Building a Cordwood Masonry Sauna

A MOTHER reader describes building a cordwood masonry sauna from scratch, includes information on installing sauna doors, windows and rafters, mortar mix, types of woods to use for the sauna and building diagrams.



177-34a-1
The earth roof in snow.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
Using cordwood masonry sauna
The earth roof, which looks peculiar but is a perfect addition to our summer garden, effectively keeps the cold out of our sauna indefinitely.
PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
177-36-1
The perfect sauna wall is one that combines excellent insulation with exceptional thermal mass. Cordwood construction achieves both.mass. Cordwood construction achieves both.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
177-35-1b
Cleaning around the logs and mortar.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
177-35-1a
If you can make cement and handle logs, you have all the skills necessary for cordwood construction. Creativity completes the tool kit.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
177-38-1a
320 pounds of brick surround the stove and store the heat.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
177-38-1b
Make the windows useful but no too large.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
177-36-1b
The Earthwood sauna has a 9' inside diameter, which translates to a 10', 4" outside diameter. (1) High platform, 42" off floor. (2) Low platform, 36" off floor. (3) Ceramic thimble (8" inside diameter) air vent. A cylindrical log end closes the vent. Vents are 5' and 6' off floor, respectively. (4) 4" diameter combustion air inlet, near floor. (5) Stove surrounded by bricks (or stoned}. (6) Floor drain. (7) Forming boards. (8) Shelf. (9) Water-resistant (bathroom) light. (10) Spike for thermometer or towel. (11 ) 2'-wide door. (12) 16"-square window. (13) Wash bucket. (14) Whisk. (15) Firewood store.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
177-40-1b
Diagram 2: The cordwood sauna.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
177-36-1a
Diagram 1: Cordwood sauna.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
177-40-1a
The spokes of the roof wheel are 2 x 8 spruce tongue-and-groove silo staves, topped by standard roof planking, waterproofing material (I am laying Bituthene R4000 here), more insulating material, crushed stone, a loose layer of hay or straw and, finally, sod.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
177-38-1c.jpg
Our custom-designed and insulated door.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF











Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.