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Estonian mobile sauna build with the “best leil ever”

Saunatimes catches up with Mihkel and Triin, Estonians now in Perth, Austrialia. An Estonian mobile sauna build with careful design, planning, and pandemic building. Mihkel created a mobile sauna with really great leil, löyly (loosely translated: steam). Let’s welcome Mihkel:

What compelled you to undertake your own Estonian mobile sauna build?

This type of authentic wellness has been part of my life for as long as I remember. Although I grew up in Estonia with saunas being an important part of our culture, I had no idea why are our neighbours (Finns) are that mental about the löyly, which we call LEIL in Estonian.
My life brought me to Western Australia, and I found out it actually can be a challenge to find a decent public sauna (by Nordic standards) e.g. where you’d be able to at least toss some hot water onto the hot rocks to get the air moving. Down the road, one day Google searching about boosting one’s immune system, I came across an interview on tremendous health benefits from regular use of a proper sauna. This led me to Dr. Laukkanen’s study and Dr. Rhonda Patricks’ research. It all made sense and I knew my own search for a real sauna here is done. Since couple of other things lined up right, I decided to build the sauna myself.
planning out the sauna build
Journey of 1,000 kilometers: planning out the sauna build

How did you find saunatimes and give us a few examples where the DIY ebook helped you out with your Estonian mobile sauna build

Once I discovered the world of podcasts, I thought that there has to be some serious podcasts on the sauna topic, too. Thank you, Glenn! The ebook is packed with good advice. One of the best I liked was the idea of a candle window – what an ingenious simple thing. Also, my sauna has a fair size window on the eye level and after sunset having the candle on it allows you to see outside yet adds some privacy with reflection of the glare on the glass blocking the view from outside into the hot room.

sauna stove with innovative water basin

What were the biggest 1-2 challenges for your sauna build?

Thanks to the help from my friends, my support team and youtube, these few challenges turned into lessons and developed new skills and knowledge. I totally enjoyed at least 95% of it.

Tell us something specific about your Estonian mobile sauna build that makes you especially proud

My partner Triin, who is also from Estonia, told me it is the best LEIL she had ever experienced. That is the highest reward I personally could have hoped for.

the water basin atop the sauna stove

Any regrets or do overs?

None. Do it once – do it right! Take your time and think it through. Do overs can be quite expensive. Even the daunting amount of time spent on planning was totally worth it.

door treatment for sauna

If you bring a mobile sauna anywhere in the world, where would you like to go and sauna?

I am going to take my sauna to nature either to the ocean or other spots with water nearby for possible plunge to get most of the authentic wellness which actually is an absolute bliss even in the warm climate as it is in WA during summer.

Your podcast (which I binge listened from the beginning) sparked the idea, your ebook nudged me to right direction and I’m happy to say that my “pandemic time project” got sort of ready (never ending, right!?) yesterday. I am really pleased with the results. And, please accept the title of  “The Godfather of my Sauna” and consider being welcome anytime to my sauna for the future. Again, thank You for sharing your beautiful wisdom! 

Hüva Leili!

Once again – thank you Glenn for sharing your beautiful wisdom!

With best regards,
Mihkel Juursalu

EDITOR’S NOTE: Mihkel has just recently started an Instagram page. Updates are on the way and we can be reached via Instagram @nordesauna. Always open for interesting projects!

outside the mobile sauna, Perth Australia
Mihkel and Trinn outside their new hand built mobile sauna

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6 thoughts on “Estonian mobile sauna build with the “best leil ever””

  1. Hi Glenn,

    My spouse Brenda recently purchased your book as a Xmas gift for me (sauna at the cabin). Everything appears to be great but I am having a bit of trouble accessing the information (I do not own Microsoft Word).

    Have you considered self-publishing on Amazon? I recognize that you give up a bit of your profit but: 1) you might increase sales by expanding the universe of potential buyers; and 2) i) Kindle e-books are easy to access; ii) reflect the form in which many, many people now read, and iii) allow easy access to your advice while at the lumber yard, the build site or on the go.

    Just a thought!

    Best regards,
    James Anderson (fellow Minnesotan)

  2. Hi James:

    Thank you for this feedback! As a fellow DIY enthusiast, you may relate to the DIY nature of self publishing via DIY methods, but you’re absolutely spot on with self-publishing through Amazon. We are working on exactly this.

    For now, please note that within the folder, the entire book is accessible via a pdf file called “complete book as pdf.” It prints on 45 ish pages, text only. I understand that this may be a step backwards for you, as a Kindle user, but it is a way to get the content off of a screen and in physical form.

    Thanks again, James. Great of you to offer this advice, as a friendly, helpful Minnesotan!

  3. Hi Glenn.

    I love the website and podcast. Your e-book has been invaluable in getting me prepped for my build. I break ground in June of this year. I purchased your book in 2019, so it didn’t include a 3D .skp file. Is it possible for you to share that with me? It’ll help me to work out my window placement.

    Keep up the great work!

  4. Hi Mike,

    Warmed to know that my ebook and other shenanigans have been helpful for you with your authentic sauna build.

    I’m emailing you separately with access to the 3D file.

    Window placement: as mentioned in the book, be thinking about the cardboard cut out method. Gets us thinking closer to actual vs. virtual. (as some things look better in real life than on paper).

  5. I’m interested in buying or building a sauna that will get to temperatures of 170-200. Any suggestions on brand names?

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