Introduction: Can in Can Grill

Picture of Can in Can Grill

Inspired by the Vesto Stove, I set out to take some garbage and make my own high efficiency barbeque.

Materials needed:
2 empy paint cans of differing size
Handfull of rivets

Tools needed:
Full drill bit index
Masking tape, 2"
Pen or Pencil
Tin Snips
Flatt head screw
Vice-Grip or Channel locks or Line-man pliers

Step 1: Find 2 Paint Cans

Picture of Find 2 Paint Cans

You will want the outer can to be large enough to provide a decent cooking surface, with the inner can being only a bit smaller. The intent is to have an air chamber that will pre-heat the incoming air to increase efficiency of fire.

Step 2: Drill Vent Holes

Picture of Drill Vent Holes

You will now be making the template for the air holes.

A. Wrap tape at the top of outer can, and at bottom of inner can. Two layers may be necessary if there is writing underneath tape. Then intent is to have the air move as far as possible inside of chamber, so it would be counter-productive to have holes at same level.

B. Draw a diamond or lattice patter in tape. This will help give you a regular pattern when drilling the holes. Make pattern large enough to retain structural integrity of can.

C. Attach lid and tape in place. (2nd Image)

D. Drill holes.

I used a 6.5mm drill for the holes of both cans and used the same pattern on both cans as well. You may want to use larger, I have not yet tested this and may enlarge my holes as well.

I found that when drilling, I could minimise the jaggies if I slowed the drill before pulling back out of the hole. Its nearly impossible to elimate jaggies, so beware of being pricked.

You could punch the holes instead of drilling, but this would cause extensive deformation of the can.

E. Remove tape after all the holes have been drilled. Remove tape with a waving motion to reduece breakage - making the process easier.

F. Lastly, vacuum all the shavings so you don't track them all over the house. A note: make sure you have a good bag in your vac. If not, you will most certainly cause extensive damage to your vacuum.

Step 3: Mark the Top

Picture of Mark the Top

You need to mount the smaller can to the lid of the larger can.

A. Run tape along the perimiter of lid.
B. Place smaller can in center of lid and trace around it.
C. Draw a smaller circle, about a thumb's width or an inch smaller than traced circle.
D. Draw connecting lines about a thumbs widht apart.

Step 4: Punch and Cut the Top

Picture of Punch and Cut the Top

A. Punch holes along smaller circle where the lines intersect.
B. Using a large flat-head screwdriver, punch a line between these holes. Go all around lid.
C. The last few sections will be more easily done with tin-snips.

D. Cut along connecting lines with tin snips
E. Bend tabs down.

The lid should fit snugly over small can.

Step 5: Mount Lid to Can

Picture of Mount Lid to Can

A. Flatten lid to can - tapping with hammer will help. (4th image, not 3rd image)
B. Bend tabs to fit snugly to can.
C. Drill a hole for rivet through a tab and rivet. Repeat with tab on oposite side of can. Repeat wth tabs half-way between riveted tabs. Continue untill all tabs are rivited. You will want to fit each tab before drilling.

When drilling hole, press lid onto can, so it doesn't slip out of place. See 5th image.

Step 6: Final Assembly

Picture of Final Assembly

Place inner can into outer can and snug the lid on.

You're done.

Before you cook food on this bad boy, you will need to fire it up and burn off all the paint and other chemicals that my be on cans. You would be best to repeat a few times.


Mr. Smart Kid (author)2007-02-22

LOOK AT THE END!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Broom (author)Mr. Smart Kid2007-03-05

Sad little man, Mr. not-so-Smart Kid. The end of the screwdriver you showed is slotted. Flat-head screws have conic profiles, and can be either slotted, phillips, or even star drivers. Irritant#9 is snarking, but he's right: the screwdriver you showed is a "slotted" screwdriver, not a flat-head:

quahogwi (author)Broom2010-12-09

Yeah, I'm a year late, but ... it's called a flat blade screwdriver, not a slotted screwdriver. The screw you use it on is called a slotted screw.

Minor technicality, but if we must correct someone we should do it right.

