vertical sauna insideOctober 14th, 2013 forestlumber

The handcrafted cedar barrel saunas available at Forest Lumber & Cooperage make us proud. However, it’s not only the top-grade materials and high performance that we believe in. More importantly, we can attest to the wonderful health benefits and feelings of well-being that our saunas can provide. So what exactly happens to the body when you enter one?

The first thing you’ll probably notice is the sweat. Responding to the change in heat, your body will begin producing acetylcholine. This chemical delivers a message to sweat glands around the body to start producing. While serving the important purpose of regulating the body’s internal temperature, the sweat will also excrete excessive salt, heavy metals, urea and other toxins. In fact, a 15-minute sauna can detox the body as much as 24-hours of regular kidney activity. It also cleanses the skin by flushing the sweat glands and opening pores. Keep in mind that it’s important to replenish the water that you lose along with all the toxins.

Simultaneously, your heart rate will begin to rise, pumping faster and faster. Blood vessels near the skin will dilate to accommodate faster blood circulation, causing the skin to take on a red hue. All this activity will cause your metabolism to kick into higher gear, as if you’re taking a brisk walk. You’ll feel the effects of a cardiovascular workout, burning fat in the process. With the release of endorphins, you’ll feel a general sense of well-being and mild relief from nagging physical pains.

There are plenty of other effects. The warm, steamy air will enter your airways, soothing nasal passages and clearing congestion. Even though your heart rate is elevated, you’re muscles and joints will relax, increasing flexibility. Sitting back and soaking in the warmth, your mind might wander off, experiencing a moment of total relaxation. Finally, once you emerge from the sauna, you’ll feel as great as you have all day, with heightened senses and a sharp mind.

Sounds nice, right? There’s a reason why people all over the world have gravitated towards saunas for centuries. To make that experience possible on a daily basis at your own home, order a cedar barrel sauna kit from Forest Lumber & Cooperage today.


October 3rd, 2013 forestlumber


The people of Japan have been using wooden baths for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.  The baths are called “ofuros”.  Traditionally, the Japanese shower before entering their wooden bath.  The bath is used for a relaxing hot water soak.  Even to this day, most Japanese households have a wooden soaking tub.  Forest Lumber & Cooperage’s soaking tubs have been given the thumbs up from people of Japanese ancestry, which is a big complement to us.

The cedar barrel hot tub is relatively new in North America.  It started in the 1960’s in the wine yards of California.  When the grape harvest was over, the farm workers/ hippies would use one of the wooden grape crushing barrels, fill up with water and devise different ways of heating the water using a wood fire.  Some of these homemade submersible wood burning stoves were of ingenious construction, varying from stoves made from old beer kegs to defunct whiskey stills.  At the end of the season, everyone was having fun.  These people were uninhibited, and I am sure swim suits were not a common occurrence.  At some point, some entrepreneurial young person realized that the popularity of a wooden soaking tub could be marketed.  They were right, and they were very successful at hand crafting these wooden tubs and selling them to the general public.

5x3 wood fired  high res. 008It did not take long for the larger money making machine to take this idea, mass-produce them out of plastic and add different bells and whistles.  These new plastic tubs could be stamped out in a factory by the hundreds at minimum cost.  These low production costs were passed on to dealers.  Every one wanted to become a dealer because of high profit margins.  Now every town has a least a couple of dealers.  Unfortunately, the plastic tub manufacturers had spread rumors that wooden tubs are unsanitary and hard to maintain.  This could not be further from the truth.

In the past 15 years, there has been an increased demand for wooden hot tubs.  People are recognizing the quality of a hand crafted product and feel more attracted to sustainable wood products than throw away plastic.

Cedar barrel hot tubs have regained the reputation in the market place that they deserve.

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