View Full Version : Impared Alcohol Stove

2005-12-19, 17:49
Well, I must have bad karma or something, because this
is just driving me nuts. I am trying to build an Ion Stove.

I bought the wedding favor tins, used the proper sized drill bits,
and followed Rocks instructions to the letter.

The problems:

1. - my burner holes won't light. I have tried yellow HEET, and
99.9% denatured alcohol. I pour in the alcohol, and light the stove
from the big centre hole with a match. Is that how you do it? What
happens is, the centre hole burns kind of small for a few minutes and
then works itself up to around 2.5" tall. My 12 small burner holes
never light at all. I have no experience with alcohol stoves so
am I missing some crucial lighting instructions?

2. - second problem. I made 7 stoves playing with different sized centre
holes, and varying both the size and amount of small burner holes. Still
no successful lights. I did however almost have the burners going with
a very tiny centre hole and about 15 small burner holes around the outside
edge of the top of the stove. It would sputter under some significant
pressure and flames would spurt out of the burner holes for a split
second. But would not remain lit.

Could anyone out there give me some tips for what I am doing wrong.
I am sure it is something simple. I've just missed some basic concept
of alcohol stove usage. What I need is a lighting guide for dummies.

lastly ... nowhere in the Ion stove building instructions does it mention
sealing the two halves of the stove together. How then .. can it hold
1 oz of fuel? I sealed a couple of my trial stoves at the seam with
liquid steel before I attempted lighting the higher pressure stoves.

Anxiously await some advice.

2005-12-19, 18:16
Are you waiting for the side holes to light without putting a pot over the top? They wont.
Get the flame going, let it burn for about 1 minute, then put the pot on... the side holes will eventually catch. If you take your pot off, the flame will go back to the center hole, and then relight the side holes when the pot goes back.

The two halves dont need sealed at all. The bottom half, if you dont cut it, will hold 1 oz without a problem.

2005-12-19, 18:49
Man, .. that's embarassing. I just figured out what my real problem is.
The height of the stupid pot stand!! I was nearly 3" too tall.
Here I am reading everything on the Ion Site, and looking at all these
pictures of beautiful lit burners .. and finally the little light goes on.
Why is my pot so much higher than theirs. ... and well, the whole
concept just rolled into place from here. Duh!!!! no wonder.

Thanks Sgathak. As soon as you mentioned placing and removing the pot,
it made me look at my improvised pot stand.

I am working on a combination pot stand and wind screen and didn't realize
the exact science that is "space above the burner". Should have just
made the thing to Ti-pod height to begin with. See what happens when
you have no experience!

Embarassment: - Being a liscensed heating tech, and not catching that
immediately :shot: :embarasse

More Embarassing: - now having 5 out of 7 perfectly functioning stoves :P

Priceless: - taking 2 of the stoves into work this morning and having 6
other techs equally baffled and scratching their heads.

tomorrow morning I'll be the 'rookie' that outwitted the all knowing
veterans ...a.k.a "the wise-@**"

2005-12-20, 00:44
Well, I must have bad karma or something, because this
is just driving me nuts. I am trying to build an Ion Stove.

Anxiously await some advice.

the problems in the exchange rate... since you're canadian, you have to make 25% more holes to equal american holes... so, instead of a 1'' hole, make yours 1.25" canadian ( or is that metric?)... and then make 16 holes (again, canadian) around the big hole... :biggrin:

(i have no idea where that came from... this stuff just pops into my head... i'll try to read the rest of the replies now, and see if i can't offer something constructive.)

2005-12-20, 19:07
I played all day today with pressurized alcohol stoves. Was alot of fun.
Finally got a pressurized burner with the performance specs I wanted.

I spent about 4 hours working on the combination pot stand and wind
screen. I went through oh .. I don't know ... 25+ modifications. All I
know for sure is that, when I get this just right .. it will certainly be custom.
Definately will only work with just a snowpeak mini solo pot and only
this burner size and very little tolerance for alternative burner configuration
(eg: number and size of holes).

Once I learn the "test parameter rules" so to speak I will do a full
performance review and throw up some pics and numbers at you guys
for your critique and advice.

