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Hexayurt playa checklist
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Newsflash: we now have fire test data on R-MAX / Tuff-R. . Please read the Hexayurt Safety Information before building your hexayurt
- 1 Classic Construction: A Step By Step List of Everything You Need To Do
- 2 Pictures and Plans
- 3 Decide
- 4 Mail Order Tape
- 5 Building Supply Run
- 6 Make the Hexayurt at home
- 7 Transport the Hexayurt
- 8 Playa Assembly Instructions
- 9 Pick your Assembly Strategy
- 10 3D/Midair Assembly Strategy
- 11 2D/Grounded Assembly Strategy
- 12 Cutting your Hexayurt Down and Going Home
Classic Construction: A Step By Step List of Everything You Need To Do
These instructions are specifically for building an 8 Foot Hexayurt using the "classic construction" technique. See this list of other hexayurt shapes, sizes, and construction techniques (no, really, go look there first for lots of great ideas and upgrades in hexayurt technology). This page houses some detailed information about supplies that are used in building other sizes/shapes of hexayurt, and other construction modes. This hexayurt information references the hot, dusty environment of the Black Rock Desert and the Burning Man Art festival. In other climates and for long term use, you should look at hexayurt.com for instructions using other materials, like plywood.
Building a Hexayurt is easy. You can get everything you need on one trip to a building supply store and one mail order.
This list is not a substitute for the videos. It's designed to be printed out and carried around, to the playa and to the hardware store, to make sure that in the rush you don't forget something important or do the steps in the wrong order. It is very detailed because I know what the last minute crunch is like.
Pictures and Plans
- Make the decision. Review the materials on the site, and if it's looking good, decide. Consider a semi-folding hexayurt made with simple hinges: []: they are pre-fabricated with the same materials described here, and most of the work is done at home. For the comparison of different size/shape yurts, click: []
- If you need help deciding, go outside and draw a circle on the ground with a 14' diameter. Your Hexayurt is larger than this - it is the hexagon that fits around that circle. Big, isn't it?
Mail Order Tape
A key material involved in constructing Hexayurts is tape. Importantly, 6" wide bidirectional filament tape. In English, that's a six inch wide tape with re-enforcing fiberglass strands running in both directions, so that it will not break or tear under almost any imaginable circumstance, including howling playa dust storms. It is amazing and very expensive. Other tapes have been tried-- they aren't great in playa conditions, and those who went off the beaten path regretted it. Some innovations are underway, we'll see what results come back (and we'll take reports of success w/ other tapes in the discussion section. Recently, 3" bidrectional tape has been used to cut costs, and foil tape helps out in a variety of applications. See the [tape] discussion for more.
- Mail Order 240 yards or less of 6" bidirectional filament tape such as 3M 8959 "Extreme Applications" packaging tape, 6" wide. AKA as "T.R.U. FIL-835B/D." 6" is not a standard width, it usually costs around $30 plus shipping. 5" tape is perfectly good. For certain steps, you can use 3" which is half the price and a lot easier to work with. 3" tape for foil tape is ideal for sealing the panel edges during preparation--in fact, you can seal the edges with quite a few tapes. Foil tape has also proven nice for tape-sealing. If you are employing the "classic construction" approach, you will seal all panel edges prior to assembly: that step alone takes 132 yards of tape.
You also use the tape calculator spreadsheet to figure out exactly how much you need.
- TapesRus.com sold as "T.R.U. FIL-835B/D Transparent Bi-Directional Filament Strapping Tape: 60 yds." $33.47/roll Free Shipping
- http://hexayurttape.com/ aka GoodBuyGuys. They've been helpful to Vinay, they know what you want the tape for and sell a good product at fair prices. $27.99 per 6" roll, they also now have 3" wide tape, and case prices as well-$215.92 for a case of 8 rolls.
- Findtape.com, sold as "JVCC 762-BD Bi-Directional Filament Strapping Tape." $28.99 per 6" roll, plus every other width imaginable, case pricing (36 count) available.
- Taperite.com has 3",4", 6" tapes. 6" for $38.72/roll, discount pricing starts at 6 rolls (smaller than case sizes above!)
