Picture of Altoids Tin Alcohol Stove
I've seen this all over the internet, and decided I would make one myself. There isn't a whole lot of variation that can be done to the design, and this is pretty much a direct copy of the stove design found here: http://www.backpacking.net/makegear/altoids-stove/index.html
This is a cool idea, very cheap to make, and I think it needs more coverage, so here it goes, my first instructable, how to make an Altoids tin camping stove!

Step 1: What you need:

Picture of What you need:
A mint tin, for this one we're using a rectangular Altoids tin.

A section of fine metal mesh, windowscreen works great.

Some perlite, which is cheap, and easily found at most garden supply stores. I've heard you can substitute fiberglass insulation for the perlite, but I have not tried this and cannot confirm.

Some shears or other tools to cut the metal. Heavy-duty scissors should work fine.

A ruler to measure the tin and screen.

A permanent marker to mark your measurements.

Some sandpaper to remove the paint from the tin.
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THEJJRAT2 months ago

Micky Mouse: Yey

great ible but could you use rubbing alcohol instead?

You may have to ask several stores but 90% alcohol in available and it is 180 proof meaning it will burn nicely. A quart might cost $1.50 these days.

It doesn't burn all the way so you might have residue on the perlite, but you could use it.
Everclear is another alternative, or any cheap vodka. Since they are grain alcohols they won't make you sick if you accidentally spill it on food that you may be cooking, plus their fumes, in my opinion, smell better. Great idea for the stove! Thanks for sharing!

Cheap Vodka is not so cheap these days and being that 100 proof is only 50% alcohol it is a bummer and unlikely to stay lit or lite easily. Moonshine might reach 190 proof but it is illegal and expensive. best to buy alcohol at Home depot or Lowes in a decent sized container.

glorybe3 months ago

Try using sand instead of the perlite. It may work for you. It may depend upon the sand used. Larger versions of this have worked with sand. In essence the sand gets warm and the fuel lower down in the sand sends vapors to the surface which ignite. i do not know the depth limit for a sand filled container to function properly.

bwshillington3 months ago

How would it work to keep the lid and poke a couple rows of holes? Would it essientially become a lightly-pressurized jet stove?

YotaTruck6 years ago
Is there a version of this stove that will let you top it off while it's running?
I think I'll try running this on Methyl Alcohol as well (HEET gas line antifreeze) because it would be really convenient. Most gas stations carry HEET or similar products.
HEET is nothing other then (approx) 90 percent isopropenol alcohol (by volume).

Certain HEET products are isopropanol, but the others are methanol (methyl alcohol). You really don't want to mix up the two if you're working with them

no no design will really allow that

no no design will really allow that

i think if you add it in small amounts then you can do it while it is running
Biopyro6 years ago
I wouldn't want to cook mini sausages in the alcohol fumes directly. Fibreglass should work fine, it won't melt or burn, and will stop the alcohol spilling
isrlear Biopyro6 years ago
Do not use fibreglass! Most fibreglass contains formaldehyde, and it will burn and possibly get into whatever you're trying to cook.
In the USA, formaldehyde is BANNED in the manufacture of fiberglass. Fiberglass (USA) contains only fiberglass, which is finely spun silicone (sand).

Good info to know but as was seen in sheet rock from China during the housing boom I wouldn't trust fiberglass until I know for sure it was produced in this country.

Silicon :-)
Thanks for this info.  I didn't know this and I thought fibreglass was the best thing to use.  Is there a way to find out if it has formaldehyde in it?
Fiberglass NEVER has formaldehyde if you live in the U.S.A. Fiberglass is actually perfect. Double check your sources ( even me :) before you trust them.
(I realize how delayed this comment is) Alcohol stoves are pretty common for campers, so I don't imagine this would be any different.
Can i use anything other than perlite or vermiculite? I really dont want to fork over $5 for 8 quarts of the crap when I only need 4 ounces. Maybe I'll ask around if I can have a cup of it.

Use the rest in pots for plants. Perlite works great to give more space in the soil to prevent root rot. Works great for a hydroponic project also.

use fiberglass insulation, has a much much much greater surface area thus working better as a wick.
Using the insulation instead also makes it way lighter.
i wouldn't want to try fiver glass i have seen/tasted what happens when it gets to hot
Why are you eating fiberglass insulation (you said that you tasted it, unless you mean tested)? And unless your alcohol burns at 2075 degrees (at which point the Altoids tin would probably also melt) you shouldn't have any problems :)
we had a fire at a job site, the smoke was so thick you could literally taste it
I wouldn't use vermiculite. There are concerns with vermiculite containing asbestos
cindi59 xd12c4 years ago
Vermiculite is now tested for asbestos. So not a problem to use it.
if you have extra altoid tins and all the excess fluids n perlite, make a few extra stoves? give em to friends who go hiking, may need it in an emergency since winter is coming and who knows what happens, heat is very valuable. or sell them to other folks for 5 a piece and make a profit lol
civiloutlaw4 years ago
I can't personally recommend using the window screen wire mesh as it melted upon first test. It melted even faster when exposed to direct flames.
You didnt use fiberglass window screen did you?
A metal window screen melted? I'm a bit surprised. Perhaps try one of a thicker gauge, or of a metal with a higher melting point.
n0ukf3 years ago
Make sure your metal mesh is not galvanized. Burning zinc fumes are a nasty health hazard.
n0ukf n0ukf3 years ago
BTW, how do you not put out the flame when you put a pan on the stove?
you need a pot stand, which will hold it about 1-2 inches above the stove
kc8hps3 years ago
I've also used epsom salt instead of the perlite.
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