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Confessions of a Yurt Owner

Let me start off by saying, if you plan on living in a yurt DONT buy a yurt with Velcro windows. Spend the extra money on a yurt with real windows; you will be so grateful in the long run. We bought our yurt used, we got a great price, but the Velcro windows are a pain in the butt. Every time it rains we have to run outside to close the windows so water doesn’t get in, and usually we are too late. If we are asleep or away while the windows are open and a storm decides to come through we end up with a mini flood in the yurt. Too much moisture in any home is bad because it can lead to fungal issues. We have resorted to just keeping our windows shut all the time, which sucks because I love fresh air. We hope to install real windows but it’s a difficult project because we do not want to compromise the yurts structure in any way. So if you plan on living in a yurt save yourself the headache and get one with real windows to begin with. As a yurt age’s tears and leakage spots can occur also causing moisture problems in the yurt.

we commune with nature in a very intimate way, with black bear, deer, raccoons & skunks, wolves & coyotes, weasel, mice, squirrels, an army of insects, garter snakes, birds and so on.  This interaction with nature is, for the most part, enjoyable. However, when the bear gets up close and personal, you don’t want to be cooking inside a flexible wall yurt, with plastic windows.  A solid wall yurt, raised off the ground is a must.

Squirrels offer greater resistance and, like raccoons, can wreak havoc on the tarpaulins.  Our yurt integrates so well into its surroundings that a raccoon family has torn holes in the roof tarpaulin, merely by climbing onto it.  Squirrels leave only pin-sized holes, but more of them.

Insects, like mice, pose a major problem.  No yurt should have carpeting inside, because of the risk of ant, tick and spider infestations.  As tightly as you seal the walls and flooring, insects find entrances.  With flexible wall yurts, mice are a major issue.  This problem is eliminated with well-built solid wall designs.

It is impossible to use standard glass windows in a flexible wall yurt.  Consequently, the norm is to install single-sheet heavy plastic windows, which transmit a great deal of the heat or cooling between interior and exterior.  A solid wall yurt, on the other hand, can accommodate standard window units (that open with bug screens).  Doors pose similar issues, and, more so, because most yurt vertical walls are 6’6” to 7’ – less than standard door frame height.

Other considerations include safe heating systems.  Open flame is very risky in fabric yurts.  With solid wall designs, flame retarding materials and fire-rated wall boards can be installed.  Yurts may be purchased with mounting for chimney egress, but pay close attention to sparks that may burn through the roof tarpaulin!

Other problems that may arise include condensation issues in cold weather, when warm, moist air rises and contacts the thinly insulated ceiling materials, condensing and falling inside the building.  If tarpaulins (particularly roof tarpaulins) are not skin-tight, wind causes the tarp to billow which, in turn, packs down any matt insulation used and reduces that R-value.

It’s pretty easy to keep a yurt warm in the winter as long as it is insulated. If it is not insulated then forget it, its freezing.

A soft walled yurt on a sunny day will be at least 20 degrees hotter inside than it is outside. So on a 50 degree day it is at least 70 degrees and on a 90 degree day it’s at least 110 degrees. Our yurt has been 130 degrees inside it before making it unmanageable to even be in there for a minute.

If you put up your yurt on a mountaintop, 100 acres from your nearest neighbour, this one will not be a problem. It is lovely to lie in bed at night and hear the owls and frogs and deer doing their night time thing in the woods around our yurt. You can hear it all, and when the sounds are good, this is a good thing. However, we can also here the neighbours coming and going, hear the folks down the road giving a party, and rainstorms make shouting a necessity. There is NO sound proofing to the walls of a yurt.

And don’t forget sounds go both ways. If you listen to music, fight with your spouse, or, say, have a really good time with your spouse, ahem, the neighbours will hear you. Sound goes straight through a yurt skin. So give your yurt a lot of space around it to compensate.

No, our yurt does not leak. It is tight as a drum. BUT having never been in a structure with absolutely no overhang before, I really didn’t get how rain would run down the long expanse of roof and then come right in through the windows. And because the yurt skin is a pliable fabric, the rain curves down, around, and vroom! Shoots straight in like someone pointing a hose through screen. I only had to test THAT out once. You HAVE to close the windows when it rains. OR you HAVE to have good awnings.

