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dropkick
2006-07-27, 07:05
I was sitting around watching t.v. when I started thinking of how I could build a stove from tinfoil.

I thought of all kinds of fancy ways I could build one, but then I thought "When would I actually want or need to use this?" And the answer I came up with, was either an emergency, or when I didn't have my regular pop can stove with me.
Neither of which would require a fancy stove, and would actually be better suited by a quick simple design.

So I made a simple 2" x 2" envelope, stuffing a small amount of toilet paper inside to act as a wick and to puff up the envelope. I then poured a small amount of alcohol inside, sealed it up, and poked a few almost random holes in the top with needle. I turned it upside down so a small amount of alcohol would leak out the holes, set it back upright and lit the alcohol.

It worked like a champ. Settling down to a steady flame after just a short time. Didn't do any tests with it, but I'm sure I could have cooked with it and had no problems.

After use the top becomes extremely fragile and can be busted with just a touch, but it stood up to the flames for quite awhile. Perhaps doubling the top would work better?

For single emergency use I think it would work fine.

JAK
2006-07-27, 09:37
Neat idea. It would be interesting to try the same idea with other fuels that might be kicking around, like olive oil, or bacon fat. Also I wonder what might happen if you used birch bark instead of tinfoil. It would burn eventually, but the alcohol might burn first. Birch bark and olive oil is a real mess though. You end up with your pot coated with a thick black paint that never quite dries. Muffler tape is a good material to try stove ideas with because it is stiffer and has the sticky stuff on one side. Heavy, but good for prototyping.

Frolicking Dino
2006-07-28, 19:38
Muffler tape is a good material to try stove ideas with because it is stiffer and has the sticky stuff on one side. Heavy, but good for prototyping.Good info and neat idea from dropkick.

JAK
2006-07-28, 21:36
At the risk of hijacking the thread, you've got me thinking about oil stoves again. Say you run out of alcohol, but have some olive oil as backup food/fuel. Or say you want a stove that is deliberately designed to run on 50% alcohol and 50% olive oil, or canola oil which is very cheap, but just as good as a lamp oil (low acid).

A tealight tin, half filled with alcohol.
A strip of aluminum foil, 3/4" x 6".
A strip of fibreglass cloth, 3/4" x 6", soaked in vegetable oil.
Soak the fibreglass cloth with canola oil and roll it up in the aluminum foil and drop it in the tealight tin half filled with alcohol. The idea is that the alcohol will help heat up the olive oil so that it will burn faster and more completely. I'm not sure that the aluminum foil helps, but the idea is for it to conduct heat to help heat up the olive oil. Paritally enclosing this primary combustion chamber and insulating it from the ground and direct contact with the cold pot bottom above should also reduce smoke. You might be able to use less alcohol and more oil.

dropkick
2006-07-29, 02:08
I've never tried lighting an olive oil candle in the cold, so I don't know all the problems involved. But I've made and used lots of them indoors (pure olive oil doesn't smoke - makes for a good candle).

I always thought if I needed to use olive oil as emergency fuel, I would go simple: find a short can (tuna, bottom of pop can, etc.) fill it with a porous material for wicking (dry pounded bark, cat tail fluff, sawdust, old cotton sock, etc.) pour the oil over top and light it.

JAK
2006-07-29, 02:34
I've never tried lighting an olive oil candle in the cold, so I don't know all the problems involved. But I've made and used lots of them indoors (pure olive oil doesn't smoke - makes for a good candle).

I always thought if I needed to use olive oil as emergency fuel, I would go simple: find a short can (tuna, bottom of pop can, etc.) fill it with a porous material for wicking (dry pounded bark, cat tail fluff, sawdust, old cotton sock, etc.) pour the oil over top and light it.I agree it doesn't smoke when you use it as a lamp, but heating water without soot is not so easy. Of course in an emergency situation a little bit of soot doesn't matter.

I haven't tried lighting a small lamp in the cold either. I understand it will freeze. I would imagine you could heat it up with your body first and one it was lit, out of the wind, it would be fine. I enjoy reading by candle or lamp light in the woods. Heating up a cup while reading is fun also.

incognito
2006-07-30, 00:51
I've tried olive oil with a large wick. Burns dirty.

Needs to have the wick small and barely sticking up out of the oil to burn clean. Stopped trying after 2 trys. I ventured I gained, difficult but not impossible, somebody will come up with sumpin :)

JAK
2006-12-20, 00:27
Thought I would revive this thread rather than start a new one. I've been doing a little more experimenting with vegetable oil stoves, and isopropyl alcohol also. The main problem being soot and smoke.

