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penny stove

Old 03-14-08, 09:36 PM
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penny stove

anyone ever built one of these things?
https://www.csun.edu/~mjurey/stoveinstruct.html

I built one today, still playing around with it report coming soon.
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Old 03-14-08, 09:59 PM
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I've found just taking a cut bottom of a pepsi can and filling it with a few tablespoons of Yellow HEET or 91% rubbing alcohol (although the alcohol leaves a little bit of silt) works almost just as well as long as it is protected from the wind. I usually can boil a quart of water within 7 minutes. I use my metal tent pegs for the pot stand.
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Old 03-14-08, 11:05 PM
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I'm all for these stoves and knowing how to use them, but getting the max heat out requires getting a lot of oxygen in, and something like an MSR will do that. So what is the ballance on the amount of fuel you need, cooking time and so forth. The stove is light and cheap, but what about the rest of it.
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Old 03-15-08, 10:32 AM
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I have (and have used) quite a few of different stoves. There are also endless write-ups on differences between stoves, BTU ratings, designs, alcohol or multi-fuel, etc. I still use an alcohol on occasion. I also use my MSR Whisperlite International on occasion. I suppose there are advantages and disadvantages on both.

Don't let anyone fool you. There is a Zen when making and using alcohol stoves. It's different. Kind of peaceful, quiet, and relaxing. Absolutely woth every effort. Although I have my MSR, I won't give up any of my alcohol stoves. I have a few different ones, some I made, and some I bought. I really like them for the right tour.

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Old 03-15-08, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by QuickDraw
anyone ever built one of these things?
Not that exact one, but yes I have built and used alcohol stoves. I have used them quite successfully, but cooking for more than one person especially, I prefer my MSR Pocket Rocket stove. That said I wish I had taken one of my pop can stoves with me on the TA last summer because fuel (butane) was impossible to find for a good part of the ride. If I had one of my pop cans stoves along I could have easily found alcohol and used it as a backup until we found butane. Since they weigh next to nothing, throwing one in as a spare is easy enough.

On some shorter trips I have used one exclusively and it was fine. Depending on the amount of fuel you carry they can have a weight advantage or a weight penalty. Since alcohol gives fewer BTUs per weight, the more fuel you need to carry the more weight penalty there is for the fuel. On a short a enough trip the alcohol stove has a weight advantage, but if you are carrying a lot of fuel the advantage is lost. On bike trips you can usually buy fuel in small quantities and get it frequently so they may make more sense on a long bike trip than on a long backpacking trip.
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Old 03-15-08, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by QuickDraw
anyone ever built one of these things?
https://www.csun.edu/~mjurey/stoveinstruct.html
Yes, I've built several of them, along with other designs.

My personal take: this guy has a persuasive way of describing and presenting his (pet) stove -- he makes it sound as though it is very unusual, and has some real advantages over the others. He builds it up. He doesn't evaluate it in a very balanced way.

Some of the other alcohol stoves are (1) easier to make, or much easier to make, (2) easier to light, (3) less likely to have problems during use, (4) comparable in efficiency, (5) more reliable, (6) more consistent, and (7) comparable or better in heat output. -- among other things.

The pictures of the jetting flames are cool, but so are other types of flames. I found some of the others to work better.

I prefer other stoves.

Preferences vary from individual to individual, though -- you might love this stove. It might be your personal favorite, so by all means enjoy it if it is. I suggest trying out some of the other ones, if you are inclined to do so.

www.zenstoves.net has many good designs and links.
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Old 03-16-08, 05:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Niles H.
Yes, I've built several of them, along with other designs.

My personal take: this guy has a persuasive way of describing and presenting his (pet) stove -- he makes it sound as though it is very unusual, and has some real advantages over the others. He builds it up. He doesn't evaluate it in a very balanced way.

Some of the other alcohol stoves are (1) easier to make, or much easier to make, (2) easier to light, (3) less likely to have problems during use, (4) comparable in efficiency, (5) more reliable, (6) more consistent, and (7) comparable or better in heat output. -- among other things.

The pictures of the jetting flames are cool, but so are other types of flames. I found some of the others to work better.

I prefer other stoves.

Preferences vary from individual to individual, though -- you might love this stove. It might be your personal favorite, so by all means enjoy it if it is. I suggest trying out some of the other ones, if you are inclined to do so.

www.zenstoves.net has many good designs and links.
Good post Niles, I think your right, I have made and used several alcohol stoves including this one, (I also thought the photos were cool). Honestly the Penny stove was the worst one I made, hard to make and sure didn't work like in the photos. I may have just made it poorly though, not sure but there are several other designs that are much easier to make and work great.