In addition, the windows open and close, at least on our yurt, on the outside. So, in order to open and close them, you have to be outside, too. It’s not a big deal, but it’s a bit of a pain in the patooty to run out into the rain to unroll and zip.

By the end of the first season the nylon webbing that wrapped around the outside became brittle and fell off.  I replaced it annually with rope.  The second season the muslin cover which we knew was supposed to be ‘sacrificial’ had given out.  We didn’t quite know what to do about that.  It was a lot of fabric to replace and where would you go to get a new cover?  Mongolia?  I tied some tarps over the south side where the worst of the damage was.  It was a crappy repair at best.  The tarps would get blown off by the wind in the spring and they would only last a year before they too succumbed to the sun.  Moisture was also getting trapped between the yurt and the layers of tarp that were laying on it.

The new cover lasted another couple years.  As it too gave into the sun we considered what to do next.  It was painfully clear that a tent is not a permanent structure.

No matter what we covered the yurt with we would be back at this place in a couple years.   Everyone still loved the yurt but the upkeep was getting to be overwhelming.

At this point the floor was starting to rot from the trapped moisture, the whole mouse management program was getting to be a real drag and the expense and effort of yet another cover was daunting.

I wanted to come up with a more durable solution that would take care of things once and for all.  We decided to take the yurt down and pack up all the salvageable parts to keep them safe until we had a new plan.

Then we met Dave at One Of A Kind Creative Woodcrafting and his solid cedar walled yurt with a metal roof.

Dave said BUDGET A LITTLE MORE UP FRONT AND BE WORRY FREE FOR YEARS

BUDGET PRICING for our solid cedar walled yurts are

21 foot diameter is $24,500                        346 square feet
24 foot diameter is $27,500                        452 square feet
27 foot diameter is $29,900                        572 square feet
30 foot diameter is $33,500                        706 square feet

 

You receive 2 windows that open with real glass and bug screens,
one person door at 36″ wide with half glass, 8′ high solid cedar walls,
a center ring with bubble and rafters to hold up your vinyl roof.
Platform / floor is not included in the pricing.

So where does this leave you at this point. You have a vandal proof (and
yes, vandals have been slicing through the thin canvas of a soft walled yurt
and stealing items through the large holes in the lattice walls). You have
real glass windows that open but you still have to make your floor and you
still have a vinyl roof – what can we do to help you out here? LOTS!

The platform or yurt floor is usually done by a local carpenter to save on
shipping or we offer an insulated floor upgrade for $5 – 7,000. This is what
is called a Structural Insulated Panel or SIP. You still have to install it but
the work is done for you. Each piece slides together over an insulated spline.

NEXT THE ROOF UPGRADE
A standing seam metal roof to replace the vinyl roof is between $6 and $7,500
This is what your yurt would look like now and yes, we can even offer you one
or more skylights, taller windows, higher walls and more.

NEXT IS WINDOWS

Who wants to look through a lattice wall and a thick piece of clear plastic?

Want additional windows? No problem – gang as many as you wish. Each new window section is 48” wide and features a curved wood header and metal flashing for $1,600. No worries about wind or rain now and if you have a nice view you can enjoy it by not having to look through a lattice wall which is what you get in a soft sided yurt. Your choice of sliders, double hung, half awning or full awning and more – just ask

NEXT IS BETTER WALL INSULATION

You purchased a yurt to keep the costs down however we also want our comforts without ice cycles forming inside our yurt.

EVERYTHING you add to your round tent will cost you money – take a look at what we have for you now

Want to add insulation (that works) to your yurt walls? The floor, roof and walls are where you want to invest a bit more money up front. Your investment here will equal the amount of comfort and enjoyment you will have for years to come.

This is our typical solid cedar yurt wall. A FULL inch and a half of solid cedar. The same joint used in our cedar hot tubs so you know it is water tight. It is still only 1 ½” thick with no insulation. It is stronger than a lattice wall but still colder than you may wish.

