Jun 26, 2006 at 9:32 pm #1218886
Whereas the handles on my Snow Peak 700 26 oz. mug were always too hot too touch and the lid weighed almost as much as the mug itself, I decided to make some modifications – in particular removing the handles and making a new lid.
Here is a pic of the finished product, before the mug with handles and lid weighed 124.0 grams/4.37 oz. and after with new lid and no handles it weighed 79.7 grams/2.81 oz. That’s about a 35% reduction in weight if my math is correct.
The lids side by side:
The new lid stays on pretty well too!
I made the lid out of 0.12″ thick aluminum shim stock from Mcmaster and used a three inch piece of Spectra cord for the lid grab handle. I made two knots in the cord on either side of the hole so it stays put and vertical. After hours of use, the handle shows no signs of wear. I think the lid dissapates the heat well enough that the cord stays cool. I can easily handle the entire lid instantly when it is removed from the mug full of boiling water.
To make the lid, I used an old crusty circle making tool set to 2 1/8″ radius or so and just rolled it around the sheet until it cut through the soft aluminum. Note that I left two 1/4″ nubs 1/2″ apart in the circle by not cutting into the sheet at those points. That allowed me to have similar lid locks to the original lid. I used a pair of the awesome snips (SHR-532.00) recommended by the brasslite guy to cut around the nubs. Next, I put the old lid bottom up with the aluminum disk on top (matching up centers, see note at end on how to do this neatly) in a c-clamp and then secured the clamp in a vise. This allowed me to work the alum. disk with a screen roller tool (used to insert window screen rubber into the screen frame) and a small hammer. I pounded and rolled for about 30 minutes until the alum. formed into the original lid. Made me dream of a nice Pexto beading machine that night.
You have to be careful with the alum. because it can tear easily, hence I did not use any heat to make it form easier. Just mildly apply pressure and work the piece into shape.
Next, when it was 90% there, I transfered the new lid to the mug and did some fine tuning on it. The ti is so hard that the alum. forms to it easily without damaging the ti. Finally, I used a hobby knife with the sythe type blade (convex blade) and trimmed the overlap to just under the rolled rim of the mug (with the lid on the mug still), which makes the lid stay on well when the water is bubbling.
Removing the handles was quick and easy with a Dremel and one heavy duty emery disc cutting wheel. I cut into the plate that holds the handles to the mug at each of the eight spot welds in four spots forming a square exactly on the edge of each spot weld. You have to use patience and care here not to go too deep into the plate or you will dip into the mug surface (like I did, umm. where’s my JB Weld). When you have gingerly grinded into the plate about 1/64″ pry it up a little and see if it tears up around the spot weld. Do this with each one. Later you can go back with a file and level the extra metal at each weld to get a flush surface.
If you don’t need to back fill with some JB Weld, then the next step is to repolish the mug and new lid. I used the three step synthetic abrasive pads sold at welding supply stores (brown, gray and green .75 cents each). Starting with the roughest one first and working through to the finest one. Wash with soap and water before using. That’s it!
I’m working on a multi-use handle/pot-lifter/spork-holder/toothbrush-holder made from a 6″ ti stake, so I guess I’ll have to factor a bit of the stake weight into the mug later. Let me know what you think.
Individual item weights AFTER mods:
Aluminum Lid with spectra pot handle: 7.6 grams – 5 TIMES LIGHTER!
700 Mug with plate and handles removed: 72.1 grams.
Individual item weights BEFORE mods:
OEM mug with handles and plate: 90.3 grams/3.19 ounces.
OEM lid: 33.5 grams.
OEM handles (pair): 14.4 grams.
OEM welded plate: 5.0 grams.
How to find the center of a disk? Dr. Math Knows.Jun 26, 2006 at 9:48 pm #1358579
@ericnobleLocale: Colorado Rockies
Thanks for the info! I’ve thought about removing the handle from my Snow Peak mug as well, but wasn’t sure if it was worth the effort. Can you tell me how much just the handle weighed? In your experience, do you think it would be easier to grind away the spot welds with a larger stone rather than cutting around them?Jun 27, 2006 at 10:39 am #1358597
@6hauptman6Locale: A white padded room in crazy town.
I do not think the spectra will hold up(maybe I am wrong). You could try a small bit of wire.Jun 27, 2006 at 12:20 pm #1358602
Hi Eric, I’ve added the individual item weights near the end of the original post.
As for grinding with a stone, I tried that first and didn’t like it. The reason is that a spot welds weakest point is around the circumfrence of the weld where there is a gap between the two materials welded together. Grinding with a larger stone means that you also grind away the middle of the weld where the two materials are bonded together. This IMO makes it harder to gauge when you have passed through the top material, running the risk of grinding into the mug itself (even though I did this with the wheel too, but only because I was careless)!
Hi, Jon. I have used the spectra recently on a five day trip cooking twice a day (I was with my girlfriend and she didn’t go for the cold food thing) and before that on a three day trip. The same piece of cord has held up great. For me it is the perfect handle – never gets hot, super light, easily replaceable and durable.Jun 27, 2006 at 1:43 pm #1358605
When are you (or someone else) going to start selling them ?Jun 27, 2006 at 2:31 pm #1358607
@ericnobleLocale: Colorado Rockies
You would think that Snow Peak could be convinced, since a mug without handles requires less labor. Just pull one off the line for me, before the welding machine gets busy. I doubt it is that simple.Jul 7, 2006 at 11:37 am #1359057
@sharaldsLocale: Gallatin Range
It’s suprising how few pot/mugs out there are minimal such as this design. It’s no wonder you hear people speak so much about Tin Man’s AntiGravityGear pots.
I have a Vargo 750mL Titanium and it is RARE that the handle isn’t right in some kind of flame and very hot. Why have ’em if you’re just gonna have to use a hotpad or sorts anyway.
Wonderful design (yes, wire could be substituted for Spectra), good instructions, nice photos.Jul 7, 2006 at 1:00 pm #1359065
I too really like the simple and effective design. I use a very similar approach as well, only I use a tin can as my cook pot, and I use the type that has a pull-open ring so you don’t need a can opener. The popped up ring makes for a fine handle.
Right now I have a 20oz (I think) can w/lid that weighs about 2.3oz, but the size varies as I change out every 10 or so uses, or when I feel like canned food at home (whichever comes first!)Feb 24, 2009 at 2:24 pm #1480400
@jmathesLocale: Southeast US
Jhaura- thanks for the "How To." I ordered a SnowPeak 600 single wall mug just this morning, and I want to remove the handles and make a lid. I had not considered removing the plate, but with your instruction I know how. I trimmed the excess material off my aluminum windscreen when I bought it, it's still clean and flat, I'm hoping this will work for the lid.Feb 24, 2009 at 8:31 pm #1480498
I don't really understand why so many are worried about the handle, how are you going to damage that ?
( in a way I am asking because that is what I thought I would do with the lid on my newly purchased $4 aluminium pot)
FrancoAug 29, 2012 at 6:34 pm #1907402
@remjrothLocale: Atlantic Coast
I've heard of people using high-temperature-resistant silicon gas line tubing to insulate the handles on their mugs. It's really cheap stuff that holds up well. You take the handles off, walk into an RC Car store, find the right size tubing (it's less than $4 for about 2 meters – that's more than enough), cut it, slip it on (using soap as a lubricant works well and cleans up nicely), then put the handles back on the mug. As far as a lid goes, unless you're trying to strain pasta, aluminum foil is about as light as you can go. Losing the convenience of a handle – once you've modified it so it actually works – may not be worth dropping half an ounce.
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