The last of the noggings went in a few minutes ago.

yurt platform joists

The first of the floorboards will go on after this short break…

UPDATE: Do not do it like this. See that square with the triangular bits on? On the left, you’ll see two joists that span the full distance, then smaller joists at right angles to it. I was cheating a bit here, using joists I already had. When you do it (as I did on another 18-foot floor), use joists that go the full span like those two on the left. What happened with this was that the noggings pulled out of the full-span joist near the centre and the floor dropped. OK, this was also because I was using nails that weren’t long enough. Next time, I’ll go for one nail and one screw to keep it in place.

Spent most of yesterday putting the joist frame for Peaseblossom together. Spot the silly mistake:

yurt joists

As with all of these constructions, there’s something that works really well and is deeply satisfying. Here’s an example of a four-way joint resting on an acacia post.

yurt joint

Those long, angled cuts take a while by hand. But are much easier since I started using a vise.

Todays it’s noggings and as much flooring as possible before some light rain forecast tomorrow. It’s going to be a bit of a week.

Over the last couple of days, my attention has switched from the Peaseblossom platform to the Mustardseed platform.

We have guests staying in this yurt at the end of next week and the floor had moved around a bit during its winter under plastic. (BTW, the mice ate through the plastic and the deer ripped the plastic with their hooves, so this is not the ideal way of keeping it in good condition. I’m still not sure what the ideal way is.)

The best solution as I saw it was to lift the floor and re-lay it. (Which is what I was doing this time last year.) The day before yesterday, I got it to this point:

yurt platform 1

Then yesterday, after much noise (I’m nailing the boards down again this time), it got to this point…

yurt platform 2

And then we put the yurt frame and roof up, and added the wall this morning. You’ll have to take my word for this, as I didn’t stop to take a photo.

In our mid-to-late 40s, this kind of physical activity is not as easy as it was, and Things Are Going To Change. Watch this space for some HUGE news in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, I’ll post some video and keep you up to date with work as we put everything else back together for what promises to be our best summer ever!

This time last year I was rebuilding the Mustardseed platform. Now it’s time for the Peaseblossom platform, which I unmade a couple of weeks ago. This morning, it looked like this:

yurt platform

One of the problems we’ve had with this platform is that there hasn’t been enough room between the yurt and that cutaway at the back. Which makes it a bit of a nightmare when it comes to leaves gathering, mud splashing and various other things. So, I’m moving the whole platform away from the wall by a couple of feet.

Which means planting some acacia uprights.

The nearest useful tree was about 100 metres away, growing at a jaunty angle. I chose the one on the left…


…and cut my nine supports, which will all go about 45 cm into the ground.

yurt platform 2

As soon as I publish this, I’m off to strip some bark and pound the first post. No pressure, time-wise, but we do have a family staying in this yurt in less than a few weeks. Fortunately, the weather’s just turned perfect and will hopefully stay that way.

Before écovallée opened this year, Her Outdoors spent about two weeks scrubbing and re-proofing the covers for the guest yurts. Although good for general fitness, she didn’t feel like repeating the experience (like, EVER), so we’ve decided to take the yurts down and store them inside during future winters.

Which has presented us with a terrifying new problem: mice.

In the past, people have suggested shipping containers as a storage solution. Although ugly, they could be easy to mouse proof. (We looked into it and they’re far too expensive for our lack of budget.) Friend Laura suggested an old Bedford van we could just tow into the field. (Also expensive.) So I priced up cladding the inside of the tractor shed, which could be done for about €800. (Most of which we don’t have.)

In a moment of clarity, I realised the only thing that really needed protecting were the covers – so I just spent a couple of afternoons making a mouse-proof box.

Box 1

I bought some air flow vents and reinforced the puny plastic mesh with metal.

Box 2

Made the hole for the vents by chain drilling and using this handy saw.

Box 3

And screwed it all together. Total spend, around €100.

Mouse proof box

I’ve been inside it and checked for light and I’m pretty sure we’re OK. I’m going to nail some edging strips along the bottom and screw the lid closed just to be sure.

An annoyingly wet week, twinned with gardening work away from écovallée, has meant the 18-foot yurt platform I was working on here looked like this first thing this morning:

yurt platform

With guests staying in this yurt in a couple of weeks, this job shot to the top of the “ta-da” list. After a day of digging in and pounding acacia posts, cutting with a blunter-than-I’d-like handsaw, cordless drilling and hammering, it looks like this right now:

yurt platform 2

I would have finishing the noggings, but we had guests arriving in the 12-foot yurt this evening, and I thought 7.15 pm was late enough to down tools.

You might be able to make out a vise attached to the middle joist. I wish I’d thought of using it a few frames ago. It’s saved a lot of gripping wood very hard with one hand to stop it wobbling, or sitting in strange positions to steady joists you’re cutting. If you’re working on your own yurt platform (and it’s one of the most popular subjects on this blog) on your own, I’d recommend it.

More clear days are coming our way – and they’re not too hot yet – so we’re on target to have this yurt back up and furnished by this time next week. It’s light until nearly 9.00 pm at the moment, which is a bonus.

Here’s the state of the Mustardseed floor at the moment. I’m going with the same frame layout as the 12-foot last year and there’ll be a ramp to the door like the Play Yurt you can see just down the slope. It’ll be lovely.

yurt joists