- One supplier is Tapes Unlimited, 1245 Hartrey Ave, Evanston, IL (847) 866-6060. They do not have a web site. But they know Hexayurts and are very helpful.
- http://penmar-industries.com/specialtytapes.html#sptp Penmar Industries also carries a bidirectional filament tape in 5" which looks perfectly serviceable although I have not used it personally.
- http://thetapeworks.com/ also has a 6" bidirectional filament tape available.
- http://gafftapes.com/ also has a 6" bidirectional filament tape available with free shipping and discounted pricing.
- Check with 3M about direct ordering because sometimes Tapes Unlimited sells out.
- Also hillas.com, these guys apparently sell by the roll as well, but it is a custom order product, so give them at least 10 or so business days to deliver.
- http://taperite.com are aware of the Hexayurt Project and have excellent tape...I couldn't find this tape here.
- Office superstores like Staples carry 3" filament tape (strand tape) which will do in a pinch
- Kragen/O'Reilly Auto Supply sometimes has 3".
Total cost: $150 with shipping, perhaps?
European source for Hexayurt Tape: Eurobands http://eurobandstapes.eu EURO LVB 16165 TRANSPARENT 16 EUR a roll roughly.
Join us for the 2nd Annual Black Rock City Hexayurt Happy Hour, Burning Man 2011. Date/Time/Location to be announced!
Building Supply Run
Building Supply Store. You will need.
- 12 sheets (13 if you want a spare) of 1" thick Tuff-R, Super-Tuff-R or Thermax. Other manufacturers make foil covered polyisocyanurate insulation boards too. Only one side (the outside face) has to be foil. Do not use the bendy bright pink or blue polystyrene boards you see - they are too flexible and smell bad.
- 12 large tent pegs. You could use rebar, or I have also seen 17" bright orange plastic pegs which work very nicely.
- A heavy duty snap-blade craft knife to cut the panels, and one packet of extra blades. You should be able to extend the blade at least two inches. You may need 1 blade per panel (6).
- Two or three light duty knives for cutting tape when you are assembling the buildings.
- A 16'x20' tarp. It can be 14' x 16' but 16'x20' is the closest standard size.
- 100 feet of rope.
- A pair of gloves, safety goggles, and a dust mask or N95 mask. You are a Burner. You have these things already.
- 12 6" long pieces of PVC pipe for the tape anchors. You can find things like this in the plumbing section, or you can buy a pipe and cut it with a hack saw.
- Bubble wrap or foam pipe insulation to pad the ends of your tent pegs.
- Six rolls of 3" or wider foil tape. You will use this to cover exposed filament tape to reduce fire risk (see the Hexayurt Safety Information
- (optional) Mallet to drive the pegs.
- (optional) A 10 ft very straight 1"x4" or other device you can use as a ruler.
- (optional) Plastic sheeting for windows.
- (optional) Furnace filters to tape over vents for dust-free ventilation.
- (optional, but recommended) a one gallon pump sprayer with a misting feature.
- (optional) Something like a broom, or a squeegee on a long pole that will help your tape seal as you make the final seams on the roof cone
- (optional) If you choose the 2D/'Grounded' Assembly Strategy you may want something to use as a guide for making the gaps between panels.
Total cost: under $300, even in San Francisco.
Make the Hexayurt at home
At home, prepare the panels.
- Take the six panels which will be used for the roof cone.
- Draw a diagonal line, left to right, corner to corner, on three of the panels using the ruler or another panel as a guide.
- Draw a diagonal line, right to left, on another three panels.
- Put on your gloves, mask and goggles. This protects you from little bits of fiberglass from the panels.
- Using the snap-blade craft knife, extended about two inches, cut the panels. Expect to change the blade every panel or so, and change the blade as soon as you feel the knife tearing the material rather than cutting cleanly.
- You now have 12 right angle triangles.
- Tape the edges. The best way of doing this is to start the tape about 6" from the point of the triangle, and then have one person run the tape down the edge of the triangle while another person holds the triangle in place. Once the tape is all the way down the edge, have a third person fold the tape down on to the sides of the board smoothly. Then rotate the board and do the next side. This comes easily enough if you think "wrapping presents."
- Now do the same (taping, not cutting) for the 6 boards you are using for the walls.
