Alcohol Burner





Introduction: Alcohol Burner

Don't have a bunson burner? Don't feel like paying too much for fuel? Parents don't trust you with a bunson burner? Have some alcohol to burn? Than build yourself an alcohol burner for about a dollar or even free!

WARNING!!! I am not responsable for any damage caused by this, even though it is pretty safe.

Step 1: Materials/Equipment

Most households will have all of the materials and equipment required to create this alcohol burner.

- A jar with lid, preferable a glass jar with a metal lid
- Alcohol, I used rubbing alcohol
- Paper Towels
- A drill bit, I used a 3/16 inch drill bit
- A drill or drill press
- Scissors

Step 2: Prepare the Jar

First drill a hole into the lid of the jar, preferable near the center, but it really doesn't matter.

Step 3: Create a Wick

Fill up the Jar with the alcohol about 7/8's the way up, just leave room for your wick.

To create the wick you have to cut a strip about 1 inch wide of a paper towel the long way.

Then dip the strip into the jar with the rubbing alcohol.

Next fold the paper towel in half (so that it's half as short, not thinner)

Twist the paper towel.

Step 4: Force the Wick Through the Jarlid

The title of this step pretty much explains it, have about a quarter of an inch sticking through the lid.

Step 5: Screw on the Lid

Screw on the lid

Step 6: Flame On!

Light it up!

Step 7: Saftey and Trouble Shooting

Heres just some facts about this alcohol burner

- Snip off burnt parts of the wick

- Glass breaks when it gets to hot, the glass won't break in this burner because the alcohol cools it.

- Whenever your outside with this it's extremely hard to see the flame, but it's still there.

- right after you blow out the flame the wick is warm to the touch, usually it's not hot enough to burn you.


The wick just burns up - You either didn't soak it in the alcohol or the alcohol evaporated.

Glass Shattered - You dropped it, shot it with a gun, put it in an oven, etc.

Enjoy your new alcohol burner!



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    Please be positive and constructive.




    Can I use a plastic bottle? Or does it have to be glass?

    if you used plastic it might melt

    Oh okay, I've only waited 2 years for a reply.

    Not to be mean, but if you see what he made and neede to ask that, how are you still alive? Darwin should have already taken you out. I am not saying you should die, but , can I use plastic bottle.......

    at least you got an answer, be happy

    Some safety issues need to be addressed about this lamp design.

    made the lamp. But, it "exploded" in a fire plume at periodic intervals violently enough so that the glass jar I was using almost tipped over. I suspect the oxygen in the lamp mixed with the evaporated methylated spirit vapour I was using and when the flame on the wick burnt down low enough the heat caused the mixture to ignite and explode. The methylated spirits then began to evaporate again until the mixture was the right proportion of air-alcohol at which point it exploded again. This design is not safe unless you can prevent air leaking in through the wick hole. I REPEAT, the wick hole must fit very snugly and be soaked with alcohol to prevent further oxygen entering the jar and also to stop the wick burning too low down. Also I advise to keep the jar mostly full at all times to limit the amount of air-alcohol mixture that can exist within the lamp body, thus reducing the risk of explosion. Also the liquid
    alcohol will diffuse faster up the wick and keep it from burning down
    too low.

    You over pressured the bottle, with a proper wick it doesn't happen , a true explosion would have truly hurt/killed you. If I take a pipe cap one end, then fill it with water then cap it and ross in a roaring fore, eventually it "explodes", due to vapor pressure, not oxygenated calories in a REDOX senario. reduction oxidation, can be real fast (bomb) real slow (rusting), alky stoves , JUUUSSST RIGHT

    This sound just a bit dangerous. I would use a professional type of alcohol lamp from a scientific company.

    Here is a picture.

    alcohol burner flame.jpg003.jpg004.jpg