Introduction: Under $20 Rocket Stove/Heater

What if you were faced with no electricity for an extended period of time, or maybe your an outdoorsy kind of person, or you just like DIY projects, no matter which you are this is the Instructable for you. This is a device that anyone can make and have on hand to use to cook on efficiently or stay warm with only using twigs, no need for large pieces of firewood. Its very lightweight,less than 5 pounds, and can be built with things that can be easily attained. But rather than bore you with the description lets get to the building.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

These are the tools you will need to build this Rocket Stove.

* Metal Snips
* Drill and 5/16 drill bit
* Hammer

The Materials.

* 1 gallon paint can ($4.89)
* 3" 90 degree vent pipe ($3.49)
* 3" vent pipe 4' long ($3.19)
* Clay kitty litter ($1.50)

Step 2: Cut the Hole in the Side of the Can.

Trace and cut a hole in the side of your can to match the diameter of the elbow. (HINT trace the outline of the elbow on a piece of paper, and cut it out to use as a template, it will conform to the shape of the can and be easier to trace on the can). Use a drill to drill a small pilot hole to start your cut with the snips. Once it is cut out test fit the elbow to make sure it fits, by sliding it into the can and sticking out if the hole.

Step 3: The Top

Trace the pipe onto the lid and cut out the same way that you cut out the can. Take the 2' peice and cut a 2" section from the bottom, push that through the hole that you cut on the lid. **An extra step that you can do is insulate it by pouring cheap clay kitty litter in the can around the elbow.** Place the lid on and now you have a rocket stove.

Step 4: The End

This is what it should look like. I made a tray to slide in to hold the sticks a little better, but that is totally optional. Now just add some sticks through the side and light them up, as the fire goes down just add more sticks. You can sit a pan above it and cook, or use it to create heat, it heats vey fast and can boil water in about 2 minutes. And feel free to use whatever materials that you have on hand, this design will work with anything you may have that is similar to the materials.

Comments

author
taras (author)2015-12-26

This is a great design! I would only suggest to toss your pieces into a fire before assembling them. This is to burn off the galvanized coating. All those pieces you used will have been galvanized. You don't want to be near any heated metal that has a galvanized coating on it as it off gasses and is poisonous. Look up Zinc Fever. Other than that, ingenious use of commonly accessible materials.

author
sharpstick (author)taras2016-01-05

Galvanizing is a coating of zinc, (a heavy metal not quite as toxic as lead) I doubt that putting it in a fire would remove it. The vaporization temperature is surely much higher than a small bonfire.

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PunchingJudy (author)sharpstick2016-05-09

Galvanization occurs at 840 °F (449 °C). Campfire temperatures generally average 1,571 °F.

Using galvanized metal is a bad idea.

author
spark master (author)sharpstick2016-01-05

these get intense almost blast furnace like. Use proper stuff no problemo. cost a tad more not a big deal!

author
spark master (author)taras2016-01-06

I wonder about the dangers. I know they are real, zinc poisoning is not uncommon in foundry workers and some welders, but according to some you need a lot of heat for a while to burn off the zincoplate.

My son't scout troop makes roasted turkey in garbage cans...all metal cans...zinco coated. The zinc coat must be gone and no one ever suffered an issue. But who knows.

Discretion is good and one can get "black iron" flue and elbows, from Ace or any good hardware shop. Cost about the same.

author
Southeast MiH (author)taras2015-12-28

Thats why I did a test burn in the video, burns of the galvanizing.

author
warriorethos2 (author)2016-02-14

Southeast MIH, this stove reminds me of the pot belly stove the military once used. They were basically the same and ran off wood or a drip fuel system. Drip fuel was very dangerous as many Soldiers burned their eye browse trying to light the stoves. I like the idea because it is good as an emergency stove or like a survival type of stove that can be loaded up in a vehicle and used outdoors. You can add bolts on the bottom of the can as you did on the top to help the can cool down quicker once your done. I also like the idea of the slide tray to help the wood/twigs burn better. You could probably find some caps for the top and side pipes and this way you can store the stove filled with twigs, sticks, moss, and matches so its all in a sealed kit. I will add this idea to my emergency/survival kit project folder for future builds. Good video and thanks for the metal sheer explanation. The military taught me about sheet metal work but they never said anything about the different types of metal sheers. Maybe the different sheers were invented after the 80's or the military just wanted us to make do with what we got? Good instructable!