- You have now completed the first stage of panel preparation.
- Do a test assembly. Instructions are below. You will regret skipping this phase. You do not need to fully tape everything, just a six inch blob top and bottom of each board rather than fully taping the seams. Get a sense of the process (full instructions below.)
- Practice making tape anchors. Instructions are below.
- You will notice there is no door, nor are there windows. You should cut a door now. The strongest door is two feet wide, cut one foot from the end of a wall. It should go from the ground to about six inches from the top of the wall. Cut the section out completely, and tape all exposed edges. If the door doesn't quite fit now, you can crush the door flap a little by banging it on the ground (really.) Then tape the top edge of the door into a hinge, like a cat flap. This is not the most convenient or aesthetically pleasing door. See the "Doors and Windows" section for other ideas.
- Tape the door back into place in the panel in such a way that you can cut it open from the outside. If you do not do this, the panel may break above the door in transit or construction.
- Total time: with three people, probably three hours including the test assembly.
Transport the Hexayurt
- Consider reading the 2D Assembly Strategy below to see if doing any of that work at home is more appealing than in the desert. At this point, you can either just pre-tape together the "kites" and transport them, or use the 2D assembly route that makes an accordion folding hexayurt, which will ship perfectly. You can also pre-tape the wall panels before transport if you like, into 3 sets of 2 panels. Or, you can do it all on-playa.
- Put three wall panels on the spread-out tarp. Stack six roof panels on one side, and six on the other, forming a neat 4' x 8' stack. Put the three remaining wall panels on top, and wrap the bundle very tightly in the tarp. One person lost their panel materials on a roof-rack because the force and the vibration wrecked the panels. I think they were directly exposed to the full force of the air.
- The entire package is an easy carry for two people. It weighs significantly under 100 lbs. It is quite large.
Do read a few hexayurt transport horror stories on the Burning Man discussion boards--because transport would be a terrible way to lose your yurt, injure another car/person, etc. It's recommended to have backup living quarters (even a cheap tent) in the even that your hexayurt sails away during transport or assembly. Remember: this is extreme self-reliance.
Playa Assembly Instructions
On the Playa.
- General procedures
- Never peel tape back off the boards carelessly, because you can rip the foil right off the boards.
- Never cut the board material on the playa because it generates moop.
- Careful juggling sharp knives and heavy rolls of tape!
- Now we have dust and heat to consider. Plan on working when dust and heat are minimized - early morning is the best time to do construction. If you arrive in the day, you can try the late afternoon, before dusk. Start early or you will be racing against darkness, which is no fun. No matter how eager you are, don't stupidly lose your yurt by setting up in high wind.
- People. Plan on a core team of three to five people. You will need an additional half a dozen for about fifteen minutes when you lift the roof cone on to the walls.
- Start with a little magic. Visualize clearly what you are about to build. This helps you do the construction efficiently. The clear picture in your mind helps you work correctly and coordinate with your helpers.
Pick your Assembly Strategy
Developments have been made in classic Hexayurt construction that have created an alternate method of on-playa hexayurt assembly. There are two Assembly Strategies:
3D/Midair Strategy: historically, roof pieces were assembled in midair, with 3-4 friends to hold them in position, in the shape of the finished hexayurt. Almost all of the videos show this assembly strategy. You will find in the videos that this strategy creates several mishaps that are time and tape consumptive.
2D/Grounded Strategy: You can assemble a hexayurt in 2D, which requires 2 people until you lift the roof onto the walls. This strategy keeps all of the pieces on the ground for the majority of assembly. (Video to come soon. Consider watching the Camp Danger assembly videos as a guide) Also coming soon: PDF guide for 2D/Grounded Assembly
3D/Midair Assembly Strategy
Overview: 3D/Midair assembly, as described above in Pick your Assembly Strategy is the oldest assembly method, and perhaps more inaccurate and cumbersome. Inaccuracies are never fun, but they can be especially painful when working with expensive tape that might be in limited supply. Take at least a quick look at the 2D assembly strategy and see if it sounds reasonable. Whichever strategy you choose, print the assembly instructions before building and print the instructions for cutting down your hexayurt, which are good guidance for cutting your yurt down so that it is much easier to reconstruct next time.
