There are many guides for DIY sukkah construction using PVC pipes. The problem with this is that PVC pipes are less popular in Israel than in the US, so I found that I was very limited in terms of what I could buy.
On the other hand, the town where I live has hundreds of piles of agricultural waste and scrap wood, so I decided to see what scrap-wood I could find. After a few minutes of visiting the piles on my street I hit the jackpot: someone had thrown out a heavy wood Sukka wall with a bit of water damage. I brought it home, took it apart and soon had four posts and two interlocking beams. I salvaged some wood from my attic for another two beams and had a frame about 1 meter-cubed. I added some screws so that the beams could easily be locked together with heavy zip-ties upon reaching the campground.
On a practical note, I'll just point out that the cheaper plastic tablecloth was stronger. The nicer, softer tablecloth had a tendency to tear where it was stapled to the posts, especially when a kid would lean against a wall. This problem wasn't terrible, but I did have to re-staple walls a couple of times, so pick your wall material carefully.
|Our Succah Fully Assembled|
How to Schach?
היתה גבוהה מעשרה והוצין יורדין לתוך עשרה אפילו אם חמתן מרובה מצלתן פסולה(או"ח תרלג:ט)
I later asked for a clarification of this practice of separating the palm fronds and was given two possible answers:
- The Minhag of making sure one can see the stars through the schach(Yerushalmi, Succah 2:3)
- The rabbinic prohibition from using boards wider than 4 tfachim(Succah 14A)
Regarding the latter, the shulchan aruch repeates the gemara's language of "boards". Since palm leaves are not boards, nor do they look like a roof, the gzeira shouldn't apply. Here is a psak along those lines.