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Acquiring a Sauna
The Frame
Hardboard
Wiring
Lamp Guard
Filling the Gaps
Insulation
Change in Plans
The Door
The Vent
Final Touches
Epilogue
Sauna Sessions
Effects and Results






Acquiring a Sauna
Page Two 

“SAUNA THERAPY” includes a diagram of an Infrared-Lamp Sauna that Dr. Wilson designed, and his web site, DrLWilson.com, offers this sauna for sale at a price of $549. This seems to be a well-
designed unit, which could work well for me, but I wasn't sure whether it would be effective, in our house, during the colder months.

PVC and canvas Infrared Sauna: Infrared-Lamp Sauna
Dr. Wilson's PVC & canvas Infrared-Lamp Sauna.

We live in a house that is almost 100 years old, so it has no insulation. In the winter time, we rarely use much heat at night, which means that the infrared bulbs have to be able to heat the sauna to an operating temperature starting above 100 degrees, and climbing to at least 110 degrees, from morning temperatures as low as 50 degrees, in a reasonable amount of time. For this reason, I wasn't sure if Dr. Wilson's design, which is made of a double layer of canvas, stretched over a PVC frame, would be able to hold in enough heat in our demanding environment, during the colder months. I was convinced that I needed a sauna using a wooden frame, so that it could be insulated.


The book, and web site did recommend commercially available wooden-frame models made by Country Ray Saunas (800-213-0182) and Cedarbrook Saunas, but they appeared to be too big for the space available in our house, and cost more than I wanted to spend! 

My only acceptable choice seemed to be to build a wooden-frame unit myself. With the cost breakdown, shown below, it is clear that a wooden-frame unit, like the design shown on this web site, can be built for about $240, which is very affordable!


Materials List

10 - 10' 1x4's $3.39 @ $33.90
6 - 4'x8' sheets 1/8" hardboard $5.99 @ $35.94
4 - 4'x8' sheets Styrofoam $9.15 @ $36.60
10 - L-brackets $7.77
1 - piece 55" wide vinyl covered felt $18.22
3 - 250 watt porcelain light sockets $1.49 @ $4.47
3 - Infrared Bulbs $9.97 @ $29.91
1 - 6' roll of 1/2" hardware cloth $5.99
1 - plastic electrical box $1.43
1 - switch $0.54
1 - switch plate $0.22
1 - box 1/4" staples $2.79
1 - 12' extension cord $1.97
1 - 3' piece #14 solid black wire $0.84
1 - 3' piece #14 solid white wire $0.84
1 - 27" bamboo shade $13.95
1 - thermometer $4.79
1 - 15" high plastic stool $5.00
3 - 8' pieces of 1/2" molding $2.09 @ $6.27
100 - #6 x 5/8" pan-head sheet metal screws $2.89
48 - #8 x 1" hex-head sheet metal screws $5.88
16 - #6 x 1 3/4" flat-head wood screws $4.00
12 - #12 x 1" pan-head sheet metal screws $2.00
8 - #6 x 1 1/2" round head wood screws $1.00

Vent:
$12.00
1 - 2" PVC x 2'
1 - 2" PVC Flange
1 - 2" PVC Cap 

TOTAL $240

AND, I have a lot of hardboard, and insulation left over!