Jun 1, 2005 at 1:28 am #1216214
@ryanLocale: Northern Rockies
The purpose of this forum thread is to complement the following Make Your Own Gear Project at BackpackingLight.com:
by BPL MYOG Editor Jay Ham.Jun 1, 2005 at 1:51 am #1337745
Looks like a great stove. I think I’ll fashion one up on the weekend. I think its funny that we call them stoves when they are so small and light.
Just on the side, I’ve always been a closed jet kinda person. I like that they get going a lot quicker are a lot hotter and better for windy conditions.
I’ve always made the inside wall with the gaps to let the fuel through much too big. I think this might save me a lot of frustration when I dont want to completely boil water and I only put a little fuel in there.
Thanks JayJun 1, 2005 at 4:19 am #1337747
A Simmer ring made out of the top portion of the a can as per section
is worth the time. My fuel filled Thermojet stove with this burns for just under 60 minutes. This allows a homemade “bakepacker-like” boiler/baker to be easily used to cook anything. I made the “bakepacker-like” boiler/baker out of the new floppy silicone muffin baking pan supporting a round-cut piece of cookie cooling rack. The silicone baking pans look, feel, and pack like rubber but take the boiling without problems. All of the supplies came from Wallyworld. The system works very, very well. Very little additional weight. No clean up when cooking in plastic bags.
bdhJun 1, 2005 at 6:55 am #1337751
I reviewed an AMP closed jet, and though they are powerful hot and truly efficient boilers, I really prefer the fill and forget nature of these open jets. I have been using this same stove for five years as my standard. Even when family camping, I just take two of these and two Evernew pots (the 1.3L and 0.9L nest together).
I am heading to Canyonlands this weekend. So if you dive into this stove project and need some questions answered, I’ll be back on Monday.Jun 1, 2005 at 7:07 am #1337752
@cmcrookerLocale: Desert Southwest, USA
Can you tell me more about your “floppy silicon muffin baking pan supporting a round-cut piece of cookie cooling rack”?Jun 1, 2005 at 7:11 am #1337753
I have tried several “simmer ring” type gizmos, and all of them slow the burn time and reduce heat. I quit using them, however, when I read an article written by Carol Crooker. She described making a bakepacker-like boiler/baker out of aluminum soda can material.
I altered her description a bit. I cut 1/2″ strips around the circumference of a soda can (length of one strip is once around the can). I wrap these around a pencil/dowel to give them a spiral shape. These nest inside my stove and weigh nearly nothing.
I place two or three of these in the bottom of my pot, add water to just below the tops of the spirals, and place my half-filled aluminum muffin cups on top. With this arrangement, I just fire the stove up at full throttle with about an ounce of fuel and forget about it for a while, leaving the muffins in the pot well after running out of fuel. You might notice a trend in my cooking…I don’t like to fuss with it much, just light and forget.
I suggest folks give Brad’s suggestion a try. Experimentation leads to experience. Some will find it ideal for their cooking style. Definitely use a make shift bakepacker-like boiler/baker if you want to bake. I have successfully baked pizza without bakepacker-like rings or a simmer ring, but don’t recommend it. It is certainly not worth the fuss.Jun 1, 2005 at 12:33 pm #1337766
How does the fuel efficiency of your stove compare to some of the other alcohol stoves reviewed a few months back?
Have you ever tried making a stove with smaller cans (V8, energy drinks, etc)?Jun 1, 2005 at 5:04 pm #1337775
Excellent instructions Jay. I have attempted to make stoves of this type in the past with varying success. I had the most trouble with cutting the bottom out of the can as depicted in photo 5, and fitting the pieces together as depicted in photo 32. In the past I used a utility knife instead of a Dremel. Next time I’ll either borrow or buy the power tool and follow your instuctions.
