First off, to avoid any confusion I took a lot of inspirtation for this project from Wobbler's Mini Camping Brazier. However, I didn't have a container like that one, so I made this project from a soup can.
a portable metal receptacle for burning charcoal or coal, used for cooking, heating, etc.
from the French brasier, from braise 'live coals'"
The final product is portable, can burn charcoal and wood, and the materials for this project are about as close to free as you can get, I hope you like it!
Step 1: Materials
For this project, you'll need:
@ A Pocket Knife
@ 4 Machine Bolts or Screws, make sure that they have flat ends.
@ A Handful of Nuts, at least 4, more if you prefer.
@ A Nail, preferably the same width as your nails/bolts.
@ An Empty Soup Can (Or Larger, It's up to you.)
@ A Hammer
@ A Hacksaw (Optional, a Dremel would also work well, see step 4)
@ A Vice is very helpful, or some other gripping mechanism to hold the can steady.
Step 2: Preparation of the Can
To Prepare the can, first take off the top, and ingest the contents. Allow for digestion to begin. Then, wash out the can and cut off the labels. (I kind of cheated at this, I got a can that had been sitting in my backyard for a while...)
Now comes the Hard Part. First, you need 8-10 holes in the side of the can, preferably about an inch above the bottom of the can. I clamped the can into the vice, then made four holes, two pairs of two across from each other, to form an "X". Then, I made four more holes, halfway in between the first ones. It isn't too important that they're all on the same level so much as it does that there are enough to allow ample amounts of air to come in.
Now comes the Hard Part part 2. On the bottom of the can, make an "X" of four marks, equally distanced from each other. Then make four more marks, each one midway between two of the original four. On the bottom of many soup cans, there are 3 or so rings. I decided to make the air intake holes in between rings 1 and 2, and the leg holes in between rings 2 and 3. However, if I were to do this in the future, I would put the air intake holes inside ring one, to allow air to get to the center more than the sides, the sides are covered by the side holes. Additionally, for the leg holes, ring 3 was raised slightly above ring 2, making tightening the screw and getting it straight somewhat of a problem. I solved this by pushing the screw and nut into ring 3, making a dent and making things a bit easier.
Step 3: Adding Legs
I decided to add legs for a couple reasons. First, they would allow more air to get under the can, secondly, they reduce the fire hazard by keeping the can off the ground and further away from flammable stuff like grass, and reduce the chances for scorch marks on the surface it's used on. "Leave No Trace"
For this section, I found it easier to put the screws through the holes on the bottom by using a pair of needle-nose pliers, they also made tightening the nuts easier.
To begin, you'll need to put a screw through the holes on the bottom. If you made holes in between two different rings, I would suggest putting the screws through the outer set, to add some extra stability. Then, put a nut on the bottom of the screw, and tighten it as much as you can, so it is against the bottom of the can. Repeat this three more times.
Funny thing about this. I added the legs, and then only after adding them did I realize that Wobbler used the exact same leg idea. Go figure...
Step 4: Access Door (Optional)
This step is purely optional, and it's basically just cutting an access door in the side of the can. It makes loading in tinder easier, as well as lighting the fire. Again, there is a but. It is pretty flimsy, and begins to come off after too much opening and closing. It could in theory be reinforced with some foil tape, or cut in a different direction. (Easier to do with a dremel, not so much with a hacksaw.) Mine broke off after enough use, but it's not that bad, and it makes loading tinder easier. But, again, it's up to you.
If you choose to do this read on,
My door was about an inch and a half high, and 2 wide, and it seemed to work well. I made the "hinge" one of the vertical sides, just because it was easier to saw it that way. On the can are ridges and "valleys" or the spaces in between them. I started hacksawing in a valley about 1/3 of the way up the can, and used the curvature of the can to make it easier to cut the slit. I went about 8 ridges up and cut another slit, making sure that it was the same length as the other. The vertical slit was difficult, It wouldn't be so much so if I had a dremel... :( I don't really know how I did it, but I put a notch at the end of one of the slits, possibly by shoving a screwdriver there, or by trying unsuccessfully to use a key saw initially. However, after I got that, I just got a pair of scissors and cut up, which worked surprisingly well. From there I just pried it up and bent it back one or two times to get a good crease.
Step 5: Closing Remarks
I tested this out, and was sure that I had some pictures of some twigs burning merrily in it, but when I checked my camera, there was nothing! I will try to get some pictures of it in use, but until then, oh well.
Yet again, this project was done with all due respect to Wobbler's original Brazier. I just used different materials, and what I had on hand. Thanks!