/ alcohol/beer can stove makers?

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Anyone else out there who has tried making a beer can alcohol burner for a superlight stove? I had a second go recently following the instructions of long time UKC contributor Captain Paranoia on Outdoor Magic and some youtube clip building a very similar one. Second attempt went better the first with blue flames coming out of the jet holes, but still with a big - too big really - yellow flame coming out of the centre well: https://twitter.com/TobyinHelsinki/status/348742783911202816/photo/1 I want to get mine to burn neatly like this: http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3093/3119160559_b43e89ddb8.jpg

Anyone got any tips from their trials and errors?
HeMa on 25 Jun 2013
In reply to TobyA:

Froget these... Esbit all the way.
HeMa on 25 Jun 2013
wilkie14c - on 25 Jun 2013
In reply to TobyA:
Hey toby

Yes I've had a play, got quite indepth at one point. ended up with a stove and windshield/panstand that could boil a litre of water on 30ml of fuel in 4 mins.Capatin Paranoia has an epic thread on outdoors magic where every concevable idea was discussed and that should be your first stop. Its a lot of reading!

http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/forum/gear/how-to-make-meths-stoves-qandampa/22261.html

I found to get the very best boil times requires just the right amount of heat, too hot and the fuel burns out too quickly. I think the key is in trapping and using as much of that hot air as possible. Also, the the 'pressure chamber' built into the centre of coke can stoves, I used rockwool wadding so if knocked over the chances of a flare up were reduced. Pressure in my stoves was controlled by a simple penny covering the fill hole. Pics of mine are on that thread towards the end.
In reply to HeMa: That completely misses the point by a) costing lots of money and b) working properly. What's the fun in that? :)

blanchie14c - that is a lot of reading! Oh well, will crack on with it. Cheers.
HeMa on 26 Jun 2013
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to HeMa) That completely misses the point by a) costing lots of money and b) working properly. What's the fun in that? :)

Well, it might not be any fun... but at least it'll work.

Besides, being a enginerd it's me, who should be more into tinkering idiotic stuff and wasting hudge amounts of time for something that would cost like a fiver from the shop.

TimB - on 26 Jun 2013
In reply to HeMa:
> (In reply to TobyA)
> [...]
>
> at least it'll work.

Hang on, I thought part of the point of the coke/beer can stoves was that they actually work really well - they self-pressurise to burn the fuel efficiently.

Those esbit things are just a stand for a fuel cube, and there's a lot of yellow in the flame.
TimB - on 26 Jun 2013
In reply to TimB:

Oh, and Toby, if you haven't seen this I'd settle down and get some more biscuits in : http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/sick-as-a-dog-so-show-me-you-bivi-bikepacking-adventure-raci...
In reply to TimB:
> - they self-pressurise to burn the fuel efficiently.

Yes - although I think that's the bit I'm having trouble with! :)

> Those esbit things are just a stand for a fuel cube, and there's a lot of yellow in the flame.

Also they look basically the same as my first ever stove; a hex stove bought when I was about 13 from Famous Army Stores in Kidderminster. I still remember the hassle of trying to make a cup of hot chocolate with it somewhere up toward High Street on my first ever backpacking trip to the Lakes. Me and my mate Rich huddled round it trying to keep the wind out and thinking, "do the SAS really use these crappy things?!?" :)
wilkie14c - on 26 Jun 2013
In reply to TobyA:

> Yes - although I think that's the bit I'm having trouble with! :)

It a great feeling when it happens - the fuel in the outer chamber starts to vapourise due to the heat in the central area and the flames start jetting, not exactly pocket rocket but proper blue jets with a yellow tip like on a gas cooker. Great fun building them but meths stinks, open a window.
I bivvyed at Black rocks when was about 16 and all we had was a hexi stove, one of the coldest nights of my life that was and boiling snow to make hot blackcurrant only added to the misery due to the fumes coming off the blocks. Good times!
jkarran - on 26 Jun 2013
In reply to TobyA:

I made a couple for heat treating small bits of silver steel after my cheap shop bought spirit lamp failed (wick won't actually wick*) and my cheaper gas torch failed (setting fire to me in the process). I tried a few designs but struggled to get a stable focused flame (not what you want from a stove necessarily) to burn hot enough*. Anyway, they're so quick and easy to experiment with you might as well just do some reading then try a few variations.

