Picture of Aluminum Bottle Alcohol Stove
An Alcohol Stove made from Aluminum Bottles

There are plenty of aluminum can stove designs out there. This one is different in that it is not made from aluminum cans but rather from aluminum bottles (aluminum beer bottles to be specific) After building a few stoves myself I wanted to design one to address a few shortcomings of other can stoves:

1. Priming - A number of stoves require an external heat source to bring the alcohol to vaporization temperature. Some require heating the bottom for a few minutes or burning some alcohol in a separate "primer pan" or on the ground around the the can as a means to heat the exterior of the of the stove to achieve a self-sustaining burn.

2. Separate pot stands - A number of stoves have a low profile and are very compact however the smallest of the small require separate pot stands to cook with. Kind of defeats the purpose of a compact stove in my mind.

Sure there are side jetted designs that hold a pot however I wanted a design that would also address a third shortcoming.

3. Cold pan Flame-out - Of the can stove designs that do support a pot, I have seen them suffer from this condition. When a pan of cold water (fresh from the camp pump) is placed directly on a can stove, it acts as a large heat sink. Before the stove can warm the water, the cold pot cools the aluminum stove so much that it cannot maintain alcohol vaporization and the stove goes out.

Admittedly, there are are many great can stove designs out there; many are self priming (nothing new there) and some have integral pot stands. Each has pros and cons depending on your priorities. This is another design for consideration.

and besides, I just wanted an excuse to work with those cool aluminum beer bottles.

Update 9/15/09: Just posted an Instructable that that shows another stove related use for aluminum bottles http://www.instructables.com/id/Aluminum-Bottle-Tumbler-Cup-Cook-Pot/
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pmk2221 year ago

this is by far my favorite design for this type of homemade stove and I must say that not only does it seem like a good design (compared to the ones I have made in the past) but it also looks VERY cool

jamhat1 year ago

Here is another touch to consider. I managed to make a simmer ring for the stove out of an old cat food can rim, fit just to the diameter, with a small bent 'handle' fitted by cutting opposing slits into the top and bottom of the rim where it meets and joining the two pieces with JB weld. It rests on top of the bottom section, just, and I drilled in four 1/2 inch holes to correspond with about half the slots in the Collonade, about half way up. I start the stove to boil, then remove the pot and slide the simmer ring over top and align with the holes. It significantly reduces the flame output. I managed to boil two cups of water in five minutes and simmer for a further 20 minutes. Sounds like a batch of rice cooking time. Warning - you have to add the simmer ring quickly as the heat conducts fast.

Mattiyah1 year ago

Just finished two stoves, one for me and one for a nephew. The dimensions of the 'beverage' cans displayed in this project have changed since this was posted so required smaller hole on the burner can, otherwise flawless.. However, this stove is brilliant! Thank you SO much for posting this project!

Green X1 year ago


enoc221 year ago

Just made this stove over the weekend. Great project. My only question is that you mentioned it would burn an film canisters worth of fuel for about 10 minutes, i'm lucky if i can get that much to burn for 3. Any ideas on why it might be burning so fast?

Grey_Wolfe2 years ago
I'm curious as to how sturdy the colonnade is before you bend it for fit but after the holes have been cut.

The reason I ask is that I have limited supplies and would like to try to combine the colonnade and base into a single component and roll the top edge to restrain the burn bowl.

This would reduce it to two bottles and, if the colonnade holds up to be rolled, perhaps make the structure sturdier overall. Not that it isn't sturdy as heck already.

Nice work. :)
Blacsdad2 years ago
I made it per your instructions and it works great. People ask me where I bought it! Thanks!
Default1175 years ago
Flux Capacitors :]
Epoxy :]
Algag murphypop4 years ago
Beer :D
Tape :D
Superglue = [-]
Duct Tape (o)_
Gelfling62 years ago
I have 2 bottles already, but it seems bottles are becoming more and more scarce... I think they may've found the aluminum bottle was a little TOO popular for other uses, like this.. :-/
Cancel that.. I now have 3!! Time to start building!
whait862 years ago
awesome 'ible
whait862 years ago
awesome 'ible
kbails844 years ago
can you just make and send me one!? I dont want to go through the trouble of this. How much would you charge!? lol
okto kbails843 years ago
Why don't you just buy a camp stove?
Maxwell Yun4 years ago
You should put a piezoelectric lighter so that it can light with the push of a button.
Great Idea
oldboyscout3 years ago
I like the design of the stove but I have one suggestion. I believe that pressurizing the stove would improve its performance. Two problems exist with most pressurized stoves. First, they require a priming bowl. Second, they require a syringe to add the fuel.
I would like to suggest a solution to both of these concerns. On the jet deck, instead of cutting a large diameter hole, mount two (2) of the beer bottle caps one on each side of the jet deck. Drill one 1/8 inch hole and one 3/16 inch hole through both bottle caps and the jet deck. Drill the holes as far apart as possible with enough room left for installation. Fabricate a sheet metal strip from a soft drink can large enough to cover both holes. Through the 1/8 inch hole install a blind rivet to fasten the upper bottle cap, the jet deck, the lower bottle cap and the thin sheet metal strip. Cut the head off a hollow 3/16 inch rivet leaving a small diameter tube. Install the tube into the 3/16 inch hole using epoxy to insure a tight fit and seal. Be careful not to get any adhesive on the thin sheet metal strip. Cut the length of the tube so that it can be installed flush with the bottom bottle cap and 1/8 inch or so higher than the surface of the upper bottle cap. Cut the necks from two (2) bottles and screw them into the bottle caps mounted on the jet deck. Cut the lenght of the necks so that they touch the base and the colonade. Cut a hole in the colonade smaller than the opening of the upper neck. Take a wooden dowel rod and bend the top of the colonade down to fit around the bottle neck.
To use the stove, pour fuel into the top of the stove. The 3/16 inch tube will allow the fuel to enter the lower pressurized chamber but since the upper end of the tube is higher than the bottom of the bottle cap a little fuel will be left in the upper bottle cap. The metal strip attached to the lower bottle cap may need to be adjusted so that the fuel flows easily into the lower chamber. Light the stove. The upper bottle neck serves as a primer bowl. When the stove is primed, pressure will build up in the lower chamber and force the metal strip against the 3/16 inch tube and seal the lower chamber. This will give you a pressurized jet stove that doen not require a separate priming bowl and does not require a syringe to add the fuel.
delmerp3 years ago
This author has lots of great ideas!

