My Alcohol stove with windscreen

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My Alcohol stove with windscreen

Post by Woods Walker » Sun Jun 03, 2007 11:11 pm

Alcohol stove with windscreen.

I have built a good number of alcohol stoves. After testing them out here is what I settled on for my favorite. The standard Pepsi can stove with Aluminum flashing windscreen. I use tent stakes for a pot support. Here is the link with instructions on how to build the burner.

http://www.pcthiker.com/pages/gear/pepsistove.shtml

The whole system packs down small and weights in at under 2.5oz complete.

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Calling it a Pepsi can stove is not being 100% fair to the Irish beer can that is used for the bottom. It appears that the Irish beer can is just a very tiny bit smaller than the soda can. This allows me the slide the cans together and connect them without any expansion slits in the Pepsi can top section. I put a bead of hi temp epoxy around the lip of the Irish beer can before slipping both cans together. Than for good measure I place a bead of the same Hi temp JB weld over the newly created lip. No real reason for doing this. The inner wall ring is connected with JB weld. Unlike the Pepsi can instructions I use material from a 24 oz Arizona Ice Tea can to construct the inner wall ring. This is done as the aluminum stock from these cans are thicker than the Pepsi can or Irish beer can. Stronger inner ring makes for a stronger stove. But you can use stock cut from the Pepsi too. I also put JB weld underneath the top grove that the inner wall fits into. The combo of all these things keeps air from being sucked into the inner wall turning the clean blue alcohol combustion into a more reddish flame.

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The fuel intake is controlled by 3 holes or notches in the bottom of the inner wall created with a hole punch. Guessing that two would be enough but have settled on 3. I have tried various hole sizes and numbers for the burner and have came to the conclusion that 24-28 small holes burn the cleanest and most efficient. Do I have hard-core scientific data to back this up? No but than again it is only a stove.

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The windscreen and pot support is one of the most important aspects of any alcohol stove. Darn important factor in most other camp stoves too. One thing I don’t like about side burning stoves is that people tend to use the stove as a pot support. A soda can is a tinny pot support any way you cut it. Other times they try to add wire to the stove or push 3 tent pegs into the ground for a pot support. Better but these methods are not ideal in my view. Why not just combine the two? Have the tent pegs be supported by the windscreen and than use the windscreen to support everything. Air intake is provided by either holes drilled into the aluminum flashing or groves cut into the bottom. I have shortened the high of the windscreen from my earlier design. Reduced it from 6 inches to between 3-4 depending on factors like cook pot size and my general mood at the time. A shorter windscreen is a bit less efficient but this offers a few important advantages. First and foremost the cook pot handle gets a bit less hot. Second being smaller pack size. Not going to add reduced weight, as we would be taking about grams and that is just silly. A grove is cut into the top of the windscreen so cook pot handles will not get hung up on the lip. The tent peg support holes are drilled to support the pot about ¾ of an inch above the burner. Don’t know the optimal height for this but thinking anything less than 1.5 inches is good to go.

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The width of the pot support depends on your cook pot. I made this one to work with all my small pots and metal cups including the MSR, Snowpeak and USGI canteen cup. Here is the stove complete with a USGI canteen cup.

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This may not be the perfect Alcohol stove set up. But it has worked best for me. I use this all the time with my daypack for cooking and boiling up some coffee. If done right it can get a rolling boil with most small cookpots/canteen cups in under 6 minutes. One big pro of the top ported stoves over the side port models is the easy addition of a simmer ring. I will update this thread with photos of that after it is reworked. These stoves can be made for very little money and like most projects the feeling of accomplishment and fun from building something your self is well worth the time and effort.
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Post by Gregoriev » Mon Jun 04, 2007 12:15 am

Nice write up!

now I HAVE to make one of these...
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Post by JRod » Sat Jun 30, 2007 2:31 pm

Thanks Woods Walker. Your threads are always a win. :)
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Post by Woods Walker » Sat Jun 30, 2007 11:20 pm

Thank you. My digital camera is DOA so I have had to hold off on new threads for now.
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Post by Gunny » Sun Jul 01, 2007 12:02 am

Keep it up woods, your posts are always a good read.

