Soda Can Stove

Discussion in 'Vintage Topic Archive (Oct - 2009)' started by urotu, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. urotu

    urotu Member

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    I just finished up building a soda can stove that burns alcohol. I got the idea from another site (or 12) but thought I'd post my process here.

    It's actually pretty easy, all you really need it two aluminum cans for the stove, and a pair of scissors for the tools, a thumb-tack for the jet's.

    Anyway here is the process in short...

    These are the supplies I used to make my final. I actually made a working prototype first, and fell upon these tools to do the work the way I wanted to build it.

    Scissors, hole punch, pliers (multi-tool in pic), ruler, X-acto, Sharpie.
    [​IMG]

    Here are the stove pieces by themselves. Top, bottom, inner ring.
    [​IMG]

    Oky, now to the build itself.

    First you need to cut your pieces, I measured the top at 30mm, the bottom at 20mm and the center ring is 40mm tall. For measuring I used a stack of cards with my sharpie on top and spun the can. It gave me a good clean straight and square line. I also just scored a good cut for the center and then pulled it out with the pliers.
    [​IMG]

    You'll need to score the center out of your top, and the measure and cut your top and bottom. You'll need the bottoms of two cans for this. You'll also need to cut a center ring. Here's a picture of all three parts with the marks for my jets dotted on in sharpie.
    [​IMG]

    I measured my jets for a total of 24, but have heard that 24-32 work well enough. I used a 1/16 inch drill bit so I opted for fewer jets, here's a pic of them drilled and a good shot of the center cut out.
    [​IMG]

    The center ring will also need smal holes to allow the alcohol to flow into the botom can. Here's a pis of the center ring and where I used a hole punch to get some small holes at the bottom.
    [​IMG]

    I used this to seal the can together. It's exhaust seeam sealer, available at most auto parts stores. You could also use Cold Steel weld, or JB Weld, but stay away from the quicks. They have a lower temp rating and won't hold up to the heat.
    [​IMG]

    I left out sliding it together, but the ring slips in between the top and bottom and falls right into the grooves. The holes in the center ring go down, I'll get better pictures of the inside later.

    Here's a picture of the first burn, this was with about a 1/4 oz of rubbing alcohol.
    [​IMG]

    I also decided to paint the outside of my stove to help with durability a bit. I figure the paint will help some. I used an engine paint (hi-temp), that I bought to shoot one of my HP pistols with.
    [​IMG]

    And here's the final burn after the paint dried a bit to help cure it a little bit.
    [​IMG]

    Notice I used an Ethyl alcohol and not an isopropal. I've heard the isopropyl will leave a sooty residue on your pans, but haven't tried it myself yet.

    I built this for a backpacking stove, and I think it will work well for my needs. I've read that stoves of these types will boil 2 cups of water with 1/2 oz of alcohol, but will do some of my own tests to be sure.

    Next I'm making a pot stand for it, look for that thread soon.
     
  2. Dude, that's intense. It looks just like a gas cook top.
     

  3. urotu

    urotu Member

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    Yeah, when I first saw one I was amazed, a very easy idea and so simple to execute. I made that one in about an hour last night, including paint.

    You have to wait for the stove to prime, but once it does it burns good. The 1/4 oz. burned for almost 5 full minutes.
     
  4. I made one a while back. didn't deal with cutting the bottom of the can out though. mine uses cotton balls to hold the fluid.
     
  5. urotu

    urotu Member

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    Do you have pictures? I'd like to see it. I've ben reaseaching a while to decide which style I liked best. I'm going to give a couple a trial run and then have my scout troop build some for camping trip projects.

    Cutting the bottom out was actually very easy, and there are no cotton balls or tissue in this one at all. The alcohol stays in the bottom of the stove until it burns out.
     
  6. I like it - alot.

    Now I'm going to have to build one.
     
  7. I bought on off of ebay! that little dude works great I bough 2 different kinds from the guy! For 5 buxs it was the best deal out there.

    I run mine using "HEET" gas line deicer. It burns hotter. You can find it at walmart. It is in a yellow bottle and sells for $1.28 here... For a back up I run 91% rubbing alchol. The HEET burns alot cleaner and it boiled aprox 6 cups of COLD water in around 9 min without a wind screen. I plan on making a windscreen soon. I recomend it highly!!!!

