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Penny Stove Guide

Penny Stove Guide

So I'm sure that all of you have seen some of the articles out there about making camping/hiking stoves out of aluminium cans. I look at them all the time, but they have one big flaw. Most of them don't have enough pictures, don't explain how the stove works and have very vague directions.

I will attempt to make the process clearer for those of you who may be struggling to grasp the concept.

The stove that I am going to show you how to make can be used for camping, hiking, creating light or just for extra warmth.

I will begin by explaining how it works.

The burning fluid on top of the stove causes the metal that the stove is made of to heat up, which boils the fluid inside. When the fluid starts to boil it turns into a flammable gas that starts to escape from the group of holes that we punched around the top. The flaming fluid on the top ignites this gas.

Once the fluid on top is used up, you end up with just the gas being burned that is coming out of the row of holes. This will continue to burn until the fluid inside runs out, or you cover with something and deprive it of oxygen.

Instructions:

Find yourself two normal sized aluminium cans, not the mini cans you can get with some energy drinks etc, make sure they have not had any oil based liquids inside them.

Pop cans or beer cans are ideal. Drain any remaining liquid from inside the cans and then leave upside down to dry them out as much as possible.

two-cans.jpg


Cut the base off one of the cans making as smooth a cut as you can, a sharp razor blade or stanley knife should give a smooth cut.

Make the cut an inch and a half up from the base on the first can so you have an inch and a half of wall remaining on the base.

Make the same cut on the second can but leave a 2 inch wall on this can so it is slightly taller.

cut-cans.jpg


You now need to crimp the top edge of the shorter of the 2 cans.

The easiest way to do this is with a pair of pliers, grip the can with pliers every half inch or so and do a small twist.

Be careful at this step as the edges will most likely be very sharp and will cut flesh easily.

crimp-can.jpg


Place the can you just crimped inside the other can with the crimped edges facing upwards and with the other can inverted (base upwards).

Push them together to make as tight a seal as you can, if you are unable to make a good seal then you may need to crimp the can some more.

sealed-cans.jpg


Use a thin sharp object such as a drawing pin to put small holes around the edge of the base of the upper inverted can roughly half an inch apart.

The metal is quite thick around this edge so a reasonable amount of pressure may be required to pierce it, this makes drawing pins a safer option.

The picture shows the markings for the holes in case you have any doubts.

marked-can.jpg


Place a small group of holes in the centre of the base of the upper inverted can, the same can that you just made holes around the edge.

I made 3 holes but you can make more if you wish.

centre-holes.jpg


How It Works

The small group of holes that we cut on the top will be used for filling the stove. You have a few choices of fluid, but you can use any alcohol over 70%, or 140 proof. You can use denatured alcohol, HEET, or even vodka. Whatever works is fine, just don't use anything explosive like gasoline. I am going to use plain rubbing alcohol.

Once the can is filled, we are going to cover the group of holes with a penny and fill the "well" that the can makes with our fluid. The penny is used to make sure that the fluid stays in the "well" and does not go into the stove.

Carefully light the fluid that is filling the "well".

The burning fluid on top of the stove causes the metal that the stove is made of to heat up, which boils the fluid inside. When the fluid starts to boil, it turns into a flammable gas that starts to escape from the group of holes that we punched around the top. The flaming fluid on the top ignites this gas.

Once the fluid on top is used up, you end up with just the gas being burned that is coming out of the row of holes. This will continue to burn until the fluid inside runs out, or you cover with something and deprive it of oxygen.
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stephenjames213
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