Almost everyone that purchases a yurt wants to add insulation. Even to our solid cedar yurts. One client screwed rigid insulation to the outside and added metal roofing all around the yurt. Looks beautiful and certainly nice and warm but a lot of extra work – that gave our engineering department an idea….

WHAT IF ……. we made our cedar walls with wood on the inside and the outside and glued the wood to warm foam insulation?

What if your log walls looked like this?

UPGRADE to our micro SUPER LOG.

Solid wood on both sides with 2” of EPS foam between offering you an R-12 yurt wall.

We believe in this engineered super log so much we are going to offer it as an upgrade for ONLY $9,900 for the first 5 (any diameter) yurt orders. This is for an 8’ high wall (not a taller wall).

SO what will all this look like if I only have a budget of $60,000 for my 24 foot diameter yurt and I want 2 real glass windows that open?

24 foot diameter                   452 square feet                    $27,500
A standing seam metal roof                                               $6,500
Rafter and insulation package for metal roof                $3,900
Insulated floor upgrade                                                      $6,500
SUPER LOG upgrade                                                            $13,100

INVESTMENT in a well insulated yurt                             $57,500

CHEAPER THAN A TINY HOME

Wild Pacific Yurt Campground

This blog is dedicated to the manufacture and installation of the first insulated log yurt on the west coast.

Or should I say WET Coast?

This is yurt one of 5 or 6 so we wanted it to be a show piece.
I happened to know where there was 2 mega red cedar logs that had been sitting under cover for 35 years.
I made an offer and purchased both of them.
Approx 600 years old and 52″ diameter it was a fun start to the project.

Here we are loading one log – they were so large I could only get 1 at a time on the trailer

Both logs had to be quartered so the portable saw mill could handle the size

Another quarter with the second log on the trailer in the background

Making lumber now

Look at that color – the dark reddish hues – oh man – this is going to be beautiful

I learned something new on this build so far – see the little spikes coming out of the tree? That is how a knot starts – from the center out. You can see the actual knot(s) at every spike. Look at all those little spikes.

This was the lumber yield from the 2 large logs. All loaded up and on the way to the dry kiln

 

So now I have some beautiful kiln dried red cedar for the inside and outside of the logs
We can hand clamp every log and be able to clamp 3 logs a day – that would take 40 – 50 days

or

purchase a clamp system that can clamp the logs faster

so guess what we did?

This is our clamp carrier stripped down and on the trailer

At our shop – clamp arms being put back on

All set and clamping the short lengths (for under windows and above windows)

As well as the 10′ long logs

In 1 week all the logs were clamped up and ready to run all the logs through the machine with the triple tongue and groove

These logs will run through several machines to make them straight, the same width and same thickness next.

The jointer

The table saw

The shaper

Coming out of the shaper

End result – a triple tongue and groove joint

Now that we have the logs made we have to make the window and door sections in the shop

 

The short pieces are clamped and screwed together with big stretch in all 3 cavities
10″ Simpson Strong Tie truss screws are used to pull every log to the last one

More shorts are addes

Nice tight joints and hole routered for duplex receptacle box for electrican

One more side log on this window unit – beautiful colors in the cedar

Logs all notched for electrical

Speaking of electrical – a hole or chase is bored from the electrical notch to the duplex receptacle opening

One (of 9) window sections ready for interior and exterior finish

Both sides of EVERY log now has to get sanded to remove all the marks put on the cedar from every step along the way.
Cal did an AMAZING job using the last thing I would ever consider using – a portable belt sander

3 window sections sanded and 1 coat of finish applied to the inside
These window sections are upside down in case you were wondering why the holes for the electrical are up top

Finish applied to the inside of each log – goes on glossy then finished as a low sheen
Log number 1

More logs – more rich colors from a 600 year old log

So while Sean and Cal are putting the finishing touches on the  logs, it is time to head out and get the site prepped.
Looks like a level place to park the RV for the next month or 2

RV in place

It rains a LOT here so building a mud room is a must. Picture later when it is built

