It was a warm day in Northern Minnesota. I hopped into my fishing boat and headed about 5 miles across Lake Vermilion into the river inlet to Tower, Minnesota.
Daryl Lamppa picked me up at the dock, and we drove in his pick up truck to his corporate headquarters, a few blocks off Main Street, Tower, Minnesota.
Daryl was pretty animated this day. He was excited to Sauna Talk and shoot the breeze about a day in the life of running a business that has had his family name on the front his entire life.
We were able to relax and get into our conversation without distractions or feeling rushed. Regarding the chemical principle’s of burning wood: “without temperature, none of the reactions go forward”. And old school sauna stoves that fed from the outside were inefficient in many respects, including the heat from the front part of the stove, that was “wasted to the world.” I had a great time asking Daryl questions for Sauna Talk:
One of the more special parts to this episode of Sauna Talk, was when Daryl told us about being reconnected to one of his Grandfather’s sauna stoves, at least 80 years old. On the front, Daryl’s Grandfather welded in these words:
Daryl and I talked about many things, including:
- What got you interested in how wood burns, and in making sauna stoves?
- 35 years of tinkering with making a clean burning wood stove.
- Tower, Minnesota. February 4, 1996. -60 f.
- Daryl thinking “green” before there was the term green.
- Lamppa Manufacturing: selling direct to the customer, even before the internet.
- The Kuuma Stove owners manual. Hand drawn and hand written by Daryl Lamppa.
But back to his grandfather’s sauna stove. This was a touching moment for me, to see Daryl’s Grandfather’s sauna stove sitting on the dock behind Daryl’s current masterpiece. “If my Grandfather could see the stoves we are making today….”
You don’t have to love sauna to appreciate this episode of Sauna Talk. This is a story about a man of passion and pride. A story of a guy who grew up doing what his father and his Father’s Father enjoyed doing: making sauna stoves for people to enjoy sauna: a centuries old tradition of health and wellness.
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