Vendigroth (author)Broom2007-03-12

does it really matter? as long as it fits the screw.....

bryandhispup (author)Vendigroth2008-09-17

yeah it's like if I say SODA and someone else may say POP and another fellow may use the term COKE. we are all asking for the same thing, it's a difference in how we speak. I grew up calling a slotted Screwdriver a flat head too. the Phillips head was a Cross Head. that;s what everyone I knew called it too.

irritant#9 (author)bryandhispup2008-09-17

No actually it's not like that at all. If you work out in the field and you ask a helper to get you a 1/2" 6-32 flathead phillips screw, you don't need to wait half an hour for him to come back and tell you he couldn't find what you asked for even through you have hundreds of them in your truck. If you are calling it a Flathead screwdriver, you are using a "misnomer". Calling it a flathead screw driver irritates professionals because that is a confusing and incorrect reference. A flathead screw, if you look at it from the side has a conical profile and is flat on the drive face or "head". There are many driver types for flathead screws. You could call it whatever you want as long as you understand what you are talking about, it's just irritating to others who know different. To me it sounds like " Football Bat ".Hey, you can call a resistor a transistor if you want to, it doesn't mean you are correctly identifying the part in an industry accepted way.

lucek (author)Vendigroth2008-08-02

its all semantics. I always called it a blade screw driver

Broom (author)lucek2008-09-03

Yes, it's semantics, but "semantics" doesn't mean "unimportant". Semantics refers to meaning. "Flat head screwdriver" has no meaning; it is only used here, and can't be used in a hardware store to buy a screwdriver, nor in a tool shop to get someone to hand you the right tool. "Semantics" requires that you use a meaningful word. That's why we tried to improve this instructable by correcting the mistake.

irritant#9 (author)Broom2008-09-03

I would also recommend what I call "flathead screwdrivers" or what you might refer to as "hearing protectors" If you don't wear flat head screwdrivers during all that banging, you might lose your hearing.

lucek (author)irritant#92008-09-03

a blade screw driver is flat (-) unlike a Philips (+).

lucek (author)Broom2008-09-03

want to bet? most people including people who work at a hardware store think Philips, hex, square, star, or the other one with.

Omega192 (author)lucek2008-08-02

i always called the single line "flat head" as well as everyone else i know O.o and the plus ones are phillips. also. "mr. smart kid" theres kinda a "be nice" rule, and calling somone who asked an entirely reasonable question isnt so nice...

irritant#9 (author)Omega1922008-08-03

My campaign to rid the world of people who use "flathead scredrivers" shall never be over!

lucek (author)Broom2008-09-03

and some people call a one type of screw a slotted screw, doesn't mean you use a slotted screw driver on it.

irritant#9 (author)2006-10-05

Where can you buy a flathead screwdriver? I never knew they made a screwdriver just for flathead screws. You didn't mention as to whether your flathead screwdriver was phillips or slot bladed....

binnie (author)irritant#92007-02-04

omg hahaha where do you buy a flathead screwdriver olol most hardware stores or sumfin liek walmart sumfin like that

ThaNorwegianDude (author)binnie2009-09-15

ZOMG you people here know how to talk about a simple thing as a flat srewdriver :-O

thepaul93 (author)irritant#92008-10-24

dude, Epic Fail

notker (author)thepaul932009-08-10

i lold

ThaNorwegianDude (author)notker2009-09-15

me to lolol

Hycro (author)irritant#92009-09-10

One could assume it would be slotted, as most people refer to a slotted screwdriver to being a "flat head" because the blade of the screwdriver is is very annoying for those of us who do know what each one is called. But what is the one that looks like a torx, only with a post in the middle making it so that you can't fit a slotted screwdriver inside it...oh, and I have license plate bolts that are similar, only they're hex-keyed, with the post in the middle of them too...would you know what screws/bolts with that (for lack of better term) head pattern is??

lucek (author)2008-08-02

you want more holes in the iner* can than the outer. think about ash holes in the bottom.

blksheep (author)2008-03-03

Nice job. You mentioned that it needed a little more airflow. Would fewer, larger holes work better? Or maybe large slots with a mesh screen? Hopefully I'll get a chance to try this one out.

tippymcstagger (author)2008-02-22

What size cans did you use? AFAIK the largest metal ones around here are 1gallon~4liter.

nabilahmad (author)2006-10-19

sorry to neglect the comments for so long. I have tried it out. It works well with a breeze. However, it does need more air flow when there is no wind. This cannot compare with the Vesto, as it has been much more throroughly engineered and tested. You place the combustables in the smaller can and the pot/grill across the top of the whole apperatus. Addiional modifcations to suggest would be handles and a simple ballast (rock) in the bottom of the larger can to provide assurance that it won't tip over easily. Irritant, flathead vs slot blade is all a matter of localized linguistics. I feel a bit experienced in this matter as I am working with people, in person, from about eighty different countries every day - It doesn't matter what you call it, just understand what you are trying to do with it and figure out what will work best for you. These are basic instructions, not guiding hands.

yomama1800 (author)nabilahmad2008-01-15

try a fan lol duh

Squee (author)2007-05-31

Cool idea, looks very similar to the pepsi can hiking stove thingee I saw online a while back. I was going to make a crack about somone who has all of those tools also being able to afford a grill, then I realized I have all but the rivet gun and can't afford a grill (but could probably manage a rivet gun) ;-).