It is nice having a full machine shop at your finger tips for design and
building. I was able to use alternative construction methods to various
online instruction guides that I was a little skeptical on.
Having access to lathes, thermal expanders, extruders, english wheel
and a slew of metal working tools really lets you explore construction
methods :) Of course .. having pro welders that can weld pop cans
end for end is a rare plus too :P

I have absolutely NO intention of persuing any kind of commercial interest.
I hope that guys like Rock and Tinny are not angry for using their design
elements. Basicall I wanted to take Rocks physical dimensions for burner
and stand, combine it with design and construction of some of Tinnys
best pressurized stoves, and then tweak that design and play with
my ideas on combustion air to HOPEFULLY .. achieve performance results
in some kind of happy medium between Rocks dedication to efficency
and Tinnys bullet proof jet engines. The end goal being not a stove
to sell. Nor even one to recommend to anyone else. But one that works
as best as possible for myself and my cooking needs.

Personalize your gear right? thats what its all about.

2005-12-20, 23:25
I thought that to convert from American to the Canadian metric system you have to double the figure and add 12.
So to make $10 American you would need $10 Canadian and 12 beers.

1 American alcohol stove would be equal to 2 Canadian alcohol stoves plus 12 beers.

At lest thats the way I learned it.

2005-12-21, 00:14

turk's not taking the bait... has not even dignified it with a look of disgust... hope we haven't offended him... :biggrin:

turk, my apologies... or maybe you just had more constructive things to do with your time...

2005-12-21, 00:19
Okay ..if I have to give out 12 beers. You yanks had better be bringing
company, and taking a cab ride home. After all, we're talking Canadian
beer here, ... you know. The real stuff. And I believe the conversion
on Canadian beer to American is about 5 to 1. Now the real die-hards
in the deep south there drinking the Budweezer and Milk-wakee..
a.k.a. - distilled camel urine, you guys will just have bring glasses and
sip lightly. But the good news is ...

With 5 bucks U.S. You can make the round trip 900 miles, get a weeks
accomodations, eat, shop, buy some souveniers ... and still have tipped
generously :P

You start flashing those green 5 dollar bills in our casinos ...and they
put you up in the high rollers suite.

Now ... following this cumulative logic ... an ounce of Canadian
denatured alcohol in my stove should boil 100 gallons of water,
fry 10 lbs of Canadian back bacon and dry out the laundry :) . ..
more if I use the simmer ring.

2005-12-21, 02:07
I think Turk won this round boys.....

2005-12-21, 12:02
And I agree 100%. Hell, I'm a cheap date on just American beer. I dont think I could make it through one can/bottle of Canadian beer and I'd be on the floor.

Hey, everyone remember that movie Strange Brew?......

2005-12-21, 13:03
drunkest two weeks i ever spent was with a contingent of US, British, Aussie, and Canadian troops on an exercise in G.B. Damn, those guys could hold some beer...

2005-12-21, 19:17
I dont think I could make it through one can/bottle of Canadian beer and I'd be on the floor.

That's how I feel about drinking with the British
:biggrin: Our stuff is baby's milk compared to their dark molasses.
It would be a stew if it had solids in it. ... The beer that drinks like a meal
Never had the Aussies brew, but I would imagine some similarities there.

2005-12-22, 00:49
It would be a stew if it had solids in it. ... The beer that drinks like a meal
Isn't there ?!?
Young's Christmas Pudding Ale (http://www.youngs.co.uk/ProductPage.aspx?pageID=11&&productID=33)
Young's Oatmeal Stout (http://www.briansbelly.com/beerbelly/youngs.shtml)
Young's Double Chocolate Stout (http://www.epinions.com/content_81582788228)

Americans can't drink, but they are sure fun to drink with! :beer:
A waitress in Keystone, Colorado were impressed that each of us had a pitcher of "Big Fat Tire" with our meal but most American beer is like "a canoe ride" - 'VERY' close to water. :wink:

Brittish, I think at some point their brains shuts down for preservation, where other people shuts down the drinking :cheers:

Canadians, they have this fine beer - I think it's nicked "rye", has quite a punch. :fisheye:

Aussies, don't they bottle river water and crocks as beer ?

Always wondered why people smoke "grass" :confused: - Goes for all sorts of people. :confused: :sheep:

2005-12-23, 10:43
You certinly now it when you have had a weekend drinking 'old growler' and 'speckled hen' to name but a few of the stranger pints on offer over here :elefant: :elefant: :dancing2:

bird dog
2006-01-01, 23:45
drunkest two weeks i ever spent was with a contingent of US, British, Aussie, and Canadian troops on an exercise in G.B. Damn, those guys could hold some beer...

