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colonel42

Sauna not sawna

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I just finished building a Sauna in my basement and fired it up last night. Just courious how hot people heat them up to. Mine after 20 minutes was at 175 degrees. After being on for an hour it was at 195 degrees. The thermometer is at about head level while sitting on the top bench.

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We typically run ours between 190 and 200 degrees. That is way too hot for most people but we are accustomed to it. The real trick is get good and hot, and then get good and cool before you get back in.

By the way, trouthunter, that's a really cute airedale. We used to have one that looked just like that.

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HA, I like the title, my father-in-law was born and raised up der on da range (Nashwaulk), and I chuckle everytime I hear him say the word "sauoona".

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175 is a good starting temperature for a dry sauna. If you want to increase the temp quickly just add a few sprays of water on the rocks. The rising steam will give you a quick little temperature hike. Also if you are looking to make it hotter yet. Make sure you have an air intake around the stove area and an exhaust hole. Letting air flow through the sauna actually will increase the temperature. We run ours around 190 with an occasional water spray on the rocks. Having a shower close to cool down and then reenter will also make that 190 feel just about right. 120? that's like sitting in front of your furnace heat duct grin.gif Got a cold? add some eucalptus oil to your water and then spray on rocks, will clean the nose out right now..

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I prefer mine around 170-185 or so. Cooler, it's just not quite enough. Hotter, it gets to be too hot.

One thing to remember is that when you toss a little water on the rocks, the steam should kind of roll over you gently, not hit you like a truck. Find the temp that your sauna does that at, and you'll probably enjoy it all that much more.

Another thing is to make sure that there's some venilation or air circulation of some sort. Nothing worse that sitting in there with hot dead air. It can make 160 seem unbearble without some air movement.

Doesn't have to be major movement, either, just enough to freshen itself up.

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Boy do I miss not haveing a sauna at home. For some reason I couldn't convince my wife to put one in when we did our basement last year. My folks would only get to about 165 (electric stove and I'm not sure if the thermometer was right) so I would let it get as hot as I could. Also, contrary to popular belief, pouring water on the rocks will atually make the temperature drop more than rise since you are cooling off the stove. It will feel warmer though (think heat index in the summer).

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Dats right ya steam feels hot cause da du point.Eucalptus Oil? ask da muskie guy its Cedar limbs,on da range and sveden, da finns use reindeer [PoorWordUsage]

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Just had two nights of the sauna up at our deer shack while on a LOW fishing trip. Ours is a barrel wood stove and the thermometer is about 5 feet from the front of the stove. We usually like it in the 130-140 range so we can stay in for 30-60 minutes.

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Saunas are they way to go!! Very relaxing with the heat turning the muscles to mush.

What does anybody use for heat/fuel? Stove?

What are your saunas made out of? Kits?

Where do you have your sauna? Basement, garage, free standing?

What size is your sauna?

I miss having one, I hope to add that to the project list. Would like to hear others thoughts and ideas.

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Mine is in my basement, 6' x 8' with a 7' ceiling. An upper and lower bench. It has an electric heater and the inside is done in t&g ceder. It also has a 4 x 6 changing room with another bench. This gives me a kind of air lock effect and acts as a buffer to the basement. Outside of that we have a over sized shower area so more then one person at a time can rinse off. I have had mine for 12 years and glad I built it when I did. I don't even want to think about how much the ceder would cost if I had to do it now.

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I've heard of a wood that it not supposed to get hot like other wood for use in the sauna . Does anyone know what it is called ?

I want to build an outdoor sauna with wood heat at my new place . I have not been in a good sauna for years . I remember going to sauna with my dad and uncle in the New York Mills and Wolf Lake area when I was young . Those old wood stove saunas were the best .

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Nunzio

My sauna is 6' X 7' with a 7' ceiling. Two benches where the top bench is a L shape. I purchased an electric stove from a local lumber yard. The stove is acually built in Washburn, Minnesota. Lined with cedar and the floor done with 2" X 2" ceramic tile. All in all I have about $1600.00 into it. Since I have built it I don't believe there has been a night where I have not fired it up. I also have a hottub out on my patio so my kids enjoy using both. So far this has to be the best investment to my home. I've had six knee surgeries from my sports/working career and there is no better way to sooth my aches and pains of everyday stress. I think my neighbors have to think I'm nutz when they see me standing outside cooling off when it's below zero. I did a lot of research on-line and having an 85 year old neighbor straight from Finland helped out a lot.

