Sukkah 2017

Two years ago I built a temporary outdoor room in celebration of the Jewish holiday Sukkot. Last year I missed my chance because I traveled to China for the duration of the holiday. This year it was time to plan and construct a new sukkah.

I salvaged some 4×4 posts and decking lumber from another job, and used these for the four corners of my 6-foot-by-6-foot sukkah. I cut points in the ends of the posts hoping to drive them into the ground, but the earth was too rocky and so I dug postholes instead. I buried the posts leaving a couple feet exposed, tamping down the surrounding soil so they wouldn’t budge.

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Four posts and four columns.

Next I attached a board to each post raising the height to 7 feet. I used screws for easy disassembly. I framed the top of the boards with four fallen branches, again with screws, to support the roof. Then I laid a fifth branch across the middle to keep the roof from sagging.

One of my two purchases for the project was a pair of 2-foot-by-8-foot trellises, which I used as the starting point for the roof. I laid them across the branches and secured them with a couple of screws. Then I covered the top with some leafy branches. It feels a little like having a pile of yard debris on the ceiling, so I’ll think of something more deliberate for next year.

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Roof trellises and support branches.

The other purchase was six yards of white cloth, which I used to wrap three sides of the structure. I stapled the cloth to the four corner columns with an ordinary stapler, wrapping the ends around and reinforcing them with extra staples. Because the cloth is only 42 inches wide, there’s a space around the top and bottom, giving the sukkah only partial privacy but a pleasant airiness.

Alas, Sukkot ended Thursday night and I will disassemble the structure soon. Looking forward to next year!

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