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Major Slacker
2005-03-11, 18:49
Announcing the Orion Stove & Stand, the 2 gram Ion Alternative.

Actually, I've had the Orion name in mind for years because it's a play on my name -- my other name -- but I couldn't resist using it for this. Get it? Orion. "OR"-ion. Ion Alternative.

O.K., whatever.

It weighs only 2 (two) grams, and most of that is the pot stand. The stove by itself doesn't even register on my wife's diet scale.

O.K., so maybe it's a little more than 2 grams. I think the scale rounds off to the nearest half gram; it alternately flashes two numbers when it's close to the half. For this it just said 2.

I did the first tests with a 2 or 2.25 inch stand, and it boiled 2 cups of water in 6 - 6.5 minutes. The burn was really too hot for the aluminum stand to last long, so I've been using shorter stands and d. alcohol mixed with sterno to cool it down some. Lately, I've been getting a boil at 9 - 10 minutes.

The stove foil tends to have pinholes and micro-breaks, but an unexpected benefit of using the sterno/alcohol mix is that it doesn't leak through. In fact, it seems to plug the leaks. The blue jelly chafing fuel would probably be ideal for this stove, but I'm not sure it's worth the $5 per 500 ml.

Anyway, check it out!

SGT Rock
2005-03-11, 21:21
LOL, so it doesn't last very long?

Major Slacker
2005-03-11, 22:35
LOL, so it doesn't last very long?
It depends on how you treat it. I've used several of the stoves a dozen times or so each, and they're still good -- kinda crusty, but good. (Come to think of it, I haven't weighed any of the crusty ones. They might be up to a gram by now.) Anyway, I've accidentally flattened a couple of them when they tried to blow away. One I restored and it's still going. I crumpled the other into a tiny ball before I thought to restore it.

It's a good idea to pack the stove and stand inside something. The stove fits nicely inside a styrofoam cup, which fits inside my MSR Ti Kettle. I can pack other stuff around the cup too. I use a slightly bigger stand cut from a tall 24 oz. can, because it fits around the cup. It weighs in at 3-4 grams as I recall.

The aluminum pot stands get soft if they're super heated. I'm still using several of them even though they look funny.

Steel stands made using the same template weigh about 3 times as much (8-11 grams) but last indefinitely. I've got one that's still going after a year of frequent use testing stoves. It's awesome. I don't know how many I've sold or given away, but I know several of them are still going.

Here's the template for the larger stand, if anyone's interested:

SGT Rock
2005-03-11, 22:50
They look nice, but I think if you tried some Ti you could make one last a long time that would weigh a lot less. Of course bending it like that wouldn't work well, you would have to try a different style.

Major Slacker
2005-03-12, 09:06
They look nice, but I think if you tried some Ti you could make one last a long time that would weigh a lot less. Of course bending it like that wouldn't work well, you would have to try a different style.
You're right, using Ti and a different design would optimize durability, weight and maybe production. I'm not sure what I would do differently, though. The intent of this design (We're talking about just the pot stand, right?) is to DIY and to optimize weight, durability, simplicity and cost. I think it does a pretty good job. It's a bonus that it recycles trash and looks pretty cool. The real beauty of this design, though, is in the engineering. It gives strength where needed and with minimal material.

I think Ti is great. The technology is seductive and the performance remarkable, but aluminum is lighter than Ti and the performance good enough. An aluminum stand will last a good, long time if properly sized and used. The potential problem is excessive heat. Alcohol in the stove and water in the pot will absorb most of the heat, but if a stove is very hot and/or the stand too tall, the stand will soften and buckle. The simple solution is a shorter stand, which will be stronger and cool down the stove. An aluminum stand all by itself in a puddle of flaming alcohol will shrivel, curl and all but disappear.

I use steel for almost all of the stands I sell or give away with stoves, because most people prefer it. I think they get hung up on durability, and they're so amazed they don't consider the weight difference important. They also tend to go for the hotter stoves. If they seem to have any clue I'll give them one of each. Once they've had a chance to try them out, they'll usually use the aluminum stand and the calmer, more efficient stove. Other reasons I use steel are that Ti is expensive, cutting Ti with snips doesn't really work, bending Ti is a pain and there aren't any Ti cans in distribution that I know of.

