Posts Tagged “Wood-burning stove”

Burning House

I’ve been a Lifehacker fan since its beginning. While some of their topics are obscure geekdom, the occasional tip about a new piece of software or website that ends up saving me hours makes it a daily stop on my morning review of the news. I was really interested this morning when I saw their new post “How to Hack Your Bathroom into a Home Sauna.”

I had to check the calendar to make sure today isn’t April 1. It isn’t.

Holy sh*t Lifehacker. What will you stoop to for linkbait?

The post is chock full of lots of crazy ideas and very few concrete details, like:

If you plan to install a wood-burning stove, you’ll need to fire-proof the walls and roof around the stove. Particle board isn’t cheap, but this is one area you don’t want to skimp on.

If you don’t have an air vent in the bathroom, don’t make one: the gap under the bathroom door will work just fine.


If you’re putting a wood burning stove anywhere enclosed, you need to make sure you have proper ventilation. If you don’t you’ll end up at best poisoning yourself and at worst asphyxiating yourself and your whole family in your project. Especially if you follow their instructions to build a sauna stove:

A wood burning stove can easily be made from a junk yard gas canister. Use a cheap angle grinder to lop off the top, then just find a metal bucket, cut a hatch and fit the flue.

Those are the instructions. All of them. Now go forth and build one of these and put it in your house!

Please don’t follow these instructions. We value you as a reader too much to have you kill yourself in a home-made deathtrap.

If you’re really set on building your own sauna in your home, buy a good book like How to Build Your Own Sauna & Sweat by Mikkel Aaland, The Sauna: A Complete Guide to the Construction, Use, and Benefits of the Finnish Bath by Rob Roy, or Hot Tubs, Saunas & Steam Baths: A Guide to Planning and Designing your Home Health Spa by Alan Sanderfoot.

If you don’t want to shell out the dollars for a book, then visit Sauna Times or Kalle Hoffman’s Sauna Pages. Both offer plenty of free advice and detailed plans for building your own saunas and sauna stoves.

And unless you really, really know what you’re doing, build your first DIY wood stove sauna in a shed, far away from your home and anything else flammable.

Meanwhile, watch for these exciting posts coming soon to Lifehacker: “Improve your mood: Hack your bathtub and a toaster into your own electro-convulsive therapy system” and “Hack your own Botox from cans you fish out of your grocer’s dumpster!”

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The Estonian Sauna in Hemland, Afghanistan

The Estonian Sauna in Hemland, Afghanistan

The blog of the UK Forces Afghanistan today posted about the two saunas maintained by the Estonian contingent the NATO International Security Assistance Force Afghanistan.

According to the blogger: “Each nation though likes to recreate a little piece of home at their base wherever possible and this is no different for the ‘crazy Estonians’ (their words, not mine!) who decided to build themselves a sauna.”

The sauna at the main British base in Hemland is built in a re-purposed shipping container. It has an electric stove and seats four in the hot room. The container also has showers and a resting area with seating and a fridge.  A second sauna in a patrol base in Northern Afghanistan was also built by the Estonian troops. It was built in an abandoned compound, and has a wood burning stove. Target temperatures in the saunas are between 80 °C (176 °F) and 110 °C (230 °F).

During the winter, when temperatures approached freezing, most of the Estonians serving in the area used the sauna twice a week. Now that spring has come, and the daytime hight temperatures at the desert bases will be approaching 50°C (122°F), the Estonian troops will cut back their use to once per week.

Estonian troops don’t quit the sauna, even in Helmand via UK forces Afghanistan.

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