Introduction: Johan's Favourite Alcohol Stove: One-Can Sideburner

Johan's Favourite Alcohol Stove : One-Can Sideburner (No Pot Stand)

This stove uses only one can and needs no pot stand.
The design transfers a lot of heat into the pot and not around it.
On taller cans, you have plenty of material left from the middle of the can to create some sort of windscreen.

The design can be further refined by adding a proper internal wall and drilling jets. On pressurised topburner can stoves, I usually make 24 jets in a 2:1 pattern, using a drill with a sewing needle as a bit.

This is not my design, I wish it was. It is based on the
Garlington YACC Stove ("Yet Another Coke Can Stove").
Here is my way of making it.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Drinks can (I like Dr Pepper)
Utility knife
Rounded file
Stack of coins (an even number) taped together to measure 1.5 inches tall [UK 2p x 20]
Small, sharp scissors
Cutting mat or graph paper with large grid
Large flat blade screwdriver

Step 2: Cut Out the Top of the Can.

Score around with the utility knife, the more times the better.
Cut out the top through the score line, slowly and carefully.

Step 3: Neaten the Top Opening.

File away any burrs.
Roll a smooth screwdriver around the opening to roll the edge a little and make it even neater!

Step 4: Mark the Top and Bottom Stove Sections.

With the can upside down:
Place a utility blade (facing away) on top of the coin stack.
Hold the blade down and turn the can.
Score twice around the can in this way.

Repeat using half the coins (3/4 inch stack) to mark around the bottom of the can.

Step 5: Cut Out the Top and Bottom Stove Sections.

1. Roughly cut out the top and bottom stove sections.
Leave as much as possible of the middle of the can if you want to use it to make a windscreen later.

2. Cut exactly along the score lines with the scissors.
You should find that the scissors will glide around the groove easily.

3. Now give both parts a good rinse!

Step 6: Make 16 Slits in the Stove Top Section (jet Grooves).

1. I used to grid on the cutting mat to easily judge how to divide the stove top into 16 even sections.
Use the Sharpie to mark them.

2. Use the stack of coins (remove coins as necessary) and the Sharpie, rotating as before:
Mark a line 1/8 inch down from the shoulder (bend) of the top section.
It can be a little more than 1/8, but no less.

3. Cut a slit at each mark, up to but not past the line.

Step 7: Assemble Your New Stove.

1. Stove top: Bend each tab slightly forward of the one on its left.

2. Push the stove top into the stove bottom almost as far as the line.
At this point, the top of the slits may kink, making sharp corners that could tear the bottom section.
Use the flat screwdriver to flatten these kinks. Use an up-and-down and side-to-side rocking action. Go round and round the can until the top sinks into the bottom with no creases.

Now you should not be able to see any of the slits sticking out of the bottom section.
The bottom of the tabs should seat firmly in the groove around the dome in the stove bottom.

3. Tension will want to spring the two sections apart until the stove is first used, when the heat will temper it. I put a heavy tin of spare change on top for a few hours/overnight.

Step 8: How to Use

Indoor (Kitchen Sink) Test

One tablespoon (15ml) of methylated spirits (denatured alcohol) will easily boil one cup (250ml) of very cold water.

1. Put the alcohol into the centre of the stove.
2. Light it!
3. In just a few seconds, a ring of blue flame will appear where the top and bottom sections meet.
4. Put the pot of water on top (4 inch diameter or greater is best).
5. Wait 5 - 5.5 mins to boil; 7.5 - 8 mins to burn out the fuel (YMMV).

Step 9: Troubleshooting


If any of the slits are visible above the seam, the stove may flare too much or spit out drops of burning fuel. Push the top further into the bottom. If it will not go, cut it a little shorter so that it will, hiding all the slits from view.

If there is not enough flame, you need to lengthen the slits so they are hiding just below the seam.
Please see the Garlington link below for more tips.

If you split the bottom section during assembly, you will need to make another one!


Please check out:
Johan J Shaw's Blog, where there will be more making and modding stuff linked up to here.
and my YouTube channel.

I will publish a follow-up when I try the refined version with internal wall and jet holes. Thank you for your interest!


c3ralki1l3r made it! (author)2013-02-27

I found out today that these make good starters for the jet stove like:
just put the jet stove on top after you light this one.

