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A fun DIY stove

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
These are fairly simple to build, super light and essentially free. Uses an inexpensive fuel (alcohol) that doesn't need special canisters.

On the downside, they use a less efficient fuel and on longer trips the weight of extra fuel makes other stoves and fuels a better choice. And they only have one setting which is full power. I've seen attempts at simmer rings but haven't tried any of those.

It's a simple clone of Trangia alcohol stoves.

Still it's a fun project.

Here's one of many how-tos on the topic of an alcohol stove from beverage cans.

alcoholstove.com

We built a bunch of these as a boy scout project in the early spring then used them on an overnight hike in the summer.
post #2 of 9
Been a long time since I was involved in Scouting. In those days we made stoves based on two #10 cans, and burned wood in them. Combined them, sometimes, with smaller cans for nesting cookware.

The bottom can was the fire box. Top can rested open-end down on it. In theory you could bake a biscuit inside the top can while you fried an egg on the surface.

Of course, as the poet never said, in theory, theory and reality are the same. In reality they're not, and it never worked out quite that way.

But then again, if it wasn't burned on the outside and raw on the inside how would you know you were camping. :talk:

Ah, well. Those were the days indeed.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
I've seen descriptions of those.

I've used rolled cardboard in a tuna can and filled with parafin wax for the fuel. The cardboard acts as a wick. Works pretty well but burns sooty. But that's just the inside of the #10 can that gets most of the soot. With some care, you can de-burr or roll the sharp edges to make it safer to pack around. The tuna lid on a stub of wire coat hanger was used to adjust the heat as it basically smothered the part of the can it covered.

I was the Scout Master who had them build the stoves so it was in the early 2000s.
post #4 of 9
I'm talking about back in the '60s since I was involved in Scouting. Give you an idea how far we've come, we were still using surplus Army pup tents back then. And a pack with a frame (tension belts and compression straps hadn't even been invented yet) was considered an affectation. We cooked on open fires or played with those tin can stoves. Pack stoves were unheard of.

Now, of course, it's different. Indeed, open fires are considered unethical at best in many areas, and illegal in others. And Scouts carry sophisticated pack stoves, same as the rest of us. And they use modern packs with all the bells and whistles.

Who besides me remembers canvas Yucca packs? I've probably walked a thousand miles with one of those abominations hanging from my shoulders.

Requirements for starting a fire, back then, was two matches maximum and no paper. The rational: "where would you get paper out in the woods." Well, guess what? I'm in the woods. And I'd get the paper the same place I got this, my burgers were wrapped in it.

I thought the rules were silly then, and nothing much has changed my mind. Hard to believe I now regularly start fires with flint & steel and no paper. But that's a different tale.

When you're eleven, though, you tend to accept the contradictions of elders. For instance, as I've mentioned elsewhere, I won the cooking merit badge primarily on the strength of a pineapple upside down cake I'd made using Bisquick. So, think about this: I couldn't use paper to start a fire, because it was unavailable in the woods. But somehow or other the cardboard box the Bisquick came in didn't qualify as paper.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #5 of 9
From start to finish how long did the stove take Phatch? I have seen these numerous times and the amount of time it takes to create one seems to defeat the point. A friend of mine turned me onto the Little bug stoves. Littlbug wood burning camp stoves | Alcohol burning camp stoves | Littlbug Enterprises | Bemidji, Minnesota

Doesn't use alcohol or anything like that but it is lite and easy to use providing there is no fire ban.
Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
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Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
I built my first one in an about an hour. If I were to do one today, probably 30-45 minutes, but I'd probably build 3-4 at a time and choose the one that burned best as each one varies from the next.
And that would be close to an hour.

Build one just to learn the technique, then build a few with some confidence having learned from your mistakes in the first one.

A woodworking marking gauge really speeds up the process. And I had one in my toolbox when I first started.
post #7 of 9
Cool thanks. I should try it not a bad skill to know by any stretch. You ever see the little bug stoves?
Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
I've seen things like them but don't remember which ones exactly. I didn't pay much attention as fires are so often banned out here. It didn't seem particularly applicable to my situation.
post #9 of 9
This is a pretty slick alcohol stove. White Box Stove Combo @ Backpacking Light
Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
Bacon (I made)
(26 photos)
Reply
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