I’ve long planned on making a hut based on the one described by Kamo no Chōmei in his An Account of a Ten-Foot-Square Hut, and I’ve finally put some actual time into building it. Chōmei, after a political failure, fled the capital to become a Buddhist hermit, and while doing so wrote an account of his way of life that’s both widely acclaimed in Japan (and often compared to Walden) and handy for anyone trying to recreate such a setup. His hut is actually described as being collapsible, with hinges, for easy transport, and while mine is based more around what I can get for cheap at Home Depot than precise levels of authenticity, that is the right spirit for a SCA structure. I probably won’t have it done for Pennsic this summer, but nothing’s impossible. So far, I’ve got the frame for one wall, and it seems to be working pretty reasonably.

One Hut Wall Frame

Bridle joint with dowel


I’ll post some detailed instructions when I’m done, but here are some tidbits so I don’t forget.

  • I seem to drill my holes with enough randomness that I can put two screws longer than half the thickness of my wood directly opposite each other without them hitting.
  • If at all possible, orient your wood such that you’re not drilling through a knot.