Fabricating a sauna wood burning stove

Folx,
been looking long & hard for a pre-fab. At this point, thinking about welding it up myself. Will order pre-cut sheets of 3/16" mild hot rolled steel from
onlinemetals or a similar joint.
What is that black heat resistant exterior (paint?) they use on commercial stoves ? Can one apply it at a home shop ? Since it is for a russian- style sauna, it might get occasional drop of water here and there.
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On Sat, 20 Nov 2010 10:15:27 -0800 (PST), rashid111

http://www.stovepaint.com / http://www.rutland.com/productinfo.php?product_idI
I've used both and can't tell the difference. It wouldn't surprise me if Dampney makes Rutland's paint for them. If the stove is in a damp location, rusting while it's cold will be a bigger problem than splashing water.
And check your local steel distributors -- you should be able to do better on price than the online metals places.
--
Ned Simmons

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Don't put anything on the metal. Everything should be inert. Cedar/Redwood interior, metal, and lava/river rocks. Paint or what ever will just make it stink and unhealthy.
SW
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Stove blacking does smell but it's not that bad and doesn't last for long. Black stovepipe also smells a little at first.
jsw
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On Sun, 21 Nov 2010 04:38:06 -0800 (PST), Jim Wilkins

Last year I bought an inline stove pipe heat extractor for the house and the wife pitched a fit about something within the cautions. Anyhow, for some reason that receipt just disappeared and the hardware store wouldn't take it back. So, I put it in the shop, that thing stunk for at least three days and is a piece of junk, I can exhale harder than that thing can blow air.
Sure black stove pipe looks cool after ya burn it all off, looks like something from the turn of the other century. But I wouldn't want to be in a little steamy hot box with paint burning slowly off.
I've built and assembled many saunas and use to service them along with spas and the dreaded swimming pools. I still have nightmares and cringe every time I walk by pool supplies in stores.
Every time I hear the word sauna it reminds me of a very good lesson. I was replacing a thermostat that some idiot had put right through the middle of the main power box at a resort. My boss told me over the radio that he just turned off the main power that fed the box and it was ok to continue. Well this baby had 440 relays and all kinds of stuff in it, so I almost got to the probe and the copper line obviously made contact and a huge blinding light later assured me from that day onward that I would never trust another person again that the power is off, crap.
That boss was really quiet after that, btw. He got his later. A friend and coworker had a meeting with him and the rest of the family to conspire against me. They proposed that he could do both of our jobs with lots of over time, a huge raise, and a percentage of the parts he sold in the field. So he says yeah I'll do it. So they came back and canned me flat and told me to hit the road for no reason. I was pissed and just plane sick of that family business anyhow. I wasn't home but for an hour and the co-worker shows up with a bunch of beer and told me he just went along with them and strung them along to see if they would really fire me, as soon as he had heard the news he told them to fuck off, now they didn't have anyone to do all the work.
SW
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Nevermind black paint, as someone else suggested it'll give off some toxic fumes as it gets hot. Various chemical treatments may possibly also create nasty gasses.
It's probably better to just use HRS hot rolled steel sheet/plate, as it's surface is already a dark color due to somewhat intense/thick oxidation from exposure to very high heat. I generally grind away the dark HRS scale in the weld areas, which typically don't need to be large surfaces, just a slight margin at the edges is usually all it takes to get very clean welds.
--
WB
.........


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On Sat, 20 Nov 2010 10:15:27 -0800 (PST), rashid111

Russian-style sauna? Sauna is a Finnish word and a Finnish cultural tradition. Finns I knew about had no use at all for the freakin' Russians. My grandfather could barely say Russian without spitting.
Perhaps you might consult a Finn about how to treat the metal on your sauna stove. Hint: not paint.
Blackening of steel can be done with a liquor made from black walnut shells. It can also be done simply with heat. The result is quite similar to blueing on firearms. Firearms are blued with salts to keep the temperature down to where it doesn't screw up the properties of the metal, but that doesn't matter at all on a sauna stove.
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On Mon, 22 Nov 2010 01:48:07 -0600, Don Foreman

Russian-style sauna: Chernobyl.
(Kids: Don't try this at home.)

Acids or bases can blacken metal, too. I wonder if this is an approved method for saunas. Hmm, I haven't seen any ads to "Parkerize Your Sauna", have you?
-- Experience is a good teacher, but she send in terrific bills. -- Minna Thomas Antrim
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wrote:

II designed and built a wood burning sauna stove about 10 years ago. I laid out the stove on a cad system then had the parts cut out with a laser. I used 1/8 P&O cold rolled steel plate. I keyed the parts to hold them aligned and also had some alignment tools cut out with the job. I went through 10 lbs of wire welding it up but I had fun. It has been in service since. Didn't bother painting it.
The design included a door and chimney in the front of the stove that was outside so the sauna side did not get any smoke. I placed a flange separation the front and back which was attached to the wall.
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"Don Foreman"

