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Sauna Talk: Eero Kipi, North American Sauna Society

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Let’s welcome Eero Kipi, President of North American Sauna Society to Sauna Talk!

To learn more about the North American Sauna Society, please note link here.

The time we are living is very exciting. More and more people are becoming interested in and aware of the authentic sauna practice. In this episode, we get an understanding from Eero about his upbringing with sauna. And this experience is most likely not much different from most all Finns. A country of “more saunas than cars” and a country where many start taking saunas before they are old enough to start walking.

Eero understands good sauna.

The North America Sauna Society was founded in 2004.

Sauna bathing is a very well regulated process with no regulation.

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11 thoughts on “Sauna Talk: Eero Kipi, North American Sauna Society”

  1. I’ve not built with Hemlock, so can’t advise directly. What I do know is that we want soft woods. Soft loose grain woods. Cedar is the bomb in this department, and then others here in N. America are building with poplar/aspen as well as basswood. These are fast growing species but not my favorites for sauna because they don’t hold up to moisture. Lemme know how you roll on the Hemlock front.

  2. Glen,

    I plan on building a sauna out of my enclosed trailer and would love to pick your brain with some general construction questions and advice!


  3. Hi Glenn,
    Downloaded your Sauna plans. Really enjoying going through them!
    Two questions
    1. Recommendation for where to find good quality Western red cedar tongue and groove for the interior paneling?
    2. My build will be outdoor in central Ohio to include a 2/6 framing platform with 3/4” exterior grad plywood, supported by concrete pylons. There will be roughly 12 inches between the ground ( covered in 3” of gravel) and the bottom of the floor joists. I know you’re not a fan of insulating the floor joists, but in this situation would you consider adding foam panels between the floor joists?

  4. Hi Robert:

    1. Cedar t&g sourcing is tough sledding. I suggest contacting specialty lumber retailers in your area.
    2. There is a good way to insulate your floor joists, and I’ve done this a couple times with great success. Secure 2×2 nailers 2″ down inside your floor joists. Rip 2″ rigid foam on table saw to fit between floor joists. Set them between floor joists to set snug against 2x2s. Then set your 3/4″ exterior plywood on top.

    The air flow under your building is a good thing.

    This is a ‘tried and true’ system, and yet open to any other iterations/ideas. Eg. some like to put down critter prevention mesh below the floor joists, and I like that, as aggressive squirrels and mice sometimes can get into rigid foam, for poly-desert as much as for bedding down.

    Glad the ebook is helping you along! Good sauna to you!

  5. Thanks for your insight to hemlock. I will let you which direction I go and how it turns out.

    I have another question for you regarding air circulation. I’m in Maine and was under contract to purchase a custom sauna. Over the winter the builder had a change of heart which is why I’m heading in a new direction. The sauna I was expecting used decking for the floor. The decking had spaces just like your back deck which supposedly made for easy cleaning and drainage. I like this concept. He also had a circulation system of dryer ducting hidden in the walls to get good circulation in the steam room. Now I am not sure how he did this and am not going to try and recreate it. My question for you is, if I used the same decking system for my floor and placed a direct vent to the outside through the wall, do you see that creating problems with circulation? Thanks!

  6. Thanks for all the great sauna topics! I have some questions in my sauna building journey that I can’t find an answer to and I’m hoping you might have some insight…

    I will soon begin building a sauna using as many low cost and free materials as possible. My idea for the roof is unconventional and I don’t know enough about it to know for sure that it will work…I want to use an old 12 foot fiberglass satellite dish to build a turf roof. My main concerns are: 1. Will it hold up to the heat and not drip hot resin onto the bathers? 2. Will it support the weight of an extensive green roof plus snow cover? (I live in Vermont.)

    I am also curious if anyone has insight into using sauna to treat Lyme disease. I have wanted to build a sauna for years, since I visited Finland in college, but have decided to do it now as I have been diagnosed with Lyme disease. I have read the Lyme bacteria is very sensitive to temperature…is there any correlation with those who regularly sauna having a lower rate of Lyme disease?

    Thanks! and happy sweating!

  7. Great post! Building a sauna is an excellent investment that contributes value to your life as well as your property. If you don’t skimp on the quality, you will have a great ROI and a sauna for decades down the line.

  8. Hi Corinne:

    I dunno what to say about the concept of fiberglass satellite dish. My first reaction is that the material will off gas at some temp. and it may be the temp that you’re sauna will get to, which would be a serious bummer.

    And sorry to hear about your Lyme diagnosis. My wife and I have each had it, and probably still do to some extent. Sauna, for SURE has kicked it back for me. My wife has battled lyme much worse, and as much as she would love to have sauna as part of her lyme recovery, she is very vulnerable to headaches. She’s pretty sure that sauna initiates a die off in her body and bad reaction – she was that sick – but she’s doing much better now. The body doesn’t want to be sick, and however we can get through this lyme business is how we have to do it.

  9. Thanks Glenn, Sorry to hear you both are dealing with Lyme disease…I guess that’s just the world we live in!
    Yeah, I’m rethinking the satellite dish. Maybe I’ll have to save it for a tiny cabin /studio. I’m hoping to hear back from someone who I saw posted a picture of a sauna with a satellite dish roof on facebook. I’ll let you know if I find out anything…though I don’t expect this to be a common reuse project.

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