Back to the shop to load the truck with materials for the mud room as well as the 6 x 6 for the yurt
Load 1

The guy walking into the restaurant is looking at me like I was crazy

Back on the site, this is what the spot looks like where the yurt will go
Man, we have a LOT of work ahead of us

The 6 x 6 timbers are placed, marked and cut with a monster skill saw with a 16″ blade
Our laser level was set up so everything is perfectly level
Center section is done – starting the outside pilings

Start seeing it take shape – wish the rain would stop
Mind you I hear it is minus 40 and several feet of snow back east so this is not too bad

Both inner and outer rings are done

Special bracing was added to stiffen and LOCK everything together

Ready for the tractor trailer and the floor pies
Sean, Cal, Chris and Jesse are loading the trailer at the shop

Mud room is built – 20′ x 10′ with a wood stove, chimney and clothes drying racks

Next the door is framed in and hung

Trailer with the entire yurt arrives on site

Floor pies installed on top of our 6″ x 6″s and the sub trades installing plumbing, electrical etc

This was Jan 10.

Jan 11 everything changed

 

 

 

Alpine Yurt

7 months in the making and 4 years of R & D we have designed a yurt that will withstand any and all harsh conditions

HISTORY HAD BEEN MADE

   

From the image on the left (the day we flew in) to the image on the right in 7 days. It was snowing so hard the helicopter pilot took her door off so she could fly sideways and see.

Dave Byers (owner of One of a Kind Creative Woodcrafting and Cedar Yurts) hands over the keys to the new alpine yurt to Andy Smith, the Strathcona Area Supervisor for BC Parks, West Coast Region. The following blog is a start to finish look at this project.

NEW BACKCOUNTRY SHELTER IN STRATHCONA PARK HIGHLIGHTS PARK HISTORY

 Monday, August 21, 2017

COURTENAY – A permanent group shelter at Croteau Lake in Strathcona Provincial Park will provide safe, dry, versatile activity space for larger groups and will complement a newly built group site.

The facility will be a hard-sided yurt with a metal roof to accommodate the park’s heavy winter snow loads, and will be large enough to provide shelter for group activities of up to 25 people (it is not planned as accommodation at this time).  The project is being developed by the Strathcona Wilderness Institute, with support from BC Parks, Nyrstar Mine, and other community donors and built and installed by One Of A Kind Creative Woodcrafting.

Click on this link for the full story. http://www.islandcoastaltrust.ca/new-backcountry-shelter-strathcona-park-highlights-park-history

READ about the history of the area where the yurt will be installed and a very extraordinary fellow named Eugene Croteau (whom this Lake was named after) at  http://www.beyondnootka.com/articles/eugene_croteau.html

Could we RE design one of our cedar yurts to withstand 540 pounds per square foot snow load? That was the question I was asked. EVERYONE I spoke to about this said there must be something wrong. That would be over 50,000 pounds of snow / weight on the building.
Engineers, architects and builders all said the same thing – the decimal point is in the wrong place – IT CAN’T BE THAT MUCH.but it was!

I was confident that our cedar yurts could withstand this load with a bit of engineering and some changes.
Foundation and center pipe in place by 43K – Nice job guys! Croteau Lake in the background

yurt-site

This project would NOT have taken place without the assistance from Tim, Nolan, Graham and Wayne – you know who you are;
And to the best workers ever – my General Manager Sean VanAlstyne who does NOT understand the word quit and Larry Blain who just keeps on trucking no matter what and Stephen Munro the newest addition to our family

And to
Andy Smith, the Strathcona Area Supervisor for BC Parks, West Coast Region – this was Andy’s vision for many years – congratulations Andy!.
Andy has several years of planning behind this project and probably a few thousand emails. Andy’s team of Aaron, Jamie and his rangers worked tirelessly hiking in and out of the alpine to dig away for the foundation and center post for the 43 K crew.

Andrew Johnson of Timber Box Home Designs did an awesome job of designing a round building for the very first time.

