Introduction: Johan's Favourite Alcohol Stove: One-Can Sideburner

Johan's Favourite Alcohol Stove : One-Can Sideburner (No Pot Stand)

This stove uses only one can and needs no pot stand.
The design transfers a lot of heat into the pot and not around it.
On taller cans, you have plenty of material left from the middle of the can to create some sort of windscreen.

The design can be further refined by adding a proper internal wall and drilling jets. On pressurised topburner can stoves, I usually make 24 jets in a 2:1 pattern, using a drill with a sewing needle as a bit.

This is not my design, I wish it was. It is based on the
Garlington YACC Stove ("Yet Another Coke Can Stove").
Here is my way of making it.

Step 1: Tools and Materials

Drinks can (I like Dr Pepper)
Utility knife
Rounded file
Stack of coins (an even number) taped together to measure 1.5 inches tall [UK 2p x 20]
Small, sharp scissors
Cutting mat or graph paper with large grid
Large flat blade screwdriver

Step 2: Cut Out the Top of the Can.

Score around with the utility knife, the more times the better.
Cut out the top through the score line, slowly and carefully.

Step 3: Neaten the Top Opening.

File away any burrs.
Roll a smooth screwdriver around the opening to roll the edge a little and make it even neater!

Step 4: Mark the Top and Bottom Stove Sections.

With the can upside down:
Place a utility blade (facing away) on top of the coin stack.
Hold the blade down and turn the can.
Score twice around the can in this way.

Repeat using half the coins (3/4 inch stack) to mark around the bottom of the can.

Step 5: Cut Out the Top and Bottom Stove Sections.

1. Roughly cut out the top and bottom stove sections.
Leave as much as possible of the middle of the can if you want to use it to make a windscreen later.

2. Cut exactly along the score lines with the scissors.
You should find that the scissors will glide around the groove easily.

3. Now give both parts a good rinse!

Step 6: Make 16 Slits in the Stove Top Section (jet Grooves).

1. I used to grid on the cutting mat to easily judge how to divide the stove top into 16 even sections.
Use the Sharpie to mark them.

2. Use the stack of coins (remove coins as necessary) and the Sharpie, rotating as before:
Mark a line 1/8 inch down from the shoulder (bend) of the top section.
It can be a little more than 1/8, but no less.

3. Cut a slit at each mark, up to but not past the line.

Step 7: Assemble Your New Stove.

1. Stove top: Bend each tab slightly forward of the one on its left.

2. Push the stove top into the stove bottom almost as far as the line.
At this point, the top of the slits may kink, making sharp corners that could tear the bottom section.
Use the flat screwdriver to flatten these kinks. Use an up-and-down and side-to-side rocking action. Go round and round the can until the top sinks into the bottom with no creases.

Now you should not be able to see any of the slits sticking out of the bottom section.
The bottom of the tabs should seat firmly in the groove around the dome in the stove bottom.

3. Tension will want to spring the two sections apart until the stove is first used, when the heat will temper it. I put a heavy tin of spare change on top for a few hours/overnight.

Step 8: How to Use

Indoor (Kitchen Sink) Test

One tablespoon (15ml) of methylated spirits (denatured alcohol) will easily boil one cup (250ml) of very cold water.

1. Put the alcohol into the centre of the stove.
2. Light it!
3. In just a few seconds, a ring of blue flame will appear where the top and bottom sections meet.
4. Put the pot of water on top (4 inch diameter or greater is best).
5. Wait 5 - 5.5 mins to boil; 7.5 - 8 mins to burn out the fuel (YMMV).

Step 9: Troubleshooting


If any of the slits are visible above the seam, the stove may flare too much or spit out drops of burning fuel. Push the top further into the bottom. If it will not go, cut it a little shorter so that it will, hiding all the slits from view.

If there is not enough flame, you need to lengthen the slits so they are hiding just below the seam.
Please see the Garlington link below for more tips.

If you split the bottom section during assembly, you will need to make another one!


Please check out:
Johan J Shaw's Blog, where there will be more making and modding stuff linked up to here.
and my YouTube channel.

I will publish a follow-up when I try the refined version with internal wall and jet holes. Thank you for your interest!