Instructables
70$ for a simple stove? That's outrageous! Well, here is a simple stove design made from only a single can. This stove is ultra-light, has a 0% failure rate in normal to extreme conditions, is dirt cheap, and runs on readily available fuel. Don't empty your wallet for something worse than what you can make at home! Without further ado, here is your stove.
 
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Step 1: 1. Materials

To make the stove, you will need a few things.

MATERIALS
     -Soda can (Doesn't matter what brand, as long as it's aluminum.)
     -Optional: Aluminum tape (Not pictured)
TOOLS
     -Dremel OR X-acto (or similar)
     -Dremel cutting wheel attachment
     -Vise
     -Needle nose pliers
     -Marker

Step 2: 2. Cut the Top Half

To begin, You must start with the top half.
PICTURE 1
Choose a measurement to be used throughout your build. We used 3.5 cm. Draw a line around your can. This is the cut line.

PICTURE 2
Cut along this line as neatly as possible using your Dremel or knife.

PICTURE 3
Result.

PICTURE 4
Using a knife (a Dremel would be hard to use here), cut out the top of the can around the inside.
EDIT: According to SpinWard, you can also use a can-opener to cut it out (Which would be smoother). Thanks!

PICTURE 5
End result of entire step 2.



Step 3: 3. The Bottom Half

Now, you must cut the bottom half from the leftover can. For demonstration purposes, I have shown how to cut with an x-acto blade, but a Dremel will also work. Be sure to draw a line around the 3.5 cm (or whatever measurement you choose) line.

PICTURE 2 
Demonstrating how to set up the blade by clamping the blade in the vise.

PICTURE 3
Cut around the line you drew by rotating the can around the blade.

PICTURE 4
Result of Picture 3.

PICTURE 5 
Crimp the edge of the can by grabbing the edge of the can with your pliers and twist every 1/2 inch of so.

PICTURE 6
Result of entire step 3.


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133 years ago
Just as a suggestion; it would probably burn hotter with Denatured Alcohol instead of hand sanitizer as it has a higher alcohol content and is made to be used as a fuel.
rich2871 133 years ago
I can say for sure that I used 70% rubbing alcohol in the one I made and used a thermal image camera on it, the camera only goes to 518 and as you can see in the photo the white hot area is sure to go well about 518F. Oh and the flames are all blue when using 70% denatured alcohol.

First lighting on left, after jets have ignited is the second photo.

If you want to see other fuels in thermal I will be able to when i return from Afghanistan and have access to them.
IR_0039.jpgIR_0055.jpg

Thank you for your service. I hope you made it home by now

Here is another option for campers. Get a small metal can of coffee, empty and squish full roll of toilet paper inside, you want it to fill the diameter. Now saturate with the 70% to 90% rubbing alcohol put plastic lid on until ready to use for a long lasting burner... also using a large coffee can, metal of course turn upside down and punch three holes near the original "bottom" of can. On rim cut a 2X3 inch notch. You now have a flat surface to cook on over a small fire, or even better yet one of these mini cook stoves! Plus if you did not want anyone to see your fire this would do the trick!

Here is another option for campers. Get a small metal can of coffee, empty and squish full roll of toilet paper inside, you want it to fill the diameter. Now saturate with the 70% to 90% rubbing alcohol put plastic lid on until ready to use for a long lasting burner... also using a large coffee can, metal of course turn upside down and punch three holes near the original "bottom" of can. On rim cut a 2X3 inch notch. You now have a flat surface to cook on over a small fire, or even better yet one of these mini cook stoves! Plus if you did not want anyone to see your fire this would do the trick!


charlie.nourse (author)  rich28713 years ago
Thats a cool picture. According to what other people have said, 70% Alcohol is much colder than 90% or Denaturated.
charlie.nourse (author)  133 years ago
Yeah, this is the only thing I had
KathrynS124 days ago

Here is another option for campers. Get a small metal can of coffee, empty and squish full roll of toilet paper inside, you want it to fill the diameter. Now saturate with the 70% to 90% rubbing alcohol put plastic lid on until ready to use for a long lasting burner... also using a large coffee can, metal of course turn upside down and punch three holes near the original "bottom" of can. On rim cut a 2X3 inch notch. You now have a flat surface to cook on over a small fire, or even better yet one of these mini cook stoves! Plus if you did not want anyone to see your fire this would do the trick!