    GREAT JOB BRO!!! THOSE LOOK GREAT!!!!
     
  8. I'm just a little confused on the middle piece, any way you can post a pic or two of it? Is it a section of a Red Bull can, or is it from a regular can cut differently? Do you lock this piece into place with the sealer/weld? This piece just has me a little bumfuzzled. I understand everything else though.
     
  9. How much of a toxic fume does alcohol give off when it's burned? That looks like a great idea for a tent warmer.
     
  10. Ethyl alcohol burns clean.
     
  11. urotu

    urotu Member

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    I'll take some shots now, let me send them to Photobucket from my phone.

    Basically it's just an inner sleeve. I used a RedBull can because I had heard they fit , but they are just a bit large. I had to split the can, but it works well. You can also just use a regular can and cut it down to the right size.

    Let me take a couple shots and I'll get right back
     
  12. Do you weld it into place too?
     
  13. urotu

    urotu Member

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    Okay, here we go...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The inner ring just kind of sits where the can is indented at the bottom. Once you cut one up it's pretty obvious.

    I used some sealer there to hook it to the top, but you probably don't really need it. You can't really see it in the pictures here, but I also notched the inner ring for better flow of alcohol.

    The next one I do will be sealed with JB Weld.

    Here's a link to a good build. There are some templates on here also to help with measurements. http://zenstoves.net/BasicTopBurner.htm

    As far as fumes it burns very clean. So far I've read you should use Ethyl or Methyl alcohol, denatured would be fine.

    I really doesn't burn long enough to be a really efficient tent heater though. A 10 ml burnt in mine about 5 minutes, maybe a bit shorter. That's about 1/3 oz.

    I'm considering getting some Everclear for fuel next. Although expensive, the 191 proof would be very clean burning, and multi usable. It could be fuel,. antiseptic, and a pain killer in a pinch. A shot of that and you'd be feeling no pain, without going blind.

    I've also read about the HEET, and I'l try that next for fuel. It's supposed to be one of the better fuels as far as burning clean and hot.
     
  14. Your stove and that in the provided link are awesome.

    Please post this on Urban Warrior if you would. If for some reason you don't wish to then let me know and I'll post it with all credit to you.
    I don't wish to "steal your thunder" as I think this is so cool.
     
  15. Real nice info, thanks for the thread.
     
  16. I"m going to post pix of mine soon.

    In the meantime, two bits of info for you. HEET is in fact(if I remember right) 99% pure alcohol. But lets face it, compared to a big bottle of low strength stuff its expensive. So how can we get around this?

    http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Salt-Out/

    I have not tried it yet, but its good info to know.
     
  17. Primal I would not use it as a tent warmer. If that little dude gets knocked over your tent is now your tent warmer lol
     
  18. urotu

    urotu Member

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    Haha, no worries about thuinder stealin' buddy, post away if you wish. It was not my idea, I just worked it a bit.

    I'll try to re-post it over there also, or you can if you'd like to. I'm working on building another here soon, but am going to do a pot stand next, hopefully today.

    I'm sorry I haven't been back on to comment, been busy all week getting ready for a big Boy Scout Camporee our troop has coming up this next week. I'm hoping to get some testing in on how well it works and what fuels work best. I have some HEET, and the ethyl alcohol I'll be testing first.

    lbreevesii, that link is kind of cool, I might try to do that at some point.

    I, personally, think that Everclear would be the prime alcohol to carry. It would do multi-duty as a disinfectant, sanitizer, stove fuel etc... And like I said earlier, you could drink it without worrying about going blind, so it could also work as a pain reliever, anesthetic also. Cut in half, the 191 proof would still be stronger that your average 80 proof whiskey, tequila, vodka, etc.... It would be more expensive for sure, but would work as a great multi-purpose liquid. Mix an oz in with 8 oz of your favorite beverage and you'd hardly taste it.

    And again I'll say no to the tent warmer thing also, like Stryker said, if you lost control of it you'd burn the whole kit and kaboodle down, and fast too. You really need the right kind of tent for a stove style tent warmer to work, and I'm not sure I like the idea of burning alcohol in my tent. A small spill could be disaterous. :shock: :eek: :eek: :eek:
     
  19. I'll revive this thread. I just made one of these. I changed the design a little but I got it burning pretty good with 50% isopropyl rubbing alcohol.