Installing the Stovepipe in the Sauna

Before I get too far into this post, I want to come clean on something – this blog entry, and I imagine the next few to follow, are all referring to things that happened over a month ago.

After B! left us for the sunny south once again my family all came to visit and pitch in to help on the main cabin.  This left me very little time for blogging about the days work, as we worked the whole day, and then caught up each evening.  I also find myself getting fatigued more easily than in the past, either due to old age, or my ongoing health thingie (a new favourite word of Ken’s).

After my family left, then our awesome friends the C!’s all came to visit – that was amazingly fun and a nice way to transition from summer into autumn, although it probably felt more like a transition from autumn into winter.  We were bumping against negative temperatures the final few nights, and it was only a matter of luck that they didn’t see actual snow.

In any case, with that off my chest, I will endeavour to try to churn out a few posts between my current work commitments, and see if I can’t get back up to date before Christmas!

In the breathing space between B! visiting and my parents arrival, I tried to tackle getting the sauna in a state where my brother could actually spend the nights there, rather than in the tent we had previously been pressing into service for overnight guests.

With B!’s hard work on putting in the windows and doors in the sauna leaving only the hole for the stove to be filled, I knew where my talents were needed!

First up I positioned the stove on some cinder blocks in the opening.  I leveled it with a piece of square stock and then put in the cathedral ceiling support as supplied by Bob’s Woodburner’s in Thunder Bay.

I was careful to position the ceiling support such that there was exactly three feet between the top of the stove and the bottom of the support.  This would help me in adding a short length of single wall stovepipe later.

The remainder of the distance I used a double wall insulated “Selkirk” type stovepipe.  At least one person told me this was a “zero-clearance” pipe, so I took them for their word and cut the hole in the sauna roof with only about a quarter inch clearance between the pipe and the deck material.

I connected up all the double wall segments to get a few feet above the ridge cap flashing.  This is really easy with this stovepipe.  Just nest them, and then attach the clamping collar.  It feels very secure and yet takes no time or tools to install.

A quick measurement of the outside diameter of this stovepipe, and it was time to trim my silicone “Dektite” fitting.  This is a neat rubbery boot that you slide over any pipe to seal it to a metal roof.

I squirted a generous dollup of polyurethane sealant under the boot and then slid it over the uncapped stovepipe.  Where it contacted the roof, there is a clever strip of some sort of metallic band that allows you to mold the boot to the profile of your steel.  While the band appears to be lead, I’m sure it is some other alloy.  I then fastened it down with many screws spaced out about every inch or inch and a half or so.

Finally I dragged up the cap with Grandpa’s ever handy rope.  This too clipped on easily.

I was prepared to pick up a three foot length of single wall stove pipe on my next trip to town, but amazingly, Grandpa had a length that he had picked up at the dump on a previous trip!  With only a little bit of scrubbing to remove some bird poo, I had a pipe that was more than adequate, and came with some history!

With the stovepipe fully assembled, it was only a short time until I could declare the sauna ready for use!  Exciting!

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