First you must choose a desired and practical location for your ger. Ideallyyour ger likes to have at least some sunlight during the day, and preferably a southern exposure to the sky. After you have chosen your piece of land make sure all of your large furniture pieces are gathered. Place all of these items inside of the ger before construction.
Treat all lattice and other bare wood with boiled linseed oil or hemp oil before assembly. This will help protect and sustain the life of the wood from mold and mildew it also gives is a nice luster. Also before or after assembly treat with a couple coats the top of the crown and front of the door with Poly Urethane to protect from weather and UV.
It is extremely beneficial to draw a circle of the circumference of your yurt on the ground. This gives you a very good reference point.
Make sure the curve of the lattice is on the outside. This is the side with the writing on it. Each wall will be labeled 1,2,3.. depending on how many walls your yurt is made of. Make sure they are in order. Lattice number one is placed to the left of the door. The flat end of the lattice touches the ground while the pointed end is at the top. Extend the lattice walls so that the first camel skin joint is the height of your door. Interlock the ends of each wall, they should interlock by 9 -12 inches. You can tell its correct when the camel skin joints align from the two different sections (picture). Make sure the notches where the rafters go are the exact same height. Lash tight with rope or for speed use zip ties.
Place the door so that the lattice walls jam into the notch on the backside of the door. Using the Yak rope attached to the door and the two synthetic pieces of webbing encircle the ger helping it hold its shape. Keep the rope on the outside except for when the lattice intersects, then weave it inside and back out. Have it snug but not tight. You will tighten it down at the very end. Leave the knots accessible so that you can easily tighten the webbing as it stretches over time.
Place the Crown upside down in the center of the ger. The uprights should be lashed so that when raised they are East and West related to the crown. There is an “S” meaning South and thus faces the door. Lash the uprights one at a time either cordage or industrial zip ties. But on our new yurts the crown has an eve so you will need to use long screws instead of lashing. Attach the four crown ropes to the metal rings. Raise the crown in the center and tie the ropes as guy lines. Don’t rely only on them for supporting it. You should have a person standing with it at least until 1/3 of the rafters are up. Align southern ring with the door ring.
This next step requires patience, patience and zen like patience. If you rush you will go much slower. It may be best to have one or two steady handed people to start this process while the clumsy folks support their work. Have a knife on hand to whittle the ends of the rafters that don’t fit into the crown, you will want them snug inside.
Attach the rafters about 80 of them. Start with two at each cardinal direction so you can measure the distance of the crown. Here we use a heavy concrete paver and place it behind the wall to help keep tension. If you have a double door place a large mat or object over the glass. Falling rafters easily can break it. We prefer to start with the first notches on the left and right side of the door, but be sure to make it accurate with #1 and #6 on the door. Next go to the North, then East and West. Make sure to count the holes of the crown and notches of the walls. Mark with a sharpie the NSE and West notches so that you don’t have to count them again. The rafters should over hang about 2-3 inches. Very slowly push or pull the wall the direction you need. Do this by making micro adjustments until it is right.
Here is a good tip for how to place the rafters. At each end there is a horse hair looped knot. Gently place the rafter into the crown (whittling if it is too thick).Elevating the pole higher also helps it slip into the hole and sometimes a little nudge. Then place the looped end into the notch of the wall. Place the loop knot around the inner most lattice notch. If it is too tight use the outer notch or untie and retie the horse hair loop. Beware of the notches and rafters around you. If you pull the wall too tight you will pull other rafters out of their holes. You want there to be a very slight if at all no tension on the rafters. Too much tension at the beginning will cause the rafters to push the crown a certain direction and will make it difficult to get rafters in near the end. Make only micro adjustments until things are right.
Step back take a break and analyze the situation. Throughout the process ensure your crown is staying level and the rafters above the door aren’t backing out of their notches. If you get to the end and one or two of the door rafters are loose by 1/2 an inch, place a screw behind them so that they don’t slip.
Once all the rafters are in. The pavers will be holding a lot of the tension so tighten the top webbing first so that it takes up the tension. Use two people to do this. One person walking around the ger pulling the webbing tight, the other at the knot pulling out the slack. It is important both people are pulling at the same time so that there is continuos tension on the lattice wall. As the webbing tightens it will evenly snug the rafters into the crown. Tighten the bottom webbing in the same fashion.
The completed skeleton of your ger.
Begin dressing the ger. Start with the wall sections. At each end tie a wall rope. A small hole can be sliced in the top corner of the felt for easy attachment. Unroll the other wall section and again attach ropes. These ropes will crisscross and tie to the opposite sides rope. You’ll notice the felt molds nicely to the rafters. If it is sliding down use a heavy object to keep in place. Have the felt off the ground an inch or two. It will settle back down with time. We primarily use heavy objects to hold it in place rather then crisscrossing ropes.
Add the two semi circle pieces of felt. First place oneon the side nearest the door. Then add the second piece opposite the door and overlap.
The next layer is optional and recommended for rainy seasons or rainy climates. Use only Tyvek house wrap. Tyvek is a very different band. The knock off brand does not have the breathability like Tyvek.
Place the green canvas over everything. There are two pieces Again they should be labeled North and South. The side cut with the crown goes on the side with the door first. Properly align and make sure the seams allow water to run down the canvas. There is a seam that should encircle the yurt at the top of the wall. The second canvas may not be cut for the crown. This can be done on your own. But do so only after you have decided where to place your stove.
Tip: Lay out the canvas on the ground and find the correct orientation. Roll it up from the sides so that it is a long cigar. Tie a rope to the top and fling to a person at the crown. Then simply unroll on the yurt.
Note: if you have a tyvek layer it will be extremely slippery for the canvas to stay on. We stapled little loops on the corner of the canvas and then wrapped a piece of cord around the crown and tied it to the other loop on the canvas.
Place the outer cover over everything. Add the bottom skirt and cinch to size. Using three large ropes encircle the ger at the bottom middle and top of the door. Use the rings attached to the door frame to fasten the ropes. Pull these nice and tight so that they cinch the felt to the wall. (The natural wool rope may stretch and deteriorate over time so investing in a stronger material may be useful after a few years) Two spare rafters can be placed on opposite sides of the door like goat horns.