Jim Mitchell was the lead engineer on the project and was scratching his head many times as he punched the buttons on the calculations. In the end we have a stamped, signed set of drawings for a structure that will withstand 540 pounds per square foot of snow load. A special mention to Dave Vincent who worked along side Jim Mitchell to assist with the engineering on this project

SLEGG Lumber was the first firm to step up to the plate with a donation to the project. SLEGG donated the LVL’s for the rafters as well as all the western red cedar for the floor – AWESOME DONATION guys

ADVANCED BENDING TECHNOLOGIES donated the 3″ x 3″ curved angle iron for the base of the yurt. This is a key part of the entire structure.
Check out their portfolio – from spiral stairs and water parks to 36″ curved pipe and curved roofing panels – you have to check this out http://www.bending.net/portfolio.html 
3-x-3

Island Ropes donated the hoops that hold the yurt together.

Windsor Plywood in French Creek donated the 3 windows.

Nelson Roofing in Cumberland was where the CUSTOM metal pie shaped galvanized roofing was purchased from. As soon as I seen their web page I knew this was the roofing company I wanted to work with. Check these guys out http://www.nelsonroofing.com/

The center ring was custom made and purchased from Express Custom in Errington. http://www.expresscustom.ca/

Columbia Manufacturing is where the triple bubble was purchased. The first of its kind and is featured on top of the yurt.

Western Red Cedar was purchased from Sawmill Direct

2 sections of smaller yurt scaffolding was purchased as our large scaffolding was way too large

cedar-and-scaffoling

The rest of this blog will be about what it took to build this extreme yurt and getting all the materials, tools and people to the site and back by helicopter

We took the cedar to Valley Cedar where they allowed us to use their moulder as we only have a shaper – what is the difference? A moulder can process both sides and both edges at the same time.

The top and bottom and 1 edge (using the moulder) was completed in 4 hours with 1 hour for set up. It took another 4 hours to do the one remaining edge. The moulder saved a full days wages for 2 people.

Now it wouldn’t be a good story if all I told you was the good things that happened would it?
Because all we have in our shop right now is a shaper (can’t afford a moulder right now) all our knives have been made to cut from 1 direction. The moulder is set up to cut from both directions – SO we were able to surface the top and bottom and 1 edge using Valley Cedar’s moulder (in under 4 hours).

Then back to our shop and set up the shaper to shape the remaining edge.
shaper The cedar you see here will be the walls of the Alpine yurt

Cedar is cedar and it will warp and bow and we need all our joints straight to prevent wind and water from entering the building through the walls. Sean and I spoke about a custom tool that sure would be nice to have but who can make such a tool? On my way into Nanaimo, I pulled over to take a run through the industrial park in Lanceville (just outside Nanaimo) and drove past this sign that said CUSTOM FABRICATION – hey why not – it does say custom doesn’t it?

Shooters

Well it turns out that the owner does custom fabrication on vehicles but took this as a personal challenge – this is what he came up with – EXACTLY what the doctor ordered – Thanks Cary
clamp Cary Fehr owns Shooters – Great guy for any off the wall welding and fabricating – he says that if you can dream it he can build it. 1-250-802-6970

Here it is in action

Metal for the roof was picked up from Nelson Roofing in Cumberland. They hand cut the pie shapes and knowing I was flying it in stacked the pies half and half to spread the weight even – I love it when people look ahead and add to the solution. Makes the job so much more fun – thanks guys!

roofing

2-x-10

Now to sort and weigh everything

Meanwhile Larry is boring holes through the staves so we can screw them together in the field (using our new special tool from SHOOTERS)

boring-holes

Sean is making the door unit. The window sections standing up against the overhead doors can be seen n the background

door-section

CUSTOM steel curved headers made from Nanaimo Metal Fabricators. Len Ronkainen (owner / operator) said they were very busy but he would fit it in for me by Friday and they came through. Had the holes punched in the metal for us also. AWESOME job guys   www.nanaimosheet.com

headers2

Curved headers primed right beside the center section of post.
This section of post sits on top of the post installed on bedrock on the site now by the crew at 43K

headers

The bottom ring compliments of Advanced Bending Technologies
T
hey advertise on their web site DECADES OF DOING THE IMPOSSIBLE WITH STRUCTURAL AND ARCHITECTURAL STEEL
And do they ever know their stuff – check out their web site at http://www.bending.net/

