Finally I got new sauna rocks. I purchased them instead of scavenging river beds and lake shores.
That's the first thing Grandpa Ivar would probably disagree with. I can almost hear him cluck at such foolish economy, “Outside they are free. And you can pick the best ones.”
Actually they were hard even to purchase locally. My “sauna store” no longer exists and its replacement no longer handles saunas. I thought I might save the shipping cost of rocks by picking them up in town. Turns out the shipping cost is always included somewhere.
The store was somewhat willing to make a prepaid order — I just had to decide how many pounds I wanted. I opted for the larger size — 23 kilograms (50.7 pounds; it felt like more!), though I don't “need” that many. Yet. Down the road, I probably will. I only hope they are still “fresh*” when the time comes.
For my 1/40th ton of rocks, I paid about $100. Grandpa Ivar would also take issue with this — “How much?!?”
And they are probably the “wrong” kind of rocks for him. In all the traditional saunas I've visited, rounded granite rocks are most favored. They're easiest to find. What I bought was quarried vulcanite.
Last year I learned that quarried rocks are fresher* because they have been in the ground longer. Compare that to granite stones which have been tumbled for thousands of years above ground, drying them out. And rough quarried rocks have more edges — inlets and outlets — for the heat to radiate from.
Besides Finnish, English and Russian, I'm not sure what the other languages are on the box. Where else would they be exporting sauna stones??
My next project will be to remove the crumbling — and overused — stones from the stove.