Circle Madness

Old guys at work. 153 years of age total here. Billy and I have worked together off and on for 47 years.

I’ve wanted to build a curved roof for a long time. I finally did it, with help from Billy Cummings. For the 6 rafters, we glued together 4 pieces of redwood bender board — 16′ long, 1″ by 4″, ⅜″ thick, using a jig laid out on the floor, with Titebond wood glue, and clamping every foot or so. It was a pretty tedious process, we could only do one a day.

We got the rafters in place, Billy did the blocking on the plates, and we used 1×8 rough redwood fence boards for the sheathing. Yesterday we put down the flooring — used shiplap pine from Heritage Salvage. It looks (and feels) great.

There’s nothing like a curved roof, especially with a tiny home; it gives you a feeling of spaciousness. This is the roof shape in gypsy wagons — vardos.

This is 10′ by 10′. If I did it over, I would make it rectangular, like 8 by 12 or 8 by 14. I’m going to put a bed inside on wheels, that can be rolled out on the deck to sleep out under the stars. I’m still figuring out where to put windows.

About Lloyd Kahn

Lloyd Kahn started building his own home in the early '60s and went on to publish books showing homeowners how they could build their own homes with their own hands. He got his start in publishing by working as the shelter editor of the Whole Earth Catalog with Stewart Brand in the late '60s. He has since authored six highly-graphic books on homemade building, all of which are interrelated. The books, "The Shelter Library Of Building Books," include Shelter, Shelter II (1978), Home Work (2004), Builders of the Pacific Coast (2008), Tiny Homes (2012), and Tiny Homes on the Move (2014). Lloyd operates from Northern California studio built of recycled lumber, set in the midst of a vegetable garden, and hooked into the world via five Mac computers. You can check out videos (one with over 450,000 views) on Lloyd by doing a search on YouTube:

5 Responses to Circle Madness

  1. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful work, always a pleasure to see, I came across this too https://inhabitat.com/20-foot-shipping-container-converted-into-off-grid-oasis-deep-in-the-catskills/ the book taking centre stage in the photos looks familiar!

  2. Laura says:

    I love this, Lloyd! My mind said "vardo!" as soon as I saw the first pic! I also love your idea about the bed on wheels so you can sleep out under the stars. Awesome picture of the two hot builders, too! 🙂

  3. Anonymous says:

    Looking Good. Thanks for sharing pics. Maybe since you're working on a Gypsy Vardo Theme, you should place windows similar to a vardo you're particularly keen on..(you've posted a few). That way it'll sort of give you more of a feeling of being in a vardo…

  4. Susan says:

    Vardo roof! It looks great! Hoping to make a vardo for myself: cedar siding and flat-metal roof in baked-on Copper Penny color.

  5. Selwyn Gossett says:

    Appreciate the detail pics. Wondered when we’d see more. Thanks!!

Leave a Reply

Please use your real name instead of your company name or keyword spam.