- Unwrap the panels from the tarp. If you do this right, you should wind up with the panels sitting on the tarp, never having touched the playa.
Assemble the Roof Cone
Do the roof cone.
- You will need to learn this from the videos because it is hard to visualize from written instructions. This list is a reminder. Anybody want to take a crack at an illustrated guide?
- Take one wall panel and set it on its side. This panel is a prop to rest the roof cone on as it is assembled.
- Take four roof triangles, two right and two left. Place them into two isosceles triangles. These triangles should be directly opposite each other, resting on the prop.
- Make a tape anchor.
- Cut 12" off a roll of tape and keep it.
- Take one of the 6" plastic pipes and the roll of tape. Roll the pipe in the tape two or three times.
- Now take the 12" piece of tape and stick six inches of it to the sticky side of the tape just above the pipe. This sticky-to-sticky connection is very strong.
- Then take the remaining length of the 12" piece of tape and wrap it around the pipe, so that the pipe cannot unroll from the tape.
- You need to see this done.
- Position the tape anchor about six inches below the ground edge of an isosceles triangle, where the split in the two boards is. It is still attached to the roll of tape!
- Have one person roll the tape about half way up the panels starting from the tape anchor.
- A second person stands by the prop and reaches down to take the tape from the first person, and rolls the tape all the way to the top of the boards.
- Make sure there is a gap between at the apex of the roof cone before going further. Pause, because this is important.
- VIDEO: mind the gap!
- At the point of the roof cone, where you are about to tape, there must be a gap. There is no gap between the two right-angle triangles making one roof triangle. That is not where we want the gap. We want the gap at the apex of the roof cone, between the point of the two triangles.
- If this gap is not left, then as you get to the end of the roof cone process, it will become impossible to fit the pieces correctly. It is like trying to jam 105% into a pie chart - the pieces seem too big for the alloted gaps. If you wind up in this position, you will probably wind up trimming one of the boards and that is frustrating.
- So how big should the gap be? About an inch and a half between the closest points. Possibly two inches. Too much is definitely better than too little.
- The prop, however, won't hold the pieces in quite that alignment. Perhaps wad up a T-shirt and put it on top of the prop? I usually just fudge this, but I think making a tool by padding the prop is likely a better idea.
- Now, gap assured, roll the tape down the other side. The person by the prop will roll it about half way, and a third person will take it down to the ground edge.
- At that place, make another tape anchor. You must not cut the tape in the wrong place.
- To make this anchor, roll the tape out about 18" past the edge of the roof boards and do not let it touch anything. Cut the tape at this 18" point.
- Roll the piece of plastic pipe up the exposed piece of tape coming off the roof, and finish the tape anchor as you did the first one.
- Breathe. It's a lot when you see it written down. The first time you will wonder if you are doing it right. Many things which start that way turn out very well. You are now well started.
- Take two more boards. While the previous tape ran along the 8' vertical edge of two boards, the next straps of tape run up the hypotenuse. This is easy to see - you just take the next board, and fit it along side of what you have taped already, and you see you're taping slightly differently. Now the tape runs up the edge of the roof, and the boards meet at a slight angle.
- But the procedure is exactly the same. Position the board, make an anchor, run it up half way, pass it off to the next person, ensure there's a bit of a gap (less important with each passing board), position the board on the other side, run the tape back down again (without cutting), make the anchor on the other end.
- Keep going. In about 40 minutes, you will have done all the pieces but the last boards.
- The last boards are different. Firstly, they can be really hard to get into position if you did not consciously leave a gap as you went about taping the apex.
- Secondly, there is no place to stand to hand off the tape from one person to another.
- Finally, the taping of the last board snaps the entire roof cone into its perfect geometrical shape. Right now, with an open edge, the roof cone can be too high or too low and you won't really notice. That is about to change.
- Have one person get under the roof cone. Sit, don't crouch, you're going to be there for a while. Take the weight of the roof cone (it's light!) and pull out the prop. Your job is to move the roof cone up and down a little to help get all the pieces fitted in correctly.
- Now position the last boards. The easiest way to do his is to splay the roof by having the person inside lower it a little, then slide the last two boards into position.
