Introduction: Improved Soda Can Stove
The traditional stove takes a long time to heat up before it builds pressure to make a nice burner ring. The capillary version of the stove heats up and produces a ring of flames within seconds. In the picture the one on the left is a regular one and the one on the right is the improved design, this was after a few seconds you can see the one on the right gets to operating pressure much quicker..
With only a few slight modifications it makes the soda can stove works much better.
Also I experimented with the size of the burner holes:
- 1/16 holes makes a larger burner but reduces burn time
- 1/32 holes makes a slightly smaller burner but has higher pressure
Step 1: Materials and Tools
- Utility knife with a sharp blade
- Utility knife blades (ones with a hook are ideal but not necessary)
- Wood Blocks cut to different heights
- Metal Tape
- Old Scissors
- Sharpie marker
- Triangle file or something with a pointed edge
- 2 pop/soda cans
- Denatured alcohol or methyl hydrate
- Drill and 1/32 or 1/16 drill bit or thumb tack
Step 2: Make a Cutter
Making these simple cutters will simplify the cutting of the cans. You can also just use scissors but if you are making a few stoves than this is much faster and easier.
All they are is blocks of wood cut to be the correct height of each part of the soda can stove and a utility knife blade screwed to the top.
The heights are:
- Top and bottom 3/4"
- Inside Wall 1 1/2"
- Spacer 1 1/4"
Step 3: Cut Out the Parts
Inside Wall of Stove:
Cut off the top rim of one can so it is open at the top using the the 1 1/2" and 1 1/4" blocks of wood so you have a 1/4" difference, see the pic. Rotate and score the can with the blade, do this several times to get a nice deep score, you don't have to cut all the way through. You can push around where the score was made and the top will separate from the can.
Using the 1 1/2" block of wood score around the can with the open face down. Again push around the score mark to separate.
Top of Stove:
Using a sharp utility knife, cut the concave bottom out of the second can. This is done by rotating and scoring with the blade at the same time, see the pic and video for exactly how to do it. You will need to score the aluminum a few times around and you should be able to push the bottom into the can. Don't force it or you may cut yourself or ruin the can.
Now using the 3/4" block of wood, score the can all the way around, keep scoring until it almost cuts through the can. You can then just push around where the can was scored and it will separate.
Bottom of Stove:
Using the 3/4" block of wood, score the first can around the bottom. Again push to separate.
Step 4: Inside Capillary Wall
The inside wall needs to have creases added so it will fit inside the other parts and so the alcohol can wick up the stove. Using the edge of a file, put creases all the way around, first add one on each side then add creases between each of the first creases continue until you have 16 creases. Using an old pair of scissors, cut 1/4" cuts at the bottom of the creases and then bend them inward. It should fit nicely into the top and bottom of the other parts.
Step 5: Burner Holes
Drill some holes with a 1/32 or 1/16 drill bit in the top ring of the stove. The size of the holes will dictate how large the flames are. Also you can poke holes with a large needle or thumbtack if you don't have a drill.
Step 6: Assembly of the Stove
There are now three parts, a top ring, a bottom and an inside creased wall. Put the inside wall into the bottom then put the top ring on and squeeze the stove together, it should have a tight fit.
Using some metal tape, cut a thin piece that will wrap around the circumference of the can and tape the two hales together, then using a wider piece put that over the thin strip to ensure a leak free seal. The stove is complete!
Step 7: Finished and Test Burn
Using some denatured alcohol or methyl hydrate as your fuel source pour around 20ml into the middle of the stove. Using a long bbq lighter light the inside of the stove. Be careful not to spill any alcohol as it burns with a clear flame in daylight.
Step 8: Video
Here is a video of a comparison of the two versions of the stoves and building process.
tetkoba's Alcohol Stove Addict channel: