Barrel Sauna Report
Barrel Sauna 3.3m
As promised here are some comments and thoughts on this sauna which you supplied. Before going into detail though I should say that we are delighted with the sauna which has been in use, albeit without some twiddly bits, since just before Christmas.
- The sauna was delivered very well packed (with the exception of the two windows, tossed in loose on top, but no harm done) on a double wrapped completely weatherproof pallet.
- The truck driver was most helpful and efficient and took trouble in putting the pallet as far into our driveway as possible.
- First a major Gripe. I don’t believe that the bearer positions as given in the instructions are correct for this sauna. All other illustrations (and common sense) indicate that they should be under the bulkheads. They are not if you use the dimensions given. I would suggest that you raise this with the supplier.
- Otherwise all is straightforward.
- We did not follow the suggestion of temporarily screwing the lower half of the ‘barrel boards’ in place to retain them before fitting the straps. (I hate making/leaving holes in timber which lead to moisture ingress and all that follows) Instead we made two oversize semi-circular templates from shuttering ply, cramped to the bearers, from which we wedged the loose overhanging boards tightly in place.
- A long Ratchet Strap is a very useful bit of kit to facilitate getting all the boards nice and tight before cutting the ‘closer’ and fitting the stainless bands.
- There were 3 ‘extra’ boards supplied which was good and enabled us to set aside one that was a bit ‘knotty’ and another that had a slight ‘shake’ in it.
- It would be helpful if a position was given for the tilting fillet at the eaves. Establishing its optimum position entailed a certain amount of head scratching to ensure that it all ‘worked out’ within the number of shingles provided.
- The number of ‘first course’ rectangular tiles supplied was insufficient since they also have to be used on the ridge. I can understand why as, on straight length, there appears to be enough but when used on the ridge they have to be a) separated, b) rotated through 900 and c) overlapped. Fortunately there were enough remaining ordinary shingles that we were able to cannibalise to finish the job.
- Whilst the barrel boards and the bulkheads were from ‘Thermowood’ the bearers and the end trim barge boards were not. A pity as both are in the weather. The latter didn’t reach quite as far as we would have liked so we made up half-length profiled ones to reach and cover the end of the tilting fillet.
- I’d take issue with the strap brackets. They are ‘overbent’, as a result of which they don’t lie nicely against the barrel. If they were ‘underbent’ to the same degree they would be fine. We made up some wedge washers which resolved the issue for us.
- The quality of the timber used for the barrel is good and relatively knot free.
- All cutting was accurate and joints tight.
- Joinery is of good quality and considerably better than most we have seen in ‘garden buildings’.
- The Aspen used for the bench seats, floor slats and fire guard is clear and gives a pleasing finishing touch.
- The seats and floor slats are from 28mm (finished) thickness timber which makes for a good substantial feel
- The internal glazed partition door is symmetric and may be hung either way up making for easy ‘handing’.
- The ‘displaced’ boards from the door cut-outs were ideal for making some profiled back rests. Contrary to what I expected the thermowood cuts and machines well providing tools are sharp.
We had already seen Barrel Saunas during our travels in Scandinavia and the Baltic States, so we had a fair idea of what we were looking for. Your most prompt responses to our various questions were much appreciated. Taken overall, we’d award 5+ stars on a ‘value for money’ basis and would have no hesitation in recommending you to others who may be interested in saunas.
John (LAST NAME)