Which brings me to my subject. Go to http://www.harborfreight.com and enter item number 40457-1vga in the search box to see a Dremel Clone with tools for $29.99. A buddy at work bought one and is happy with it. Probably not as good as a Dremel, but probably good enough to make alcohol stoves!Jun 1, 2005 at 6:20 pm #1337776
After getting a new nonstick titanium pot I decided that I needed a non-metalic replacement to a bakepacker. On a trip to Wallyword I found a whole new world of baking pans that are made of very floppy silicone. You can cut these with almost anything and they obviously can withstand the heat. I purchased a standard 6″x9″ 6 cupcake silicone backing pan. I cut one of the 6 cupcakes out. I flipped it so that the open side was down and measured 1″ up from this new base. I cut at this 1″ mark to give a band of silicone that is now bigger and the bottom, 1″ tall, and then smaller at the top. This serves as a heat-proof non-scratching base which holds up a cut to fit cookie/cake cooling rack wire grid (from the next isle over at Wallyworld.)
I guess using 3 1″ rocks to support the wire grid would work also.
I would like to coat the wire grid with something to keep it from scratching the pot as it stores in it while in my pack.
A picture here would help but I hope my discription will do.
bdhJun 1, 2005 at 6:22 pm #1337777
Carol and Jay what article? How do you keep from using up all of the fuel in less that 12 minutes without a simmer ring? I am getting just under an hour with a full burner with a simmer ring. I do get the water to boil with the ring first then drop the simmer ring on the burner. Even with the ring there is enough heat to keep things boiling in the summer. I suspect that this would not be the case in the winter.
bdhJun 1, 2005 at 6:28 pm #1337778
You asked: “How does the fuel efficiency of your stove compare to some of the other alcohol stoves reviewed a few months back?”
This is a can of worms. :) The short answer is that my stove is very efficient (it’s not really mine, I’m just partial to it and developed a way to make one that turns out real nice). I can cook (not just boil) most meals for myself and a companion with 1 fl. oz. of fuel, which is how I estimate how much fuel I need to carry.
To say how my stove compares to the others we tested is hard to do. Will tested those other stoves as they came from the manufacturer, with the manufacturer’s supplied windscreen and accessories. Although my stove may be similar to the OutdoorEquipmentSupplier 12-jet stove (which had slightly better than average efficiency) you can’t just compare the stove. The windscreen, pot support (height), pot size, pot shape, pot color, number of jets, etc. must be considered as all of these affect how heat is transferred to your food. Homemade alcohol stoves are plagued with variables. A different windscreen or a few more jets may make all the difference in the world. Part of the fun is tweaking the variables to balance boil times with fuel efficiency for your particular setup.
You asked: “Have you ever tried making a stove with smaller cans (V8, energy drinks, etc)?”
I haven’t, but would expect the same step-by-steps to work for any size can as long as the cans used were the same size. I never made a smaller one because the standard size weigh so little as it is; dropping weight off of a 0.4 oz fully capable stove has never made it to the top of my priority list. With that said, Carol’s recent super ultralight challange has got me thinking about it.Jun 1, 2005 at 6:36 pm #1337779
Honestly, I won’t profess to be up on what power tools are best. If it can make a cut off wheel spin, it should be able to cut out the bottom of a can. That aluminum is pretty thin and soft. If your buddy at work has one, you might give his a whirl (nice pun, huh) to see how you like it.Jun 2, 2005 at 12:25 am #1337785
@ryanLocale: Northern Rockies
Now there’s a marketing nightmare but with outstanding potential among the ultralight hardcore…Jun 2, 2005 at 7:50 am #1337794
Sounds like a new niche in the cottage gear industry. Reminder to self — investigate website names.
PhilJun 2, 2005 at 8:17 am #1337795
Jay – thanks for the clear instructions. As the review of other stoves made clear, the stove is only half the story…do you have any thoughts on creating an optimal windscreen?Jun 2, 2005 at 9:33 am #1337799
@bfornshellLocale: Southern Texas
If your stove will simmer for 18 to 20 minutes you can bake in a dry cook pot like this. The small pan you see in the pictures was part of four connected together that I bought at a local restaurant supply store. I broke them apart to carry only one. the small pan weighs 1.3oz. Not really Ultra-light and I have plans to make a small pan out of titanium.
A real and warm baked muffin at the end or at the beginning of your hiking day is really great.
What ever stove you use needs to simmer really well.