We laid out the entire circle and cut 4 pieces of the curved metal as splices for the 4 joints

layout

Larry fitting one of the splices in place

Larry

Stephen making another splice
Stephen

Meanwhile at EXPRESS CUSTOM they are making the top center section of the center post

top-ring-being-made

Seen here finish welded and upside down. The bolts fit into holes in the flanges of the steel posts

top-ringtop-ring-primed

All metal has been de greased, washed and has a coat of primer

bottom-ring

Steel headers being bolted through the header and side staves to support snow loads – shows inside of the header

header-inside

shows the outside of each header – our metal flashing purchased from AANAWL sheet metal (Gerry Clayton) will cover all the carriage bolts

header-outside

Easier to work in a warm shop as me thinks it will be colder and wetter up on the mountain.
With that thought in mind we are doing as much as time will allow inside our warm shop
First window section up and being bolted to the bottom metal track

Next the door unit and the second window unit gets attached

Holes are all pre drilled to secure the header – inside view

Outside view – we have the custom made curved metal flashing that will cover the exterior of each opening
So we had to countersink every hole the thickness of the head of the bolt so the metal flashing would sit flat against the wood

Opening has blue skin installed all around and this shows the metal going 1 stave beyond the opening

Lets look at just how much is involved in making 1 window section
The staves are clamped together with a bead of BIG STRETCH caulking in every joint
6″ screws suck everything together
toe screws are applied to prevent racking
then blue skin is applied to prevent moisture penetration

Even the bottoms of every stave are caulked, receive several 6″ screws and get toe screwed

Then the sill is made with a rain drip groove on the underside, the caulking is applied after the blueskin
Then the sill is screwed in place
   

The window is installed and finally you can see the curved metal outside flashing and drip edge from AANAWL

The exterior trim is installed
Expanded foam is applied to the gap all around every window
Interior trim is custom made for the diameter and installed
Caulking is applied all around the window
The exterior flashing is installed and caulked.

On to the door section

Bottom of the door outside

Bottom of the door inside is bolted right through the 3″ x 3″ angle iron

One fifth of the way around – the more we can do in the shop the better – 7″ of snow on the site today and we leave tomorrow   yikes

All loaded up on the trailer – PLUS a flat deck full plus 2 trucks full

Images of the site with the foundation crew – floor is now completed by 43K – they won the contract to build the foundation and install the bottom section of the steel post for the project and sent these pictures for us to see the progress.

  

All ready for us and another storm front is on it’s way in

BRING IT ON!

Island Forms agreed to use their truck to bring the heavy skids of material to the helicopter site and unload our trailer at the same time.
Thanks Hugh – you guys were great!

Our crew getting a briefing on helicopter safety and hand signals before loading materials

There are 2 ways to bring in materials
1) A net as you see here – bringing in our cooler and totes of food and personal gear

2) A sling for larger packs of lumber and supplies. Here you see both a net and a sling

Materials now all on site and Sean set up his market tent as it started to snow.
In fact it was snowing so hard the helicopter pilot removed her side door and flew in the last 2 loads sideways

Sean wasted no time setting up his market tent to keep the snow and rain off our tools

Starting the bottom steel ring

Bottom ring bolted together

Tent and lights set up for night shift number one

Blue skin and pressure treated plywood installed to protect the edges of the western red cedar decking (DONATED BY SLEGG LUMBER AND INSTALLED BY 43K

Bottom ring installed with overhang

Every joint in the steel bottom ring had a splice using 1/4″ thick steel. The entire bottom ring was donated by Advanced bending technologies
http://www.bending.net/ 

Door section installed and bolted to the bottom ring – then the window unit to the right of the front door

Then more staves are screwed to each other and more wall goes up

Remember the SPECIAL CLAMP I had made by SHOOTERS – here it is in action screwing in one of three screws that keep all the staves tight to each other

At the bottom, EVERY stave is bolted through the steel ring using stainless steel screws

OUR CAMP
43K is a company owned and operated by Ben and Shaun. They had a contract to install tent platforms around the yurt site and secured the contract to install the foundation and floor for this yurt.

