Picture of Beverage Can Camp Stove
Using a couple of empty beverage cans, you can make a lightweight and functional camp stove.  Useful for survival situations, backpacking expeditions, or just impressing your pyromaniac friends!

If you are having trouble keeping the stove lit, you can make a windscreen for it as well.

Thanks to Sam for demonstrating the project for this Instructable.

"Submitted by Ace Monster Toys Hackerspace in Oakland, CA for the Instructables Sponsorship Program"
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Step 1: Tools & Materials

Picture of Tools & Materials
* 2 aluminum cans
* blocks of scrap wood (one approx 3/4" thick + a few thinner ones)
* razor blade
* pushpin or two
* old Phillips screwdriver
* pliers, needle nose if you have them
* one penny
* liquid camp fuel (e.g. white gas or perhaps methanol -- isopropyl alcohol won't quite work)

Step 2: Make Beverage Can Cutting Jig

Picture of Make Beverage Can Cutting Jig
First, we want to assemble a jig for cutting the beverage cans in a straight line all the way around.  In a pinch, you can just use scissors (that you don't mind getting dull!), aviation snips, a survival knife, etc., but things are easier if you get a nice clean cut.

The jig is basically a razor blade held into place onto the top part of a block of scrap wood with push pins/screws.  You need two different thicknesses here: we used 3/4" for the burner (top) part and 1 1/8" for the body (bottom) part of the stove.  Our piece of wood was 3/4" thick, and we had a few thin bits to put under it in order to get more thickness for the second part.

Be very careful with this part, and with cutting the cans in general.  Metal can be very sharp!

You can also put hand sanitizer that contains ethanol in it as fuel, it produces ~equal heat


I fallowed your directions and starting tips but mine only burns on the to and when i get a "burp" its a huge one and then it goes out?
No penny on the hole?
The penny does not seal good enough? Maybe because of dents in the can?
The sideholes are WAY to big?
Also see that you have tight seals. A burn like you desribe it is not unknown to me. I had it in a few stoves... Always was a problem with air coming into the can...
Remember: The flames heat the alcohol to a vapor. Then the vapor comes out the holes and is ignited there. As soon as the flame is able to pass inside, you get the *poof* and then it is out.
Halphinian1 year ago
Something I've been wanting to know for a while: what is the use of the penny in the stove?
To cover the filling-hole. If it isnt covered, the central hole would make one big fire-column like you see it in Step 6, image 5.
With the penny in place, the vapor-pressure goes out more to the sideholes and gives a much more controlled burn.

If you want to know more about the penny, google for "Pennystove" ;)
stevedeane1 year ago
Really nice work, and great photos. Well done!
jdumler1 year ago
In a pinch for fuel you can mix 10 parts hand sanitizer and 1 part salt together and use the clear fluid that floats to the surface it is denatured alcohol the salt removes the cleaners and non burning ingredients from the hand sanitizer
Rombie1 year ago
What are you using for a fuel source?
bryren Rombie1 year ago
Try denatured alcohol (paints & solvents at the hardware). High proof drinking alcohol - Everclear (only good use that I know of).
Suggestion - use a clearly marked bottle that is different than your drinking water supply. Don't use just any squirt bottle, and try it out. Denatured is a solvent.
Ronrude1 year ago
Nice instructable. I have been messing with alcohol stoves for a while. Check out the "white box" style stove. no pot support needed, very efficient
billbillt1 year ago
darman121 year ago
Nice. I learned how to make something quite similar before. I think i'll make one to add to my survival stuff.
First off, nice instructable.
A little more info:
This kind of stove is known as a penny stove for the penny placed on top, well known in the backpacker community. Alcohol is typically used as a fuel.
Here is some more reading and plans for different designs of similar stoves:
The stove on italian page (second link) is temperature adjustable.
Also, a good way to make a pot holder is out of a wire hanger (mentioned in the linked plans)
made something simaliar awesome stove
bd0005802 years ago
Super idea, although if you put a pan on it would it not go out? There needs to be some oxygen so that you have a flame, maybe make your outside edge wavy instead, I know I'd have trouble making it really straight. Going to get some cans asap to make this tho! ;)
donovand (author)  bd0005802 years ago
It depends on what you're doing and how big the pot is. Your modification sounds interesting.... Also, check out the linked Instructable "http://www.instructables.com/id/Windscreen-for-Sams-Beverage-Can-Camp-Stove/" for a windscreen/potholder for this stove.
rimar20002 years ago
Beautiful blue flame!
donovand (author)  rimar20002 years ago