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Rubberbando (author)2016-01-06

How hot dose it get in Fahrenheit

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SamN2 (author)Rubberbando2016-02-03

hot enough

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texdanl (author)2016-01-06

Zinc can make you sick...now say it s l o w l y, zinc CAN make you sick! Injesting too much of it may not be good for you. Now that that is out of the way lets deal with the reality as it applies to THIS project. A rocket stove gets HOT but it isn't hot like the temperatures involved in welding. I doubt that you could get that kind of heat short of installing a forced air system on it and in that case the interior pipe would melt down and the stove would collapse. For decades most water was delivered to your home in pipes that were galvanized (coated in Zinc). The chances of you encountering toxicity with this set up are very tiny. Nice IBLE I like this design. It is easy enough for even the challenged to manage. . I put vermiculite in mine but it was heavier made. Yours will probably benefit from the weight. By the way IF you are ever welding Galvanized metal you need to drink milk. It helps. I think it absorbs the zinc and helps with the headache. Been there done that more than once.

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SamN2 (author)texdanl2016-02-03

thanks for the tip. i never knew

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MikeD50 (author)2016-01-19

Nice project, well written :-) I might try it as substitute for my camping gas burner.

Please allow me 2 questions:
- Does it add any value to solder the parts together (--> more stable)?
- may rockwool be used as insulation (--> less weigth)?

Thanks
Mike

author
SamN2 (author)MikeD502016-02-03

solder melts because the stove gets reasonably soft. i would braze it or just leave it

author
steve.fenster.5 (author)2016-01-06

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/81-123/pdfs/0675.pdf

Why the silly arguments. Zn vapor, as ZnO can cause something called "Metal Fume Fever". Signs include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, chills, muscle pain, etc. It generally starts some hours after exposure and can last 24 hours. No long term effects are listed.

author
The Green Gentleman (author)2016-01-06

Zinc is not dangerous. Zinc is not dangerous. Zinc is not dangerous. It is not a toxic heavy metal, like lead. You need zinc to live. No zinc, you die. Zinc fumes can be a problem if you *boil* zinc. If you manage to boil zinc with this design, you're clearly working with a more forgiving set of the laws of thermodynamics than the rest of us. Now, say it again with me, everyone: "Zinc is not dangerous. Zinc is not dangerous. Zinc is not dangerous...." COME BACK ZINC!!!

author
LeithH (author)2016-01-05

Awesome Job - Simple and Effective. I am going to make with my 13 year old over the holidays!!

was thinking for the insulation you could use vehicle exhaust wrap in the Flue it adds to the build cost but would increase efficiency !!

author
joen (author)2016-01-05

Why not save the money and make the Rocket stove out of tin cans? Made with the appropriate sized cans it is not only free but it keeps the tin cans out of the landfills. I have made a lot of them from small backpack size to ones you can boil 5 gallons of water on. Pearlite alone is the best I have used so far. And I am sure we both agree it is fun to use natural fuel for making tea or cooking out doors which was my favorite use for them.

author
spark master (author)2016-01-05

Next one you makeuse black metal ungalvanized pipe/duct, (for stoves in the house). I made the error like you did and I have used it, but one day will remake it. Yours looks great. I humbly suggest NO pearlite/sand mixture, it is too heavy and conducts heat. I know it is used as insulation, but this is a device that perhaps you need/want a more efficient energy transfer as you are using small bits of wood. Some people use wood ash, it is light and fluffy and with a tight stove it lasts and lasts. I have no wood ash so I used fiberglass. It can stink the first few times of use as the oils burn off, but not a major health issue. Mine stopped after 1 burn.

Also consider a air shield kinda like the stove equavilent to a marksman's bloop tube. Make the sleeve so it goes 3/4 of the way up the pot. It begins just below the flame ring. It allows the heat to hug the walls of the pot and stops cross winds from affecting flame, literally blowing the heat away.

author
1964sauriol (author)2016-01-05

be very careful putting any dampened materials in a contained

heat system you will get steam....also why its dangerous to use old stovepipes that may have been left outdoors they can explode if the insulation inside is wet....fyi....

a

author
yrralguthrie (author)2016-01-05

" (HINT trace the outline of the elbow on a piece of paper, and cut it out to use as a template, it will conform to the shape of the can and be easier to trace on the can)."