I used one of the pressurized ones for a couple years, then moved to a simpler one that is non-pressurized with an integrated pot stand which I like even better, more stable and faster. I have made about half a dozen for friends. (at 29 cents and 15 minutes each, it's not too much trouble) There is a coat hanger pot support that you can't see in the photo that makes it very stable.

.
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Old 03-16-08, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by gregw
Good post Niles, I think your right, I have made and used several alcohol stoves including this one, (I also thought the photos were cool). Honestly the Penny stove was the worst one I made, hard to make and sure didn't work like in the photos. I may have just made it poorly though, not sure but there are several other designs that are much easier to make and work great.

I used one of the pressurized ones for a couple years, then moved to a simpler one that is non-pressurized with an integrated pot stand which I like even better, more stable and faster. I have made about half a dozen for friends. (at 29 cents and 15 minutes each, it's not too much trouble) There is a coat hanger pot support that you can't see in the photo that makes it very stable.

.
So how do you make the one in the picture?
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Old 03-16-08, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by sknhgy
So how do you make the one in the picture?
I used to have a link to the source where I found it, but I can't find it. No matter, it's so easy I can describe it with one photo. You need a cat food or potted meat can, they are all the same except the cat food one costs more than the people food can. (29 cents at my Kroger) Next you need a standard paper hole punch, pair of pliers and a coat hanger.

1. Empty and clean can.

2. Punch 8 equally spaced holes about 3/4 the way up the can. Holes too high and the stove burns a little cooler, but longer, holes too low and it burns very hot and there is not much room for fuel. See photo for what I have found is best. This is not exact science here a little off and no problem.

3. cut and bend your coat hanger pot stand pieces as shown on the photo. Again no real science here, just cut and bend as you go, if a section is too long, straighten it out and redo.

Note: the stove will not work without the pot stand, it needs the air gap created between the can and the bottom of your pot. (the thickness of the coat hanger)

Lighting: Pour is desired amount of fuel (about 1 tablespoon per cup to boil). Light the stove through one of the side holes, let it heat-up without the pot on top for about 30-45 seconds and then put your pot on. The flames will be small at first, but will go to full flame in a few seconds.
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Old 03-16-08, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by gregw
I used to have a link to the source where I found it, but I can't find it. No matter, it's so easy I can describe it with one photo. You need a cat food or potted meat can, they are all the same except the cat food one costs more than the people food can. (29 cents at my Kroger) Next you need a standard paper hole punch, pair of pliers and a coat hanger.

1. Empty and clean can.

2. Punch 8 equally spaced holes about 3/4 the way up the can. Holes too high and the stove burns a little cooler, but longer, holes too low and it burns very hot and there is not much room for fuel. See photo for what I have found is best. This is not exact science here a little off and no problem.

3. cut and bend your coat hanger pot stand pieces as shown on the photo. Again no real science here, just cut and bend as you go, if a section is too long, straighten it out and redo.

Note: the stove will not work without the pot stand, it needs the air gap created between the can and the bottom of your pot. (the thickness of the coat hanger)


Lighting: Pour is desired amount of fuel (about 1 tablespoon per cup to boil). Light the stove through one of the side holes, let it heat-up without the pot on top for about 30-45 seconds and then put your pot on. The flames will be small at first, but will go to full flame in a few seconds.
I think the photo didn't make it on that last try, let's see if this one works.

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Old 03-16-08, 06:53 PM
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Now if you guys are really observant, you'll notice that the stove in the earlier photo is slightly different from the last photo. The last photo is the standard stove, and the other is the deluxe model for colder conditions. On that one I splurged and used 2 cans, the same one as the standard and a second where I cut just the bottom off of another can and press them together with a little insulation between. This insulates the stove from very cold surfaces, which helps the warm-up time.
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Old 03-16-08, 09:05 PM
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Hey thanks,

I just got finished making the one in the first photo. Found the design on the ZEN site. I actually had to make two. The first one didn't work because I made the holes too small. On the second (successful) one I made the holes 1/4 inch diameter and it works like a champ.

I'm now one step closer to my first overnight trip! I plan on eating b'fast in a restaurant, but I have to have my coffee first thing in the morning.
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Old 03-17-08, 09:06 AM
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yea after making that first post, I built the penny stove using the bigger 21 ounce cans, it worked great but there are a few more designs that I'm going to try to build. I already own a pretty nice propane stove which probably works a lot better than the penny stove, but using something that I've made gives me a greater satisfaction. it was pretty fun to build and worked pretty well considering how easy it was to make.
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