They offered us their entire camp already set up with cots, cooking facilities, diesel heater, dishes etc for $250 a night as they had worked their shift and would be on their days off when we flew in – worked like a charm..
These guys spend their life in the bush – thanks much! This is called a winter heaven tent.and was set up as the cook tent

Side view with the other tent as a sleeping tent. We had cots right in the cook tent
The salmon in the tree was thawing out for tonight’s supper – honey garlic baked salmon

Greatest little stove ever – easy on propane. A 2 burner with an oven

Diesel heater that kept the tent warm and dried the clothes as it rained and snowed for the first 4 days on site

Stephen’s cot

Larry’s cot

Shelving – Dave’s cot is to the right of the shelving and if you look on the top shelf you will see 2 large plastic jugs stacked on top of each other
There is an interesting story about those jugs – they are designed to filter lake water to drinkable water.
We arrived on site Thursday.
Saturday night / Sunday morning around 1:30 am, the wind started to blow and blow hard. The tarps were ripped off our rafters down at the yurt site
and the back of the tent kept pushing against the shelving with every gust. Wind speed was a constant 60 to 80 km per hour with gusts
around 100 to 120 km per hour. At 3:30 I was woken up rather quickly when the plastic jugs of water were pushed off the top shelf and
you guessed it – dumped the contents on me and my sleeping bag. Stephen and Sean loaned me a blanket each.

We went down to the site to check for any damage and cut a brace and screwed it to the shelving to prevent the shelving from blowing over and went back to sleep.

The tarps were mostly torn off exposing our tools to the rain

Time for some food porn – this was the plate of nachos the boys enjoyed

This was the honey garlic baked salmon with rice and onion saute’d bacon and cheese broccoli

End of the food porn – I thought I had taken a picture of the chocolate cake I baked but can’t find it

Meanwhile back at the yurt the scaffolding is being set up to install the second section of pipe and the large top ring

Second section of pipe installed – now the fun part

Almost there – just one more lift – only weighs 600 pounds guys – come on

One last grunt

Top section installed and bolted and scaffolding taken down

Back to installing the walls – yes, it did snow on us again

Larry trying to keep ahead of the snow falling to clean each stave and apply a bead of caulking

Frigging cold and wet

  
Stephen took the picture on the right with Larry shoveling snow off the floor

Starting the rafters

Night before the storm – all tarped in over our tools

Several rafters up

Sean explaining to Larry and Stephen

Rafters all cut and installed

Roof decking of 2″ x 10″ started

Sean is a 3 man crew all by himself

Every second pie is solid – every other one is a ladder

Nightshift almost has the roof closed in

Decking is all done

A look on the inside – the rafters are LVL’s (Laminated Veneer Lumber) donated by SLEGG LUMBER

Every opening has the steel header custom made to fit the curve / diameter of the yurt by Nanaimo Sheet Metal
Expandable foam is sprayed all around the window to seal the gap before trim is installed.

Ice and water shield is installed under the metal roofing to prevent condensation and add a layer of protection

FINALLY the first sheet of metal is installed – getting close to wrapping this up now

3 pie shaped pieces of metal are installed
We felt so good about our progress Sean gave everyone the night off

Sean telling another 4 wheeling story with Stephen on the right and Brian (from 43K) on the left

Larry on the right with Peter and Ben (from 43K) on the left. Our shifts overlapped and Ben, Peter and Brian allowed us to stay in the
WinterHaven tent while they slept in the smaller tent – thanks guys
We needed 2 more cots and Jamie and Andy from Parks hiked in with them – a 2 hour hike carrying 2 cots – you guys ROCK


We were all congratulating each other on our progress, HOWEVER ……….
Remember the storm on Saturday that knocked the shelving over? You guessed it – another storm tonight
Larry went down at 3:30 to pound some nails in the leading edge of the last sheet as the wind had caught it and flipped it right over
Back to square one

Nearing the end of the metal

Another look at the inside – clean up started

Final cleanup – you can see the center post to carry the weight of the snow – engineered for 50,000 pounds
8″ schedule 40 steel pipe right to bedrock

The sun came out finally and who knew there was a mountain behind Croteau Lake

The last piece of the puzzle is the bubble. Sean installing the bubble

  

Have to put some weight on the bubble to seal it to the butyl tape.

