Fire - Home made ethanol stove

In a previous attempt to make a ethanol stove I ended up using a potato instead of the bottom the coke can I was working on, and you can see a lot of the build in the post called Fire - Ethanol potato cooker. Because I've already covered most of the build in that post I wont be repeating it here, so read that potato cooker post first.

Sorry for the terrible photo. it hurts my eyes as I try to force it into focus. Hopefully that's just something about me, and it wont actually hurt anyone else.

After some more research I thought I'd try making a proper drink can burner. This time I spent a lot more time on slowly scribing the line with a blade to get the cuts nice and clean. Rather than putting on a lot of pressure, I pressed gently, and rotated the can under the blade holding the blade in my right hand and the can in the other. Eventually a few small holes appear in the line, and at this time you can either cut it with a little more pressure, or just press it out (I used a pen because I wasn't sure how sharp it would be, but it wasn't all that sharp).

The end result was a very neat, clean cut that needed only a light sanding.

Actually it didn't really need a light sanding at all, but I did it anyway.

I also employed the method of putting a blade in a book. This time I clamped it down with a G-clamp, and pressed the top (really the bottom) of the can down with one finger while I rotated the can with my free hand.

I used the blade and book to mark a line for the base.

But the second cut of the can required scissors as there was no "top" of the can to press down with one finger.

But scissors cut it very cleanly.

So here are the three finished sections.

The one on the left is the top with all the holes punched through with a drawing pin

Centre is the inner sleeve cut out of the middle section of the can. (see previous post)

And the bottom is on the right.

The bottom bit was stretched* by pushing a full, un-opened can into it a wriggling it around for a bit.

It's difficult to describe the motion, but if you jam it in the move it around like a ball and socket joint (like your shoulder) the lip of the can is eventually stretched. It's very easy to get off the can as there is a perfect seal, and the air pressure inside pushes the small section off.

Put your base on something flat.

Press in a full can.

Wang it about a bit**.


Now, with the inner sleeve roughly in place, you can slide the top and bottom parts together. As long as you make them meet as close to evenly as you can (ie not one side first) it will fit.

I made my base section the outside, but I'm not sure if there is an advantage either way.

It looks like this when it's lit.

And this when it's not.

120 Things in 20 years was  overheard to say "On the subject of fire and home made ethanol stoves,   I personally didn't have any blood fall out, but I would say that although this is a great project to do with kids,  if you like them I'd make sure there was an adult around to stitch them back up, and put the fires out".

* Thanks for the tip Jabro

** If only someone would come up with a way to rapidly display pictures one after the other to give the reader the illusion of a "moving picture".

1 comment:

  1. Nice one.

    As for the moving picture, grab yourself a copy of GIMP (it's free) and use it to create an animated GIF.

    Put your first image in the sequence on the background layer, create a new layer and put the next image on that. Rinse and repeat until you're done.

    Then save it with the file extension .gif and tell it to save as an animation. Set the delay to whatever you like (stock is 10 fps) and hit save.

    BYU you have an animation.


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