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FranceyS
2006-01-29, 15:30
Good Afternoon, All:
May I tell you about Alcohol Stoves, from my perspective.....

I read the first discussions regarding Alcohol Stoves and using Pumice stone. (This was late one evening.) How NEAT! I can do that, (I think).

I remembered that my daughter had given me a Pumice Stone many years ago, useful in sanding rough skin or callouses off feet in the Wintertime. (Well, I used it a couple of times, but found it didn't treat the root-cause of the dry skin...and getting a container of really good hand-lotion and applying it every night completely removed the problem thus, there was the pumice stone just waiting to be used for this experiment.)

So, with the Pumice Stone I had one ingredient for a '4-minute-stove', and rooting around my medicine shelves I found 1 cup's worth of 70% Rubbing Alcohol. Then, a tuna-fish can and I was all set. (I don't know why I save empty tuna cans, but I'm glad I did.) I made holes at the base of the tuna can and I followed the
instructions, broke the Pumice Stone into pieces, set them in the tuna can, and poured in 1 tablespoon of alcohol, and remembering NOT to get too close for fear of burning off 'the knuckle hair' of my fingers, <smile> as one of our members did -- I used a propane fire-lighter and set it off. It lit with a FLARE, but then petered out after a minute or so. No problem: I was delighted. I did make FIRE! And, like the stove inventers promised,' it
burned a beautiful blue flame. Since the Pumice is very porous, and it was late at night, I put the pumice in a small jar with 1 TBSP alcohol and let it overnight assuming that the stone would absorb all the liquid and burn longer. The next morning I tried the test again, and had the same results, about a minute burn. I figured then, that the tuna can was too wide. I found a small metal holder with holes all around it's bottom, formerly used as a tea-candle holder for warming things. I lined it with tinfoil and put in the pumice & TB of alcohol and HEY! it burned for 2 minutes. Success! I then put water in a tin-can and it actually heated up the water to HOT enough for making tea. It really works. What fun! Then I read the Posts some more and came to members using fibreglas material as wicks. Well, I don't have any fibreglas. I'll have to wait til I find some.

While practicing putting up my HHammock, at lunchtime, I put my bean-stew in a small fry-pan, set it over the burner on a stand I
found that I'd used for candle-warming foods for dinner parties....It was just the right height. I cut off an inch piece of old synthetic rope I found by the hammock, all weatherworn and wide of weave, in lieu of the fibreglas, and added that in place of the pumice stone. It burned hot and bright. How wonderful! It heated my lunch in the about 3 minutes of burn time. When it finished, I noticed in the burn holder, there was not a drop of ash from the old rope. What FUN! I'm making a quick fire, just as the 'stove inventors' showed could be done. Then, the final experiment, since I didn't have any fibreglas, I remembered that
wool is a fire retardant-- the slowest burning of all fabrics. I hated the thought of cutting some favorite wool item for a piece of wool to experiment with, and then remembered--POOKS, my favorite of all dogs--

I had, earlier this Winter, put a pure-wool red plaid throw-blanket into her outside 'house' to keep her cozy and warm when she prefers to sleep outside and talk to her canine neighbors. It had
fringes on it. I cut off three small wool fringes (don't tell Pooks) and put them in the holder. Saturated with 1 TB of alcohol and it burned a blue/vertical yellow 4" flame for 5 minutes. 80% of the wool was still usable after the fire went out.

I can't tell you how many times I've been off in the motorhome, and wanting a cup of something hot to drink or eat, and firing up charcoal, or setting up the rig's propane system to heat a cup of something, just wasn't worth the effort. If I'd known about this nifty minute burner, I could have used it many times. Just goes to show, when generous people share their inventions, everybody benefits. Thank you, to the unique stove makers who shared their experiments with us all.

See what I've learned in just this short time that I've been on this Forum. Great place to be.
Bye for now. FranceyS

incognito
2006-01-29, 16:38
I think you are well on your way to being a "Stovie" wanabe. Welcome to the world of Stove Makers. :biggrin:

Salvelinus
2006-01-29, 18:31
Uh-oh. She's already hooked, and hooked badly I think. :laugh: Welcome, Francey, and if anyone offers you napalm for your stove, RUN! ;)

I dug out my old stoves today--thinking about Spring :) and heard my wife say "Oh, no . . . " Hehehehe! She thinks my hobby is boiling water! :laugh:

dropkick
2006-01-30, 01:50
Hey FranceyS,
Welcome to the world of stovies.
Many of your fellow members can be instantly recognized by the constant surprised look on their faces (lack of eyebrows will do that to you).
I'm going to try jelling some alcohol next, and seeing if I can come up with a stove it will work better with (other than an open container).

KLeth
2006-01-30, 02:10
Uh-oh. She's already hooked, and hooked badly I think. :laugh: Welcome, Francey, and if anyone offers you napalm for your stove, RUN! ;) Compared to napalm, weapons grade plutonium is obviously much better . . . . Just remember a beryllium oxide or tungsten carbide windscreen.