I found my Bud Light bottles at a local groccery store that ordered a case for me from their distributor. A little pricey, but I was then able to build several copies.

Just be sure to patiently stretch the bottoms with your pvc coupling; if not they will tear during assembly.

My son and I do some backpacking, and this works well even in winter. I use a piece of tinfoil for a windscreen, which is almost a necessity.

Of course, you could purchase an alcohol stove, but that's not really the point now, is it?
fczinkhan3 years ago
There is no way that your PVC pipe is 1.5" in the pictured bottle. Maybe the actual pipe is 1.5", but whatever is on the end, you failed to specify. The bottles are around 2.25" in diameter at the base. You cannot get a 1.5" pipe to even swivel in the 1" tall base piece to stretch it out. You just need to edit this section to include the larger fitting at the end of your pipe. Thanks for this 'ible, great job.
He did specify. He used a 1.5" PVC pipe FITTING to widen the aluminum cup. A PVC end cap or a straight coupler is what you need to add to the pipe. A 1.5" inch straight coupler is 2.215" in diameter and easily fits in the cup with room to rock it and press against the metal. The straight coupler works best since it has a somewhat sharp edge, the end cap has a radius on the edge and doesn't work very well.
max69power3 years ago
i user a 3/4 inch paddle bit to make the holes you just need to go very slowly. thanks for the great instrubles. your project looks great how long did it take you total time.
if you add salt to the alcohol you can see it in the light.
If you have a drill press you can use it like an arbor press. Heating the bottom piece will also help when you press fit the top. Or you can freeze the top piece and try to tap it in with a rubber hammer. Also, there is a special lining in all aluminum bottles, I used a muffle furnace set at 600 degrees to burn this lining out.
acoleman34 years ago
it would help to heat the base with a propane plumbers torch to eliminate the work hardening created by teh manufacturing process. this would return the aluminium to a relaxed state and soften it up a bit.
I'm not too sure on the numbers for aluminum heat treat (I work mostly with tool steels) or the average temperatures produced by the various fuels used in this, but it's at least hot enough to boil water, and if allowed to air cool, should result in an annealing process every time it is used. I've made thinner gauge aluminum camp stoves, but have never had a problem with cracking due to work hardening, but like OP mentioned, it's best to avoid/remove any crease points or sharp edges to void tearing the metal, and a good overall sanding is a good idea to prevent any paint/plastic from coming into contact with high heat, especially when cooking.
Remember, kiddos: aluminum is typically normalized the opposite of steel. You need to heat and quench to get rid of internal stresses. That said, it's not necessary for this sort of thing.
btimmerman4 years ago
could you please tell me the weight of this stove... im going ultra light and i love this plan but im looking to get a msr pocket rocket witch comes in at 3oz. if this is lighter or the same could you please let me know
JoshuaSmock4 years ago
so I built this instructable and it works like a charm, I used the venom bottles like I mentioned earlier. It's not as pretty as the one shown, I was kind of getting impatient while making it, but it's functional. I used high temp silicone to seal all the seams. Still need to make the colonnade though.
cwturtle4 years ago
The only place that stocks those aluminum bottles is Walmart.
Venom Energy drink has a thick gauge bottle
acoleman34 years ago
out of curiosity, why is it tht the mouth of the neck needs to touch the bottom.
Most likely for compression to aid in the evaporation of fuel.
cullenc19934 years ago
Yeah I would love to buy one of these from somebody. As long as you can get it to work as well as is advertised and preferably looks the same also. Send me a message and let me know you price and we'll work something out.
kbails844 years ago
Hey, I love this product, However I am having some trouble with the flow of the pieces. Is there a chance you could email me each individual part or attach an image of the whole stole pulled apart so as to better make sure that each piece is complete. Thank you
Airth4 years ago
I've been all over town, from convenience stores, liquor stores, groceries and everything in between--looks like no one makes the longneck bottles anymore!
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