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[pct-l] Pop can stove
- Subject: [pct-l] Pop can stove
- From: email@example.com (Eric Lee (RAT))
- Date: Mon, 19 Feb 2001 12:19:40 -0800
I'm interested if anyone else is trying stoves from the smaller cans. Hey,
it saves a fraction of an ounce! Monte will appreciate that, he could
carry 75 of them for one of his canoe winter stoves!
I'm not exactly sure what the Henderson and Photon designs are that you
referred to, but I'm guessing that the Henderson is the double-wall, open
center design and the Photon is the single-wall, sealed chamber design.
I've built several models of both of them. My favorite one so far is a
single-wall, sealed chamber stove built out of 5.5 oz juice cans. I based
it on designs found on the net and added my own twists. Priming it is a bit
of a pain but it seems to be the most efficient (though not necessarily the
fastest) stove. Because this stove is so small, I can angle the jet holes
up and outward at a 45 degree angle and still have the flame contained
underneath my pot. I'll refer to this one as #1.
My second favorite one is a double-wall, open center stove built out of 12
oz pop cans. No priming required, so it's easy to light. It's also the
fastest-to-boil stove I've built. But I'm pretty sure it's less
fuel-efficient than the juice-can stove above. I'll refer to this one as
I'm no expert, but from what I've read and seen, a stove that runs too rich
(too much fuel, not enough air in the combustion zone) will end up wasting
fuel. The problem with the #2 stove is that it releases far too much
vaporized fuel at one time, and some of it escapes without being completely
burned. When I test it, I can smell thick alcohol fumes rising up above the
The #1 stove doesn't have this problem. Because the stove is sealed, the
only way the vaporized fuel escapes is through the burner jets so it's
more-or-less completely burned. Furthermore, having each jet point outward
gives each one some separation from its neighbors and allows more air to be
mixed with the fuel. It boils water a bit more slowly than #2, but I
believe this is simply because it's a smaller stove with less total flame
area. I tried building this same design out of pop cans, but the flame area
ended up being bigger than my pot.
On the other hand, priming the #1 can be kind of a pain. It actually
doesn't require a whole lot of fuel - several drops will do it, if the fuel
is in the right place. It takes a lot of practice though. Too much priming
fuel will definitely cause flare-ups like you saw, which kind of defeats the
fuel-efficiency advantage! When it's done right, priming is easy and quick,
but when it gets screwed up, it's a pain. I haven't used the #1 this stove
on a long trip so I can't say if the hassle of priming outweighs the fuel
I've never been concerned with the safety of the #1 stove. I can't give you
specific engineering figures, but I'm pretty sure that, given a decent
number of burner holes, there's no way you could build up enough internal
pressure to explode the stove. But I'm no expert.
I can give more specific details on my stoves if anyone's interested.