Jun 2, 2005 at 1:11 pm #1337804
OK the cutting process is quite simple. Go to http://WWW.MINIBULLDESIGN.COM and watch the video where I make this soda can stove from scratch in 3 minutes. You will see how to cut the end out of the can no problem. And probably see some other tricks you can use also. No purchase required.Jun 2, 2005 at 1:14 pm #1337805
Ryan e-mail me. I lost your address and everything else in a really bad computer crash.—Tinny—Jun 4, 2005 at 12:44 am #1337848
Is there any tendancy for the can to collapse under the force of pushing the needle thru the wall?
Seems like it’d be a little sturdier if that were done before cutting the fill hole.
Any reason not to?Jun 4, 2005 at 7:55 am #1337853
Loved your article – and loved the picture of your helper also – momJun 6, 2005 at 10:20 pm #1337919
Reply to Simmer Ring
The article we referred to about baking with small strips of aluminum can is found by following this link.
It is true that I only get about 10 to 12 minutes on 1 fl oz of alcohol. I find that this is enough for two standard sized muffins if I leave them in the pot for a while after the stove extinguishes. I will give a simmer ring another try sometime.
Reply to Thoughts on a windscreen?
I am aware that the stove is only half the story, and we are working on a three part series; stove, pot stand, and windscreen. Actually, I think the windscreen, as simple as it is, has a huge effect on stove performance. We have to put the stove first though. The size of the stove determines the size of the pot stand, which affects the height of the windscreen. The other articles are in the works.
Reply to cutting bottom out of soda cans
Thanks for posting the video. I thought it showed some of what I tried to describe very well. It is a different type of stove, but much of the assembly is similar. Thanks!
Reply to why not punch the jet holes before cutting the fill hole?
Why not? I showed starting with the bottom, but you could start with the holes just as easily. To answer your question, I never had trouble with the bottom collapsing. I suppose the bottom rim adds enough stability to keep the bottom from collapsing. Also the metal is very thin and punctures easier than you might think.
Here’s a word of advise (and unfortunately, an experienced word) Don’t wait until the end to punch your holes, after you have glued the whole thing together. Having done that before, I know the feeling of seeing the needle punch through the inner wall. Not very nice. BTW, you can fix just about anything with JB Weld; the duck tape for high temps.
Reply to Great looking helper
Thanks Mom.Jun 7, 2005 at 12:30 am #1337921
@al_t-tudeLocale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
My experience with lightweight backcountry baking is similar to the above dry baking example with the nice photo spread. Once you get rid of the water you can get temperatures inside the outer pot well above the water limited 90-100 degrees C and start doing real baking. I carry 2 nesting pots and place 1/4″ long pieces of copper tubing between them to create an air gap to prevent the bottom of the baked good from burning. I keep the fuel pressure very low on my MSR Whisperlite stove to facilitate simmering and I set a modified soup can lid on the burner to diffuse heat. A pot cozy increases effiency, but is optional. With this set-up I have baked healthy sized loaves of wheat and honey-wheat bread- both quick bread and yeast bread (which I rise in my sleeping bag), birthday cakes made right out of the box (with or without oil and eggs) etc. I highly recommend getting away from the bakepacker mentality. Free your pot (of water) and free your mind!
BTW: Silicon is an element that appears in sand and computer chips. Silicone is a rubbery, high temperature material that appears in flexible baking dishes and Pamela Anderson sitcoms.
Cheers AlJun 12, 2005 at 6:37 pm #1338079
I agree that dry baking seems much more efficient. i have a video showing how I bake with a walmart grease pan and stealth stove i think it runs about 3 minutes and shows some tricks you may not have thought of. Go to http://www.minibulldesign.com and click on the video link–the clip is bakingJul 3, 2005 at 6:54 pm #1338681
@clbowdenLocale: Berkeley Hills
If you have an alocohol stove and would like a simple, stable, and compact windscreen/pot stand please see the following…Feb 18, 2007 at 6:57 am #1379010
It took me four tries, but I was able to make a fantastic stove. My first three attempts obviously did not have good seals and kinda worked. It was not clear to me until I tested #4 and saw the jets take off. Wow, pretty cool!
Thanks for the excellent detailed instructions that a poor soul like me could follow (even if it took 4 shots).
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