Yet Another Penny Stove- Super Simple Mix




About: Down and out in Christchurch NZ doing not much in our post earthquake city. Puppy Linux!!! fav band, Skinny Puppy. I hold a Post Grad Degree in Computer Science with Electrical engineering, Computer hardwar...

After the earthquakes in Christchurch I became a little "survival", camper van with solar pannels, rocket fires and of course the penny stove.

Some of our locals were cooking on car bonnets over an open fire in the back yard..

I have fumbled around making these a few times and have come up with a new method to share.

This make it easy and nearly fool proof, construction time is less than a few minutes.

Step 1: Prep, Tools and Materials

All that is needed for this is two cans (preferably the same), a pair of scissors, a blade and a dart.

Step 2: Rough Cuts.

Use the scissors to roughly cut one can, leave it tall.

Step 3: Make a Flange.

This step isnt really necessary but I have included it.

Use the base of the second can to make a flange on the first can by inserting it on an angle and using twisting motion..

Step 4: Cut the Base.

Again use the scissors to cut the second can, this will set the height of the stove.

No exact measurements from me so a little trial by error is in order.

*HINT, keep it short or you will have trouble in the next step but no so short that the two can bases will coinscide whenpressed together...

Step 5: Jam the Cans..

This is the cool bit, the IP.

There is a trick of making a coin go through a hole in paper that is smaller than the coin, this is the same principal.

Place the short can fully inside of the tall can at an angle and while it is in there, straighten it up.

If the short can is too tall this causes flaws like crimping of the inner can and these can tear the outer cans sides.

If you get it right the inner can may not easily press down as there is an airlock inside, no problem once the first hole is punched you will recieve a satisfying puff of air and then it is easy to press home.

Step 6: Tidy UP.

Rough cut the tall can to suit the inner base with scissors then make a clean flush cut with the blade.

Step 7: Use the Dart.

Use the dart to punch holes as per penny stove.

I like a slow burn so tend to go for 8 holes plus the middle filler hole.

Step 8: Time for a Cuppa.

You can use as is or tidy up the rough edges with some fine sandpaper.

As noted im after a slow burn so I am playing with using a rivet as a plug for the filler hole to stop it burning from there..


Richard aka 'Joe_Doorman'

Step 9:

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26 Discussions

spark master

3 years ago on Introduction

Yet another in-Can-tion of the penny stove sans le cent ! (I used a self tapping wingnut screw instead of the penny on miner)

Got the bug for spirit stoves, go to <>, there is also an Italian site, sorry can't remember the url.

And for DavidB64 , it uses methyl alcohol or spirit. NEVER use any other fuel. Ethyl could be used, but is so expensive it is silly.

The use of other fuels like Gasoline , will explode and cover you in burning fule, blinding you and burning you alive while your scream in agony!

yep a no go on gasoline is in order

Sources for alcohol include paint stores, gasline anti freeze, , Heet is a popular one use the yellow bottle. The red bottle is isopropyl alcohol and should never be used. Isopropyl alcohol will soot up, stink and soot up everything.

DavidB64 is right though telling the fuel and a pot stand concept is very importan, and what size pot/pan/cup etc and perhaps what you cooked with it! Other than boiling water for tea, although in a crisis add more tea to the pot!

11 replies
Wazzupdocspark master

Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

Did an interesting experiment with various alcohols. The longer then carbon chain, the more energy produced, resulting in decreased boil times for a fixed volume of water. Methanol (1 carbon) took longest. Ethanol (Everclear 190 proof, 2 carbons) a little better. Didn't have any butanol (4 carbs), but iso-propanol (rubbing alcohol. 90%, 5-carbons) was best of readily available alcohols.

Great. Im wanting to do some analysis on the designs, say 20ml of fuel and with 1 liter of water in a standard pot. Let it run down and measure the final temprature.

Our 'meths' is $5.65 a liter in NZ dollars, not cheap, and if you are in true emergency conditions you dont want to waste it.