KathrynS124 days ago

Here is another option for campers. Get a small metal can of coffee, empty and squish full roll of toilet paper inside, you want it to fill the diameter. Now saturate with the 70% to 90% rubbing alcohol put plastic lid on until ready to use for a long lasting burner... also using a large coffee can, metal of course turn upside down and punch three holes near the original "bottom" of can. On rim cut a 2X3 inch notch. You now have a flat surface to cook on over a small fire, or even better yet one of these mini cook stoves! Plus if you did not want anyone to see your fire this would do the trick!

mwumichael7 months ago

I made one and put my pot over it and used it as a stand and stove setup, but the flow of oxygen seems to be restricted, is there any fix for this?

optox3 years ago
I've made a couple of these before. definitely do not need a dremel. my dad is really into backpacking and found this a couple of years ago.
tip: add house insulation (the pink stuff) inside the wall of the stove. it is inflammable and absorbs the alcohol.
charlie.nourse (author)  optox3 years ago
Yeah, one of my earlier designs had fiberglass init so you did not need to drain the stove every time you pack it up. That would be nice, but any where you add the insulation in this design would not work well.
The glass wool insulation is a good safety feature. It does not have much effect on the burning but helps prevent spills of burning fuel if you happen to knock your stove over.
fusion optox3 years ago
flammable and inflammable mean the same thing. i believe you mean flame retardant or fire-proof
elkhuntr2 years ago
why do u have the giant hole in the middle....mine has 3 holes from a pinprick. harder to light but it looks cooler when it burns
This may seem like a dumb question, but how do you put it out once it's lit?
best way is put a slightly larger can over it. That starves it of oxygen, therefore snuffing out the flame.
charlie.nourse (author)  KwartzKitten3 years ago
Well, you have some options. You could blow it out if you are trying to conserve fuel, pour water on it, or let it burn out.
NEVER,NEVER THROW WATER ON A GAS, ALCOHOL OR GREASE FIRE. SMOTHER IT OR THROW SAND OR DIRT ON IT
charlie.nourse (author)  panzerfaust3793 years ago
This alcohol fire is too small for it to matter what you put on it. Also, I wouldn't recommend that you put dirt on your stove.
The dirt really isn't a problem considering how large the release holes are, you could just wash it out with dirty water.
Though you are right that the alcohol fire isn't large enough to be a problem.
to each his own. :-)
Oh, well that's simple enough. Thanks.
you can also pee on it ;D
I will keep that under advisement...
Eleniel3 years ago
Very nice! i had a lot of fun making this, the only question i really have is- would the flames be toxic because of the chemicals? would it be safe to actually cook something over and potentially eat it?

thanks for the guide.
charlie.nourse (author)  Eleniel3 years ago
Nope! Alcohol gives off water vapor when it is burned, so cook away!
Charlie-
Can you comment on the plastic lining in aluminum beverage cans for toxicity? And what about the paint on the outside?

I am assuming that the aluminum itself is not in direct contact with food so there is a smaller risk of inducing Alzheimers disease.   :)

Nice design, I like it!
james4 Eleniel3 years ago
your right i wonder the same thing now that i think of it but idk what the answer is
Mower Eleniel3 years ago
There are many variations on this type of stove. Search around for "photon stove" and "pop can stove" on google and YouTube. My preferred fuel is denatured alcohol, found most anywhere that paint is sold.
nalk553 years ago
Would Zippo Lighter Fluid work. I got a bunch of that for my zippos.
Yes, it being naptha. It is a little toxic to breathe and you would have to wick it with that pink house insulation as optox said.
Editmefree3 years ago
i really liked this project. it worked to heat up the food i took on a canoing trip. i used isoprople alcohol and found it sufficient to heat up beans and stuff like that but it didn't really boil water. great instructable for all campers
charlie.nourse (author)  Editmefree3 years ago
I find it sufficient to boil water; what type of alcohol are you using? Pecent, that is (e.g. 70, 90, etc.)
TheParadox3 years ago
I just made one. Sadly It the sides don't ever light (the sides). I was using rubbing alcohol as a test. I let it burn until it ran out of fuel even. I tried it three times.
IMG_0378.JPG
charlie.nourse (author)  TheParadox3 years ago
Awesome! Looks great!
It doesn't work though lol.
charlie.nourse (author)  TheParadox3 years ago
Try adjusting the holes you made in the inner wall. if it is too big, then the fuel won't vaporize before more fuel flows in, essentialy 'flooding' the stove.
Are you refering to the 3 square slits?
charlie.nourse (author)  TheParadox3 years ago
Something else I learned is that you need to fill the alcohol to above the slits.
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