How to build a simple, little, fold-away succah
I'm afraid "little" is the operative word here - as described the succah
will seat only two or perhaps (with small chairs) three people. Still, a
little succah is very much better than no succah at all and this design
has served us well over the last few years so I thought I would share
it. It's trivially easy to make, quickly and easily erected and does
look exactly like a succah in a children's book.
The basic design consists of two pairs of hinged-together garden
trellis. These can fold flat to be leant against a side of a shed or
whatever for storage and then can be unfolded and stood up to make a
perfectly robust succah. In fact, the only tool needed to erect the
succah is a pair of scissors for cutting string.
Here is what you will need:
Lay the trellis out in two side-by-side pairs with the vertical slats
uppermost. Join the members of each pair with three hinges. They should
then be able to fold flat on top of each other.
- Four pieces of garden trellis, about 1 by 2 metres (actually a bit
less). You'll find these don't come cheap, but bear in mind that the
thing should last you a few years
- Six hinges with associated wood screws
- Two or three long (2 metre) lengths of bamboo and perhaps some shorter
(1 metre) lengths
- A roll of garden twine
To assemble the succah:
Er, that's it. Put the roof covering on and if you like thread some
leafy stalks through the walls as well before decorating all with
hanging fruit. The structure is pretty sturdy, but if it is going to
fall over it will be backwards, from a wind which catches the front.
Bearing this in mind, you may want to put it the succah somewhere where
the ground slopes slightly forward, or where there is something behind
it, or where it is sheltered, or you may want to tether at least the
front corners to tent pegs.
- Take each pair of trellises and unfold it to an
- Put them together to make two adjacent corners of a square and
where they abut
overlap them by the distance between the vertical slats.
- Use the twine
to bind them together tightly at the top, middle and bottom where they
- Then put bamboo across (from one side to the other) at least at
the front and middle of the
roof. The weight of the stuff you will put on top may make the bamboo
sag, so if the covering is heavy you may want to use more than two of
these crosswise bamboo stakes. (Best just to use light covering.) Tie
the bamboo tightly in position with the twine.
- If the covering consists
of short pieces which are likely to fall through then you may also want
to put short lengths of bamboo going from the trellis at the back to the
front bamboo stake to make the holes to be filled smaller.
Two people can sit together in it OK. We can get three people in side by
side and we've eaten a meal in which the table is in front of the succah
while the participants sit inside. I have some ideas for making it
bigger but I would emphasise I haven't tried these. For example, you
could make three corners of a square instead of two, so the "door" was
the missing fourth corner. Good luck with it.
a link to a site which has instructions for building larger and more
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