I can't take it anymore, yes you paint the sucker! Use high heat black in a rattle can and put it on heavy. Then set it up outside and put a big hot fire in it, really hot, kiln dried maple is best. Then it won't stink anymore and it won't end up looking like a chunk of crappy looking scrap iron. And don't be afraid to fire it up hot on a regular basis too! If you're the type who is afraid of a hot stove with flames halfway up the chimney you have no business burning wood. Cold, smoldering, smoky fires are no good, they are creosote makers asking for trouble. The inside of the stove should be snow white! While we're on the subject, another thing that gets me going are top benches too low! The code inspector says they cannot be any higher than what was decided upon by a panel of ignorant beaurocrates who don't know shit. How are you supposed to put your feet on the ceiling with a top bench that freaking low? And one more thing, just one: rough cut cedar benches rule! Rough cut, as in fresh off the circular saw, three inches thick and ten inches wide is about right. Two side by side on top, one loner in the middle and two side by side for the lower. phil kangas
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On Mon, 22 Nov 2010 18:06:46 -0500, "Phil Kangas"

Note to Rashid: Kangas is a Finnish name. Saunas are Finnish. Listen up!
Foreman is not a Finnish name, but my maternal grandparents both came from Finland. The name was Suuronen but Grampa changed that to Sirola because nobody here could pronounce Suuronen correctly. My middle name is Sirola.
I've never built a sauna stove so I'll defer to Phil on that. I rather doubt that they had high-temp paint in rattlecans in Finland circa 1900, but it may well be a good approach in 2010.
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On Tue, 23 Nov 2010 00:59:46 -0600, Don Foreman

Never been to Finland but my granddad used some stuff he called "stove polish" every fall when it started to get cold. I think it was a waxy substance that you just smeared on with a brush, not an actual paint.
Cheers,
Brice
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Folx,
all the advice is much appreciated !
I am rather aware of the rich history between Finland & USSR, but it's been long over by now :), so let's move on. Besides, in the tsarist Russia, Finland was effectively a self- governed territory and didn't do that bad at all :)
I am sure Russian "banya"/ "parilka" (steam room) is as old as Finnish sauna. The chief difference were:
- the method use to heat up the rocks (in traditional Russian design, they were exposed to direct flame - thus the name "chernaya" (black) - Finns like dry heat, Russians splash water onto the hot rocks to get copious amts of steam into the air
Both enjoy the distinct technique of staying in till you can not take it no more and then, running out buck naked :) and dipping into a ice- covered lake or a snow drift . In the summer, you'd always have few buckets of coldest water one can get. The thermal shock is most beneficial to human body/skin & spirit :)
My main concern had to do with the water being splashed onto the exterior and creating some rust. I guess I am being paranoid here and having no paint is just fine :)
While on it:
Is 1/8 HRS good nuff ? Should I use 3/18" ?
About the inside of the oven - are any liners (bricks) etc used - or fire burn right on the exposed metal ?
Thanks again !
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On Tue, 23 Nov 2010 05:23:38 -0800 (PST), rashid111

As Phil said, the paints I mentioned early in the thread are not a problem. My woodstove is painted with the stuff and sits right between our kitchen and living room. The fire never goes out from Dec to March and there's absolutely no odor. The stove paint is made up with very volatile solvents and stinks like hell while it's being applied and when the stove is first fired, but the volatiles flash off very quickly.
Stove polish is not the same thing as stove paint, and works much better on cast iron than on steel.

A firebrick or fireclay lining will protect the steel from corrosion and, to some extent, warping. But it'll also increase the time it takes for the outside of the stove to warm up. Depending on the design, I probably wouldn't line a sauna stove.
Steel is cheap and a heavy steel stove is less likely to warp.
--
Ned Simmons

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in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

    At a minimum, I would suggest a grate to hold the wood up off the floor. Of course, after the first fire, you will have the ashes to serve as insulation/protection of the bottom of the firebox.

    Put the brick on the bottom - that will protect the bottom from fire. Iron does oxidize. Lining the sides with firebrick will serve as thermal mass to moderate the extremes of hot/cold as the fire flares up and burns down. It may take a while to heat the sauna to proper temps, but it will also take longer for it to cool off, so you do not have to jump up and stoke the fire.

    That too. There is the issue of over building - heavier steel will mean that it will be longer till you have to repair or replace.
    I don't have experience with sauna specific wood stoves, but did work for a while making "regular" wood burning stoves for heating. I think we used a 3/8 plate for the box (it was about "that thick" - holding fingers about a quarter inch apart).
tschus pyotr
--
pyotr filipivich
We will drink no whiskey before its nine.
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-0800 (PST) typed in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

    If the water dries completely (and quickly), it is not going to get a lot of rust. But the issue isn't so much what you can see, but the places in back and "underneath" where water can collect, particularly between uses.
tschus pyotr
--
pyotr filipivich
We will drink no whiskey before its nine.
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Sauna: Get stove hot Get sauna hot Get naked Get in sauna Get you wet Get bench wet Get on bench Get stove wet Get hot Get dizzy Get out!
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Phil Kangas wrote:

For full effect, beat self with willow branches and jump through hole in lake ice.
Cheers! Rich
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-0800 typed in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

    Run from sauna on to the pier and dive into the Baltic. Even in September, "dats cold!" Feels good, too. "Ba-ba-back to der sauna!"
tschus
--
pyotr filipivich
We will drink no whiskey before its nine.
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-0500 typed in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

    Ja, that will work.

--
pyotr filipivich
We will drink no whiskey before its nine.
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