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#236556 - 11/30/11 02:48 AM Re: Making Stoves out of Cans [Re: bacpacjac]
Susan Offline
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Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
I made the Altoids/perlite/aluminum screening/Green Denatured Alcohol stove a few days ago, and it worked just fine. I didn't measure the amount of alcohol, just spilled some in. Two cups of water in a blue-enameled steel cup boiled in about 7 minutes, but this was in the house, not in the wind. I set the stove on one red clay brick (flat), set two more on edge on each side, placed a small kitchen rack over all, and lit the stove.

The aluminum screening was new, and didn't show any sign of melting, but I wouldn't be surprised if it deteriorated after multiple burns. I stopped in at a local metals shop and asked about SS mesh, but they didn't have any. A coarse expanded steel mesh cost $5/sqft, so I'll assume SS was out of my financial range. I got 3 sqft of window screening for $1.24: lots of stoves!

Jackie, aluminum can stoves don't seem to be strong enough to tolerate flames right against the metal. I'm not the expert that HikinJim or Blast are, but I would limit them to the double-wall alcohol (only) stoves. The regular soda can stove has a double wall, and I think only the fumes burn. When you set a container on them (pin holes on the outside, below the rim), the fumes flare out to make a nice burner.

I wouldn't make the tuna can (cardboard/wax) stove with anything but a 'tin' (steel) can, like tuna cans or the cat food cans that require an opener.

And if you're burning sticks, stay with the steel cans, too, for the reason you discovered. Aluminum has its place, but not for everything.

I ran across some empty paint cans while looking for the Kleen-Strip Denatured Alcohol, and bought one. I wonder if there is a simple way to remove that coating inside?

Sue

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#236577 - 11/30/11 06:36 AM Re: Making Stoves out of Cans [Re: bacpacjac]
Denis Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 631
Loc: Calgary, AB
Originally Posted By: bacpacjac
Step 2 after initial brainstorming is always to review of the leader's handbook and the policies and procecures manual, before planning the lesson/meeting. I usually understand the limitations. Safety first!

Out of curiosity, did you happen to find out if there are any Scouts Canada restrictions on making alcohol stoves?
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Victory awaits him who has everything in order luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck. Roald Amundsen

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#236585 - 11/30/11 12:26 PM Re: Making Stoves out of Cans [Re: bacpacjac]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Not yet Dennis. We're starting with wood stoves and then moving onto the tuna can ones. We decided to leave the alcohol ones for now. Two can stove projects is enough. We may revisit it before our annual weekend portage trip in the summer.

I will find out though Denis.

Here's a preview of the prototypes we'll be using:

Tuna can stoves ready for wax:


Steel can wood stoves made out of soup cans, ready for the dremmel:


And nested together with a bigger can for storage and a cook pot:


*Note: the black stuff in the bottom of the cans isn't mould, it's metal shavings. Need to clean them out before taking pics. wink


Edited by bacpacjac (11/30/11 03:25 PM)
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#236589 - 11/30/11 03:24 PM Re: Making Stoves out of Cans [Re: Susan]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Thanks Sue!! We definitely learned our lesson about aluminum pop cans. The altoids alcohol stove is still on our to do list at home. Thanks for the tips!
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#236590 - 11/30/11 03:26 PM Re: Making Stoves out of Cans [Re: Hikin_Jim]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Hikin_Jim
Originally Posted By: Blast
My batch-load inverted downdraft gassifier stove made from cans:
Part 1.
Part 2.
-Blast
Pretty cool. Wish wood fires weren't so frowned upon in (dry) Southern California. I could (if you'll pardon the expression) have a blast.

From Blast's blog:
Quote:
A word of warning though, building camp stoves can become an addiction...
Say it isn't so!

Good thing that hasn't happened to me. wink


HJ


I have homemade stove envy. wink
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#236591 - 11/30/11 04:08 PM Re: Making Stoves out of Cans [Re: bacpacjac]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Denis, I couldn't find anything specific in the Policies and Procedures. Here's the response I got from our Group and Area Commissionor when I asked about making alcohol burning stoves:

Quote:
"I would encourage youth to get the skills making their own solid fuel burning stoves. I would NOT encourage youth to make their own liquid fuel burning stoves, an unsafe liquid fuel stove runs way too much risk of serious injury/death due to explosion and human torch issues. If you have some solid/sane/experienced senior scouts: Maybe just for them. We do not currently have any like that."

He's a very experienced guy and someone that I respect a lot. His word is as good as gold to me when it comes to interpreting the BP & P.


Edited by bacpacjac (11/30/11 06:07 PM)
Edit Reason: Apologies to Denis. I spelled his name wrong. :(
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#236592 - 11/30/11 04:15 PM Re: Making Stoves out of Cans [Re: bacpacjac]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 7308
Loc: southern Cal
I don't believe "explosions" of alcohol stoves are much of an issue. White gasoline and kerosene are another matter. At least the stated policy is sane, flexible, and reasonable.

I think the Super Cat stove is just about as simple and safe as one can get with any kind of stove. Any kind of fire carries risk of some sort.
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#236593 - 11/30/11 04:23 PM Re: Making Stoves out of Cans [Re: bacpacjac]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Just because Scouts Canada says we can do something, doesn't always mean that we should. (i.e. We can take them on back country excursions if we complete the proper paperwork but we've all heard of groups who have done that without the proper skills base, and ended up in trouble.) Likewise, lots of people think that we have no business taking our Beaver Scouts camping because they're too young. Our group says bull-pucky to that! One of the guiding principles of our group is always to know our youth (and our leaders) and guage risk based on that knowledge.

(BTW - Explosion may not be an inherant risk, but in the hands of youth who give a higher priority to what's funny rather than a proper risk assessment, it's a definite possibility.)
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#236604 - 11/30/11 05:50 PM Re: Making Stoves out of Cans [Re: bacpacjac]
Denis Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/09/09
Posts: 631
Loc: Calgary, AB
Thanks for the info bacpacjac.

I had suggested pop can alcohol stoves as a fun activity to one of the Scout leaders and after seeing this thread again was wondering if I had given some bad advice. For risk, I'd tend to think they aren't much more risky than the white gas stoves they use camping, but I'll let those guys do their own risk assessment if they decide to try it - just wanted to ensure I didn't suggest something blatantly disallowed smile.

I also like the idea of hobo stoves designed to run off of a wood fire. My primary hesitation about them is the Alberta's Provincial Parks have regulations in place banning the use of dead wood for fires which really sort of defeats the purpose of a wood burning stove for a fair bit of the camping they might do, either with Scouts or especially on their own with their families (there are areas they could be used though).

On a side note, I seem to recall making a tuna can stove like that when I was a kid; they seem like they'd be good for an emergency kit. We also made smaller rolls of cardboard tied with string and dipped in wax as fire-starters.
_________________________
Victory awaits him who has everything in order luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck. Roald Amundsen

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#236610 - 11/30/11 06:07 PM Re: Making Stoves out of Cans [Re: Denis]
bacpacjac Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 05/05/07
Posts: 3601
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Denis
... or especially on their own with their families...


That's a really good point Denis. As part of our risk assessment, we need to be mindful that a lot of what we introduce them to may be tried outside of Scouts, with or without proper supervision, preparation, caution, etc. It's not always a reason not to do something but definitely something we should consider.
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