Does making your wood-burning sauna sound strange? Believe us that it is not, and you can make your dream fireplace a practical experience with the help of the right tools and guide. That is why we have put down this article so that you can make your dream sauna heating location easily. As you reach the end, you will know how to build a wood-burning sauna stove, different options available, and the working of the entire fireplace.
As winters approach, you will be looking for ways to make your house warm. We will ensure that this project of yours ends with great success. With that said, let us jump into the DIY process of making a wood-burning sauna.
Steps to build a wood-burning sauna stove
Also read: Best wood for sauna
Choose a location and size.
You can not put a sauna just anywhere in your house or nearby. Enough room and a level ground are required to build a box of dimensions seven to sex feet. Since you are using a wood-burning stove as a heat source, keep it at a distance from your house. It will keep the fire hazard away from the main building. One can also prioritize keeping it at the best view to enhance the joy and enjoyment.
To fit two to three people, make the space at least four feet by six feet. If you want to enjoy more company, increase the size of the dome. Many people want to make their sauna experience a social one, so they may maximize the space to accommodate more people. On the other hand, some people may want to enjoy themselves alone or with their partner, so keep it small in such cases. Deciding the location and size is the first thing to do.
Select the materials
The most common material that people use is cedar. You can use cedar for making saunas because it can handle moisture, but it is also quite pricey. Beetle kill pine is a cheaper substitute for cedar. Look for the materials used locally. Such materials will be easily accessible and less expensive.
First, pour a concrete foundation and then frame the walls and roof. You may need help here, so consider getting a builder. The floor is composed of tile, concrete, and wood. For easy cleaning, do not forget to build a drain. Use standard fiberglass and an aluminum vapor barrier along the walls and ceilings for better insulation.
Never skimp on insulation. You can use cedar to make siding on the outside and groove. Using wood will give a wonderful fragrance, and it will also not rot naturally. To make your project cost-effective, include left-over wood. Opt for 100% clear-grain wood for the interiors. The inner-wood should not contain knots as they will get hot when the sauna heats up. It will make your skin a bit uncomfortable.
Also read: Best wood for infrared sauna
Design your elements
Now is the time to add on your designed elements that are unique to your sauna. It is for these exclusive elements that many people prefer DIY. You may want to enjoy the outer view and add on a window. Make a double-paned glass window and keep it away from the heat source. For easy access and enough ventilation, you can add a door or two. Make spacious benches so that you and all others can sit comfortably and enjoy.
Make the ceiling pitch lower than the heat source and higher than you will be sitting. It will prevent your skin from direct exposure to heat, and the warm air will circulate up towards you. Throwing hot water on rocks will produce a primary blast of heat right in the face, which is a super good thing.
To add a good touch, keep a source of cold water nearby. You can reuse your old stuff and make things out of waste material. For instance, you can set an old bathtub adjacent to the sauna deck. You can fill it off a hose and use it as a small dunk tank. Use your creative mind to add on the elements that will interest you.
Cut the tank and make a sauna heater.
Remove the top and bottom of the propane tank using an angle grinder. Make a hole, smaller than the opening of the exhaust pipe, at the side of the tank. Routing out smoke away from the inside of the sauna is significant because it is wood-burning. Cut a door at the centre of the tank to add wood to the heater and clean it.
While making the sauna heater, you are rearranging the physical structure of the tank. Remove the hand grips from the top of the tank using an angle grinder. Flip and weld the bottom piece on the top. It makes the bottom part of the heater. Weld the exhaust pipe to the hole that you made earlier. You can place the exhaust outside the sauna and wood inside the tank. Keep the rack inside and light it. The top of the tank will get heated up by the fire that will heat the rocks. To create steam, pour water over the rocks.
Choose a source of heat.
The heat sources that you can choose between are wood, gas, electric, or infrared. Many sauna purists suggest that wood-burning is the way to go. You may use an old barrel wood-burning store or a wood stove, depending on the vibe you wish to create in your sauna. Wood will raise the temperature to as high as 150 degrees, but it will take some hours to attain this temperature. Electric and gas saunas are hassle-free to maintain but lack the charm of wood-burning saunas. Quick heating up and less power consumption make infrared heaters the most efficient.
The tank should be safe.
Make a non-working propane tank as it is a thick and durable metal. Along with holding heat, it will also radiate heat correctly. The propane tank that you use should be empty and out of service. When you cut it, there should be no propane left in the bottle as the sparks can cause fire or explosion. After removing the knob from the bottle, insert a hose instead of the knob, and turn on the water. Let the water fill the bottle up to the top. Throw away the water from the bottle and place it in a bucket of water. Doing this will eliminate propane.
The total cost of building a wood-burning sauna
Estimating the project’s total cost is a significant aspect before initiating it. Along with being unique and personalized, your DIY sauna should also be cost-effective. Include the building materials purchasing cost, decorations for an add-on, and the contractor fees. To reduce the cost, try to reuse your old stuff and make the best out of waste.
Safety measures that you must know
When you are using wood stoves, it is crucial to consider safety. These fireplaces do not use oxygen in the room. Instead, they can draw in some air from the sauna exterior. Make sure that you have a design with more room and extra installations of a chimney and other fittings. All these measures are essential for the safety of the people inside because inhaling smoke can lead to suffocation and is dangerous. You should take extra care if kids will also be using the sauna.
Keeping the chimney always attended and clean is a wise and smart decision. You should know how to clean the sauna chimney and under what circumstances you should light up the woodstove. To reduce wood clutter and prevent the coal from falling into the stove, install a heater entrance outside the sauna. Keep the heater intact in case it is small in size.
The need for a wood-fired sauna to heat your room enhances with the approaching winter season. Buying one that fits your needs is easy. But nothing can match the joy of a DIY project that will be unique as well as customized. We hope that this guide will be helpful to you in building your wood-burning sauna stove.