Fig.4). Make another Khana in exactly the same way.
Figure 4. The Khana or wall section, two or more of these tied together make up the
walls of the yurt.