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That's the stuff!Anybody else out there?

I prefer the wood heat as well. The heat recovery seems much faster. I have found that if you keep the coals down and have more flames, the heat/steam are more even.

Not heard of any such wood.... interesting tho.

I've helped build/design a few saunas, from cobbled up elcheapos to one that is in a "Minnetonka Mansion".

The cheapest was made out of a large power company wire spool taken apart covered with slabs and wrapped in plastic. Have also made them stackwood style, log cabin style and framed.

I'm planning on a free standing one myself, not sure on the design yet. Really like standing outside to cool off, much easier to do with no neighbors. One thing I'm going to avoid is having a cement floor, too much mass to heat up.

With the sauna in the basement, did you plumb to your floor drain? Any moisture problems because of the sauna?

Does anybody have electric light inside?

Better end for now, if I get a cup of coffee, I'd end up going on all day.

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I did end up putting plumbing to it. The sauna room is off of a bathroom which is still in the works. Ended up jack hammering in trenches for a toilet, sink, shower and sauna. As for a moisture problem non to speak of. One thing I did was when I put in the ceramic floor I also put in ceramic base board. The morter I used was strickly used for moisture areas shower/hottub/sauna areas.. I'm pretty sure it will be fine due to just trying to get it off my hands when I was done. Let's just say washing your hands in water was not the ticket. I also have built a few saunas and would agree with an outdoor one. Maybe this fall at deer camp. I like the ol'barrel type. I have a few friends that work in the mines that specialize in wood sauna stoves Did I say that I mean electricains, they wouldn't be doing something like that when they are suppose to be working now right.

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Since I put mine in the basement it sits on the cement floor. No moisture problem as the heat takes care of drying. Never heard of any wood that is cooler? either. The only real thing that you should not put in a sauna is any kind of metal where you might come in contact with. The wood dissipates the heat so you don't get burn by touching. I do have an indoor light in the sauna. It is a bulb enclosed in an approved glass globe for high temps and moisture. Switch as are all controls are outside of the sauna. When building make sure you follow what I believe is code that the door must open outward from the sauna. I do have a ceder slat floor on top of the concrete. It is built in sections for easy removal and cleaning.

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Ya the convience of have a sauna in the house is real nice. I used it daily..... had one in a place I was renting once. With a outdoor model it's too much of a pain to plumb water, at least up here, so the bucket brigade for water.

Yes the door has to open out.

Glad to hear that nobody has moisture problems with the indoor models.

I've been trying to come up with a good idea to load a wood burner from the outside..... no matter how careful there ends up being ash or bark on the floor. I wish to have the pipe through the wall instead of the roof. So I'll probably be making my own stove.

With all of this sauna talk, a good sweat would be nice. Standing outside in your own cloud of steam on a cold evening..... sure clears the head and relaxes the body.

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The wood is Finnish Spruce. It's very white and knot free. The lack of knots and the density supposedly prevents hot spots.

Nunzio, our sauna is wood fired, free standing. Built from scratch. It has a tile floor with duck boards over the portion of the floor that is open to walking. Two benches-the top one L-shaped. It does have an outdoor type light inside with an ordinary lightbulb. There have been no issues with that. There is a skylight to let in light which could also be used to allow heat to escape if you wanted to do that, although we only have it open in the summer when the sauna is not being used. There is a drain in the center of the floor that lets excess water run out, but there is no plumbing--water is fetched from the lake. The stove is loaded from the inside, which does leave some bark, chips, or small pieces of wood, but it's not really a big deal.

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Thank you ! Do you happen to know if it is locally available ? I mean like in the State . I was told of this wood years ago and just could not remember .

The lighting I remember was just a small window between the sauna and the dressing room with a light bulb hanging in it . It was enough light for both sides . I've seen both where the stove was fed from the inside and the out. I liked the one that was fed from the out . It had an open hole in the wall right at the stove front in the dressing room . I do not remember what they used for keeping the wall cool. I want to say steel .It kept the dressing room warm that way. The floors in most were just concrete with a wood deck like floor sitting on top . The drains were usually just an opening in the concrete at the wall . I've seen them as a seperate building and attached .