True, but the hole won't be round.

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ConnorF9 (author)2016-01-05

I went to a Forties weekend and saw a similar design using a Calor Gas bottle I thought it was so cool and want to make one myself.

author
Chakazuluu (author)2016-01-05

Wouldn't it be better to use some sort of trivet so when cooking the pan or pot sits above the fire rather than sitting on the fire outlet....

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rejoyce57 (author)Chakazuluu2016-01-05

Excellent idea!

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svrider44224 (author)2016-01-05

Anyone that does this should be aware that once zinc, aka galvanizing, reaches a certain temperature it gives off highly toxic fumes.

Don't end up in the ER..it sucks.

Use this version in the great outdoors, and use non galvanized material for indoor use.

author
tvs13 (author)2015-12-29

Just a quick question for anyone who may know... Can you extend the top pipe to make an exhaust/chimney and use in a shed or garage?

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Southeast MiH (author)tvs132015-12-29

Yes sir, you can even make a larger version with a metal bucket or barrel to make more heat.

author
JamesC44 (author)2015-12-27

Great/simple idea! I definately am gonna add this to the "list"!

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Southeast MiH (author)JamesC442015-12-28

Awesome, let me know how it turns out.

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bobski_horner (author)2015-12-26

very simple design ,brilliant even!!

With the kitty litter ,if I remember that is bentonite clay ,my add on for you is to put a damp layer on the bottom of the tin @1/2 inch so your elbow rests on it, then fill up the tin to the lid with damp litter ,packed down,and light a small fire to dry it all out. This should retain more heat so giving you a hotter flame.

author

Thats a great idea, i will try that on the next one I make.

author

glad to help

author
taras (author)2015-12-26

You can also use Vermiculite insulation instead of kitty litter. If your gap tolerances are tight enough for kitty litter, then the vermiculite won't leak out either. It will end up being lighter in the end.

author
DylanD581 (author)2015-12-26

Great stove design. I like how it work using drafts instead of forced air from a motor. This is the simplest design I have seen, and it looks like it is just as effective as more complex designs. Instead of using kitten litter, could you use sand?

author
Southeast MiH (author)DylanD5812015-12-26

you can use sand, or whatever you have to insulate it with

author
bobski_horner (author)2015-12-26

very simple design ,brilliant even!!

With the kitty litter ,if I remember that is bentonite clay ,my add on for you is to put a damp layer on the bottom of the tin @1/2 inch so your elbow rests on it, then fill up the tin to the lid with damp litter ,packed down,and light a small fire to dry it all out. This should retain more heat so giving you a hotter flame.

author
Just4Fun Media (author)2015-12-25

Very interesting design! How long did it take to build?

Have a great day! :-)

author

About 30 minutes, I have a video going up on my YouTube channel, I will link to this

author
kchristensen6 (author)2015-12-24

i think you could also use down spout angles from your gutter. they are cheep and you could make a smaller one

author

Awsome idea, the sky is the limit

author
weldor (author)2015-12-24

This is one of the best ones i have seen yet. Your design is great because it is so simplle.
I am thinking that soup/juice cans could be used in place of the elbows if one was looking to go with all used stuff.

author
Southeast MiH (author)weldor2015-12-24

Soup cand can definitely be used, the will burn out alot quicker, this one I made for a gift so I wanted it to last. Im big on the recycle reuse aspect.

author
IsaacPierce (author)2015-12-24

Cool,

I like it. Nice job!!

author

thank you

author
DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2015-12-23

Great stove design. I like how you make it work using natural up drafts instead of forced air from a motor.

author

With the updraft it burns hotter and more efficient. I am making a larger more permanent version for my back yard, made out of cinder blocks, I will post that when its done.

author
lorellek (author)Southeast MiH2015-12-24

Ingenious! As an avid camper, I love it!

author
Southeast MiH (author)lorellek2015-12-24

Thank you

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Southeast MiH (author)2015-12-23

With the updraft it burns hotter and more efficient. I am making a larger more permanent version for my back yard, made out of cinder blocks, I will post that when its done.

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