This stove is inexpensive, light weight, compact, and portable. Unlike the soda can variety (available all over the web), this stove is made from a discarded film development tank and extremely sturdy! (We snapped two drill bits while manufacturing this stove.)
Cost: $3 (commercial models: $15 to $150)
Weight: 4 oz, may reduce to < 3 oz with judicious cutting (commercial models: 3 oz to 30 oz)
Dimensions: 4.5 cm in height, 8.5 cm in diameter (fuel reservoir included)
Fuel Recommendation: 70%-90% rubbing alcohol
Energy Efficiency: 1/4 cup of 91% alcohol boils about 2 cups of water
Step 1: Find the right canister
We found a film development tank with a lid among a pile of lab supplies in the UW-Madison SWAP shop. With its 1-mm thick wall, it's sturdy all right! We just need to saw off the top. 4 cm from the bottom gives more room than we need to store the fuel for cooking. 2 cm would have done just fine and saved an extra ounce of weight -- it wouldn't have been safe to cut though.
4 cm tall: up to 1 cup of fuel
2 cm tall: up to 1/2 cup of fuel
Step 2: Drill the vents
Like making the vents of a gas stove, drill small holes all the way around the lid of the canister. In order to control the burning and ventilation, we also drilled a big hole in the center, which can be covered up by a penny.
Now you can put the lid over the bottom of the canister that was sawed off earlier.