JohanJShaw made it! (author)JohanJShaw2013-02-28

Of course! I never even thought of that, good idea.

c3ralki1l3r made it! (author)c3ralki1l3r2013-02-28

Another thing is that its burns out really quicky so you can add a whole lot more fuel to the jet stove :P

seamster made it! (author)2013-02-13

Nice! I like that it doesn't require a stand. I'll be making one of these to replace my penny version. Thanks!

the seabass made it! (author)2015-05-19

I just finished mine and I'm about to go test it?

Dan BrianG made it! (author)2014-12-03

The upper half popped out a few seconds after I ignited the alcohol stove. Has anyone experienced this? How did you prevent the upper half from popping out? The one I made, the upper half doesn't seem to have a tight fit to the bottom part.

Dan BrianG made it! (author)Dan BrianG2014-12-03

Update: I placed some weight on top of the stove for about an hour. Made a few tweaks on the slits just so they are just below the seam and I get a good ring now. Nice. :-) I've made alcohol stoves from the capillary hoop stove I found from tetkoba's channel. Also made the common open jet stove and the penny stove and finally this 1 can design. I'll make a few more stoves using this design and give them away to my hiking buddies this christmas. :-D

Thanks for sharing this Johan.

Naugas made it! (author)2014-08-16

Tips on making it more secure:

wgrube made it! (author)2013-07-07

Nice! I'll try to build this one too. I've tested a lot of different types, this looks to be the easiest one to build.

vorpal_forklift made it! (author)2013-04-08

I love that it says "What's the worst that could happen?" on the can. Not that anything could possibly go wrong here...

benfloom made it! (author)2013-04-02

If you use a can opener you can remove the top of the can very easily and quickly

Nerko-erko made it! (author)2013-03-13

Its funny how it says "what's the worst that could happen"

c3ralki1l3r made it! (author)2013-02-20

I just made one the other day :)

JohanJShaw made it! (author)JohanJShaw2013-02-22

Nice! How does it burn?

c3ralki1l3r made it! (author)c3ralki1l3r2013-02-26

its burns fairly well, it melted a 16 jar filled with wax, wouldn't recommend rubbing alcohol with less than %70 it works but it takes longer.:P

c3ralki1l3r made it! (author)c3ralki1l3r2013-02-26

16 ounce

c3ralki1l3r made it! (author)c3ralki1l3r2013-02-20

Could you tell me if I need to fix any thing any one, Thanks :)

goodforcatfish made it! (author)2013-02-15

props. clean work.

JohanJShaw made it! (author)JohanJShaw2013-02-16


hemang18 made it! (author)2013-02-16

for how long can i use one (life)

JohanJShaw made it! (author)JohanJShaw2013-02-16

Honestly, I don't know. I can't imagine it getting blocked (no small jet holes), but I have not tested one for long enough to say yet. Why not make a few spares?

Xixfas made it! (author)2013-02-14

How many coins?

JohanJShaw made it! (author)JohanJShaw2013-02-15

20 = 1.5 inches, 10 coins = 3/4 inch, but they are UK 2 pence coins I used. It is just an easy way to mark up the cans. You can use whatever you want to get the height.

Xixfas made it! (author)Xixfas2013-02-15

do you know about pennies?

Xixfas made it! (author)Xixfas2013-02-15


Xixfas made it! (author)2013-02-14


wwhitt made it! (author)2013-02-12

How do u ignite the stove? I had a previous penny stove that was very tedious to ignite

JohanJShaw made it! (author)JohanJShaw2013-02-13

You just light the fuel in the centre opening and wait for a few seconds. When the ring of blue flame appears, put your pot on top and cook!

c3ralki1l3r made it! (author)c3ralki1l3r2013-02-13

is it possible to make bacon with this stove :P(gotta get daily intake of bacon :)

JohanJShaw made it! (author)JohanJShaw2013-02-14

Don't see why not. Try a small frying pan on top. You can "grill" a cheese sandwich in the pan too - works pretty well!

mukulbackup made it! (author)2013-02-14

Great Idea.........

JohanJShaw made it! (author)JohanJShaw2013-02-14


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