Metal Can (T-Shirt) Heater - Rolled Wick Heater - SHTF/Survival Heater




About: hi there. on this instructable channel i'll be covering all types of DIY solar power projects (as well as off-grid/survival/green living projects) that are easy to make out of readily available products and ...

in this instructable i'll show you how i make metal can t-shirt heaters

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Step 1: Watch the Instructional Video...

Step 2: Read the Description...

Homemade Air Heater. The Metal Can T-Shirt Heater. Easy DIY. Simple "rolled wick" heater. lots of heat. burns for hours (per fill-up). uses no electricity. good for any off-grid or grid down situation. (power outage, SHTF, camping) or everyday use. fueled by 70% isopropyl alcohol. burns smooth and clean. small cans burn 1.5-2hrs per fill up. large can burned for over 3hrs. minimal maintenance: just trim wick occasionally. great re-use of old cotton t-shirts. *note: the rolling together of the cotton strips allows the fuel to "wick up" evenly (for a long smooth burn). *just stuffing half a t-shirt in the can will produce an uneven burn and immediate singeing (blackening) of the wick.

Step 3: To Start: Gather the Items...

1.) one or more old 100% cotton white t-shirts (used to make the wick)

2.) empty metal/steel food cans (i use smaller and medium size ones)

3.) 70% isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol). burns smooth, quiet and odor free

4.) a lighter or matches

5.) scissors

Step 4: Cut T-shirt Into Strips...

lay out t-shirt and cut it into strips. the width of each strip should be roughly the height of the can you are going to use.

Step 5: Roll It Up and Place in Can...

roll it up and place it in the can. depending on the width of the can, you may need to roll 2 or more strips together. when the diameter of the wick is just slightly small than the diameter of the can, place it in the can. it should fit snugly but not too tight.

Step 6: Make Several If You Want To...

this one is a little shorter and fatter than the first one

Step 7: Add the Alcohol...

when you've got them made, add the alcohol.

Step 8: Now Light It Up...

Step 9: Stay Warm...

these will burn for hours. note: as with candles or alcohol lamps etc... never leave these unattended while using them. occasionally the edges of the wick may blacken. when this happens just trim off the burnt part (see pics above)

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    6 Discussions


    7 months ago on Step 9

    Hey, great job! Can you tell how much alcohol used for 2,5-3 hours ?


    1 year ago

    Good idea. I can see this being handy in a number of different situations.
    How do you put them out? If you need to extinguish them before they expire on their own. And it looks like the cans don't get too hot, because the labels on those cans don't appear burnt.

    3 replies

    Reply 1 year ago

    hi there and thanks. to put them out you just blow them out. or you could cover them with a metal pan


    Reply 1 year ago

    Oh okay, Thanks. They seemed like they'd be hard to blow out, but that's great if that's all it takes. Thanks for letting me know and replying so quickly.


    Reply 1 year ago

    yep, they're easy to blow out. (at the very end of the video i blow one out and set it on the table)


    2 years ago

    Good going! May try it Camping