How to build an experimental stone sauna (that almost works)
One of the things I practice during travel is to leave the places I visit a little bit better then before I came. This way I am contributing to a multitude of societies, and this just tickles me happy! One of the ways in which I wanted to extend my gratitude towards my WWOOFING host and hostess, was to build a sauna next to the wicki-up.
The pictures are not in chronological order, but it is a simple puzzle to solve 😉
Let me guide you through the things we have done to build this experimental sauna.
- Foundation, mini walls, sitting area, fire pit and floor
By first digging a hole, we give ourselves some breathing room building the surrounding walls later on. You don’t have to make it that tall when it is already sunk into the ground. It is also a natural protection from the wind, and it makes it easier to make a floor. There has not been spend any dime on this project, all resources are local and natural except for the plastic sheets. The mini walls are hammered into the ground and straightened out. The fire pit in the back should blow the steam upwards following the triangle structure. This way, the heat goes up and down, and hopefully circulates mid air. This wasn’t the case in the experiment since the door and the chimney need to be improved and need more isolation. I think the original design will work if this will be done.
- Structure, walls and sheets
4 main pillars are put in a 45 degree angle to support the roof. 2 other main pillars complete the triangle. Next is to fill it all up with more trees to create a nice view from the inside. The roof is covered with branches and lots of sea grass for isolation. On top of that we use the blue sheet to fully isolate any holes. Btw, all trees are cut down with manual labour! Old fashioned axe work here! No really, this movement is a great exercise for the body and meditation for the mind…
- Sea grass door and sand
By burying the sheets into the ground we make sure no wind can access the sauna. Sea grass is a solution for many world problems, but not for sauna doors unfortunately. My weaving skills with sea grass are not at the level that I can make this door air tight, let alone make a perfect fit…. It was however a courageous attempt, and maybe the farm will finish the experimental sauna in the future.
The sauna can also be used for communal area, storytelling and shelter if desired. Not bad, for a first try 😉
So this video below for some more impressions;