Fuels for experiments:
1. 99% isopropyl alcohol.
2. 100% beeswax
3. Canola Oil
4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Findings - Usual stuff. Not so interesting.
The idea of mixing oil and alcohol didn't work because the alcohol just burned off first. The isopropyl alcohol burned fast enough, but was smokey and sooty, as is already well documented. I think for alcohol fuel I will abandon isopropyl and focus on fermenting and distilling my own ethanol, which I think might be the best and safest alcohol fuel, with dual use for first aid. Also fun to make on a small scale.

Findings - Somewhat more interesting.
Had better luck with the canola oil by burning it in a metal screw on wine cap, smaller in diameter but deeper than a tealight. The burn-rate was not all that great but it was clean. For a wick I coiled up a strip of paper towel and packed it in there and then added the oil, perhaps 1/3 oz, which burned in about 30 minutes. That works out to about 650 BTU/hour. I would like to double that without smoke. Other than burn-rate I was very pleased with this burner. The solid wick eliminates the risk of extremely hot spills. Beeswax mixed in as fuel now and then makes the burner and wick less messy and more permamant. The chief advantage of using vegetable oil is that it serves as both backup food and backup fuel, and it has a very high kcal/g and BTU/oz for both functions. A long beeswax candle, like you can get from a Greek Orthodox Church, is the best way to light these burners.

Future ideas:
I am mostly interested in combining 3 stove ideas into 1 or 2 stoves.

The first is a compact hobbo stove for burning an unlimited supply of sticks. The main criterion for success would be keeping the packed wieght and volume down while minimizing soot getting into rest of gear and clothes. The design issue is finding the best way to combine and nest burner and stand and windscreen and pot and firestarting kit. Ideally I would like something 4" diameter by 8" high and weighing under 4oz that doesn't get soot everywhere.

The second stove is a stove might be the same stove using a vegetable oil burner, and burning clean enough to be safe for use inside a small shelter or a car. I think as long as it doesn't burn more than 1oz/hour and doesn't smoke then carbon monoxide is not an issue. A burn-rate of 1oz/hour, using 1/3oz of fuel in 20 minutes, should be fast enough when not in a hurry.

The third stove is really a lantern, bright enough to read by but also hot enough to heat up some tea and perhaps hot water bottle. This might be just a matter of adding a replacement glass lantern lense as an optional component when needed. The trick is to keep it from tipping when in use, and also to have the lense nest in with everything else when packed. In terms of lighting efficiency a beeswax candle give more lumens/oz than vegetable oil unless you go to a pressurized stove, but the additional heat of the olive oil would be useful. A beeswax candle could still be an option for the same light at a slower burn-rate.

Design concept so far:
0. 4" diameter plywood as groundpad.
1. 4" diameter coffee can as hobbo stove.
2. 16oz pot made from large diameter beer can with something at top so you can hold it and drink from it while very hot.
3. Blue foam pad with aluminum tape as insulated wind screen.
4. Some sort of pot stand somehow incorporated into 1,2,3.
5. Metal wine bottle cap and paper vegetable oil burner.
6. Glass lantern screen when in reading while simmering mode.
7. A plastic or tin container containing some or all of 8oz oil flask, 1 or 2 beeswax candles, flint&steel, matches, lighter, tinder char made by reducing moss or cotton or paperbark inside vented tin container in a small fire.
8. All or most of the above nest into a 4"dia. x 8" high or so, with lid.

Pictures to follow.

Hog On Ice
2006-12-20, 20:06
notes from past experimentation - I only had one success getting isopro to burn cleanly but the problem was that the stove had to be rather high pressure and the jet small enough that you could hear it whistle somewhat loudly - the stove I was using came apart during a test burn and there was a bit of excitement and casual damage to a windscreen as a result - I never rebuilt the stove or any other stove that produced such high pressure. Burning olive oil or canola oil cleanly is fairly easy if a piece of metal or a loop of wire is used on the wick to limit how far down the wick the burning takes place - by adjusting the amoung of wick above the loop of wire or a piece of metal with a hole in it one is able to get a clean burning flame. I usually used half a piece of toilet paper rolled with a tight twist on the end for my wicks. It was my opinion that a stove with multiple wicks was the way to go for cooking since the non-smoking flames are somewhat small. Unfortunately I ran out of interest before I came up with a good way of handling the multiple wicks and oil.

incognito
2006-12-20, 20:15
JAK thanks for the revised interest in oil stoves.


Fuels for experiments:
1. 99% isopropyl alcohol.
2. 100% beeswax
3. Canola Oil
4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Does anyone know how to dissolve beeswax?