Partnership for Peace Exercise (PFP)...Six Flags over _________ at the conclusion of the exercise. Canadian soldiers in the tavern drinking and slapping the waitresses on the fourth point of contact. Tried to lure some little girls inside too..... I had the dubious distinction of being called to "calm them down". They got me drunk pretty quickly and I became part of the problem. Man I loved the Army....eh


2006-01-02, 20:59
Okay, well i've exhausted my first case of wedding favor tins.
Have trashed most of my designs and kept maybe the top 6 or 7 for
performance specs.

My big problem now is making the windscreen adjustable. I'm going to
use a thin piece of Ti that will swivel inside the rolled edge of the
windscreen with corresponding holes cut in it so that it can rotate
to open or close the air holes like louvers. Because they are angled,
it will also adjust flame height at the same time. This is still a big
work in progress. But eventually I should have a fully air adjustable
wind screen. Here is a working proto. Have about 4 variations on the
go. This windscreen proto is just a cut and rolled "magic heat" stand.
I also flared the one lip in a die press to stretch it out to just a hair
smaller than the diameter of the mini solo pot. Reasoning being I may
loose the cross member support all together and cut air hole notches
in the face that mates to the pot bottom. ... will see how further testing
Just waiting for another sheet of thinner Ti to come in for the adjustable
louvers.. Right now I have everything made from aluminum. Don't have
a final weight yet, but its going to be low. Real low. I won't be a
gram weenie, so won't weigh it till I am down to a final model, and not
real concerned with the numbers anyway. The big thing is that it is going
to be super light, serve as a backup kitchen. The whole rig and all the
fuel I plan on carrying (no more than 6oz.) will fit in the Snow Peak
mini solo pot.

For burners, I think I am going to stick with the pressurized.
I seem to be getting a little faster boil times for very little fuel
cost. My open burner models have been really 'finicky' in
high wind tests outdoors. The pressurized burners not so much.
This guy is my top performer so far. The filler port is pretty slick.
It is fully tapped and threaded for a 10/24 aluminum bolt, and works
well. Extruded a little funnel through the centre that left enough
workable material to get a good tapping into.
I think I will add a primer wick around the outside like Tinny's stoves.
Found a neat little lighting trick online. Been using a butane zippo
style of lighter to preheat the stove, and with a few drops of well
placed fuel on top of the stove, lighting it once the stove temp was up
a bit. Takes a little practice, but its pretty easy to do, and takes less fuel than a primer pan.
Will see how Tinnys wick primers work out.

I've got some problems with another proto that works really well
indoors, with great performance, but completely craps out when
exposed to decent winds and low temps. Maybe i'll post up some
pics and ask you experts out there for help and suggestions.
Its based on the same magic heat platform but is sealed to the
bottom of the pot with only the louver air for combustion. Indoors
it works like a mini vaccuum, sucking in air from the bottom, and
making a perfect flame pattern. .. but still some hurdles to overcome.

Anyways. Been a fun little experiment. Don't think I could become
a 'stove guy'. But its educational. And they are fun to build.
Plus it helps pass the time until my kukuri gets here and I can start
wacking and hacking up stuff for some 'real' entertainment. :biggrin:

2006-01-03, 21:13
Don't think I could become
a 'stove guy'.

Sorry, but I think it's too late! :D

Can't wait to hear how the louvers work . . .

2006-01-16, 20:03
[quote]Maybe i'll post up some
pics and ask you experts out there for help and suggestions.
Its based on the same magic heat platform but is sealed to the
bottom of the pot with only the louver air for combustion.[quote]

Waiting for your pictures!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2006-01-17, 09:05
Waiting for your pictures!!!!!!!!!!!!!

still waiting for the right Ti to come in.
They ordered .060, but that would be like trying to work
with armour. I am waiting for the .025 to come in for my

Remember, in Canada the dollar is worth 1/2 as much
and shipping takes twice as long :biggrin:

The best part is, we make everything here. We send it
down the distribution chain to the U.S. so that we Canadians
can buy it back from you at twice the price and with extra
taxes when it crosses the border. :hmmmm: :stupid:
Gotta love our industry.