How to Build an Amazing Hobo Stove




Introduction: How to Build an Amazing Hobo Stove

This tin can stove has proven itself. It has boiled water, cooked hot dogs and roasted marshmallows. It has a design that is simple, easy to build, extremely low cost, and original. This hobo stove is bound to light up your world.

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Step 1: Gather Materials

  • 1 No. 10 Can
  • 1 No. 2 tall can
  • A 4 inch square of wire mesh
  • 4 small screws
  • A drill
  • About 2 feet of wire (we used a straightened coat hanger)
  • Tin Snips
  • (Optional) Can opener
  • (Optional) Wood chips or pellets for fuel, as well as newspaper and matches.

Step 2: Start With the No. 10 Can

First off, remove the bottom of the can. Using the can opener is easiest, but it also works to drill a hole in the bottom with the drill and then cut around the edge with the snips. The next step is to cut holes for air flow. In the bottom, cut out four equally spaced rectangles each about 1/8th of the the total circumference. For the top, do the same but leave "flaps". These can then be used to monitor air flow, by closing or opening them. The last step is to take the drill and drill four holes in the can. These holes should line about with where, near the top of the can, the corrugated sides meets the smoother top 2 inches (or so) of the can. Be sure these are exactly the same distance apart and are all level.

Step 3: Move to the No. 2 Tall Can

This can will hold all the fuel, and the No. 10 can is there both to support the weight of a camping pot, and the suspense this can to greatly increase air flow. Again, remove the bottom of the can. Cut inch long slits all the way around the bottom of the can. Flay the bottom. Next, drill the 4 screws about half an inch above the slits. Drill them equal distances apart. Take the mesh and cut it into a circle that will fit well tightly into the can. Push it down in and rest it on the screws. If more support is needed, try doubling up on the mesh, or drilling more screws. This mesh is what the wood will rest on. Finally, drill 4 equi-distant holes about an inch from the top of the can. From here, you can drill more holes to increase air flow as we did, but it is not necessary.

Step 4: Put It Together!

Lower the No.2 can into the No. 10 can, and line up the drilled holes. Take the wire, cut it into 2 pieces, and thread these through both cans perpendicularly to each other. Bend the ends of the wire to avoid sliding. The inner can should be suspended above the ground. If so, then Viola! Your stove is done! To us, first fill the inner can with desired amount of fuel (if using a more compact fuel such as wood pellets, be sure to leave a hole down to the mesh, or else the wood itself will stifle the kindling, and prevent itself from lighting. Put as much newspaper/kindling/birchbark underneath the stove as you want, put your campfire pot on top, and wait for your water to boil.

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    3 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    This is a great tutorial! I built a few of these when I was a boy scout. Nice work.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    wow!!!!!1!!!!!! this is so great! now i can be a real hobo, thx for the tips!