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Thread: Outdoor sauna

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    Default Outdoor sauna

    Have you built an outdoor sauna at your cabin? If so did you also use the sauna to take a quick shower after the sauna? Is it necessary to put a drain in the floor for removing the water?
    Thanks

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jws View Post
    Have you built an outdoor sauna at your cabin? If so did you also use the sauna to take a quick shower after the sauna? Is it necessary to put a drain in the floor for removing the water?
    Thanks
    Yes.



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    Yes and Yes. Plywood floor with 3/4 hole drilled where needed.

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Ok, seriously, my preference is a traditional Finnish style savusauna. I like a quick rinse on the porch out front, or a quick roll in the snow. If located on a lake, a quick dip is a common tradition.

    But if you're going to slosh water around inside your sauna, some accommodations (such as a floor drain, etc.) must be made for that.

    Personally, I think a proper savusauna, and a shower unit, are by design mutually exclusive. If it were me, I would design a separate shower room adjacent to the sauna.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    I'm putting together an outdoor sauna at my house this coming summer. I bought it recently from a guy who builds yurt-style saunas and it's identical to one my friend has - should be pretty nice next winter!

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    I've built two, over the years, and enjoyed a few other homemade versions found around the coast,...
    and I found that incorporating the shower into the outer changing room, was ideal

    So, if some folks were still Sauna Soaking, and someone wanted to bail out, cool down,...they could do that,
    a quick cool down in the shower is nice, for a return to extensive Soak,

    it was a small changing room area, but cooler there, and not quite outside in the snow
    I'd do the same again,...unless you are just Solo Bathing,
    taking a shower in that still super hot area, is not really ideal

    and then there's the Snow Rollers,...or Stream Dipper Extremists,...and that is a Stunningly Cool Way to go

    but you might find not all of your guests are into that, Degree of "Invigoration"

    Planning for some folks to have the option to leave early, take a shower and sit on a bench cooling down a bit, before reclothing
    an before going outside in winter,...is a good one
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Thanks for the prompt responses. I was thinking that I would be heating up water on the stove then putting it in a raised bucket with a hose and shower head attached for a quick rinse/shower and trying to figure out how to do that - but an outside changing room sounds like the way to go.

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    Until we built our house, we lived in a dry cabin with no shower. It was ok for me when I was a bachelor (), but my wife wasn't so impressed.

    i built a 12x12 on cinder blocks with a 6x12 entry and the rest is the sauna. In the corner opposite the benches, I used plank flooring with 1/2" gaps between them. When I frame the 2x10 floor, I installed old metal roofing between the joists in that corner that slope to the outside. That way the water drains thru the floor slats and drains onto the ground outside the footprint.

    I installed a 12v rv pump in the cold entry with clear plastic hose on the discharge that runs into the sauna to a shower head and then ran wire to a cheap 12v switch. Put a 5 gallon bucket of warm water in the entry and use the pump to run the shower. Pull the truck up next to the sauna and clip the pump leads to the truck battery. If you wet, turn off pump, lather, turn on pump and then rinse, A 5 gallon bucket is about the perfect amount of water...

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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Ok, seriously, my preference is a traditional Finnish style savusauna. I like a quick rinse on the porch out front, or a quick roll in the snow. If located on a lake, a quick dip is a common tradition.

    But if you're going to slosh water around inside your sauna, some accommodations (such as a floor drain, etc.) must be made for that.

    Personally, I think a proper savusauna, and a shower unit, are by design mutually exclusive. If it were me, I would design a separate shower room adjacent to the sauna.
    +1 on this. I grew up with Finns and learned how to pronounce, and take, Sauna correctly!
    The sauna I built was 8 x 16. Split in half for changing/sauna. Sloped floor with drain, small venting window in Sauna, all cedar WP4 with NO finish. Nice Kuma stove with river rock for steam source.

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    Quote Originally Posted by otternorth View Post
    +1 on this. I grew up with Finns and learned how to pronounce, and take, Sauna correctly!
    That's what I was thinking,...

    My grandparents on my Mom's side were born in Finland,....came over when teenagers
    and that whole Sauna scene, Just as you describe it,
    even down to the proper pronunciation, and the little venting window,...

    Just like all my Uncles in Minnesota built theirs,...man, that Is Tradition with Value

    Is why I mentioned, considering some guests who might want to,
    "Bail Out early, into the changing room, to cool off, before coming back in"

    cause those old Minnesota Farmer, Uncles of mine,...last name of, "Waisanen,"...could Hang in the Heat

    (tho as I remember it, they didn't shower off outside, but did a Pail of Cold Water, and Sponge off deal, inside the main room)
    Sound Familiar Otternorth ?
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Being as I come from a finnish household from Minnesota I too know what a sauna is all about.
    We had a custom built stove in the one we had when I was a kid. It had a 2" pipe that went through the stove It connected on the top and bottom to galvanized metal trashcan. The water would circulate on its own through the stove and kept the can full of water hot. Certainly more thab enough for a quick shower if rigged to a pump.
    Many of the ones we used had an open top watertank on the side of them so you had water to throw on the rocks to increase the temp and humidity.
    One of my favorite designs has the stove door on the outside and the body of the stove inside the sauna.
    Keeps the smoke and wood bits bark chunks etc. outside. If you build the roof so it overhangs that side then you can have your wood pile there to stay dry and close enough so you don't have to carry it from your main woodpile.
    The sauna would then have its own woodpile.
    Some of them also had Balsam boughs hanging on the wall for the smell but also to beat your back etc. with to help open up your pores to get the full sauna effect.
    My dads uncles burned more than one sauna down having contests to see which one could take the hottest sauna.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

