Picture of Copper Plumbing Alcohol Backpacking Stove
A compact alcohol wick stove made from copper plumbing.

Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1:

Picture of
I have cooked quite a few individual meals with this stove and have taken it backpacking. It is a little heavier than the ultralight stoves and It is not as powerful as compressed fuel stoves but I like the fact that it is durable, stable, refillable, and it uses relatively safe, clean burning alcohol; stored in the stove stand itself so I don't have to carry a separate fuel canister.

It is made from fairly standard copper plumbing supplies found at most big box hardware stores.

My personal motto: "If I can't find it at my local hardware store I don't build with it." I hate special order parts!

Step 2: List of Components

Picture of List of Components
(1) Brass 3/8" compression fitting (compression ring and tube nut not needed) Ref. photo red box

(1) 3/8" brass "oil heater" cap

(1) #8 rubber o-ring

(1) fiberglass "Tiki" torch wick

(6) 3/4" copper coated steel pipe hangers

Step 3: List of Components cont.

Picture of List of Components cont.
(1) 1" dia. copper pipe approx. 1" in length

(1) 1" dia. copper pipe connector fitting with internal stop (an internals stop is a formation at the mid-point of the connector that prevents a pipe from being inserted more than half way into the fitting)

(2) 1" dia. Copper "Stub Out" (It is a 1" dia copper pipe with a reduced 1/2" dia opening at one end and the other end is sealed. Purchased at Home Depot )

(1) 1" dia. copper pipe connector fitting without internal stop

Step 4: Assemble the Fuel Storage Chamber

Picture of Assemble the Fuel Storage Chamber
1. Press the O-ring into the Brass Cap

2. Sweat solder the brass Compression Fitting onto the Stub Out . Instructions on sweating copper pipe fittings can be found elsewhere. It is fairly easy requiring lead free solder, flux, and a propane torch. I won't detail it here.

Important: Just make sure you sweat the fitting onto an empty Stub Out and without the Wick or Cap installed

3. install a "Tiki" Wick into the Stub Out. You will have to pinch it slightly to fit it into the opening of the Compression Fitting.

Make sure it is pushed all the way to the bottom.

4. Trim the Wick to be about 1/2" above the Compression Fitting.
juanangel1 year ago

Great design. Will like to know the time to heat water and how long it last lighted. I like it because it can be buried on the ground, the wind will not affect the flame, no tilting and heat concentrates inside the hole on the ground. I would make the support arms smaller so it stays under the pot since copper likes to absorb heat and dissipate it. great lost of heat. I will be working on this. great idea.

just eye ball it an use a small pot
KevinOKane1 year ago
What a very clever innovation that is not only simple to build, but is also cost effective at the same time. Thanks for sharing this brilliant idea with us. I never knew copper plumbing could be used for cooking purposes, if twisted a little here and there. I think I would disregard the cons of this wick stove too like the fact of it being heavier and less powerful, as long as it has benefits like durability, stability and there isn't a need to carry a separate fuel canister.
ralema692 years ago
I love this idea and plan on making one. However a couple of questions are left unanswere. First, as others asked, how long does fuel work and burn? Will it evaporate in time when sealed or do you take extra fuel (alcohol)? how long to rpidly boil water? Cool down time after? Please advise...
mkslocomb3 years ago
would help if you could take some measurements and more detailed pictures of the holes in the bottom for storage. they look necessary for ease of storage. really neat project.
I checked my hardware store and they call your stub out an air chamber.
just tellingyou this so you could put it in the instructions incase other stores call them air chambers too
GpaSteve4 years ago
Approx how long will the filled 'tank' of fuel last?
Arbitror4 years ago
Why isn't this featured?
i see instead of the base feet things the staff could be used, and for more compactness, you could put one on each end
what are the angles
TarzanJr5 years ago
how balanced is this project it looks like the height would make it easy to fall over?
plumber45 years ago
Great idea! Being a plumber and having all of the parts in the garage, this is the next project for my son and I to take on. Thanks, great idea. This looks like the most durable stove that I have seen on here.
dp mac6 years ago
i need to know the total price of this build so i can know if i have enough cash thanks
hpstoutharrow (author)  dp mac6 years ago
Around $20 - $25
scavanger6 years ago
A very ingenious design. I also like the durability factor. Nice job, thanks.
carnivore6 years ago
simply brilliant .
lemonie6 years ago
Very good, packs up nice too. L
myckro6 years ago
nice, I like it, but can you post some pics or a video of it working? that would be cool, also it would be nice to know how long it takes to heat up water... (like 1 liter - 8 minutes) or something like that... Keep up the good work!!!

5* (Five Stars)