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I don't know it it's available locally. Seems to me at the time, I was able to find some shipped in from somewhere, but it was really expensive. A sauna kit provider might be able to steer you in the right direction there. We used clear cedar tongue and groove. There are only a few tight knots. For the benches we used clear cedar 1 x 4's with no knots.

A few years ago I was at a resort on Hungry Jack Lake that had a stove fed from the outside. I'm sure that's a little cleaner, but it's got to be more expensive. Also, we add wood to the stove when we're in the sauna and want to raise the heat.

Our air intake is on an outside wall and then we have a vent on the wall that connects to the dressing area which discharges heat in there. We also have an electric heater in the dressing room.

On the lighting, we have the skylight, a window which is sealed with an extra thermopane of tempered glass, and the door is basically a wood frame surrounding thermopane tempered glass so there's plenty of light.

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fishwidow;

Do you ever have any problems with your tile floor?

Have you had any of your windows crack? Some friends and neighbors have had their tempered thermopanes crack.... They think it's the heat, I think it's movement from their slabs, as the floors have cracked also.

Good idea having no knots for the benches..... them knots sweat out sap for some time.

Lots of good thoughts/ideas. I haven't decided on which way to go yet. Log style has it's appeal. I've got enought cedar logs to do this but I'm torn. I do need practice on my log scribing and notching but it's a waste compared to getting those logs sawn up. I would get alot more projects out of that wood by getting it sawn, that's for sure.

Any how, lots of time for the dreaming/drawing stage.

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Nunzio--No problem with the tile. They are 4 inch square clay floor tiles over cement board on top of a plank floor. The floor is sloped just a bit from all sides to the center where one tile was left out and replaced with a drain.

The tempered glass in the window is fine and the glass door is manufactured specifically for a sauna. The skylight did crack, I'm sure because of extreme heat on an extremely cold night. I picked up a new one, but have never bothered to replace it, becuse it's still functional and has not changed since it happened, probably 6-7 years ago.

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Hey guys try Saunatec in Cokato,MN They are the USA division of a large Finish mfg. If they dont have it you dont need it. The wood you are refering to is "Nordic White Spruce" and is very white in color and stays that way, doesnt get darker with age and water on it. It does have knots but they are very small and tight due to the slow growing season in Finland. They have another wood that they sell for benches that has no knots and doesnt get hot at all, I believe it is from Africa....I dealt with these people when I built my home and put the sauna in the basement and they were very nice to deal with and very helpful. You can buy a kit from them or you can buy the seperate pieces and do it yourself. Incidentally I have had no moisture problems in my home from the unit and I like to run mine about 160 degrees, mainly because Im Norwegian and havent fried my yet smile.gif

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Great title, man. I'm glad to see you pronounce it correctly. I'm Polish and Finish, my Grandma is an Ikola, doesn't get much more finish than that. smile.gif Don't pronounce it wrong around her or she'll send you out the door. I got into an argument with some of my buddies from da cities about the pronounciation and pulled out the good old dictionary, and sure enough it has the pronounciation as it's supposed to be. They couldn't argue with me after that! As far as temp goes, it seems different depending on electric or wood. Our electric sauna we would bring up to 120-130 degrees and that was all we could handle. Now the wood sauna at the shack we get up to around 200 degrees. I know, I know, 150 degrees is 150 degrees no matter how you cut it, but I'm telling you guys, the electric really does seem like its a lot hotter at 120 than the wood at 175. Must be the thermometer. smile.gif

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Hey J.Namakan

Yes, my grandparents were also of the Finish world and you live by what you were taught. I remember the same argument when I went to school in St. Cloud. I have had my sauna finished now for about three months. On the controller you can set the temp. Max is 200 degrees. After about 30 minutes she will show about 185 degrees on the thermometer. Take a run outside to cool down for a few minutes and when you return the thermometer is maxed out 220+ Yes I know the thermometer is probably a tad off but sitting in there for ten minutes will knock your socks off.

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