Make your stove light and portable from aluminum cans. This project costs nothing to build and cooks for up to 15 minutes. This is a simple version of the aluminum can cooker - the other versions can be more complicated, but this one works despite being simple. You'll make the top and bottom out of different cans, but both halves are snapped together to create a very solid little stove. The steps below describe how to create the two parts of the stove and how to put them together. The article also provides instructions on how to light the stove.
Step 1. Gather the materials needed for this project
Step 2. Make the stove base
To cut the base, make a line around one of the cans, about 3.5 cm from the bottom. If it's difficult for you to do the tracing, you can put a rubber band around it - without wrapping - to flatten it. Follow the rubber band when drawing the dotted line. Carefully cut the can around the line, using one of the cutters suggested below.
Step 3. Drill the "burner" holes in the top can:
- Remove the opener from the other can so it doesn't overturn when it has to be cut.
- Turn it upside down so that you can drill holes with it still intact.
- Around the bottom, drill about 16 to 24 holes, evenly spaced (use a ruler or your fingers to measure). Drill more holes if the hole punch is small, less if it is larger.
- Take a pin and drill each hole. If it's too difficult to achieve with manual pressure, hit kindly with a small hammer. Hold the hammer close to the head and tap it gently, holding the pin between your thumb and forefinger, just under the head of the pin. Be careful not to hit your fingers - the top of the pin should provide protection. Make the holes as small as possible. If they get too big, too much gas will escape and you won't get a good size fire. This is the hardest part: getting a good size and pattern for the holes.
- Drill equal-sized holes for even heating.
Step 4. Drill the fuel drain hole
There are two ways to drill the holes:
- Drill a screw-sized hole in the middle of the top. Take a short, thick metal screw, which will serve as a cap. Make sure it stays tight to prevent fuel from leaking out of the hole.
- The second method is to draw a flower the same size as the holes drilled on the side. Drill one hole in the center and six holes around the center hole. As these holes are smaller, the fuel will drip slowly towards the base, and not spill directly. This method is easier and does not require screws, but it is slower than the first to fill.
Step 5. Cut the top can
Once you've drilled the holes in the can, it's time to cut the top. Cut 2.5cm from the bottom, the same way you cut the base before.
Step 6. Cut small vertical slits
Once you've cut the top, you'll have to make slits to allow the two halves of the stove to fit together. Cut the slits with scissors, being careful not to cut past the side of the can. Cut in four or six places (you can make more cuts later if they still don't fit).
Step 7. Fill the base with something that sucks the fuel, such as perlite or glass wool
In emergencies, you can even use sand. Perlite is a siliceous rock that is found in garden stores. The filling will serve as a wick to hold and gradually distribute the fuel.
Step 8. Assemble the stove
Once you have the padding and slits in place, it's time to fit. Hold the base firmly on a table or flat spot. Grab the top and gently push into the base until it snaps into place. Distribute the perlite or wool a little to facilitate the fitting. Some people recommend making a wedge out of the rest of the aluminum. The top will be inside, ready to receive fuel.
Step 9. Prepare the stove for use
Make sure the stove is on a surface free of flammable materials. Choose a firm spot on the ground, with no vegetation nearby, or place the stove in an ovenproof dish. Depending on how the holes were drilled, add fuel (be careful with the types of fuels used. See tips below):
- Hole with cap: remove the cap (the screw). Pour the fuel slowly, allowing time for it to enter the hole. Fill the base to about 1/4 or half. Replace the screw to prevent it from spilling.
- Flower-shaped hole - pour the fuel through the holes, until the base is 1/4 to half full. Fuel will run out of the holes and will not fill as fast as the first one.
Step 10. Prepare the stove
Pour a teaspoon of the fuel in the middle of the stove to make a small puddle, until you spill a little in the holes (it will burn fast).
Step 11. Light the fuel at the top with a match, lighter or candle
The heat from burning the fuel will heat the interior, causing the fuel inside to evaporate and burn.
Step 12. Cook
Place the pan on a support and cook. You can make your own support or use a ready-made version. The fuel should burn for up to 15 minutes, but this will depend on a number of factors, including the weather, whether you are outdoors, etc. Experiment to see how long it takes to burn to see if it's enough to cook.
- Suitable fuels are: Denatured alcohol, anhydrous or 98 GL alcohol.
- If you don't have a cooking stand, you can make a stand to hold a pot or pot over the stove. Get a hanger or some wire that will bend easily. Cut the hanger below the hook, straighten the rest and use the wire to make the base. There are several ways to make the base with wire; Use your imagination to find the best one, as long as you hold the weight of the pot.
- The downside of having a stand is that you need to protect the stove from the wind. To make a protection, take a coffee can, cut it about 5cm higher than the stove, use a can opener (the ones that make triangular holes) and make several holes around the can, near the bottom). Keep the lid for transporting the stove.
- The stove is really useful for backpackers and travelers as it is light and doesn't take up much space.
- Cut off any burrs after you have cut the cans. This will prevent you from getting hurt when handling the stove.
- If you don't have a hammer when drilling the holes, use a rock to hit the nail. Take extra care not to break the stone or injure yourself.
- If you don't have a nail, use a sewing needle or sharp wire.
- Some people recommend making a second ring of holes around the edge near the top for better heat.
- If the stove doesn't light, turn it a little, letting some of the fuel spill, and hold the match until it lights.
- You can make an even smaller stove out of energy cans, with the advantage that they fit inside a mug, an excellent way to heat tea or chocolate. A smaller stove does not hold as much fuel and therefore is not suitable for cooking.
- Instead of making one, make half a dozen. Drill smaller holes, drill differently. And when lighting, measure how long it takes to boil a glass of water and how long each amount of fuel takes to burn. You have to experiment if you want efficiency!
- This stove is designed to burn alcohol only. It would be too explosive, toxic, and dangerous to try to use gasoline, gas, or kerosene in this stove. Isopropyl alcohol doesn't work either.
- If you are a child or are not confident in making the cuts, get help from an adult or family member when cutting the cans. Take care that the knife or scissors do not slip on the smooth aluminum of the can.
- The edges of the cut cans are sharp. Be careful when handling.
- If you don't have several very large holes on top, the fuel will not burn properly.
- Do not keep your hands close to the flame when lighting. If the stove gets too hot when you're trying to light it, let it sit until it cools.
- Be careful not to burn yourself.
- Be careful when drilling holes.