Four, red heat bulbs from the hardware store are mounted on a piece of 1/2"
plywood, 40" high and 15" wide. The unit is placed in a small bathroom or
closet at least 4' long, 3' wide and 6' high. In addition to the wood and bulbs,
you will need four flush-mount bulb sockets, fifteen feet of heavy lamp cord,
a medium-heavy duty male wall plug and 8 wood screws to fasten the sockets
to the plywood. An on-off switch and a thermometer are optional, but

Mount the sockets on the plywood in a diamond shape. The bottom socket is
in the center, 1" from the bottom of the plywood. Two sockets are 28" from
the bottom of the plywood and 10" apart. The top socket is centered on the
plywood and 3" from the bottom. This should form a narrow diamond shape.

Large sockets sold as fixtures can only be wired from the back. Drilling the
holes will be more work. You may find smaller flush mount sockets that can
be wired from the front. Wire the sockets together in parallel so one bad
bulb won"t disable the unit.

With each use, instead of plugging the unit in, it is easier to have a switch.
The best is probably a wall switch that can handle 1000 watts. This requires
an outlet box screwed to the plywood. Keep sweaty hands off the switch as
they could cause a short.

The bulbs must be the red type, of 250 watts each. Do not use the clear ones
as their spectrum is not correct. You must not touch the bulbs during use, or
let water or anything touch them. Observe all cautions as with any appliance
exposed to heat and moisture. If children or the disabled will use the unit,
consider a protective screen. Bend some chicken or stucco wire around the
bulbs and staple it to the wood. Another way is to recess the bulbs or place
them in reflectors. If building an enclosure, you could place the bulbs

Lean the unit against a bathroom or closet wall. Secure it so it won"t fall
over. The enclosure needs be small enough to hold the heat, and large
enough to turn around. The other option is to build an enclosure of wood,
glass or cardboard. Build the unit at least 4' by 3' by 6' high. Siding made of
cedar or fir is a popular option. The siding slides into a frame and no nails
are needed. Walls can be built as modules, then screwed together.

Plywood will also work, since the enclosure stays relatively cool. Some
sauna companies use glass for at least one wall. Glass reflects far infrared
energy but is not a good insulator. Cardboard is the least expensive. Tape or
staple together two refrigerator boxes. Ventilating the sauna is a good idea.
To allow gases to escape, leave a crack around the door or somewhere else
high up.

You may read the rest of this article at
Constructing a Sauna at Home

by Lawrence Wilson M.D.
A Natural Healing: My Cancer Story
Return to My Cancer Story Home