How to Make a Mini Stove (penny Stove)




This instructable will teach you how to make a very nice but simple and cheap mini stove or as some people call it penny stove as you can see the blue flames that means it is as effecient as it can be .

Step 1: Materials

Here are the materials you will need for this experiment

Denatured alcohol (found at your local hardware store)
A piece of wood
Sand paper (optional)
Thumb tack
2 empty aluminum cans (I used beer cans)
A flat surface
Fiberglass or better known as insulation

Step 2: Score (partially Cut) the Bottles

put the knife on your piece of wood and on the side of the blade make the side of the can touch the knife then turn the can at least 1 turn around with slight pressure against the knife.

Step 3: Cut the Cans With the Scissors

Take your scissors and stick them through your can above the score line you made earlier with your knife and angle them downwards and cut on the score line you made on your can.

Step 4: Cut a Notch in the Can

cut a notch in the bottom of the can you just cut out make it about half way down and 1 fourth of an inch wide and just bend it down into the inside of the can.

Step 5: Put the Fiber Glass (insulation) Inside the Part With the Notch

take a small amount of fiber glass or better known as insulation and fill up the part that you cut out that has a notch in it.

Step 6: Put It Together

Put the part without the fiberglass in it over the other piece make shure it fits snug because you wont be needing to take it apart thanks to the holes we are about to put in the middle.

Step 7: Poke Some Holes in It

Take your thumbtack and put 4 wholes in the bottom of the indent on the top ( the second part you put on to put it together).

Step 8: Now Put Some More Holes in It

Now poke 8 holes on the top as seen in the picture below.

Step 9: Fuel It Up!

Just put some of your denatured alcohol and fill up the indent two times for the first use to let the fiberglass soak it up for all other uses just fill it up once also throw some on the ground to light so it heats it up or else it wont work because you need to make the alcohol gasses expand inside to come out the holes to get oxygen for those of you who are wondering why so just remember use common sense and be careful ,enjoy!



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    17 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    The 'element' I have, is a opened top (totally open,) with a strip (side of the can, cut a little shorter) sitting between the ribs of the two bottoms (I've since revised the design, using just a single can, and the top is opened around the center.).. this strip acts as a catalyst, carrying heat from the top down to the alcohol in the bottom, to keep it boiling. The hard part, is getting the can halves to fit together.. (either you split the side of the outside, or crush the inner section.) (yes, I have seen the methods of stretching the outside..)


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Worse case, if you don't want it burning any longer, I've found putting a can or even a coffee mug (larger diameter, Obviously) over the stove element, and closing off any air to get to it, for about a good minute.. I've done this with a little 'Portable Espresso' set I have, with one of these beer-can elements. just like using a snuffer to put out a candle. (which caps the wick to the top of the candle for a few seconds. The reason I say for a minute, obvious, the alcohol is still boiling, and the top of the element is still very hot. this will give the top time to cool.. I do, however, suggest against drinking from the cup until you've had a chance to rinse it out. (denatured Alcohol will kill you if you ingest it!) Even though you've put the flame out, the alcohol is still boiling.. Guess where it will condense?


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    These don't burn for very long so either you can let it burn out, or you can suffocate it.


    7 years ago on Step 9

    I stayed in an old musterers hut recently and was getting low on fuel. I had a look around the hut and found a soda bottle with a tawny colored liquid in it. I took a sniff and it was whiskey. My partner said it wouldn't burn as it was less than 60% alcohol (only 40%) but as there was still some fuel (methylated spirits) in the can, it burnt OK.

    My can is a different design - a pepsi stove which is open and has a double skin and no insulation. But I'd like to give this one a go as it looks easy. Hope it is.

    2 replies

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction


    It was the classic pepsi stove design that's already on the net.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    i think that i know what kind of design your talking about ive tried one of those they are kind of complicated thats why i made this instructable because after trial and error and then making my own designs i found that this one was so simple its perfect for a beginner or someone who doesnt have alot of time experience or supplies\tools to make one that is more complicated anyways you should make an instructable on your design i hope you do and look forward to seeing it if you make one please send me a message letting me know so


    7 years ago on Step 4

    Dude, how many of these burners do you have?!? I can see like, 5 of them in the back of the picture. Thats awesome...

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    i have like 30 some ha i just liked to make a whole bunch glad your interested in this instructable


    9 years ago on Step 9

    dude, please don't tell people to "also throw some on the ground", that's just way too dangerous :) Instead, why not use a tuna can or a windshield made from a large tin can as a pre-heating cup (you do need some kind of windshield to use this outdoors). Otherwise that's a nice instructable and really simple to do.

    2 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    A primer is the word you are looking for. Primer pans need fuel to burn for 30 seconds or more. That is typically 10-20 drops of alcohol. I used to try making these with 70% alcohol, yesterday I picked up a quart of 91% alcohol from walgreens and it made a HUGE (!!!) difference. 70% wouldn't work in pressurized stoves, only open vents.


    Reply 8 years ago on Step 9

    i made one of these today, and used 70% alcohol, it took a heating the bottom of the stove up for about 30 seconds, enough to make some of the alcohol splash out, then once i lit the top it burned steady for over 15 minutes with a nice blue flame. I think using a higher grade may have made it easier to start, but once it got going it stayed lit.

    a penny stove you still need to have a fire around the stove.the fire heats up the stove turning the denatured alcohol into a gas, which lights on fire. the penny just regulates the pressure inside the stove. another way you can do it, which a company made, is make the stove really thin, and fill it up until it is over the whole in the middle. just light the alcohol and you have a stove.


    8 years ago on Step 9

    also, just to clarify, this doesn't seem to be quite the same as the 'penny stove' that is known as such...which uses a penny to create pressure within the stove, which makes it so you don't have to start a big fire around the stove to get it going.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

     well yes you can, but depending on what kind of fuel you use you can experiment with different kinds of fuel a clean burning one would probably work. i know that you can use heet. im not sure what it is i think it might be a starter fluid or antifreeze