I use cans for the simplicity, cost and recycling benefits. Aluminum cans are seamless. Steel cans have finished seams. I've looked at metal tubing, but the sidewalls are too thick. I can cut the aluminum with scissors and bend it with my fingers. Snips (BTW, are snips what you call "dikes"?) and pliers are all I need to cut and finish the steel. Cans are free. I'm cleaning up some of the trash in my community. Production waste is recyclable. Hard to beat.

SGT Rock
2005-03-12, 09:31
Your absolutely right on, I was just thinking about your durability issue. Another thought is exactly how stable is it and what is the weight limit? I imagine this might last longer if it was only ever used as a coffee heater for say 8 ounces of water and a very light Ti or aluminum cup.

Speaking of that, maybe ther is room for a Tealight cup version of the Ion made for just that ;)

Major Slacker
2005-03-12, 16:32
I didn't set out to write The Pot Stand Manifesto, but I guess it went that way.

Thank you for the input. I sincerely appreciate it. That's the whole point of posting ideas here, right?

…exactly how stable is it and what is the weight limit?
How far do we take this? The "how to" I posted here is mostly for fun -- a little game of stove weight limbo. You know, "How low can you go?"

That said, they are nonetheless functioning stoves and pot stands, remarkably minimal in weight. Taken just as they are, the pot stands are strong enough to support my MSR Ti kettle filled with 3 cups of water (28.5 oz. total weight). I've also used it to scramble eggs in 9" cast iron skillet that weighs at least 3 pounds. I don't know the exact weight because it exceeds the limit of the scale.

The raised circle in the bottom of the pot is almost exactly the diameter of the stand -- 2.875". The pot is pretty stable with one leg out of the circle, close to the handles, and two legs just inside the circle, opposite the handles. The larger stand has a diameter of 3.5" and is very stable with all three legs about 0.5" from the outside edge.

The stove, filled to the brim, holds almost an ounce of alcohol and consistently brings 3 cups to a boil in 7-10 minutes, depending on whether I use straight alcohol or the sterno mix.


I imagine this might last longer if it was only ever used as a coffee heater for say 8 ounces of water and a very light Ti or aluminum cup.
I'll start using the stove and stand to boil 2+ cups of water for my coffee every morning, and we'll see how long they last.


Speaking of that, maybe ther is room for a Tealight cup version of the Ion made for just that ;)
They're harder to find than the muffin cups, but there are little bonbon cups out there that hold maybe 0.5 oz. I found them at the party store, in a package of like 36 for $1.49. Cute lil' boogers.

Lanthar
2005-03-14, 13:33
wow... interesting... i wonder if getting some stainless foil and making your own "baking" cups might be a good way to go...

SGT Rock
2005-03-14, 14:14
Or maybe just a crimper and some sheet aluminum.

Sgathak
2005-03-14, 14:20
Made an ion-esque stove from 2 tea light cups.... it, um, works... ish....

holds just shy of .5oz. One kind of neat thing mine did was it would slighlty pressurise, then vent a few drops of fuel to the "priming plate". This would ignite, and set off the stove to max burn. The prime fuel would burn off, the stove would reprssureize, and off it went again!

SGT Rock
2005-03-14, 14:30
That would be a problem :D

Major Slacker
2005-03-14, 20:44
wow... interesting... i wonder if getting some stainless foil and making your own "baking" cups might be a good way to go...

Or maybe just a crimper and some sheet aluminum.There's merit in the idea. I'm sure it would be stronger, but I wonder how heavy it might be. The aluminum foil in the baking cups is really thin.

The crimps/pleats aren't strictly necessary, but they make the walls a nearly uniform thickness and height all around. I made a variation on the baking cup stove with a piece of kitchen foil shaped around the bottom of V8 can, cut off with scissors and worked from there into the final shape as described. It did work better with pleats. One of the early ones leaked because part of the edge was lower than the rest. It was also kind of lumpy.

