So I thought I'd make a ethanol stove. There are a few on the market, and they work by boiling the ethanol within a small chamber with holes around the top. The ethanol turns to a gas, exits at the holes, and burns like a nice gas stove. Lots of heat, light weight, and perfect for what I need.
There are quite a few examples of home made versions on the net, so after quite a bit of research, I thought I'd have a go.
I found it impossible to squeeze two halves of a drink can that were the same diameter over each other.
So I thought I'd convert my failed project into a potato cooker.
It looked a little something like this...
The best way to do this is to lightly score it, round and around, until you gently wear through.
I didn't do that, and I nearly cut all my fingers off one after the other in a series of ever more lucky near misadventures.
It didn't work as well as youtube told me it would.
Neither did the box knife without Steven Hawkings' help.
This pic is me cutting the planed base that the top was meant to firmly slide over.
I threw that bit away in the end, and used a potato instead.
At first the inner section burns and heats up the fuel between the sleeve and the outer section.
At this stage you just leave it alone for a few seconds until it warms up.
Quite suddenly and with a pleasant pop reminiscent of lighting a gas stove, the fuel turns to steam and the burner ignites at the holes.
The thing actually works.
I quickly found a pot, and put one metric cup (250ml) of cold tap water on the heat.
As soon as you do this it snuffs the centre section, but because the holes are down a bit from the top, they continue on perfectly.
I had a proper boil at around 5 minutes, and a slight simmer at just shy of four minutes.
Much better than I expected. This was a total success.
The entire project from the time I looked at the soft drink can to the time I could make a cup of tea was around an hour and a half, but most of that was attempting to make it without the potato. I think I could knock one of these up and have water boiled in 10 minutes with nothing but a drawing pin and pair of scissors.
Way cool. Thanks to everyone on the net that did stuff like this and gave me all your tips. My only contribution was the potato.
120 Things in 20 years - Ethanol stove - Potato cooker. Boiling water! Yum!