Since I became a homeowner several years ago, I always wanted to build a Sauna. I blame it on being raised in Michigan's Upper Peninsula where there are many people of Finnish decent. A sauna is a small hot room(140 F to 200 F) where you go to sweat. It promotes relaxation and supposedly good health. I’ve seen a few inside homes and a few outside homes, also some in spas and health clubs. A popular but somewhat peculiar activity is to heat yourself in the sauna then either roll in snow or jump into cool water.

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Shown in the first two photos are examples of traditional outdoor Sauna you might find in Finland or other countries in northern Europe. The third photo is my building.

Step 1: The Beginnings

I have on my property an old concrete block out building which was used to store nothing but junk really. It is not too far from the house. Voila the perfect location for a sauna. I also had an old iron fire place insert sitting around just slowly rusting. Voila a perfect sauna heater.
Really nice Instructable
<p>Great work and a project I have long been interested in. There is nothing like the sense of clean after a good sweat and rinsing off the bile. In your case, rubbed off with snow!</p>
<p>Fantastic job, what a hideout on a cold winters night ...</p>
I'm terrified of freezing. Back in my youth I hitch hiked all over the US even in the dead of winter and came very close to freezing to death a few times even becoming unconscious twice so rolling around in snow is right off my list of things to do ,but I love the idea of the sauna and may just build one if the Mrs lets me. Some things we just have to get permission to do. Ticking off the Mrs is never a good idea.
<p>Thanks for the inspiration. You were kinda lucky you had an existing structure and could get right to the fun part. :) I recently finished building a 12'x14' outdoor wood burning sauna that consists of a 6'x12' <br>hot room and an 8'x12' changing/party room. I tried to document as <br>detailed as possible each step of the build hoping it helps someone like<br> us that tries this DIY project. My write up and photos can be found <br>here:<br><br>http://outdoorsaunabuildmndiy.blogger.com/<br><br>Thanks again!<br>Julian</p>
<p>Have you found the pine boards leaking sap? Has that been a problem?</p><p>What was the thickness of the cedar you put on the walls?</p>
Yes the pine does leak a little sap where there is a knot. It really has not been a problem, although I once had a drop of hot sap fall on me, but that is rare. Hasn't been an issue. The Cedar was 3/4&quot; tongue and groove siding.<br><br>Thanks for reading.
<p>We are researching sauna builds right now, thanks for sharing, this is beautiful.</p>
<p>Hi,</p><p>I'm planning to build a suna too, and thinking about using only pine T&amp;G to cover inside walls.</p><p>How are the Menards panels holding up after a year of use?</p><p>Thanks</p>
They are holding up fine just oozing a little sap where there are knots.
have you hot boxed it?
<p>It seems very apt that you'd be drinking beer while building a sauna. Love it!</p>
It is sooo warm
<p>Chalk CAD at its finest ; )</p>
<p>Looks great!</p>
<p>Nice hot box!! The UP inspired me to do the same. There isn't much better than a sauna on a cold winter night. Still in the UP? </p>
<p>not still in the UP, I'm in southern MI. I was raised in the UP near Marquette, went to MTU and lived in Escanaba for a while. Wish I could return to live there.</p>
I thought it was going to say &quot;when i was building the bench i wanted to drink a beer&quot;
<p> In Finland, the saunas have a bottle opener on the wall. I would leave my beer just outside the door so it wouldn't get warm, duck out every few minutes to get a drink and rest from the heat.</p>
<p>I know consuming alcohol is discouraged with sauna but we have a bottle of Finlandia Vodka ready for a little nip after rolling in the snow.</p>
<p>What?! No alcohol with sauna? Don't tell tat to anyone from Finland. Ice cold beer is a must with sauna when cooling out.</p>
just remember, too much insulation and not enough ventilation in walls and ceiling--&gt; mold. would have left the floor as it was, greetings from a genuine finn, The sauna is from Finland though
<p>Nice work !</p><p>The result on your hosts (and maybe yourself) is quite blurry : sign that the result is perfect !!! ;)</p>
<p>what a nice job.where is the bucket of willow branches to hit your skin to clean the pores(when my mother was little she asked my granma why she was getting hit she didn't do anything wrong!!) we fins &amp; most of the old country folks drink beer warm...cheers good job</p>
<p>we have a bucket but no willow - i think i'll try that, but like my beer cold</p>
<p>You have a happy heart. <br>It shows in every step.</p><p>Thank you for sharing.</p><p>Do more of these please.</p>
why did you enclose the stove in bricks? Is that to create thermal mass? How did the stones work out, did they get hot enough?
<p>Just a note - that expanding foam is highly flammable. I wouldn't recommend it for anywhere you have naked flames. But a great 'ible. thanks.</p>
<p>Thanks for the tip. None of it is near an open flame.</p>
<p>The stove is actually an old fireplace insert. I just needed a way to mount the insert . The brick helps retain the heat for long after we are done with the sauna and the stones on top only get warm, not enough to steam. We put a tray with stones direction on the front ledge of the iron insert and THAT gets hot. It is our source of a little steam. But this is a dry sauna, only need enough steam to create some humidity.</p>

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