The Milliken Heater
Peter Milliken saw the Rothschild soapstone heater assembled dry in our booth one year at the Maine Festival and fell in love with the heater. Before installing the Rothschild heater we took it apart and reassembled the shell again for the Common Ground Fair before its final delivery and installation later that fall in the new wing of the big Federal farmhouse.
Peter’s heater uses the “AlbieCore™” and is the centerpiece of a finely crafted cottage or cabin with sprawling redwood decks all around on the back part of Peter’s property where he wanted to build a retreat. The building has no backup heat and no electricity. But it does have a sauna.
The sauna changing room and bathroom back up to the common non-conbustible wall between the heater and the sauna. One tip of the heated bench from the heater pokes through the changing room wall and offers a warm spot for one person to sit.
In the sauna room we built a beautiful handmade soapstone sauna stove. Albie created the base interior and exterior design and our good friend, Hans Nicolaisen (Nick’s Welding) refined the design on his C.A.D. system and fabricated the elegant, hidden, cleanable, 1/4″ thick stacked double “doughnut” steel heat exchangers.
We built the sauna stove out of nine courses of stone with a full firebrick-lined firebox, a stainless steel domestic hot water heat exchanger and a two-piece castable refractory firebox ceiling. Above the ceiling we stacked the double doughnut heat exchanger and packed small soapstone pieces all around the heat exchanger and made a big pile of exposed pieces on top of the sauna stove.
We visited Peter’s retreat for a tour and a sauna with a workshop group and everyone came out rosy and clean and smiling.