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Post by ninja-elbow » Sun Jul 01, 2007 4:18 pm

I was messing around in the garage after you posted this and tried to build one of these using your linked instructions. It works, but I'm gonna' do a few more before I consider mine trustworthy. :shock:
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Post by urotu » Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:05 pm

I know this is a long dead thread, but after trying the link, and searching here I couldn't find more info on building one.

I was hoping you might have more info on building the burner itself, what a great idea. Also, what did you use for the windscreen?

I did find a Wiki page, but nothing great on building, besides, I was hoping you had moer on that simmer ring.

I know, I'm a noob, and my search fu is weak, but WW, you have some seriously rockin' threads.
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Post by Milkboot » Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:28 pm

Here is one LINK real quick that I was able to find, I have not made that kind of stove yet, I have a the more traditonal "pepsi can"

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Post by Biff » Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:30 pm

...
Last edited by Biff on Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by urotu » Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:37 pm

Milkboot wrote:Here is one LINK real quick that I was able to find, I have not made that kind of stove yet, I have a the more traditonal "pepsi can"
Thanks man, that's what I was looking for. I appreciate it.

And more great Links Biff, coolness. I knew something would show up.
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Post by Woods Walker » Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:45 pm

Sorry about the dead link in my original post. That was the standard instructions used at the time. The Zen stove link posted is nearly the same stove. But the original instructions calls for an Irish bear can bottom as it mates with the Pepsi can section used for the top easier. Also it calls for JB weld to hold the inner wall together. I like this better than locking the slits together.

I used Al flashing for the wind screen. I think it is this stuff if I remember. Still have the same roll from years ago.

http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=p ... lpage=none

The stove I used differs from Biff’s very well done model. Mine has an inner ring and is self priming. His stove is more pressurized and needs a priming pan or extra fuel to start it. Both have their respective pros and cons.

Seeing how the original instructions link is now DOA I will look around and see if the templates are inside my stove building goodie bag.
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Post by Allen » Thu Mar 27, 2008 7:09 am

urotu wrote:I know this is a long dead thread, but after trying the link, and searching here I couldn't find more info on building one.

I was hoping you might have more info on building the burner itself, what a great idea. Also, what did you use for the windscreen?

I did find a Wiki page, but nothing great on building, besides, I was hoping you had moer on that simmer ring.

I know, I'm a noob, and my search fu is weak, but WW, you have some seriously rockin' threads.
Just a suggestion, If You move the jet holes down to the side of the burner You will not need a seperate potstand. The stove will "prime out" a little faster too The stove will then be an "Open top side burning" stove.

A 1/16" drill bit will make a neater job on making the burner jet holes,
than push pins will.

Avoid Store Brand soda cans and use Coke or Pepsi cans.
Store Brand sodas use crappy Aluminum that won't last long.
Always use 2 of the same type can to make a stove.
The inner wall will fit beter.

If You want to save a little work, cut the inner wall from a V8,
or Red Bull Energy Drink Can, as a complete cylinder, instead of
having to form a cylinder from the piece of aluminum can later.
You will get a better seal on the inner wall this way also.

If You put a ring of small crimps around the top edge (not too deep, about 1/8"), of which ever stove half You plan to insert inside the other half,
You will save Yourself a lot of grief.when You join the 2 stove halfs. Needle Nose pliers and Your thunbs are the best tools for this.

Remember to get a good seal on the top part of the inner wall, by pushing
in on the top of the inside edge of the bottom You cut out of the burner.
A Stanley nail set is an exellent tool for this, because of the taper on the
shaft. Here's a pic:

http://www.stanleytools.com/default.asp ... d+Nail+Set

If You want to see a cool video, go to this page and download a video called MiniBullIn3. The style of stove he makes in the video, is a little
out of date, but You'll get some good ideas:

http://www.minibulldesign.com/video.htm

One more thing, Use good alcohol. Methanol will work best in the type
of stove You are building. Buy Methanol as "Heet" Gas Line Anti-Freeze
in a Yellow Bottle. Don't get the Red Bottle, it's Isopropyl Alcohol.

If You Buff the paint off of Your stove, It'll look better, but You will
really weaken the stove by removing a lot of the already thin can.
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Re: My Alcohol stove with windscreen

Post by dani monster » Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:31 pm

Hey WW -

How would you store this alcohol burning stove after use? Does it need to be separate from the rest of your gear?

