Mini Camp Stove for a Few Dollars




Introduction: Mini Camp Stove for a Few Dollars

About: Sneakers, photography and more.

In this instructable I will show you how to make a miniature camping stove for a few bucks all I had to buy for this project was the fuel and it cost less than $2. You may have to buy a few other things for this project but most of it should be lying around.

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Step 1: Supplies

For this project you will need:
• 2 empty soda cans
• Fiberglass insulation (You can also use cotton balls of something like it)
• HEET or Denatured alcohol (This is the fuel)
• Scissors
• A razor blade
• A screw or penny
• A hammer
• A trimming nail (the small ones)
• A sharpie
And some sand paper

Step 2: Prepare the Cans

Start by washing out both of the empty soda cans. After that draw a line all the way around the cans with a sharpie. The lines should be about 1-2 inches high. I did this by putting my marker in a big book and holding down. Then I ran the can along the marker to draw the line. This way the line always stays the same distance.

Step 3: Cut the Cans

Next you need to cut the cans. It is pretty hard to get a good cut if you just try to cut at the line exactly so I started by using a razor blade to cut a big piece off the can to make it more manageable. After you cut off a big chunk of the can take the scissors and slowly cut it down to the line.

Step 4: Sanding

You don’t want a rough or jagged edge on the cans. Get some fairly low grit sandpaper and sand down the edges. This step can take a while so I used a hand sander with 120 grit sandpaper and put it in my vice. Then I turned it on and just held the can up to it for a few minutes. I did this to both cans.

Step 5: Making the Fuel Hole

Get one half of the can and mark the middle. Now use a drill or nail to punch a hole in the middle of it. You will fill the stove with fuel through this hole but it will stay covered while burning. If you want to plug the fuel hole with a screw be careful to the size of the hole so the screw won’t be too loose.

Step 6: Crimping the Can

Since the two Pieces of the can are the same size they won’t fit together. Take the piece of can you did not drill and pinch the top with the pliers give the pliers a quick twist. This should make a small fold in the can. Do this all the way around the can.

Step 7: Put It Together

Now fill the piece of the can you crimped with fiber glass. Pack it tight, you want a lot of it. Now put the can with the fiberglass in the other piece of can. It should be a very tight fit. Press VERY slowly to put the cans together. If you do it to fast the can could rip or fit together unevenly.

Step 8: Make the Jets

Now we need to make jets for the flames to come out of. Make eight marks evenly spaced around the can. Now take the trimming nail and hit it in to the mark with the hammer. Pull the nail out and do it to all eight marks.

Step 9: Lighting the Stove

To light the stove you will need to fill it with fuel (duh) fill the stove with 3 table spoons of your fuel. This should be enough to boil a pot of water. After the stove has been filled cover the fuel hole with a penny or a screw. After you fill it with fuel it gets a little trickier. In order to light the stove you need to pre-heat it. You can do this by holding a lighter under the can for a few minutes or lighting some of your fuel in a small tray and putting the can on it for about 45 seconds. Once the stove is pre-heated just hold a flame to one of the jets and it should light. You may need to light each jet individually.

Step 10: Use It!

To use it for anything you must make some sort of stand to put a pot on because if you put a pot on the stove it will go out.
That’s it please comment with any suggestions or questions!

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    4 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    like it. i have my own version of it a little less complicated it can burn for up to an half hour on a full tank and cooks a brawt in 10 -15 min. Should i make an instructable?


    8 years ago on Introduction

    frickin' drillpress with frickin' laser beams attached to it's frickin' head

    Must Have! Tell me how NOW!

    Sure I COULD probably figure out how to do it myself, but...

    by the way... nicely done stove
    Have you tried the "preheat by burning some fuel in the fill area?(spill a couple drops in the center there, and light)
    Getting these little buggers lit is usually the hardest part of the whole build.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the feedback. Actually the laser is built in to the drill press which is my favorite feature on the thing.

    Yes I have found the best way to light them is to just put a little heet in some sort of pan or tray and light it so you heat up the bottom of the can.

    I just took another soda can bottom and poked holes for ventilation in the side and
    set the stove on top.

    I have thought about building the heating tray into the can but haven't tried it yet.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Thats why other builders often suggest to use a primer-pan for starting like the autor did already.
    Simply put the stove on a small plate (or piece of foil or the cut-off-head of a beancan or whatever) and but a few drops in there.
    That will work much better than the burning ontop since the ontop-burning lets the head almost completely escape. If you fire it from below the stove, you get the stove to running-temperature with almost no additional alcohol at all.

    Just my 2 cents... ;)