*I suspect meths isn't quite what it once was, I suspect mine has significant water content.

jk
wilkie14c - on 26 Jun 2013
In reply to jkarran:

> *I suspect meths isn't quite what it once was, I suspect mine has significant water content.

Indeed. The outdoors magic thread has many americans and they don't have meths over there, they have denutered alcohol or somesuch, burns better than our tramp wine. I use IPA in my little ultrasonic cleaner instead of meths due to the water content and other stuff in meths. when cleaning electronic parts meths tends to leave a white residue.
The Americans also use something called HEET to run their stoves on, its a additive they put in fuel oil to stop waxing IIRC

Eärendel F. - on 27 Jun 2013
In reply to TobyA: It almost looks like a trangia burner. http://www.trangia.se/english/2919.about_trangia.html
Have you tried putting a lid like the trangia to control the amount of air? You can also buy this small trangia accessory pretty cheap.
https://www.google.fi/search?q=trangia&client=firefox-a&hs=dFm&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:off...
Rock Badger on 27 Jun 2013
In reply to TobyA:
check where your putting the holes, in yours they are on the slope on the other pic you posted they are on the side
Rock Badger on 27 Jun 2013
In reply to TobyA: and more of them
Rock Badger on 27 Jun 2013
In reply to TobyA:
and bigger holes too
winhill - on 27 Jun 2013
In reply to blanchie14c:
> (In reply to jkarran)
>
> I use IPA in my little ultrasonic cleaner instead of meths due to the water content and other stuff in meths. when cleaning electronic parts meths tends to leave a white residue.

IPA? Have you tried Special Brew?
Garbhanach - on 27 Jun 2013
In reply to TobyA: I have made some with beer cans similar to yours but am no expert, the amount of pressure generated depends on the heat available I think, I found mine were slow to start generating pressure when filled to the top but got better as it burnt of some meths.

When I put my can inside one of these stoves http://www.backpackinglight.co.uk/cookers-and-stoves/RD101.html
then more heat was reflected back to the can and it burnt really well once it was going, probably too well but still with a bit of yellow flame, so I only use it for travelling light and boiling water for freeze dried meals.

I have heard of people lighting a base with meths in it to heat the( can) stove up to get a better jet.

The picture of the last stove you showed and wanted the same flame may have been slightly smaller so the heat is in a smaller chanber and the flame nearer the meths.

Someone said why bother makiing the can stoves.
They are a lot lighter than trangia stoves and an equivalent in titanium will cost about 46.00
http://www.backpackinglight.co.uk/cookers-and-stoves/RB102.html
captain paranoia - on 27 Jun 2013
In reply to TobyA:

I suspect you've still got a poor seal between the inner wall and the upper; that's why the jet flames are small, but the central flame is huge. From the twitter picture, it looks like there are wrinkles in the inner wall.

If you put a pan over the burner, the central flame does disappear, as it gets starved of oxygen, so the burner burns from the flame ring instead. But your central flame is rather bigger than usual; as you know, it should look something like the flames in the last picture in my OM guide:

http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/gear-features/make-your-own-meths-burner/6227.html

The other issue is fuel: what are you using?
captain paranoia - on 27 Jun 2013
In reply to Rock Badger:

> check where your putting the holes, in yours they are on the slope on the other pic you posted they are on the side

On the slope is fine, and makes lighting of the jets easier (the jetting meths vapour is closer to the central flame).

> and more of them

Not necessarily better.

> and bigger holes too

Probably not a good idea; 0.6 to 0.8mm is about right.
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pcummins60 - on 27 Jun 2013
In reply to pcummins60: I had seen that clip before but have no idea what type of bottle that is. I've never seen them where I live!
pcummins60 - on 28 Jun 2013
In reply to TobyA: Apparently they come out of Japan. They contain soft drinks or iced coffee. A colleague will be going to Tokyo in October so I will try to encourage him to bring me a couple back, as I too, want to have a go at building one.

ATVB Paul

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