Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Constructing the Yome

We got the call two days ago that DJ and Kathy were ready to put up the structure of their yome, so this morning we scurried North.When we arrived they were busy packing straw into the spaces that would be under their floor. This went over the foamboard they had placed inside each of the 8 wedges that made the platform.
We covered it with a vapor barrier, and stapled it into place...
and then got to work fitting the plywood on top like a big puzzle. It's amazing that when you work it out right, you can make the entire platform out of 8 pieces of plywood, plus one small (20 inch) extra octagon in the middle. DJ and Kathy figured that out themselves by making a to-scale replica and trying things out. That's more patience than I possess!
after screwing down the plywood (which will later be covered with a big round rug),
we got to constructing the roof. That tiny ring on top of the ladder goes at the top of their roof, and each of the rafters screws into it.
It didn't take long to get them in place!
The yome's bones are constructed from a bunch of 1.5 x 1.5 inch pieces of wood with eye hooks in the ends. These all get threaded together on large nuts, and fastened into place with washers and bolts. Cleverly, the eye hooks at each end are screwed opposite each other, so if you need to tighten or loosen a length you can just turn the board after it has been attached to its neighbors.
After getting the perimeter of the roofline attached to the rafters, we tightened it all up...
and then we put on the roof fabric, stretched it into place, and popped through that tiny hole to screw it down around the doughnut.
Kathy zipped around putting extra weatherproof paint on any visible holes...
and Jon attached the roof vent while we got ready for the next steps.
Now let's take a moment to gather ourselves because the next part of our day was kindof crazy. So crazy, in fact, that we have no pictures. There were no extra hands, literally.
Basically, the deal is that you put the side poles together with the roof poles, and start raising the yome from one side, moving around in a circle methodically as you attach the floor poles that hold it all together. Theoretically, this should work fine, and in the book they even say it can be done with two people. I have NO IDEA how. We worked around in a circle, and about halfway around one of the first floor poles broke and the whole structure came off the platform. We had to backtrack and start over... a number of times.

It was challenging for us, but our little buddy here didn't seem to mind the repetition in his day. He made dozens of trips from the feeder to wherever he was keeping his stash, and by the end of the day had it emptied. Check out those cheeks!
So, in the end (after dark, with flashlights) we got it! Tomorrow DJ and Kathy will put up the side walls, and then hopefully it will be done!After some time to reflect, Jon and I both agreed that it was easier to raise the yurt. But knowing what we know now, hopefully it will go more smoothly the next time we put up a yome. Regardless, we're really excited to have DJ and Kathy nearby, and grateful that we had the chance to help out in the building of another kind of alternative living space!

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