Pepsi can stove (w/pics)

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crypto
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Pepsi can stove (w/pics)

Post by crypto » Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:45 pm

I built a pressurized pepsi can stove today, of the penny variety. I wanted to see if I could build a servicable stove that would hold its own against my brass Trangia stove. The Trangia's epic awesomeness is exceeded only by its epic weight, so I wanted something lighter.

This is what I came up with:

Image

For those of you who havent seen one, these are very simple stoves. they have only two pieces, both of which are bottoms of soda cans. You use a safety pin or sewing needle to poke jet holes around the edge of the can, and something a little larger to poke a center hole in the top (which goes under the penny).

For construction details of my own, here's what I did:
* Put an X-acto blade on top of a roll of tape, rotated the cans around the blade to score them, then tore on the line.

* put a straight pin in a small drill and used it to put the burner jet holes in the rim.

* used a small drill bit for the center holes (safety tip: drill the center holes before assembling the halves of the stove or you might accidentally punch through the other half, like I did. Twice. :evil: )

To use one of these stoves, you fill it with alcohol, then place the penny over the center hole. Then you drizzle a little priming alcohol over the stove and set it on fire. The priming fuel warms up the metal enough to make the stove start jetting.

Image

The reason its a pressurized design is that the weight of the penny actually keeps alcohol vapor from escaping from the fill hole. Additionally, if the pressure gets too high in the stove, from too high of a temperature, the pressure will just lift up the penny a little until the pressure subsides and the stove 'seals' again. It's a very good self-regulating system, and I admire its elegance.

In the top picture you can see my makeshift ultralight pot stand made from a coat hanger, some wire, and another soda can. As you can also see, the windscreen is partially melted. The stove gets a little too hot for that, unfortunately.

My second go is what you see in the second picture. I took my old canteen cup Esbit stove and bent it into a circle, then placed it over the pot holder, then set the stove in it. This turned out to be a very solid mount, as the windscreen served to brace the pot stand quite well. I was able to sit a 32oz pot of water on it without a lot of wobble.

Here's the setup in action:
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As you can see, it's a pretty nice little stove. I tried to huff and puff and blow it out like this, but no doing. It's a strong burner.


Finally, here's the money shot.
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2.5oz for the whole thing. Oh, hell yes. That stove plus windscreen plus pot stand weighs about a fifth of what the Trangia stove weighs by itself.

I'm very happy with this stove, and I plan to camp with it this year.
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Re: Pepsi can stove (w/pics)

Post by Biff » Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:01 pm

...
Last edited by Biff on Wed Nov 11, 2009 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by FriedCheese » Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:02 pm

Ah... Crypto.
Man that's not a Pepsi Can - that's a Sprite can. That's low using a can without the caffeine!! :lol:


Very cool.
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Post by That German Guy » Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:54 pm

Nice build. And the Trangia really is epically awesome, if only because of the wind shield...
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Post by crypto » Tue Jan 22, 2008 11:15 pm

That German Guy wrote:Nice build. And the Trangia really is epically awesome, if only because of the wind shield...
I figure that between the weight, the fact that it never goes out, and its large fuel capacity, the Trangia would make an awesome last ditch weapon.

If you throw it at someone they'll be knocked unconscious and then set on fire. It's a win-win scenario. :)
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Post by Woods Walker » Tue Jan 22, 2008 11:35 pm

Nice. :D
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Post by Flying Lead » Tue Jan 22, 2008 11:37 pm

The Trancia is bomb proof. My stove got stepped on and came out fine. Pepsi stoves can't handle the boot.
Nice work, I like the penny idea!
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Post by bogie » Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:32 pm

Combine the pop can stove with the pop can popcorn popper and I don't think you could go wrong. :p

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Post by AltimGXE » Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:38 pm

Very nice, my first alcohol stove was a penny stove..and let's just say it didn't turn out as nicely as yours did.

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Post by Dark Cloud » Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:03 pm

I made one of these babies last week and have been having fun in my kitchen turned laboratory, much to the chagrin of the wife.