The solvent needs to be clean burning

Anyone know how the cosmetic industry dissolves it into their products?

JAK refer back to the thread "Elite Hobo stove" use that concept, don't open the strainer more than halfway(oops56's idea) set pot directly on strainer, still plenty of holes exposed for air to enter. Use your oil burner inside for fuel when not using twigs. Use glass globe from little oil lamps sold in "dollar" stores. Your little oil burner should give off a lot of light, if not enough, use kerosene.


The solid wick eliminates the risk of extremely hot spills.

I like the idea how wick stoves eliminate risk of extremely hot spills!!!!!!!!!!

JAK!!!!! you've got great ideas, follow up on them, you're on the right track.

HOI, the thread "vegetarian stove" shows how I used multiple wicks to create a burner. You've got great ideas, follow up on them, renew your interests. I put the veggie stove on the back burner. I still have alot of interest in the oil burners


Happy Holidays Everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

oops56
2006-12-20, 22:24
Why do you guys bring all this old time stuff up i use to do make beeswax soft long time ago for my flintlock to seal the powder pan lets see close my eyes o yes i see now i think i used turpentine to make it soft dam i getting old:beer: :ahhhhh:

Frolicking Dino
2006-12-20, 22:26
Does anyone know how to dissolve beeswax? Anyone know how the cosmetic industry dissolves it into their products?Not sure about the comestic industry, but here is a description of using it to make furniture polish. (http://www.agric.nsw.gov.au/reader/526)

JAK
2006-12-20, 23:07
I like the small glass lantern idea, if I can find a way to pack it safely. Thinking about the oil burner part I would like to try a donut shaped burner with fresh air coming up the centre as well as the outside. Thinking about the hobo stove part, I am wondering how small the can could be. If it is smaller, and still get enough air, it might burn hotter with less smoke and more draft.

Dead spruce sticks are fairly dry, perhaps 20% moisture; 6400 BTU/lb, 400 BTU/oz; 30lb/ft3, given a packing ratio of 40%, perhaps 0.10 oz/in3. So 10 in3 for 1 oz of fuel, for 400 BTU. That would pack into as little as 2" in diameter 3" high. I like the rocket stove idea of feeding into a tube from the side at the bottom, so you can keep feeding the stick3 in as they burn. I think you would want at least 3 sticks in order for them to help each other burn, but an insulated combustion chamber would help alot, perhaps with some oil now and then, or some drops of beeswax, to keep it burning well. 400 BTU every 10 minutes would be a nice burn rate. That is 2400 BTU/hour. If the stove was small enough I don't think an insulated combustion chamber would be too heavy. Clay and sawdust fired at 1000C makes a good insulating ceramic at about 30 lbs/ft3. Brings back the idea of the "wood stove" made of wood. Not really all that crazy of an idea if you lined the inside with tinfoil. You could also fashion a new one now and then easy enough, perhaps even in the field.

Let's see now. 4" diameter softwood, 6" high, with a 2"diameter hole down through the center, and a 2" diameter hole in from the side at the bottom. That would be 75in3 - 22in3 = 53in3; 15oz at 30 lb/ft3. Perhaps only 3" diameter. Then it would be about 6oz. Getting there. Perhaps just 4" high, and then the pot and windscreen could take over. Anyhow, I could make it out of wood first and once I get the dimensions and draft and performance working well I could perhaps make something out of a lighter ceramic. I still like the idea of having a hollow area filled with combustible material that acts as an insulator, but also releases volatile gases and turns to char to be used to help start the next fire.

oops56
2006-12-20, 23:59
Jak i know we all like light weight stoves plus lots of BTU on less fuel now this stove will burn a hole in a alum. pot if it got northing in it i got two of them its a nice stove even if you go for $100.00 or more its a good buy my 2 cents

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220061653920&ih=012&category=87138&ssPageName=WDVW&rd=1

JAK
2006-12-21, 00:32
I have never heard of the Taykit pocket stove. Thanks.

Here is a better picture of it, Taykit is half way down:
http://www.spiritburner.com/action/actionshots_2.htm

More details on the Taykit:
http://www.spiritburner.com/taykit_inst.htm

Gasoline eh? Interesting.

oops56
2006-12-21, 00:54
I have never heard of the Taykit pocket stove. Thanks.

Here is a better picture of it, Taykit is half way down:
http://www.spiritburner.com/action/actionshots_2.htm

More details on the Taykit:
http://www.spiritburner.com/taykit_inst.htm

Gasoline eh? Interesting.
coleman fuel