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This is (hopefully) helpful information that I use when building my stoves.  I would highly recommend you look at https://www.instructables.com/id/Cool-Little-Miniature-Stove!/ or https://www.instructables.com/id/Aluminum-Bottle-Alcohol-Stove/ to build your stoves.  This Instructable in intended for those of you who have already built their stoves and want to explore more options or make things "easier".

I have found this a very addicting hobby!

Thanks and enjoy your stoves.

PaleoDan

Step 1: Soda Can Cutting Jig

I cut down a scrap piece of 1x2 and then used my bandsaw to cut a grove part-way through the block where I could insert the utility blade.  I then used a drop or two of Loctite Super Glue to hold the blade in place.

I cut the block down to 2.25 inches in length.  I made the cut with the bandsaw 1.25 inches from the bottom.

Step 2: Cutting Can

I stand the jig with the blade at the highest point first to cut the can down for the stove.

Step 3: Cutting Windscreen

After I finish cutting the can for the stove, I flip the jig over and remove the top of the can so I am left with an aluminum tube.  I then cut the tube up one side so I have a "sheet".

Step 4: Folding Windscreen

I use a pliers with a smooth lip to fold over a little bit of the edge all around to make sure there are no sharp edges.  This also gives the can some strength to keep it standing while holding its shape.

Step 5: Stove Variations

Here are some variants I have made to see what works best for me...

Pros and Cons for each:
  1. Standard stove - 1.25 inches tall and filled with fiberglass insulation
    • Works well but is a bit hard to light
    • burn time about 9 minutes
    • no fuel left over after it goes out
  2. Standard stove - 1.75 inches tall without anything inside
    • Works well but is hard to light
    • burn time about 19 minutes
    • no fuel left over after it goes out
  3. Standard stove - 1.75 inches tall and filled with fiberglass insulation
    • larger burner "ports"
    • Works well and lights ok
    • burn time about 18 minutes
    • no fuel left over after it goes out
    • large amount of soot created on cooking pots
  4. Inverted Bottom Stove - 1.5 inches tall without anything inside
    • easier to assemble than standard
    • lights very quickly
    • burn time about 12 minutes
    • some fuel left inside after it goes out
    • re-lights easily
    • large amount of soot created on cooking pots and stove surfaces
  5. Inverted Bottom Stove - 1.5 inches tall without anything inside - smaller fuel chamber
    • easier to assemble than standard
    • lights very quickly
    • burn time about 9 minutes
    • some fuel left inside after it goes out
    • re-lights easily
    • large amount of soot created on cooking pots and stove surfaces
Working on a few stoves now with inner walls to see if they increase the efficiency.

Step 6: Internal Wall Stove

This is my first attempt to build an internal wall stove.  I have not tested the stove yet but will do so shortly and record the details in the previous step.

I used "shim" pieces of aluminum to join the flat aluminum into a cylinder instead of using tape.  It held well and once the two can parts were joined, the wall fits into the groves so it should not come apart.

I also made the bottom just slightly larger than I need so I could "crimp" it down over the top.  The screw that you see in the fill hole in the top of the stove comes right out.  It provides a very loose "seal" once the fuel has been added.  I did not want to make it a tight fit inc ase the stove needs to vent pressure quickly (not that I think it will happen but just to be safe).

Step 7: Stove Updates

I have played with two other stove models and have had good results - here are my findings...
  1. Standard Stove - 1.5 inches tall with inner wall
    • lights ok but a little slow
    • burn time about 14 minutes
    • burned all fuel without any left over
    • once lit it burned very consistently
    • normal soot created on cooking pots but nothing on stove itself
  2. Inverted Bottom Stove - 1.5 inches tall with inner wall
    • easier to assemble than standard
    • lights very quickly - lit on first try within seconds
    • burn time about 15 minutes
    • some fuel left inside after it goes out
    • re-lights easily
    • large amount of soot created on cooking pots and stove surfaces
  3. Side Burner Stove - 1.5 inches tall without anything inside
    • not too hard to build
    • lights very quickly - first try
    • burns very steady
    • can be used as it's own "pot rack" ( not a very large surface area to balance upon but works)
    • burn time of about  15 minutes
    • burned off all fuel completely
    • no soot on stove but the normal amount on pots
I am going to build the Side Burner with the Inner Wall next and this seems to be a nice combination of "options".  I have also been struggling with a pot stand for the other stoves - I have used coat hanger and bent it into useful shapes but am not happy.  I do not want to purchase anything so I am still at the drawing board with this.

Step 8: New Pot Stand - Works Well

I found a new pot stand design (I am not sure where to be honest) and tried it out.  It uses 1/4 inch hardware cloth or screen.  I only had the galvanized kind on hand to try this out (I am not sure what temp galvanized gives off fumes at but I know you do not want to weld it) but would not continue to use this.  Try to find non-galvanized hardware cloth if you can.

Steps (pretty simple):
  1. Measure about 12 - 15 inches of hardware cloth about 1.5 inches wider than your stove is high.
  2. Cut out this rectangular piece
  3. Roll the hardware cloth into a cylinder overlapping enough to allow you to connect the two ends together
  4. Use some thin wire (I used the wire that the Mfg. had wrapped the hardware cloth for shipping in) to thread between the two ends lacing them together. Tie off the wire at the end.
  5. Snip the cylinder down every other square so that about a half inch of space is left above the stove when the pot stand is sitting over top
  6. Bend down the sections you just snipped into the center forming the top of you pot stand 
  7. You can attach tin foil to the side of the pot stand that would best shelter any wind as required
I am slightly confused on how to combine the stove together, How does it actually go together?
This Instructable was not on the creation of the stoves themselves, there are already several well done ones on this site - for instance <a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/Cool-Little-Miniature-Stove!/" rel="nofollow">https://www.instructables.com/id/Cool-Little-Miniature-Stove!/ </a>Basically, you press fit the two can halves together, they fit so tightly, I do not worry about sealing them in any way. After I have cut the two cans, I take one of the bottoms and slightly stretch the diameter so that I can more easily fit the other can bottom inside. If you drill one small hole in the top can, it will help by allowing air to escape as you press the two bottoms together. Good luck.
what does the internal wall exactly do ? <br>
To be honest, I can't exactly say. I am thinking it may have something to do with the internal pressure within the stove but after quite a bit of experimenting, I am not seeing a signifigant difference with or without it.
I have built and tested the Standard Stove with the Inner wall and side burners and am very happy with it. It burned nice and long (about 18 minutes) and boiled water within six minutes. It worked well as a &quot;pot rack&quot; on perfectly level and stable ground but still not sure what it would look like in the real world. Still need to play with port sizes. Mine are a bit large - will try smaller ones next.

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Bio: I am happily married with one son, two dogs, a ball python, Russian tortoise, and many fish. I like to fossil hunt, all things Jeep ... More »
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