My geodesic dome...

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  • Hey everyone....
    i have decided that since summer is coming and it will be less cold (its gonna be the hottest summer on record :happydanc ), and i will have less on my plate.... it is time to have a change of setting.
    I keep saying to myself i want to live in a yurt..... and i just never have tried, so this summer it is time to walk the talk, and start doing what i talk about.
    Anyway i have found a spot, that is concrete floored... the dimensions that i can build on are 9 foot long by 7 foot wide, with the entrance being at one end of the length. I originally wanted to build on grass, but that isnt possible and since heard that concrete is actually better for yurts......
    Do any of you guys have experience in building them? :)

    Peace :hippy:

  • heya Truth
    i could possibly push it to 8x8 (but i would have to re-measure to be sure).....there is nothing i can do, the space that i have available to me is only 9x7, and to be honest, i am thankful even to have that... but there is no point for me just to quit what i have been talking about for so long just because i find it inconvient... persistence is a virtue that is very important to develope in our characters, so it would be a good exercise for me to try develop it further in me . So i am just going to have to make do with whats at my disposal, and be glad to have to :) .

    So when and how did you build one?
    Which woods did you use? Did you fashion the centre pole yourself, or buy it pre-made? And what did you use to cover it all? :)
    Do you think it would be possible to build an oval shaped yurt? Granted it would be a bit more awkward, but there shouldnt be THAT much of a problem in it.

  • why do you have to put it in this very small space? can't you build it and put it somewhere else?

    we've just put up an 18ft mongolian yurt in a field and built a buddhist shrine in it. it's a wikkid size, you can get loads of people in there.

    i think 7ft is waaaay small, (though big i suppose if you're used to living in a tent!)

    i would say try and find somewhere else to put it. it takes loads of effort to build a really nice yurt. dont waste it building something little that's not so comfy to live in coz it's to small. you might aswell just live in a tent!

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

  • Stardust :), if i could find anywhere to build an 18 or 21 foot yurt i would DEFINATELY do it. As it stands all i could think of was on the roof of our house. I live in the middle of a city where every inch of land is grabbed up to build apartments, so there ARE NO fields anywhere near me :p. Imagine if you were living in central london and trying to find somewhere to put a yurt. The roof of my own house is not exactly very adventurous, but i am determined to try live in a yurt for the summer, and my choices are EXTREMELY limited. If you have any ideas about where to look i would be glad to hear them though :).
    Yea Chazz, thanks for the advice.... i will try keep it circle as much as is feasable, but i might just be forced to make it oval.

  • Quote from Irish Hippy

    heya Truth
    i could possibly push it to 8x8 (but i would have to re-measure to be sure).....there is nothing i can do, the space that i have available to me is only 9x7, and to be honest, i am thankful even to have that... but there is no point for me just to quit what i have been talking about for so long just because i find it inconvient... persistence is a virtue that is very important to develope in our characters, so it would be a good exercise for me to try develop it further in me . So i am just going to have to make do with whats at my disposal, and be glad to have to :) .

    So when and how did you build one?
    Which woods did you use? Did you fashion the centre pole yourself, or buy it pre-made? And what did you use to cover it all? :)
    Do you think it would be possible to build an oval shaped yurt? Granted it would be a bit more awkward, but there shouldnt be THAT much of a problem in it.



    Hey, you dont need a centre pole for a yurt unless its very much bigger than 7' you dont need them untill past 20'. Look for old marquee canvas to cover it as its cheep. coppised hazel and willow are good to make them from and cheep. A oval shaped yurt would be very hard to make due to having to make every single roof pole a diffrent size, i dont know how it would be done but compiulated maths could help you.

    Have you thought about building a bell tent instead?



  • They are the old style british military campain tents of the 19th century. They only use one centre pole to keep the whole structure up. You would have that sleeping under canvas feel with less hassle but then again i didnt think about you having such a small site, the centre pole would get in the way if the tent is not at least 12' across so you can sleep upto the pole. So ignore that suggestion :p

    i have seen a 9' yurt once but it was marketed as a 'childrens play tent' and thats still 2' bigger than the one you want to make. hehe

    I am worried that with 7' you wont beable to get the wood lattice sections to bend enough to make the circle.

  • :(
    damn cities, miles of space but nowhere to live :p
    I could possibly try set up camp on a green near me, they are green spaces in residential estates, but people would call the police and i would be told to leave (im in a snotty area :p)... also i wouldnt know about the safety of my stuff.
    The area i have is actually closer to 18 foot by 8 foot.... but if i am attempting to build a yurt, the extra 9 foot really is of no significance. I could always just put up a long tent, but that would still not be what i have spoken about for so long, and i would feel i am being untrue to my word. It is a concrete space that i have so also i would have to try organise a tent without pegs for putting in the ground.

    So truth, do you (or anyone) have any suggestions that might be of use in this situation? :)

    Peace:hippy:

  • You might be better building something more simple like a geodesic dome. They are pretty simple to make and are cool looking structures.