An interesting discovery: one of the kitchen foil stoves had a crown to it so the center hole was slightly higher than the burner holes. I guess it created a chimney effect, because it only burned at the center. Amazing how little changes can dramatically affect performance.

SGT Rock
2005-03-14, 21:39
The amount of aluminum it would take is about 1 gram. The other probably doesn't even register, but the point is it isn't a lot.

Major Slacker
2005-03-14, 22:53
The amount of aluminum it would take is about 1 gram. The other probably doesn't even register, but the point is it isn't a lot.
You're right. That's less than I expected.

I've seen foils and sheet metal at the Michael's craft store. Where would I look for a crimper?

…ion-esque stove from 2 tea light cups...it would slighlty pressurise, then vent a few drops of fuel to the "priming plate". This would ignite, and set off the stove to max burn. The prime fuel would burn off, the stove would reprssureize, and off it went again!
Interesting that it would pressurize with the big hole in the center, or does it not have the big hole?

If it does have the big hole, did you use two whole tea light cups? Alcohol might be migrating up between the two walls by capillary action rather than by pressure. I had the capillary problem with some of the early Pepsi-G stoves I made. Using a minimal overlap instead of a full height overlap solved the problem.

SGT Rock
2005-03-14, 23:08
I'm not sure where to get a crimpler, but zen stoves has a template to make one from aluminum: http://zenstoves.net/Templates.htm

You can probably get the metal at Lowes.

Sgathak
2005-03-15, 01:41
Interesting that it would pressurize with the big hole in the center, or does it not have the big hole?

If it does have the big hole, did you use two whole tea light cups? Alcohol might be migrating up between the two walls by capillary action rather than by pressure. I had the capillary problem with some of the early Pepsi-G stoves I made. Using a minimal overlap instead of a full height overlap solved the problem.

Actually, it doesnt seem to be a "problem"... I made another version with JB Weld. burn times went up, but heat output was NOTICEABLY less than the candle the cup came from.

Major Slacker
2005-03-16, 07:17
I'm not sure where to get a crimpler, but zen stoves has a template to make one from aluminum: http://zenstoves.net/Templates.htm
I had been to the zen stoves site before but hadn't found the template page. Impressive. The Orion Stand and Stove are posted there now, thanks to Zen Seeker.

…and many congrats, Gramps. ;)

SGT Rock
2005-03-16, 07:43
I gave Zen Seeker a link, VERY cool site! I will probably end up referencing her stuff quite often if I get around to updating the site more often.

Hog On Ice
2005-03-16, 09:08
Interesting - Zen Seeker has a link pointing to my kit over on Stove Stomper's site - bottom of the page for Tealight stoves

SGT Rock
2005-03-16, 09:56
It's a small world.

Salvelinus
2005-03-16, 21:37
I think Zen seeker (Amy) is a "she." Anyway, her site does rock, doesn't it? One of the most valuable resources there besides the templates is the table linking can sizes. That's where I found that a Red Bull can is just very slightly bigger than a V8 can, just enough to make a tight fit, making assembly much easier. The same is true for Pepsi and Guinness cans.

I found that site at about the same time I stopped punching holes in the wall . . . :banghead:

--Scott

Major Slacker
2005-04-01, 23:29
"…fix it 'til it is."
I'll start using the stove and stand to boil 2+ cups of water for my coffee every morning, and we'll see how long they last.
Well, it's been about 3 weeks, except I had to start over with a new stand after Day 2 or 3 because I was standing there waiting for my coffee, wondering if the durn thing would be better with another crease here or there. An hour or two later I had to throw it away. It had so many creases it was about half the size I started with.

On the plus side, it was a helluvalot stronger.

Taking all that into account, I'd say the lil' boogers are hanging in there. I've had to straighten the stand a couple of times. It was originally designed to wrap around a taller, less squishable stove, but with the little stove, the stand takes a lot more heat and transfers only a little, if any, back to the stove. I'm using the alcohol/sterno mix to keep things from getting so hot. The little stove is showing no signs of trouble and no measurable weight gain from the sterno.