Loveofchaos (author)Squee2007-07-13

zenstoves dot com (i dont want a frikkin hyperlink lol, they bug me) i made one that burns alcohol and cooked some marshmallows over it. funn stuff

Pike (author)2007-05-10

21 Century Hobo Stove?

thecheatscalc (author)2007-05-07

Wow, very interesting! first thing I thought of when I saw this was "stuff some refractory mix in that empty space between the two cans, and you've got a foundry!" Heh heh heh... reminds me of the propane take foundry I've got in my back yard.... quite a beast... Anyways, looks pretty good!

Edgar (author)2007-04-10

If you liked that, you'll love this, just click the link:

Coffe Can Foundry

AymericRdV (author)2007-03-18

anybody still using a slotted/flathead screw driver should be shoved back into the 50's..because that's where those belong.

Calltaker (author)2007-01-22

Actually, theoretically speaking, as long as you have heat inthe can, it will move the air in there upwards as it warms it, drawing more in the bottom, This would then create it's own breeze. The key there is to have a place for the air moving upwards to go. If you put a grill rack over the top, you should get a good burn, if not slow and steady. If you were to use this for cooking in a pot, I would suggest working out some sort of ventillation holes in the vertical lip of the top (around the outside lip) allowing the heated air to escape and replenish the oxygen to the fire via the vent holes. Having scrolled back up again, i also beilieve I may have found the other part of your ventillation problem. Your outer holes are in the top of the can, while the inner ones are in the bottom. I would put your outer holes below the inner holes, to enhance and help direct the updraft that you are trying to create. This should allow a more free flow of the air. Mind you, this is great idea, just wanted to add from a number of years as a firefighter and way too many classes on the subject of fire :) ~C

dropkick (author)2006-09-29

I'm sorry to say this, as it looks like you put quite a bit of work into this and did a good job, but wouldn't this stove need at least 3 walls to work correctly, or the positioning of the holes reversed? The way it looks to me now, the fire would heat the air in between the walls, then it would rise and exit from the outside holes at the top of the can. This would get a draft started where unheated air enters from the open top travels through the fire and then exits through the wall. This would be almost the exact opposite from what you would want.

solidification (author)2006-09-27

you can put some cheap lemon juice or vinegar or other acid (like HCl) on the surfaces to strip off the zinc coating. It will also help dissolve some of the paints. To make the reaction move along faster do something that will increase entropy. (like heat the juice/acid up near boiling and then apply it. It will smell like complete ass, but it will not be toxic like the burning zinc oxide / paint decompositions. The alternative is to burn it out, and make sure the white smoke goes somewhere other than on your person or personal affects.

j.w_lewis (author)2006-09-26

for fuel use cotton balls soaked in metho or kero (kero is safer because you can see the flame easier but meth burns hotter

Thaikarl (author)2006-09-26

where goes the combustables? where sits the pot?

meddler (author)2006-09-25

Iv'e been looiing for a stove design to put in my emergency supplies. This hits the spot, good job.

cornflakes (author)2006-09-25

Good seening israelis here, nice work.

russingram (author)2006-09-24

here's one made from soda cans, for camping:

wildgift (author)russingram2006-09-24

The soda-can-stoves are different. The soda-can-stoves burn fuel, and one chamber is used to heat the fuel to gas in the other chamber. The fuel jets out of both chambers, but efficiency in increased from the second because the second chamber helps pressurize the gas, and sends it out of small holes, so it mixes better with the air as it burns. This can-stove above is intended for preheating air before it reaches the burning wood. I think, normally, cold air would reduce the temperature of the fire, making for smokier, less efficient burning.

ewilhelm (author)2006-09-24

When you get a chance, post some pictures of it in operation.

spinach_dip (author)2006-09-24

this is very close to the Sierra Stove:

oh and here a homemade version:

good instructable!

Tool Using Animal (author)2006-09-24

I like it, i don't camp, but I might whip one up and stick it with the hurricane supplies, I've always been interested in these sort of technologies.. And thank you for properly attributing it.

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