Mini Camping Stove




About: I'm just a cool guy making cool things and doing cool stuff.

This is a project that started from NK5's Instructable. Then I saw benniblueyes's videos and I was hooked. Then I stumbled upon Zen Stoves and got a ton of ideas.

So now I present to you my "Sideburner Jet Stove." This stove is of my own design, a jet stove that you can use as a pot-stand itself. This stove is great if you want a lightweight stove or just to stay warm. (Just please don't use it in enclosed spaces, otherwise nasty carbon monoxide might get you.) I have entered this Instructable into the Stay Warn Contest, so please vote for me. ;)

This stove is a mix between an sideburner stove and a pressurized jet stove. Denatured alcohol is the preferred fuel, but rubbing alcohol may work. (Not tested) Denatured alcohol is commonly used for laquer thinner, and the yellow HEET is denatured alcohol. (Basically)

Step 1: Materials

This is a list of what you need to make this simple stove:
  • Three pop cans - One needs to be unopened.
  • A smallish screw
  • JB Weld - This stuff is awesome. You can use other high-temperature sealants, just make sure it can withstand 600 degrees Fahrenheit or more.
  • Scrap wood, 20mm high and a piece 30mm high.
  • Sand paper

You will also need a few tools:
  • Drill
  • Drill bit just a tad bigger that screw, or you can use one slightly smaller and actually screw the screw in.
  • Awl or other small, pointy object. (Like a needle)
  • Utility knife blade

Step 2: Cutting the Cans

The first step to making a good stove is doing a good job cutting the cans. If you want, you can sand off the paint on the cans t make it shiny and nice looking. These cans are stubborn, though, so I didn't sand them much.

Special note - aluminum cans have a sprayed on layer of heat-cured protective coating (inside and outside of can) that will slowly burn off over time. This will leave brown stains on and in your stove after use and will emit a toxic smelling vapor that may cause a burning sensation in the lungs and/or eyes of some people. Most people don't care or notice the burning smell, but some do. If you would like to avoid this altogether, remove the clear coating and paint from all parts with sandpaper, steel wool and/or SOS pads prior to assembly. - From ZenStoves

After that is done, get a piece of wood 30mm high and a utility knife blade. Put the can on a table and scribe a line around the can a couple times with the blade on the piece of wood. Then, push the blade into the can on the line and tear the can slowly along the line. You should get a perfect cut.

Now do the same with the other can, only this time, use the 20mm block.

Step 3: Jets

This step would probably be easier to do before you cut the can, but I forgot to do it.

Take the cut-off part of one of the cans and fit it inside the 30mm piece. It help if you crimp the edges of the cut-off part. Make sure you can get it off. After that, download either the PDF or Word Document template I got from ZenStoves and cut out the template with 24 lines. Attach this to the top of the 30mm piece with tape.

Now, take your needle or other small, sharp object and punch holes about 5mm down from the edge on the 30mm piece. The smaller the jet holes are, the more powerful the jets will be, possibly rusulting in greater efficiency.

Step 4: Fuel Port

Now that you have the jets made, we need to make a hole in the top to fill it with fuel.

Get a screw of the desired size (try to find one 6.35mm [1/4 inch]) and a drill bit to match it. If you want to actually twist the screw to put it in, find a drill bit slightly smaller.

In the center of the 30mm piece, drill a hole. It helps a lot if you make a small hole to start. Go slowly to prevent the bit from catching and ripping the hole really big and destroying it.

Step 5: Finishing Up

We are almost done here, except for the fact that our stove is still in two halves. We should fix that, otherwise our stove won't work. ;)

Get the unopened can and you 20mm piece. If you want you can make a dilator tool for future use. Take the bottom of the unopened can and push it into the 20mm piece. Be extremely careful to push it in perpindicular to the 20mm piece, if you are not, you might let the air out and get the piece permantly stuce on the can. Not good... :(

Do this untill you can fit the 30mm piece into the 20mm piece.

Step 6: Finish

If you weren't careful like me, you got your 20mm section stuck and had t cut it off. Don't worry, they will be sealed anyway.

Mix up some JB Weld or other sealant that can withstand 600 degrees or more and smear in on the inside of the 20mm section. Then carefully insert the 30mm section into it. Wait 24 hours or however long it takes your sealant to cure before testing.

This kind of alcohol stove needs to be preheated to get it started. Here's how to build a primer pan.

Step 7: Links

These are some links to helpful sites:

Note - I am in no way affilated with Zen Stoves, just a very satisfied DIYer. This Instructable deals with fire and is dangerous. Do this at your own risk, I am not responsible for what you do with it.



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    21 Discussions


    4 years ago on Step 6

    The problem with JB Weld is that it will only take 600 degrees and alcohol burns at around 800 degrees. So at some point the entire stove reaches temps over 600 degrees and the JB Weld breaks down. Personally, I gas weld the joint of all of my alcohol stoves (eBay item number: 221735174767).


    4 years ago on Step 4

    If you use a small punch to push in around your fill hole you can actually thread your screw in and make a better seal.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I use a over-sized empty can, bigger than the stove element, to simply place it over the element, so it suffocates the flames.. Mind you, it's NOT, I repeat NOT an instant extinguish! leave it covered for at least 10 seconds, to give the boiling alcohol time to cool off a little.. simply covering, then uncovering, will be asking for a flare-up. Someone asked a little further down how did it melt the copper penny... depends on if it was true copper, or the present-day copper-plated? the copper plated, are usually zinc (as much as 97% core is zinc, while the remaining 3% outer shell is pure copper.) and zinc has a low melting point.. 692.68 K, 419.53 °C, 787.15 °F .. Copper itself, is far higher.. 1357.77 K, 1084.62 °C, 1984.32 °F. .. Alcohol, dependent on the purity (% alcohol, opposed to water, and impurities) will burn at 600-900 °C, (1112-1652 °F, OR 873-1173 °K)

    I had one stove element melt the bottom of a small aluminum pot, so I would also add potential of acceleration of the air around the jets to the equation.. (though aluminum itself melts at 933.47 K, 660.32 °C, 1220.58 °F, mind you this was a thin walled aluminum pot, and the water I had in it, had boiled off completely.)


    7 years ago on Introduction

    You should show how to make the hybrid jet stove that is in the bottom right of the second picture.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    how exactly did it melt the penny? it would be fun to melt them and make metal castings like jewelry or figurines.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    It would be nice if you could use inches instead of metric measures for us American blokes! How about adding some USA numbers for us? Thanks Mate!


    10 years ago on Step 6

    You know u dont have to use jb weld at the time.... U can just krimp it or do it manually ... that's what i did and it a little funner

    4 replies

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    when you slide them in, instead of crimping (my dad told me too) you can boil a pot of water and stick one side in to make it expand and put the other in the freezer to make it contract. it works good!


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    or you can even use a guinness beer can for the top and a polar seltzer can for the bottom, they will slide together without any crimping stretching boiling or freezing.  Although a shim helps alot when sliding them together.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    just make sure you don't cover he one in water because u have to pick it up. 212 degreese ouch!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    A good way to prevent sticking is to lube up the 20mm with some vegetable oil or some cooking fat. Then it should slip right off after you stretch it.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    how odd thats how i got into this mini stove stuff too. and in the same order. weird