Step 7: Making the Penny Stove

Picture of Making the Penny Stove
Penny Stoves have been covered in length on this site, but I will go through the simple steps used to make the one I use for my own stove. Many cans were sacrificed to determine which stove was the most efficient for this rig. Some stoves that are more efficient outside of this rig do not fair well inside of it due to the unique "heat channeling" of the wind guard.

The best design discovered is made with 8 thumbtack holes instead of needles. (Though larger needles can be used.)

The Penny Stove I will show you how to make is, in summary, nothing more than the bottom of two cans with holes in one that's stuffed inside the other. Nothing more. No "wicking" inside such as fiberglass, cotton, lint, etc.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Make absolute sure that your cans are thoroughly cleaned before you start work on them. If there is any soda residue in the bottom of the cans, it will be evaporated by the alcohol and clog the vent holes. You will have to start all over.

Note that while there are many stove designs that tell you to first sand the paint off of the stoves, I very specifically do not want you to do this. At least not for the "top" of the stove. The paint will act as a "glue" the first time the stove is lit adding strength and stability.
Tetrafish5 years ago
To evenly space the holes you could wrap a strip of paper around it, mark it's (circumference) length, then evenly divide them... usually by folding in half, then in quarters, etc. for an even number of holes. Then re-wrap the paper around the can and hold it steady to mark the places to puncture.
Javin007 (author)  Tetrafish5 years ago
You COULD, but that would make entirely too much sense. Great tip! Will definitely use it in the future!
_zAp_6 years ago
just curious (i know you are reworking this too) what are you using inside your penny stove? i.e. cotton/rayon balls, insulation, perlite etc....