Up until now, the Thing in the Hole on my yurt has always been an umbrella. The yurt has been through at least four so far, including a small pink Totes, the late, great Gay Umbrella, and two different ones I re-skinned with transparent stretchy stuff so I could still get light, which is what I’m using now.
The umbrella setup has Problems, though, and the winter here in Texas has really been making them show. The biggest one is that although it keeps out rain, it also isn’t well sealed or very strong. Even with a bracket built into my roof ring to hold onto it, I’ve had umbrellas blow away and break in violent weather, which is probably what “Texas” *actually* translates into from its native language.
The reason there has to be a dome over the hole is that if there isn’t, any tarp that’s strapped across it can collect water, leak, and even collapse. Traditional gers and yurts have a dome-shaped wooden grill that makes the fabric covering the hole stay round and supported. It also looks totally boss and way less trashheap than a flimsy umbrella. So I decide to make one.
I looked at several examples online for inspiration, and ended using this one from yurtworkshop.com as my main template:
Made from recycled 3/4″ plywood we had lying around, this is a perfect example of something that would have taken about 30 minutes on a CNC router or laser cutter, but took me all day with a jigsaw.
Today, after finally managing to drag my ass into gear after the cold, soulless rain finally departed, I shimmed and filled in most of the remaining imperfections. Once the glue is dry, I’ll caulk any remaining gaps, sand it down, and paint it, probably fire-engine red.
Once it’s installed, I’ll be using a hole cover made from layers of clear bubble wrap. It will better sealed, still waterproof, and much stronger than the umbrella setup.