Unless they changed the law, NZ is the only country in the world that allows resident to legally distill alcohol. You can jusy make the stuff, it can be a mix of spirits as you will burn it. considfer it, it is doable. Grains make purer ethanol (drinkable spirit), fruits make a higher % of methanol with the ethanol.

check around you can find the laws and the still plans!, All other countries , (unless they have changed from 5 yeays back), do not legally allow people to make their oewn booze. Wine and Beer, Cider and Neade sure, but not spirits.

Wazzupdocspark master

Reply 3 years ago

Better to drink it. Ethanol (ETOH) only has 2 carbons and Methanol is toxic (don"t drink it). ISO has 3 carbons (more energy, poison, don"t drink it) and is relatively cheap for a short-term survival stove. The more carbons you add to the alcohol chain, the more energy produced in combustion. Octanol is almost gasoline (petrol).

Any suggestions on 'cutting' the alcohol? I have tried to mix it with a %age of canola oil. Oil isnt missable in meth but if you shake it up...

Idea is to use the alcohol as a pre heat/vaporise for the oil and to keep it burning.

I haven't tried "diluting" iso. I have tried using hand sanitizer gel (ETOH) with hexamine saturated into it. Hexamine is the solid fuel used in solid fuel stoves like the Esbit. Haven't tested the burn to temp time, but it dissolves nicely and ignites readily. Check out Hexamine in the Merck Index. Great ref BTW. Worth the salt.

spark masterWazzupdoc

Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

Every place I have read about them (for many years now, over 8) iso alky makes soot, and stinks, but perhaps there are differences in additives from maker to maker. I agree that Everclear is better, the alky tax in the usa makes that ludicrous to use. meth spirit is cheap enough, non explosive and gets the job done. If you have acess to a NASCAR fuel seller, they run meths (pure) as additive and is way cheaper then my method (HEET, Yellow bottle).

If you are going to soot a pot, then burn wood. And if times are tough you may need to so build a Rocket stove as well.

Thanks fer the reply though I disagree on what is usable. As far as butanol, is that even available? These are things you can put together fast and fuel is easy to get. It the stinky brown stuff hits the whirley bird thing I would use isopropyl, but absolute last resort only

I have only found that the stove 'stinks' when it is running rich ie the fuel isnt burning efficently.

Beyond the actual stink of the fuel itself that is..

And the taste, it gets onto your hands so becarefull to clean after filling.

I have also found that the taste can get into your food, seems that the alcohol is very fond of water and will leach into it.

Getting them to burn properly helps here no end.

If you are concerned about the apocalypse,
maybe building a stil and brewing your own fuel is the best option,
along with some bio diesel for the truck..

My latest is made from 1
liter beer cans for a little more girth, it is fantastic, slightly hard
to start but I can rest the teapot directly on to and its more stable
than the normal sized cans.

It doesnt use the pop rivet or a penny.

Besides the tea pot, I also fry on them..

using a syringe to fill as you can be very accurate with fuel supply
this way. Possibly you can get away without the filler hole like this by
injecting into one of the jets.

Will update with new photo of the max sized can and a new, easier method of building..

Stay tuned.

I woulkd lkove to see the thing sounds very very cool. I read a good part of "the Pentagons Brain" story of Darpa. read the first 30 or so pages. Then relax you won't feel a thing if the nukes fly. I am thinking more along the line of natural disasters.

The hole is for fuel filling, its annoying too. I have been playing with smaller jets for a pressurizer stove but the filler will always leak even with a penny or rivet plug, its a big hole otherwise its very slow to fill.

Thinking of making a 'one use' penny which is pre-filled at construction and has no filler hole..

A screw of some sort would be good.
Maybe a large screw for the filler hole.
One of those crew in plugs for an electrical conduit box would be cheap enough.

Pem is the wrong word, maybe a rivnut, they use them in sheetmetal inserted like a pop rivet but its a nut..


3 years ago on Step 9

A bit more info is needed. What kin of fuel should be used, how's it filled, how to seta pot on it. As s the time spent watching its wasted.

2 replies

Plenty of info on the net, we have methylated spirits over here (denatured alcohol), kerosene should work, this 'turgo' stuff I was given would probably explode in a pressurizer, DONT USE PETROL!!!!

I put this build up as its an 'easy to make' method..



Reply 3 years ago on Step 9

HEET automotive water remover works great. Or any kind of alcohol.