BoulderSauna  Toolbox

Here are some of the more indispensable items when it comes to sauna building. Remember, using crappy tools is a like word processing with a chisel and a slab of granite: use your tools to cut corners, but don't cut corners with your tools.

This two-bit hunk of plastic is surprisingly useful. It's a ruler. It's a right angle. It's a protractor. It's a power-saw rip fence. It's your little yellow buddy you just can't be without.

This sidewinder saw cuts your sheathing, 2x4s, all the cedar lumber, and even polycarbonate roof panels. This one is a Porter-Cable 324MAG, blade right (I am right-handed). A table-mounted model makes quick and precise cutting easier, but this one you can carry around to use on stuff that's already been built.

If you don't have a compressed air system, you'll have to make do with an electric nail gun. This Nail Master 2 ET200 made by Arrow Fastener Company is perhaps the best, made by a company known for their staple guns. Essential for installing your interior cedar paneling, you can also use it to assemble floorboards and install moldings. For a sauna it's important to use galvanized (rustproof) nails like the ones shown (these nails are meant for pneumatic models, but they also fit the electrics). It's ability to drive the longest 1 1/4 inch nails is marginal, so you'll often need to follow up with a hammer and countersink.

Parts tend to move out of alignment as you are driving nails and screws, and while making cuts. Clamping parts tightly together during assembly eliminates this problem. These Irwin clamps are versatile and come in a variety of lengths.

All surfaces inside the sauna — wall and ceiling panels, floorboards, benches, heater fence — must be left untreated. Some fine sandpaper attached to a random-orbit sander provides your final finishing step. This DeWALT D26453 is a five-inch variable speed model.

This carpenter's square makes a fine long straight-edge. It's also critical during bench assembly to ensure your benches are in fact rectangles — and not parallelograms.

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