- VIDEO: adjusting a roof cone board.
- Then, if they fit nicely, have the person inside lift the roof cone gently until the ground edges of the boards come tightly together, forming a perfect roof cone.
- If it worked that way, thank your gods. Now quickly make another tape anchor on a roll, and stretch out 20 feet of tape between you and another person. Keep it pulled very tight indeed. Walk so you are on opposite points of the roof cone.
- Now gently, gently lower the tape until the tape touches the very point of the roof cone. Keep it tight. If it is positioned correctly, then lower your end of the tape towards the ground edge, patting it down against the seam with a stick or a broom. Make the final tape anchor, and laugh at your friend who is stuck under the roof cone.
- It's never quite this easy. Usually those last boards need some force to position them correctly. There's shoving and swearing and cajoling. Sometimes you have to trim a board.
- How far out of whack can it be and still work? How precise do you have to be? Well, that tape is six inches wide. Any gap should be bridgeable by the tape, and still have good adhesion on both sides, so you have about two inches to play with. However, I've seen much wider gaps handled. You can actually kind of screw this up and still have a perfectly sturdy Hexayurt.
- When in doubt, remember this golden rule: it's better to trim the boards at the point, so they all fit, than to trim them at the base, which distorts the shape of the roof cone where it joins the walls.
- (Optionally) lift the edge of the roof cone to let your friend out.
Assemble the Walls
Do the walls. This is the easy bit.
- In terms of positioning, you can either move the roof cone away and work on the tarp, or you can "open" the walls slightly so they fit around the roof cone. Either way works. Watch, if you move things off the tarp, that they do not get dusty. If they do get dusty, wipe them down with a damp cloth and dry them before attempting to tape them to things.
- Have two people take one panel each and hold them in position while a third person handles the tape.
- Put the walls roughly in position over the hexagon you drew. This helps tape the angle correctly. Also the angle that the boards make to each other stops the walls you have taped already falling over.
- Tape all six of the walls into shape, but leave one connection open. It can be very useful to be able to get in and out of the walls quickly.
Put the Roof Cone on the Walls
This bit is pretty easy too!
- First, find some helpers. 9 is a good number.
- You want six people to lift the roof cone. Each should stand in the middle of a wall with their hands spread as wide as possible, and they should lift in a coordinated fashion.
- If the walls are positioned just outside of the roof cone, around it, the lifters should now step under the roof cone and lower it close to wall height.
- If the walls are beside the roof cone, the lifters should carry the roof cone over the walls.
- Either way, the hustlers should now position the walls under the roof cone.
- Before you start to tape, get things lined up. Make sure that all the corners, all the way around, are about right.
- Now tape. Start in the middle of a wall, and put the end of the tape over the seam between roof and wall. This part is pure magic! You run the tape all the way around the building, a single unbroken strand that acts just like the tension ring in a yurt. It's also fun because the tape makes a nice noise as you zoom it out along each side, and people get very excited.
- When you get to a tape anchor, you have a choice. Over or under? I've tried it both ways and I can't figure out which is best, so I'm going to suggest you go over the tape which holds the tape anchors, so that the actual plastic tubes stick out just under the tension ring. Going under the tape anchors is fine too, however.
- Now cut the tape that is currently holding the door closed and let your friends in/out.
Tie it to the Playa
Almost done! Almost Done!
- The Hexayurt sits on the tarp, and is not yet guyed down.
- Go inside of the Hexayurt and tape the joint between the wall and the floor. If you are feeling fussy, do this inside and out. This is your dust lock and really makes life much more pleasant.
- Now cut away the excess tarp, or just leave it. This may depend on your siting.
- Now drive in your tent pegs. They should be pretty close to the bottom of the yurt. Make sure to pad the ends and mark the guy lines with something easy to see at night.
- Run the rope through the plastic tubes at in each tape anchor.
- Guy that puppy down. I, personally, favor the "trucker's hitch" to get a good, tight guy line.
- Basically, tie the rope through the plastic pipe, and run the free end down through the tent peg and back up. Put it through the triangle made where the rope is tied through the pipe, and pull until it is tight enough for your liking. Then tie it off just below the triangle.
