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My Penny Stove Design

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posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 11:40 AM
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I used to carry around an MSR WhisperLite. It had a beautiful flame but that is where the fun ended. Bulky, complex, loud and made out of plastic parts it constantly needed maintenance and often broke from my extreme lifestyle.


When a friend spotted an 8R in the garbage and gave it to me I instantly donated my WhisperLite to a weekend warrior.
The 8R is arguably the pinnacle of expedition style stoves. Designed in the time of the dinosaur its all metal construction and simple, maintenance free design is raved about by everyone who owns one.

It’s a great stove that I take on every backpacking trip but it weighs about 2 pounds and for simple weekend trips, overnighters which I do every week and for the emergency kit there is another exceptionally elegant alternative.

Weighing only 6 grams and made by hand pressing together parts from three soda cans this little power house has become a staple in my SEK pack.


Modeled around the penny stove of which there are dozens of designs posted on the internet the version here has a couple of improvements that make it a practical cooking system for emergency and short term use.

To keep it small this stove was made from two “Red Bull” 250 ml cans (careful, there is a slightly large 355 ml can too) and one standard 355 ml soda can. A bit of fiberglass insulation is loosely stuffed into the stove before the two can bottoms are squeezed together and those are the only parts. The cans are cut with a razorblade knife and the holes are punched with a thumb tack. The main improvement of this particular design is the addition of a preheat cup added to the bottom of the stove which eliminates outages due to cold pot heat sinking. The cup also makes starting a cinch and safer and improves the stoves stability.


The stove works very well with inexpensive methyl hydrate (presently $6 for 4 liters) and produces a clean, blue, almost silent flame which will boil half a liter of water in 6 minutes. There is no smoke. Methyl hydrate burns to produce water and carbon dioxide. The flame is fairly wind resistant but as with any stove a wind screen helps. I make my own out of a large, folded up piece of aluminum foil. The stove will burn almost any other fuel with varying results. For those of you who are into stealthy survival techniques the stove has a very small thermal footprint and cools down almost instantly after being put out due to its small thermal mass and the boiling fuel inside. I'll be posting thermal footage of the stove in action soon.

When out by myself I generally cook and purify water with a 500ml stainless coffee cup. The little penny stove is perfect for this, producing an even blue flame that encompasses the bottom of the cup perfectly and produces no black soot. A pot stand is not required for this particular model but one can be constructed out of thin welding rod or a metal close hanger.





Now, as much as this cooker suites my needs I'm certainly not claiming that it is the end all of stoves. It takes a couple of minutes longer to boil water than some of the stoves out there and occasionally I'll have to take a minute to refuel it when cooking an elaborate meal but I'm generally not in a hurry when I'm in the bush so that's fine with me. Another disadvantage is that without a pot stand it is difficult to adjust the heat but cooking over a fire pit is even worse so I'm fine with that too.



My favorite part about this stove is that with the same weight as an 8R I can carry ten times as much fuel or for a short outing I can carry just enough fuel for a few meals and it hardly increases the weight and size of my kit. This is particularly important during the dry season here when fire bans are often in effect.

I am constructing another one of these and will post images, video and instructions of the build as it happens.








Edit for typo

[edit on 9-4-2010 by dainoyfb]




posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 12:12 PM
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I have a friend that uses things like that and I always just kinda chuckle at the thought of carrying something you don't need.
Why not just make a fire??
I have the second picture for my compact stove but have never seen a need to carry it and have never even used it.

I did try out a hobo stove made out of an old 5litre beer keg and found it to be useless to carry when I can just make a fire.

Why not just build a fire to cook on??



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 12:29 PM
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THIS IS GOLD MY FRIEND!!

star flag and many thanks!!!

i love improvised survival



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 12:30 PM
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Originally posted by DrumsRfun
Why not just build a fire to cook on??


As stated in the OP we have fire bans during the dry season here and open camp fires are not permitted or justified.

Also, because water is available in streams and lakes pretty much everywhere here I generally don't carry any water. With this stove I can boil some water and be on my way in ten minutes without disturbing the environment and taking the time to build and extinguish a fire.



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 12:42 PM
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Being new to this, say I create a stove out of redbull cans, how would I burn the fuel underneath? I have never used one, and I don't camp or hike very often but it would be a good to know thing in my opinion.



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 12:45 PM
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www.instructables.com...

There are several others there as well. Are you the author of any of these by chance?



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 12:45 PM
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It seems that a situation that called for stealth would be a good time for a cool lil stove like that.
Cool thread TS!



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 12:47 PM
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reply to post by dainoyfb
 


Ah gotcha.
I am usually in a pretty remote area so I never have to worry about that kind of stuff.
Heres the one I tested last summer


this is the fan for the bottom which after testing it out we realized it needed a steel type fan instead of the plastic one so we upgraded it to a steel fan.

