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Art of Sustainability

Spring 2020 newsletter

A New Sauna

     Many of us are confined to our home turf these days.  Though I miss working my regular job at COVER leading crews of volunteers on repair projects, it’s been a great time to focus on home projects. For me, this unexpected extra time has meant that I could finish building the sauna I had started last summer. I had been unfortunately interrupted in October when I had a table saw accident that caused injury to my right hand and put me out of commission for two months. I was glad to get back to work at COVER starting in early January. Then in March the pandemic hit…
     So, with social distancing dictating that I stay at home, I turned back to my sauna. I built the sauna with lots of recycled material from the COVER store. The materials came from all over the place. For example, the siding is discarded metal from a roof we redid on a mobile home in Ascutney. While the doors come from the COVER store, I transformed the interior door by sanding and adding discarded knotty cedar to both sides. The door handles are driftwood. The door hinges come from the store as do the two windows, one of which was formerly a skylight. The tile floor and heat shield (cement board) came from the store, as did the clear cedar and discarded redwood. The pan and candelabra on the woodstove came from the store. Those soap stone shards came from the free pile at the store.

     The wood stove and stovepipe came from a shed at my mother’s house. The aspen came from a sauna-building friend in Massachusetts who no longer had a need for it. The cedar posts and oak beam were from my home wood stash. The branch hooks come from the woods. The framing, sheathing, insulation, shiplap pine, and roofing were all bought at Fogg’s, our local lumberyard.
     Needless to say, this sauna has been a wonderful project to focus on while staying socially distant on account of this COVID-19 pandemic. It’s also a wonderful experience to get steaming hot, and sit out in the cold rain and not even feel it, while the frogs try to sing and spring is in the air.

    For the past month I have been back to working full time at COVER, continuing on with repair and construction projects. PPE and social distancing are just part of the job now.
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