Building a (cedar) hot tub
I’m considering building a cedar tub and heating it with a Snorkel stove. Being that I’m cheap and have access to the metal rings to hold it together, I hope to build the tub rather than buy one. What types of wood can I consider? I hear that cedar works well, but it needs to be Western Red and clear. I have heard hemlock might hold up for 10 years. I’m in Vermont and would like to use local wood if I can. Any suggestions?
Does anybody have any advice about care? I hear you have to keep water in it at all times so it doesn’t expand and contract differently, creating a leak? How often do I have to change water, assuming frequent use with clean people?
I have no idea if this will work, but what about Tamarack?
many years ago i worked at a hot tub manufacturer called california cooperage .we made lotsa hot tubs what worked the best was clear heart redwood but due to the cost we went to cedar. western red cedar,incense cedar.port orford cedarand a wood that looked almost like mahogany called spanish cedar comes from south america there are many water resistant woods that you can use.i once made a tub out of smooth river rock and mortar built it into the side of a hill and heated it with a wood stove . if i were to build a tub for myself i would use redwood if it seems to expensive look at what a acrylic spa would cost and you will be able to justify the cost
make your side pieces (staves)out of 3"x1 1/2"for a sixfoot tub trim a 2 1/2 degree angle on the sides if you have a jointer this will work great. the tub will leak when first filled up but as the wood swells it will seal never let it dry out and do not use any kind of sealant . for a persistant leak rub sawdust into the joint or tap a wood sliver into it.
Quarter sawn white oak. They made water tanks for steam engines out of white oak. cattle water tanks also . you might have some in your neck of the woods.