Forgive me not reading all the OP...I thought it was Friday yesterday and partied without realizing I still had to go to work today.
My mind is a bit foggy still.

[edit on 9-4-2010 by DrumsRfun]

[edit on 9-4-2010 by DrumsRfun]



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 01:06 PM
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reply to post by The_Zomar
 


I'll be posting an instructional video for this particular model as soon as I can.



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 01:10 PM
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reply to post by Acid_Burn2009
 



No, this is the first time I've written about one of these stoves. I've looked at many of them and figured they needed a bit of tweaking. Mine starts and burns better than most and can be used without a stand but there is still a change or two I'm working on. Particularly I'm working on a simple way of adjusting the flame size.



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 01:12 PM
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Soda can stoves are great for short term emergency use. But they have their limits. They burn alcohol and alcohol as a fuel definitely has its limits. Especially in colder environments. The MSR whisperlite stove is an amazing piece of equipment if regularly maintained and properly used. Problem is people dont understand the necessity to keep them cleaned and working properly.



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 01:25 PM
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I dont get it so you put the methyl hydrate inside the can or...?
But its a crazy design! I just dont see how the fuel works.

DAMN I want that optimus stove soooo bad.



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 03:02 PM
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reply to post by dainoyfb
 


Very nice little burner.

If you wanted to cook with a larger pot, all you'd have to do would be to make another 4 or so, and arrange them into a star pattern.

Sit the large pot or skillet on top, and you're good to go.

Don't bother with a fancy pot stand for these, just dig a shallow trench a few inches deep or so, place the stove or stoves into the trench, allowing air in from the trench sides, and straddle the trench with the pot.

Dig a bit deeper or shallower depending on how fast you want to cook.

Acts as a nice windbreak too.



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 03:37 PM
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Ok, here is a demonstration video that I quickly threw together:
New Penny Stove Demo

[edit on 9-4-2010 by dainoyfb]



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 03:38 PM
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Nice little stove.

May also want to check out Kelly Kettle

Nice for hauling water and boiling very fast. I have one of the larger sizes for planned excusions, and a small one in my INCH Bag.

Can use almost anything as fuel, and the heat from the top of the chimney does a better than average job of cooking.



posted on Apr, 9 2010 @ 10:06 PM
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reply to post by spikey
 



I'm finding that the stove works better with larger pots than the one I'm demonstrating with here and boils the same amount of water even quicker. This is because less of the heat is lost up the side of a larger pot.

Here are images of the stove evenly heating a tea kettle as the flames travel along the entire radius of the kettles base. The thermal image shows that even with the much wider vessel the flames are still curling around to the sides.





posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 08:42 AM
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reply to post by dainoyfb
 


Thats a great little stove man-all the better for being made out of something as easy to find as a couple of empty cans.

I'm off camping soon and I will try this idea out.

Good work!

Edit:I just knocked one together,first attempt the bottom half split as I shoved the top section inside-So for the second try I wrapped a bit of paper round the bottom half,and taped around the paper a few times-this gave the bottom half enough strength to stop it splitting when I pushed the top part in.Then I cut the tape/paper off.

The only flammable juice I could find was some white spirit in my garage,which sadly did not work as a fuel-Will have to get some proper juice from the camping store tomorrow.



[edit on 11/4/2010 by Silcone Synapse]



posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 10:53 AM
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reply to post by Silcone Synapse
 


I haven't seen a can split yet so that is interesting to know. Was it along a seam? The cans I have been using do not have a seam and I crimp the inside can along the rim to make it go into the outside can easier.

There are two common fuels referred to as "camping fuel". Naphtha (also known as "white gas") and methyl Hydrate (also know as "wood alcohol"). You definitely want to use the methyl hydrate if available. It burns much cleaner and it is half the price. The white gas burns a bit hot for the stove and burns with a yellow sooty flame and cooking indoors with this gas is a no-no.

Edit for typo

[edit on 11-4-2010 by dainoyfb]



posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 11:02 AM
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reply to post by dainoyfb
 


I think the bottom half split because I pressed down to hard too fast the first time,but it was not on the seam.

It could have been that I had left a jagged edge which caused the split,so I did spend more time makeing the second attempt all smooth and regular.

Thanks for the fuel info,I will give that a try .

I love the handy size of the stove,and its super lightweight but strong design.



posted on Apr, 11 2010 @ 12:09 PM
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The preheat cup.Do you pour a little fuel in there when the stove is full,to warm the fuel up before lighting?

I wasn't sure about that part.

Also the fuel "methyl hydrate" is methylated spirits/denatured alcohol the same stuff?
Here in the UK its sold in hardware/camping stores.

en.wikipedia.org...

I think thats the same kind of stuff-what do you think?
Cheers bud.



[edit on 11/4/2010 by Silcone Synapse]




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