Instructables

Step 18: Specs

Picture of Specs
After much experimentation, it was determined that for this particular design, the most efficient stove is one with 8 evenly spaced "thumbtack" sized holes. Even spacing is important for most efficient heat output. Also make sure your holes are all the same size.

  • The packed camp stove (when made with the same materials in this instructable) is 4.5" (11.43 cm) in diameter, and 3" (7.62 cm) high.
  • The stove with all options (cup/hook) weighs 6.5 oz (184.27 grams).
  • The stove can easily handle up to 5 lbs (2.27 kg). I did not bother testing further as you shouldn't need to cook anything over 5 lbs (2.27 kg). while camping/hiking, and I didn't want to destroy another stove.

When using denatured alcohol:

  • The stove can hold up to 2 oz (59 ml) safely.
  • 2 oz (59ml) will burn for roughly 30 minutes.
  • Stove should take 30-45 seconds to heat up enough to use.
  • Stove takes approximately 3 minutes to cool down after use.
  • 2 cups (16 oz, 1 lb, 473 ml, 453.59237 grams) of water at room temperature (70 F, 21.1111C) will boil (212 F, 100 C) in under 5 minutes (300 sec).
  • "Heet" burns slightly longer, but with less heat (ironic, no?) meaning longer boil times. It also has an off-putting odor. Not recommended, but works in a pinch.

Other Notes

The penny stove does have a good deal of "wasted space" in it. Particularly in the lid. If this stove is something you like to keep around "for emergencies" instead of to use regularly, consider using that space in the lid.

  • Rig a long, sturdy plastic bag (can be made with a FoodSaver) to hold 2 oz of alcohol, and stuff it into the empty space. Remove the "Fuel Cup" for even more space.
  • Add some waterproof matches or a small flint
  • Fishing hooks and fishing line
  • Band-Aids
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Water purifier tablets
  • A small compass
  • Sealed toilet paper
  • Lengths of nylon cord

See what all you can stuff into all the nooks and crannies, and you'll have the ultimate emergency kit, complete with stove! The stove can be used to get even the wettest wood started burning.
surf4point02 years ago
Thanks for the stove, I made one and plan to use it all the time its great!
Just a note to those who may not understand the priming process: We don't want to light the penny stove directly (lol explosions, see below), so when we pour a little fuel in the "wind shield" and light that, it heats the stove from without, creating more vapors within it, and then lighting them. Priming is the safest way to light these stoves, and yeah, dont shake them, creates an insane amount of vapors.
rramos13 years ago
This is a very, very, very great and use-full invention, for campers and backpackers like me. I really, really like your pocket size camp stove. I will build one and will share it with my friends here in the Phillipines. More power . . . more ideas and God Bless You !
smssilent4 years ago
I made one, and it worked great! Used it sporadically throughout the week just to test it, and it worked great. Then I accidentally figured out how to detonate it. I used it yesterday and then blew it out and let it sit over night. When I went to it today, I shook the can to see if there was any leftover fuel in it, and there was so I poured some primer fuel and lit it. Almost instantly it exploded ripping a bigger hole in the fuel port and spraying liquid fire everywhere. Moral of the story: Do not shake the can then light it!
Thanks for the great ible
i just finished my stove a little bit ago and bought some alochol yesterday, and it won't light.  i haven't made the wind guard yet, but made the actual stove.  Since i haven't made the windguard, i tried using it in my garage where the least wind was.  when i made it, i punched the holes pretty low because of my hole punch.  is there something i am doing wrong?
yeah...it exploded...i'm glad my face wasn't in front of it
Javin007 (author)  .happy.hippie.4 years ago
Oy.  Yeah.  Pretty safe to assume you did something wrong.  In the (now literal) hundreds of others that have built the stove, you're the first who's managed to detonate one... 
Javin007 (author)  Javin0074 years ago
Erm.  I didn't mean that nearly as snarky as it sounds when I read it...

If you can explain the steps you took to build/ignite it, maybe we could figure out what went wrong?
i followed the instructions on how to build it exactly. infact, i had my computer with me the whole time i was buliding it.  the only thing i did differently was that i punched the holes in the side of one can kind of low because my hole punch doesn't allow me to go very far.  when trying to light it, i tried lighting the individual holes using a match.  i poured my fuel in, put my penny on, and tried to light the holes.  is there something i did wrong?


p.s.  when it exploded, thinking back, i'm  pretty sure that i forgot to put the penny over the hole. but every other time, i did everything (at least i think) right
P.P.S.  there's gotta be a first for everything...i feel a little honored that i was the first to explode mine :)
Javin007 (author)  .happy.hippie.4 years ago
:)  Well, the only thing I can think of is maybe you didn't put very much fuel in it, or tried to relight it after blowing it out or something. 

As for "trying to light the individual holes using a match" this won't work.  You'll need to use a primer by pouring a small amount of fuel around the outside into the windscreen as seen in the video.  

Speaking of fuel, what kind of fuel did you use?
i got it working (the second one i built) by using denatured alcohol, and it worked pretty well, but it didn't burn very long.  it seemed like i put plenty of fluid in it, but i might have not put enough in. any other tips?
Javin007 (author)  .happy.hippie.4 years ago
Did you build the whole rig, or just the penny stove part of it?  If you just did the penny stove, then there may not be enough heat retention to keep your alcohol vaporizing.  There's no reason you shouldn't get between 25-30 minutes per 2 oz. 
i built the stove, and the wind guard, but that's all
Javin007 (author)  .happy.hippie.4 years ago
Odd that it doesn't seem to have a decent burn time for you.  Could you take a picture of it and post it?  Maybe we can see something that isn't quite right.
amungal4 years ago
I am not a camper so I don't know if or when I will ever use something like this but I found the idea of it quite intriguing. I really apreciate the obvious time and attention put into this instructible.

Very well done. Bravo and thanks for a very informative piece.
Javin007 (author)  amungal4 years ago
:D  Thanks!
pla75 years ago
Finished my stove yesterday, and tried out a few times already. Awesome awesome awesome instructable. This thing is very conveniently, works smoothly, etc. Nothing in the guide itself was too confusing either. I'm tempted to make another one of these that's a bit smaller -- for example, starting with a Redbull can stove...