    "Fishing and Hunting are only an addiction if you're trying to quit"

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    Years ago i built my sauna with a changing room (small) and shower in it. the heat from the sauna heats the changing room from the resiual heat. The water pot in the sauna gets heated and I take that into the shower and just used a cup to pour on me, soap up and rinse off. It has been great. Now I have a shower in the cabin addition and don't really use the old one any more. As to a drain, yes I had a drain for the shower, but the sauna, I didn't. What ewver water got spilled or was on the floor, just evaporated after I was done from the heat in there. I used one the solar shower bags for a while, but found it a pain to fill and hoist up overhead. The cup worked just fine for me.
    2003 220 Hewescraft Sea Runner 115 Yam'y, Soft Top "Schmidt Happens"

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    LOL, I too am a Finlander who grew up in da "sowna". But I will also admit that +180F will drive me out the door. I guess I'm just a fairweather Finn....

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    [QUOTE=kasilofchrisn;1269822]Being as I come from a finnish household from Minnesota I too know what a sauna is all about.
    We had a custom built stove in the one we had when I was a kid. It had a 2" pipe that went through the stove It connected on the top and bottom to galvanized metal trashcan. The water would circulate on its own through the stove and kept the can full of water hot. Certainly more thab enough for a quick shower if rigged to a pump.
    Many of the ones we used had an open top watertank on the side of them so you had water to throw on the rocks to increase the temp and humidity.
    One of my favorite designs has the stove door on the outside and the body of the stove inside the sauna.
    Keeps the smoke and wood bits bark chunks etc. outside. If you build the roof so it overhangs that side then you can have your wood pile there to stay dry and close enough so you don't have to carry it from your main woodpile.
    The sauna would then have its own woodpile.
    Some of them also had Balsam boughs hanging on the wall for the smell but also to beat your back etc. with to help open up your pores to get the full sauna effect.
    My dads uncles burned more than one sauna down having contests to see which one could take the hottest sauna.[/QUOTE
    That's living the good life in Minnesota! We used birch in a friend's sauna suspended over the water (on piers). A few steps and you were in Burntside Lake-either ice free season or a cut hole.

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    Best set-up I ever ran into for the "Refreshment Shock Dip,"
    was a homemade Sauna, we found on the edge of the bay in Akutan Bay,... of the Aleutians,..(maybe somebody else has used it ?)

    They built it, just in front of a little waterfall pool,...just up off the beach, and that water was Ice Cold,...
    but just deep enough
    that you could wade out, to the middle at about mid knee deep,...and you had to kneel down, do a Pushup in the water,...
    to lower yourself down into total submergence,..then you could push back up
    and back down,...and up ,...
    Wow, what an awesome work out that was

    and a really nice little three seat sauna, at best, small, efficient heat space...and with a Mean Stove, wood fired of course,...

    was an awesome deal,...to be able to rework that "Shock Factor," over and over,...then step back inside the Heat Zone,...

    Check this out,..I actually found a picture, of the Akutan Sauna...(terrible scan that this is,..doesn't show the waterfall pool at all,...sorry)
    but this Was.... Honestly, (and I know you're gonna ride me about this one,....)

    "The Most Awesome Sauna, I've ever taken,..."
    no kidding




    Really, well, I have soaked in some pretty nice ones,...but something about this hokey deal,...
    I think it may have been, "built, by Whalers,.."
    ha ha,...seriously now,...it was awesome

    (now I know I've lost all Finn-Cred,...here,....but if you guys had been in there,...and seen the ice cold dipping pool out back,...you'd believe me

    Okay, now that I try to justify my pic here,....Maybe it was the, "Bering Sea Fishing Factor," that had a little to do with it
    right,... ?? Same reason a can of "Oly," can seem like it has Such An Awesome taste...or, why the local Island girls,...So Attractive,...??
    Ok, I better just shut up,....

    "Great Saunas,...don't have to have $10,000 into the Cedar lining,"...is what I'm trying to say
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Quote Originally Posted by otternorth View Post
    +1 on this. I grew up with Finns and learned how to pronounce, and take, Sauna correctly!
    The sauna I built was 8 x 16. Split in half for changing/sauna. Sloped floor with drain, small venting window in Sauna, all cedar WP4 with NO finish. Nice Kuma stove with river rock for steam source.
    I thought I was told you didn't want river rock as they can blow up.

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    Heikki Lunta sure has come to sauna here in Southcentral. We had "sowna-bath" on our lakefront deck growing up in da U.P. Bucket bath in the main sauna was the norm as well as the small cooler changing room. The best way to do it though was to lather up in the sauna, douse the rocks with a good few spoonfuls, wait as long as you could and run for da dock and jump in da big lake. Careful there that sauna soap sure is hot!
    "The North wind is cold no matter what direction it's blowing"

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    So, other than cedar, what are you folks using for the sauna interior floor/walls/ceiling? Seems like cedar might be like nailing dollar bills to the studs. I'm in the building mode this summer, too, and looking for alternatives

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    On ours I bought the cheap(er) fence slat cedar from home depot and nailed it at 45degrees. Not a finest of fit and finish, but the look and smell was there....

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    Tho, I kinda ridiculed the idea earlier,... I also think Cedar, if you can pull it off somehow,..
    really makes a difference
    Not critical,...but nice, and as dk mentions,...anything will do, doesn't have to be tongue and groove

    and then,...
    just AC Plywood, will keep the heat in,...which is better than nothing
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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