Mine will boil (almost) 1 cup of water over 6 Tablespoons of Isopropyl alcohol. BUt using a highly accurate scientific candy thermometer, I noticed that the temperature never got higher than 200 degrees and usually hovered aroune 185. The water was "boiling", but is that hot enough for proper purification? It will definitely "boil" for ten minutes, it takes about 20 minutes for the fire to go out.

Will 200 degrees F be hot enough to kill bugs?
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Post by Woods Walker » Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:11 pm

Dark Cloud wrote:I made one of these babies last week and have been having fun in my kitchen turned laboratory, much to the chagrin of the wife.

Mine will boil (almost) 1 cup of water over 6 Tablespoons of Isopropyl alcohol. BUt using a highly accurate scientific candy thermometer, I noticed that the temperature never got higher than 200 degrees and usually hovered aroune 185. The water was "boiling", but is that hot enough for proper purification? It will definitely "boil" for ten minutes, it takes about 20 minutes for the fire to go out.

Will 200 degrees F be hot enough to kill bugs?
I would avoid rubbing alcohol. Use denatured alcohol. With the right fuel these stove can get a rolling boil faster than most people would expect.
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Post by Dark Cloud » Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:15 pm

My wife complained about a "poison" smell when I burned the Isopropyl. Me? I have no sense of smell whatsoever thanks to a bizarre ironing accident, so I was not bothered. Does denatured smell any less "poison" than isopropyl?
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Post by AltimGXE » Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:26 pm

I've never burned isopropyl (because it isn't a good fuel), but denatured just smells like alcohol. No distinct odor or anything while burning that I can tell.

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Post by Flying Lead » Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:48 pm

Anyone know if you can use methonal? That stuff is much cheaper than denatured alcohol.
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Post by AltimGXE » Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:55 pm

Methanol is fine as a fuel too. Just don't drink it :)

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Post by E » Wed Jan 23, 2008 7:26 pm

Dark Cloud wrote:I made one of these babies last week and have been having fun in my kitchen turned laboratory, much to the chagrin of the wife.

Mine will boil (almost) 1 cup of water over 6 Tablespoons of Isopropyl alcohol. BUt using a highly accurate scientific candy thermometer, I noticed that the temperature never got higher than 200 degrees and usually hovered aroune 185. The water was "boiling", but is that hot enough for proper purification? It will definitely "boil" for ten minutes, it takes about 20 minutes for the fire to go out.

Will 200 degrees F be hot enough to kill bugs?
I'm not sure about purification through boiling. But I do know that if you use denatured alcohol, it will boil hard after only 3-5 minutes.

@ Crypto: Where did you find instructions for the stove? I've only found a couple links, but theyre all the same thing...
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Post by crypto » Wed Jan 23, 2008 8:13 pm

I looked around on Zen Stoves http://zenstoves.net/ and saw the basic concept behind hte penny stove, then just made my own.

I didnt really follow any plans beyond the guidance for 16 holes, made with a pin, and then making the bottom cup be on the outside of the stove.

If you guys really wanted, I could measure the height I used, but thats really the only variable in the process. Everything else is pretty cut and dried.
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Post by Biff » Wed Jan 23, 2008 8:15 pm

...
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Post by Milkboot » Wed Jan 23, 2008 8:42 pm

There was also my Mini-pepsi can stove on Jamoni's Cheap alcohol stove thread too, but that was just a silly experiment.

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Post by E » Wed Jan 23, 2008 9:34 pm

Thanks for the help! I saw the zen stove page before, just didnt put two and two together as to what crypto had done.
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Umm....

Post by minidude0 » Sun Jan 27, 2008 11:54 am

Where do you place the fuel and how do you light it, all I have is the bottom, with the little holes punched and the penny hole as well.
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Post by crypto » Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:10 pm

Well, you pour the fuel in through the top of the stove. So basically you fill the dish on top, let it drain into the stove, repeat until you have your desired amount of alcohol in the stove. Then put the penny on top.

For lighting it, like I said, it needs to be primed. I just sprinkled a little bit of extra alcohol on the outside of the stove and set the whole thing on fire. It vaporizes enough fuel inside that it comes out through the jets and the stove takes off.
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Post by minidude0 » Sun Jan 27, 2008 12:13 pm

What is under the stove, that holds the fuel?
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Post by Biff » Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:22 pm

...
Last edited by Biff on Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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