Final Finish Work
- Tape your furnace filters to the outside of the hexayurt, over your vents, so that if you bang the dust off them it falls on the outside of the building, not the inside.
- Put the foil tape over your exposed filament tape seams to protect them from fire. This is really important. In 2009 we'll have a tape which combines the filament tape and the foil tape in a single product, but it is not here yet.
- You are done.
2D/Grounded Assembly Strategy
These instructions allow you to tape together the roof cone pieces while they are flat on the ground, and will only require 2 people for almost all of the assembly. This is almost as good as making a semi-folding hexayurt, except you are working in desert conditions instead of at home, and there will be bits of exposed tape (it likes to stick to stuff). Finally and barely in time for Burning Man 2011: the 2D Assembly PDF Guide File:2D instructionsPDF.pdf. Brought to you en route to the playa from the Donner Pass.
It is assumed that you already did the steps of "preparing your panels” at home, meaning you have 6 full size 4’x8’ panels, 12 triangular half panels, and all of these have had their raw edges sealed with tape. Never cut panels at Burning Man, never bring un-sealed panels to Burning Man, they create MOOP (litter).
If you want to save yourself the trouble of doing these tasks again next year, make your hexayurt a reusable semi-folding hexayurt during this assembly process. Pointers for doing that will be noted in the text below. The advantage of a semi folding hexayurt is: when you cut your hexayurt down, you will have 4 accordion-folding pieces that will ship in a 4’x8’stack, and will be easy to reuse and reassemble next time. This will save you a lot of work and tape next time you want to use your hexayurt. Understand that a semi-folding hexayurt made at this point will not be quite as strong as making a semi folding hexayurt at the outset of construction. Let's call this method the pseudo-semi-folding hexayurt for now. If you choose not to make a pseudo-semi-folding hexayurt, you can still cut it down in a way that can save you some trouble next time.
Start by assembling the roof, it’s less likely to blow away than the walls
1: Lay two triangular roof panels out flat on the ground, aligning their hypotenuses (the longest, diagonal side). This makes a shape like a kite. You probably want the logos on the inside of the yurt, so have their non-logo side facing up. Hiding all commercial logos is a Burning Man tradition, although it’s becoming a lost standard. (*Not all the triangles are the same, so keep picking triangles until you get a pair who will line up this way without their logos showing. If you can’t find two, it’s because you didn’t reverse the direction that you cut your panels during prep. Just an aesthetic problem.)
2: When you tape the hypotenuses together, leave a gap between the panels that is ½ the thickness of your panels (if you used 1” panels, it’s ½ inch. If you used 2”, make a gap that is 1”, etc). If you leave a gap that is ½ the thickness of your panels, by the magic of geometry, your roof will have the perfect angles to fit on your yurt walls. This gap is how you avoided building the roof cone with it suspended in midair by your friends. It will also leave a bit of exposed tape in between the panels—careful not to let it stick to everything. And don't be too perfectionistic about the perfect measurement on your gap-- tape is very forgiving.
3: Do this a total of 6 times: you will have 6 “kites.” You can add something to cover the exposed sticky tape so that it doesn’t stick to everything. A strip of masking tape, ribbon, playa dust, etc will do. Properly made semi-folding hexayurts have hinges that use bi directional filament tape on both sides, because the tape-to-tape connection is very strong and the hinge itself seals the raw material and the sticky tape on both sides of the hinge. You probably don’t have enough tape to do that, so the hinges will be vulnerable and delicate. Just be careful that you don’t rip the tape off the panels. To protect against that, you can use a few 2-4" tape-patches from the opposite side of the hinge--some of the tape will touch the gap-tape, some will contact the panel. It'll help.
4: Tape together the “kites” that you just made. Be careful to line up the “bases” of the triangles as you do this—the sides that will rest on the tops of the walls should sit flat.
If you want to make your hexayurt a pseud-semi-folding hexayurt, tape the kites together with the logo side facing up (meaning, you'll see this tape from inside your yurt--later it will make your roof accordion folding. If you want slightly better waterproofing, tape them together with the non-logo side up (this won’t accordion fold for shipping later). Do this until you run out of panels.