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Re: My Alcohol stove with windscreen

Post by Woods Walker » Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:34 pm

I store it inside a cook pot to protect the stove. However it can hold up to use more than most would expect. I used one for 2 years and still own the thing. Sure there are some dents etc however it still works.
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Re: My Alcohol stove with windscreen

Post by Slugg » Wed Jul 30, 2008 12:39 pm

hey im gona make one but i have a few questions. do you put cotton inside? also, how do u put it out, just blow it out? or is it better to let it burn out.
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Re: My Alcohol stove with windscreen

Post by Prawn Star » Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:05 pm

You can buy one ebay,If your a lazy like me.

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Re: My Alcohol stove with windscreen

Post by Slugg » Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:38 pm

i want to make them, that way if my B.O.B gets lost i know how to make one no problem. Do you know what i mean?
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Re: My Alcohol stove with windscreen

Post by RuckinIt » Wed Jul 30, 2008 2:38 pm

http://www.organize.com/lolofostco.html

I use those for a lot of things, but my alcohol stoves don't stink when I close them up in those.

Lock and Lock's are really spiffy. Some will hold AR mags, pistol mags, FAKs, stoves, fuel, rice, and other things with a really sound case...for what they are.

I've been looking for an expensive and heavy document case to keep things dry during bug out, a few inches of documents...then I found this http://www.organize.com/rectanglecup11.html

I've never purchased from that site, bu they came up when I did my google.

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Re: My Alcohol stove with windscreen

Post by Woods Walker » Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:42 pm

Slugg wrote:hey im gona make one but i have a few questions. do you put cotton inside? also, how do u put it out, just blow it out? or is it better to let it burn out.
No need for cotton. It does not blow out all that easy. I just let it run down.
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Re: My Alcohol stove with windscreen

Post by mithuth » Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:49 pm

Woods Walker wrote:
Slugg wrote:hey im gona make one but i have a few questions. do you put cotton inside? also, how do u put it out, just blow it out? or is it better to let it burn out.
No need for cotton. It does not blow out all that easy. I just let it run down.
That's what I often do, unless I've way overfilled it; you can suffocate it like you do a candle by placing a sierra cup (or other appropriate device) over it.

I haven't gotten into precision measuring for how much fuel for how much water i want to boil, etc.. I just dump a bunch of alcohol in, cook, snuff, and return unused fuel to bottle.
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Re: My Alcohol stove with windscreen

Post by aa1pr » Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:16 pm

I built one of these last night (Sunday) at 9pm and had no alcohol of any type so I used some old spice and it actually worked. Filled the porch with a scented smell though LOL. So then I sent the son to the basement and tried some white fuel in it and it allowed me to boil three small pots of water before it ran empty of fuel. The white fuel is extremely hot burning!
I am adding it to my gear from now on but I do not like the idea of a fuel bottle on me. I will use heet from here on out.

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Re: My Alcohol stove with windscreen

Post by Woods Walker » Tue Jan 06, 2009 10:55 pm

Get the heet in the yellow bottle. Avoid the Iso heet in the red bottle. Also when the bottle is opened it will leak though the cap. Put the fuel in a clearly marked soda bottle or other plastic type bottle. Mark the living f@ck out of it. One trip I had to beat people off the darn fuel. They never drank from my canteen before but for some reason wanted the fuel even with some red marker warnings. Go figure...

http://www.goldeagle.com/heet/year_round_usages.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: My Alcohol stove with windscreen

Post by aa1pr » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:57 pm

I made another one of these stoves but to specs. This time I used a thumb tack for my flame holes/ports. When I tried the white fuel and the jets caught hold I had flames almost two feet high, So please avoid white fuel unless you enlarge the holes like I did on my first attempt ( I used small brads). I am not sure what I did wrong but on the first unit I used brads for the port holes and had a 1/4 hole in the top center for filling purposes and after the flames caught I covered up with a quarter. This time my filler holes consisted of just six tack holes. maybe this increased the internal pressure? Guess playing around could have cost me. I will have to try the heet when I get the chance to find some locally. For now I am done with the white fuel!

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Re: My Alcohol stove with windscreen

Post by Allen » Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:07 pm

I use a 1/16" drill bit for all of My jet holes.
That way the only adjustment i ever have to make in a stove design
is the number of jet holes, and their placement.

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