I dug out my old stoves today--thinking about Spring :) and heard my wife say "Oh, no . . . " Hehehehe! She thinks my hobby is boiling water! :laugh: Of course one needs serveral stoves to boil water :fisheye: I have 8 - err 9. . . . . :love: Ehhh - Forgot actually 11, since I just bought two old Primus .. . . :captain:

KLeth
2006-01-30, 02:31
I'm going to try jelling some alcohol next, and seeing if I can come up with a stove it will work better with (other than an open container).
I did the Zen Stoves (http://zenstoves.net/Sterno.htm) recipe and it worked quite nicely. In a disposable ashtray I first did a burn using liquid 96% ethanol - It was soothy, pulsing, uncontrolled and inefficient.
Then I did a fill using calciumacetate solution and added the 96% ethanol. It was ready at once and it burned HOT, clean and controlled - The flame centered, almost like a chimney stove. - Forgot to tell, I used acetic acid instead of vinegar, to get a more concentrated solution.

A decent gel can be made with gelatine, but it will not burn as clean as the "sterno" type.

Seeker
2006-01-30, 15:54
Uh-oh. She's already hooked, and hooked badly I think. :laugh: Welcome, Francey, and if anyone offers you napalm for your stove, RUN! ;)

I dug out my old stoves today--thinking about Spring :) and heard my wife say "Oh, no . . . " Hehehehe! She thinks my hobby is boiling water! :laugh:

hey! i resent that! i was talking about rocket engines and c4... not napalm... :biggrin:

dropkick
2006-01-31, 02:06
I did the Zen Stoves (http://zenstoves.net/Sterno.htm) recipe and it worked quite nicely. In a disposable ashtray I first did a burn using liquid 96% ethanol - It was soothy, pulsing, uncontrolled and inefficient.
Then I did a fill using calciumacetate solution and added the 96% ethanol. It was ready at once and it burned HOT, clean and controlled - The flame centered, almost like a chimney stove. - Forgot to tell, I used acetic acid instead of vinegar, to get a more concentrated solution.

A decent gel can be made with gelatine, but it will not burn as clean as the "sterno" type.
I was planning on using the egg shell/vinegar recipe.
Where did you get the acetic acid?
Cook off the water from vinegar? Maybe I'll freeze vinegar and remove the ice, that should concentrate the acid and then I wouldn't have to use any form of still.
And are you really sure your not a mad scientist?
I mean first with the electron microscope and now using nonhousehold chemicals......

The HotDog
2006-01-31, 13:11
Compared to napalm, weapons grade plutonium is obviously much better . . . . Just remember a beryllium oxide or tungsten carbide windscreen.

Yeah, But napalm is a lot easier to make :biggrin:
also welcome FranceyS

KLeth
2006-01-31, 15:31
Here in Denmark we can buy acetic acid in almost every supermarket.
It's normally placed amongst cleaning and chemicals for removing chalk.
I did it using powdered CalciumCarbonate, but the powder is too fine to be filtered away - Use crushed egg shells or ground chalk.
I was wondering if a shaped (charge) filling eg. cone shaped or doughnut shaped charge will perform better. I will have a larger surface and therefore it should burn with higher effect.

No mad scientist . . . Just plain mad! Maybe a few recipies from "Improvised munnitions" could help accelerate field cooking - Flares maybe ?!?
Styrofoam is quite toxic when burning, so I wouldn't recommend napalm.
I always wanted to be an engineer :biggrin:

Attached some emoticons for stovies. :biggrin:

FranceyS
2006-01-31, 23:12
INCOGNITO & HOTDOG Thank you for the welcome.

SALVELINUS No napalm here...scary sounding word even. I certainly understand the quip about boiling water. I used bean cans to make trials, since the various flames leave awful
black, very hard to remove soot on counters and hands. At first I used a sponge to try to clean them off...then paper toweling, wet-dry....did nothing but smear them. Then I picked up the spray bottle of 'Greased Lightening'
I had, and let me tell you, like greased lightening it removed the soot instantly. Grrrreat Stuff!

DROPKICK Thank you for the welcome. That's really funny about the missing eyebrows and the surprised look on faces.... I know what you mean after one of the trials went WHOOOSH! when I put in a little too much alcohol. After reading the Stovie messages, I made sure I stood back some.

KLETH Did you say ELEVEN stoves? Good grief! You are a tinkerer... and you are a water-boiler, too. <smile> That Zen Stove recipe... what an interesting concept. I think I'll wait to try that after someone else jots down a simpler easier to follow recipe. Calciumacetate solution, I gather is the eggshells... How many teaspoonsful ... and so on. Did you make the emoticons? Real cute!

KLeth
2006-02-01, 15:11
KLETH Did you say ELEVEN stoves? Good grief! You are a tinkerer... and you are a water-boiler, too. <smile> That Zen Stove recipe... what an interesting concept. I think I'll wait to try that after someone else jots down a simpler easier to follow recipe. Calciumacetate solution, I gather is the eggshells... How many teaspoonsful ... and so on. Did you make the emoticons? Real cute!

Err hmmm :embarasse 12 plus a few homemade . . . . .
When dissolving calciumcarbonate (CaCO3) in acetic acid or plain vinegar (both C2H4O2), CO2 is released and Calcium Acetate Ca(CH3COO)2 is formed in a water based solution. If applied to alcohol it will form a "gitter", holding the alcohol in a semi-solid state.
I find the Zen Stoves recipie reslut too poor to function as hiking fuel. I need i more compact without that amount of water.
I'm now experimenting with the calcium acetate mixing relation with alcohol.

Didn't create the emoticons myself - I stole with pride :biggrin: