Picture of Soda Can Stove
Stove made out of two soda cans, aluminum beverage cans.  Used for backpacking, camping or just for fun.  Runs on an alcohol fuel.
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
2 Soda/pop cans aluminum beverage cans
Drill - 3/32 inch drill bit
Utility knife, x-acto knife

Tips- start cuts away from measurement lines on can, cut off the excess can then cut close to the line
Note: Take caution during construction and use of the stove.  Cutting aluminum cans will create sharp edges.  Open flame during use will be hot!

Step 2: Drill Holes in Bottom of One Can

Picture of Drill Holes in Bottom of One Can
Drill 16 evenly spaced holes at the bottom of one can using a drill and 3/32” drill bit. This will be the top to the stove.

Step 3: Cut Main Opening in Can Bottom

Picture of Cut Main Opening in Can Bottom
Cut the main opening by cutting out the center of the bottom of the can using an x-acto knife. 

Hint: Go over the area with the knife a few times before cutting all of the way through.

Step 4: Cut bottom of Can of Can

Picture of Cut bottom of Can of Can
Cut out the top by measuring 3/4” from the bottom of the can (the can bottom with the holes in it).

Hint: Make a hole to start with using the x-acto knife, then use scissors to cut the can.

The second picture shows what you should have so far.

This will be the stove top.

Step 5: Cut Bottom of Stove

Picture of Cut Bottom of Stove
On the other can, measure and cut 1” from the bottom.  This will create the bottom of the stove.

The second picture is what the bottom of the stove looks like.

Step 6: Cut Inner Wall

Cut a 1 3/8” wide strip from either can.  This will become the inner wall of the stove.  You may want to cut a larger piece from the can then trace out a rectangle the correct width. 

Step 7: Put Inner Wall Together

Picture of Put Inner Wall Together
Fit the strip to the inside groove of the stove bottom.  Cut slits on both ends of the strip to hold the piece together.

Step 8: Cut Fuel Slots in Inner Wall

Picture of Cut Fuel Slots in Inner Wall
Cut 3 equally spaced 1/4” by 1/4” slots in the inner wall.

The second picture shows the final inner wall
JK8 made it!2 months ago

I have been meaning to make one of these for some time. I modified mine a little, and only used one can - it was all I had, and I was also lacking patience! It turned out well, but I made the slot in the inner ring too small, so it takes a fair time to prime (around 20 seconds) and therefore I am burning more fuel on the front end. Once it was up an running, it burn really well and boiled a cup of water in a little over one min. Funny thing was, I went to snuff it and realized I couldn't cover the little holes with a flat plate (of course not!) and I had some excitement for a moment or two.

So I then made a simple cozy for it out of aluminium foil, which slips nicely over it and acts a a little storage cap for it as well.

I look forward to doing a neater job on the next one, using two cans, and burning a cleaner fuel.


P.s - I also didn't have any rubbing alcohol, so I used my wife's shellac nail polish remover. Big mistake! Boy that stuff stinks, burns super dirty and leave a residue on the stove and anything the flame touches! Don't do it! :) LOL

Photo on 2015-01-06 at 19.47.jpg
ljhtg5 months ago

Now this looks professional and safer than most I've seen. I am encouraged to make this one. I would have liked to se a picture of it in use with how to use fuel ratio.

skruddgemire made it!10 months ago

This is the one I made using the directions here.

This was made with a crappy paring knife (that I had to keep sharpening over and over again), a ruler, a drill, and the scissors in a cheap knock-off Swiss Army Knife wannabe.

I used improvised tools, didn't come out as nice as I wanted it to...but it worked and worked well.

This is a good set of instructions. I followed them to the best of my ability with the tools I had at hand and the final result was something that worked as advertised. I can't wait to see what I could produce following them when I break out my dremel tool and cylinder cutting jig.

can stove.jpg
donhaynes1 year ago

I've made four different alcohol stoves based on different instructables, and this is by far my favorite. The others are harder to light, requiring you to hold a flame to the outside of the can to get the alcohol hot enough to produce fumes. After testing them all out, I threw the others away and am now making a bunch of this version to give to my family and friends for their camping packs and bug out bags. Excellent instructable!

AWSOME could save some ones life
tonyscott1 year ago
great, it looks like a trangia burner, but much cheaper. tony
Gelfling62 years ago
Side note, especially about the 'Open flame during use will be hot' statement, Imagine, hot enough to melt the aluminum itself! I put one of these inside an old Sterno stove frame, and put the disc I scored out of the 2nd can bottom, on top.. Within a minute, the piece which was about only an inch from the top of the cans, melted and fell into the center well.. so yes, it DOES produce enough heat!
foobear3 years ago
nice finished look for something made out of trash. We are ready for the post nuclear apocalypse lifestyle!
Actually, I had mine ready to go when Hurricane Sandy blew through New England.. Thankfully, never needed them.. but the southern sections got hit pretty good.
wolfgang642 years ago
Great! if you did this with a couple of Fosters cans or even bigger two hieneken mini kegs, wow this is complety scale able.
I did the same with a pair of "Steel Reserve" cans someone dumped near a bridge riser, (while out Geocache hunting.) The only drawback, is it doesn't really add more heat.. But it is still do-able. I still can't quite perfect it enough to post, but the soda/beer can size is possible with just a single can, simply scoring out the center disc of the top.. I imagine the Foster's can version would be about the size of a standard marine alcohol stove.
Gelfling62 years ago
I can't quite get a clean-cut on the prototypes I've been trying to make, but the whole can stove with the open top, can also be made with just a single can, by cutting the top end about the same distance as from the bottom, but carefully using a knife point to score along the inside of the top, inside the flat with the opening, and using a strip of the can side not used, as the catalyst. (to carry heat from the top, down into the alcohol.) It's the scoring part that I keep mucking up.. sometimes too much, sometimes too little, and it ends-up tearing, which pretty much ruins the end to be pushed into.. But, just scoring the inside of the top, inside the center rib, does work just as well as using a 2nd can bottom.
idream2 years ago
by far the best out there nice ible
jdas27272 years ago
Great work!!! Best design out there!
mattccc2 years ago
works well thank you :)
TheGeek19842 years ago
This is the first "can stove" that I felt I could effectively build/use. Great design! I haven't tested it yet, I'll have to do that in a little bit. But here's a pic!
mdolljd (author)  TheGeek19842 years ago
Thanks. Looks good
keydogstony3 years ago
Well done Instructable! Every step is easy to follow. Needs be Featured!