A look at the inside showing the center ring, rafters and decking

  

Final clean up and the guys from 43K gave us a hand to load our gear and get ready for the helicopter
Here to pick up another load

Several loads ready to fly out

Contact made

Up she goes

Another line down – another load out

Answering Andy’s questions

The Engineer flew in with Andy from Parks and said he would issue a Technical Memorandum ……….. this was the last line
In conclusion, I consider the “Alpine Yurt” at Croteau Lake to be safe and suitable for its
intended use, that being a temporary shelter for group meetings and an emergency shelter.

WOHOO – done – time to hand over the keys to Andy Smith

Congratulations to a great team. These words are from Andy Smith

Dave – I want to again congratulate you and your crew for the completion of the yurt. You and I know how challenging of a project this was which only makes the completion that much sweeter.  For the crew, please pass on my admiration for their accomplishment working under such bad weather conditions – they should be proud of their work and their contribution to the history of this park – THANK YOU!

I want to say the same – THANKS to everyone that had a hand in this project and especially to Sean, Larry and Stephen

 

Flew in March 16 to check on the yurt

This was the yurt

 

We dug down to reach the bubble – that is how much snow was on top of the yurt

 

 

 

 

For any newcomers to our yurts or to yurts in general, this is what a typical yurt looks like (not ours)
lattice walls There is a wood lattice wall structure covered in canvas (seen here with no canvas)

lattice and windows
Here is a look from the inside of someone’s yurt.
I do not know where this either image came from or I would add a credit note.If a reader out there does know please contact me.

Enough about other manufacturers yurts – this is our campground yurt – we replaced the lattice and canvas walls with western red cedar

free-standing

Our windows are made in complete sections with curved headers to support snow loads. These are premade right in our plant.
You can have 1 window or gang several together

w-header Seen here with the curved header and SEAN – our General Manager and master builder

5 windows Seen here with 5 window sections all ganged together

First, the platform (or floor) is built then the door section is stood in place and staves added until you come to another place that you want a window or another door etc. and so on until the last piece of wood (we call them staves) is installed. Then we tighten the hoops

inside
Approx half the yurt is now standing.on the Salt Spring Island yurt installed in August

top-hoop
Bottom hoop is on – installing the top hoop now. These were 10′ high walls.

band-on
Metal band to start the metal roof.

metal-roof3
Installing the standing seam roof panels

hard working guys
Finished

THIS WAS WAY WARMER THAN THE PARKS ALPINE YURT

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Dining Room Table

Using a MONSTER red cedar slab we are making a dining room table.
Here is the BEFORE of the slab – 12 foot 6 inches long and 38″ wide
start

Sean cutting it in half
Lets see how straight a line he can cut.

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Horse Newel Post

One of a Kind is at it again

We are creating a trade show display to exhibit the craftsmanship of our artists.
We will take a pile of spalted maple, dress it down, glue it into flat panels then
glue all these panels together to make a thick slab 10″ x 30″ x 4 feet high. THEN
we will take that chunk of wood and carve it into a PAINTED PONY using the
character and color in the wood to paint the horse.

Here is our artists rendering of what it may look like if we had done it in oak.

Our graphics artist is Sheena McCorquodale. If you require artwork, paintings,
doves,  wire animals or just about ANYTHING creative in design, Sheena can
do it or knows where to go to get it done.

Sheena McCorquodale
5320 Island Hwy W
Qualicum Beach
V9K 1Z2
250-757-9991 home
250-937-9991 cell
horse2

Follow us as we complete this project – LONG way to go yet!

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