Introduction: The Nan Stove
1 tube of Red RTV high temp Gasket Maker (from local auto shop)
1 package of Prorepair Screen Repair Kit for aluminum screens(!) made by Prime-Line and sold in Walmart
Selected tin for your stove, (I recommend the TOMURCUK Earl Grey tea can for its design)
Cotton Balls (dollar store)
Scrap of pink fiberglass insulation (ask at any building site for free!)
In the midst of cranking out multiple forms of the pop can alky stove, I began to see a need for a longer burning and more controlled stove. While looking at possibilities of various stove types, my wife suggested a can for me to consider. A simple cubical tea can (3” x 3” square by 3-7/8” tall) of the Tomurcuk band (their Earl Grey tea). The tin was perfect, and I named the stove after the creator of it.
This size can holds roughly 18.7 fluid ounces, which gives a serious fuel capacity to any small stove. You can put a complete bottle of 'yellow' Iso-heet in this stove, press on the lid, and have an emergency or auto stove that holds its own fuel!
In testing this stove, I put a coffee pot with eight cups of water over it on a small windscreen, and had the coffee boiling in 40 minutes, and the stove continued to give heat output for a total of more then an hour and a half! Yeah you read that right, for an hour and a half! For camp cooking, auto camping, emergency needs, heat and enough of it to be useful is important to the max. Cooking for more then one, boiling water to purify it, signalling or having a heat source, this stove is both easy to make and easy to repair without any real tooling. Let's get started;
Step 1: Seal and Check It Twice
Step One – Clean out the can and seal the inside seam at the bottom and the single side seam with the red RTV High Temp Gasket compound. Be liberal with this stuff, and make sure your seal is right the first time. This step will add greatly tot he overall life of your stove so don't scrimp!
Step 2: Balls
Step Two – Pack the bottom half of the stove can with cotton balls firmly, to act as the storage media for the stove. This is the sort of like the balls in your Zippo lighter, the fuel tank if you will.
Step 3: Wick It Right
Step Three – Push in the insulation to form the 'burner element', so make sure it has no holes in it down to the cotton balls. Its job is to act as a wick for the fumes, and prevent fire from reaching the cotton layers.
Step 4: Fire Screen
Step Four – Take one of the aluminum screen patches, and trim it to a square that just fits inside the top edges of the can. (Roughly 3” x 3”.) Cut the corners at 45 degrees to give you a roughly circular screen piece.
Step 5: Final Assembly
Step Five - Press this screen down on the fiberglass and under the edges of the tin's opening. Make sure to use the aluminum screen pieces only! Invert the can and smack the top of the can down smartly to settle everything inside and give a smooth look to the burner area.
Step 6: Check the Seal and Its Done
Step Six – Press can lid on and see that it seats and stays in place. Your stove is now complete, and only needs a touch of High Temp pain to make it weather proof and classy.
Step 7: Tips
Use a simple can wind guard (cut the top and bottom out of a can and punch holes around the top and bottom edge for air control), and you are ready to go. Select a can that is a few inches taller then the stove, and you have room for the flame. This stove can heat to a boil EIGHT CUPS of water in just thirty to forty minutes without worry or problems.
I keep mine in a simple plastic bag in case the fuel leaks, (but haven't had a drop in the bag ever!)
These make easy gifts and with Hi-temp paints, you can personalize them for anyone easily.
Use ONLY the yellow bottles of Iso-heet and you will have no smoking or soot build up to deal with.