    The amount of work that goes into making a yurt makes me think that it would be a waste to put that much into something so small.

  • lol... ok u have an idea there
    so i dont know how to make a geodesic dome :p
    i always thought they would be complex (more so than a yurt)
    can anyone give a brief description of the process to make em (as opposed to posting a site about it :p )?
    what is needed? i thought it is lots of tubing that has to be put together in a somewhat awkward shape, which seems much more complex then yurt making :)

  • geocentric domes are very much more easier than yurts in my experiance, yurt building is more of a craft and labour of love working curved and natural wood. while geocentric domes is a matter of exact cutting of precut timber and maths. Heres a link that might get you started it has a dome calculator on it and will calculate all the lengths for your poles. http://desertdomes.com/

    I think perhaps a dome is the best circular option for you on your site and quite fast. Making a yurt even at only 9' would take you weeks if done well.

    Also with domes you can staple gun a cheep tarpaulin etc to the outside for a quick and secure cover without the need to even sew. Sewing canvas for yurts requires an industrial sewing machine. You can even iorn sections of plastic sheeting together to make an exact fitting cover for a dome.

    Hope this is useful -

  • oooh, thanks for that link! i've got all the bits for my dome then lost the measurements!


    i would definately say dome is waaaay easier. i'll put some yurt piccies up shortly and you'll see what i mean!!

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

  • ok so i guess a dome it shall be..... but on that calculator, im not too good at maths :p its_here
    I put in 7 and got 7.360 back... whats that all about? the length of each peice of wood? lol.. i hate maths, thats why i thought against the dome... its the only paper i did a lower paper in as a kid :p ... therefore me and maths are no longer buddies :p.

    :hippy:

  • The calculator is asking for the radius you want. 7ft is the diameter, the radius is half of that.
    3'6" radius (7ft diameter) = 3.6ft = 3'7" poles


    If you use the instructions in the link I gave you, the shorter poles should be 3'2.5"

  • yeah i used broom handles when i made a small one :p cleaned out wickes hehe. Didnt think about using drainpipes though hehe that would have made things alot easier. You make that massive dome pete? nice!

  • you would have to find some pretty bloody heavy duty drain pipe!!!


    alcathene pipe is highly recommended. this is the stuff they put the gas through underground. you can often get offcuts donated from gas peoples, specially if you tell them it's for an environmental/sustainable living project!

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

  • allo....
    ok so now it is dome building time
    i had exams for 2 weeks, but now finally today they finished and im free to start building the dome... happiness
    yea thread needs to be changed.... i was told a dome would be better for what i have got, than a yurt.... so its not THAT much of a change but a change in plan none the less

    so how has everyone been? :D

  • Great domes PlutoPete :)

    I once had to help put back up a dome thats poles were also made of plastic not just the connectors..it swayed and bent badly in the every so often gusts of wind that swept through the festi I was at.....so with that in mind I would make them from wood...tis more natural anyway than plastic :)

  • Quote from Funktion-1

    I MUST NOT TYPE WHEN DRUNK x1000 :)



    pmsl!!!

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

  • It turns out i cant build a dome, my area of land is too small (the height of a dome would only be 3.5 feet, and i probably could only fit into it crawling :p) ... so now im going to just fiddle around and see what i CAN build..lol

    Do any of you guys know where i could find (or buy cheaply) flexible latticed wood sheets? I have developed an improvised structure idea that could fit well on my land available but i would need first to find some latticed wood (ideally willow), with which to construct it.....

    ideas anyone? :)

  • you dont find it you make it :p.

    Go buy a load of coppiced willow, start stripping the balk, then deknot it, now make an improvised bending rack and leave it to adopt the slight curve thats needed, sand it (three corseness of paper), treat it with linsead oil, then cut each piece to the right length. Now you can start to mark out where the holes need to be, drill them, and thread the lattice together with leather thong or a suitable nylon string.

    You will need at least three seperate lattices and lash them together to get the curve needed.

    Nobody said it was going to be easy!

  • Quote from Irish Hippy

    where would u think i can get coppiced willow?

    I think it's what charcoal is made from, so if you can find anyone who's a charcoal burner near you, you could ask them where they get their wood from (it might have to be a 'traditional' burner, i.e. buring long, fairly thin bits of wood under a covering of earth and sods, rather than the modern way which I think involves sticking larger lumps of wood in a sort of metal tank).

    I've seen coppiced woodland in the Lake District, and there's some on Wimbledon common, neither of which isn at all near you, unfortunately.

    Would you recognise coppicing if you saw it? Are there any local woods you could go for a wander round? - then if you saw wood that had been coppiced, you could ask the landowner if you could have some. I know we got coppiced wood to make morris dancing sticks from Wimbledon common, and the owners (can't remember who it is at the mo') were quite happy for us to take it for free, on the understanding that we went and got it ourselves.