5. You will have some trouble making the final seam because there is nowhere to stand (a common hexayurt assembly problem in all construction modes). Use a few "tape patches" (segments of 6" tape-- about 2-6 inches long) to get the roof cone into it’s final position. Tape patches will make your life much easier and are surprisingly strong. This technique may need some improvement, but one way to tape the halves together and seal out rain is to create 1 long (16') length of tape, held between two people and lifted over the roof with the help of a broom handle. Use the broom handle to land the tape at the tip of the roof cone, try to make it even but don't be too concerned. Then use the bristles of the broom to smooth the tape down to the roof panels. This finishes the final seam and waterproofs the hexayurt roof.
If you are using tape-anchors for to stake your hexayurt down, make them now. Read this for a comparison of stake-down options, tape anchor construction is discussed here here
Note: hexayurts, once taped together, are large, lightweight, fragile things that will catch the wind like a sail, and blow away like a kite. Be prepared to stake your hexayurt to the ground before you tape the roof onto the walls. Consider driving 3 stakes into the ground and have some rope ready. While the probability of a rogue dust storm during hexayurt construction might seem low, it can happen and has happened. Do not lose your hexayurt this way.
For the Walls:
1: Lay 2 wall panels out flat on the ground. You probably want the logos on the inside of the yurt, so place them with their non-logo sides facing up.
2: For the best dust/waterproofing, tape together all the wall boards from their outside or logo-free side, leaving a gap between the panels that is equal to the thickness of your panels (if you used 1” panels, it’s a 1 inch gap.) Like the roof, the gap is the perfect size gap for the angles that a hexagon takes—just trust it. Alternatively, you can just tape from the interior side of the panels without a gap. This is going to take up quite a bit of space on the ground, so tape together just 2 or 3 panels at once. Luckily there’s a lot of space at Burning man, but if you’re cramped for space, panels are easily transported somewhere more spacious and then brought to your camp for final assembly. Pseudo-semi-folding hexayurt info, for the walls: to keep it simple, you could do as listed above (gap or no gap), and when you cut it down, cut it into 3 wall sections (of 2 panels each, they will fold closed like books.) If you want to make a semi-folding hexayurt, you'll need to alternate what's listed above, taping panels with a gap (taped from the outside, gap is equal to the thickness of the panel) and a tight hinge from the inside (without a gap).
3: Stand the panels up, and complete the walls by circling them up and taping the final seam(s).
Now your hexayurt is assembled. Go back to Put the Roof Cone on the Walls to finish assembly.
Cutting your Hexayurt Down and Going Home
This is important. Don’t forget during your mind blowing Burning Man Experience!
When you cut your hexayurt apart to go home, if you made a semi-folding hexayurt:
1: Cut the tape ring that connects the roof to the walls, and take the roof off.
2: Then, cut the roof in half: choose a line where there is no gap to cut your roof cone in half: that means on the “legs” of the triangles, not their hypotenuses (the hypotenuse is the diagonal side, or longest of the triangle. Don't cut the hypotenuses. This line is actually important-- because next time you put together your roof, you don’t have to worry about making those tricky gaps in the “kites.”
3: Divide the walls into three, sections, of 2 panels each.
Careful not to let the exposed tape stick to everything. This will go back home in a neat 4’x8’ stack, and the next time you assemble your hexayurt you will use much less tape, time, and effort!
When you cut your hexayurt apart to go home: If you did not make a semi-folding hexayurt:
1: Cut the tape ring that connects the roof to the walls, and take the roof off.
2: Then, cut the roof panels apart in pairs. You can cut them apart in a pair that is the shape of an isosceles triangle or in the shape of a kite. The best way to cut them apart is so that you keep the shape of the kites-- that means cut along the flat faces , do not cut along the hypotenuses of the triangles (hypotenuse=diagonal side of the triangle.) [You will find the place to cut if you stand in the middle of your 8' wall sections, the hypotenuse of triangles is at the corners, between two 8' rectangles.] This is actually important-- next time you set up your hexayurt, you’ll only have to tape 6 flat seams (the easier ones), and you will not have to hold the roof up in midair. 3: Divide the walls into three pairs (2 piece sections.) This will go back home in a neat 4’x8’ stack, and the next time you assemble your hexayurt you will use much less tape, time, and effort!