As you all know I’m a bit of a gear nut. I love making my own stuff and I’m constantly experimenting with different ideas and tweaking them and trying to improve on their design. I’m working on a project (you’ll see the post soon) on making a coffee can survival kit for the car. One of the ideas was to do it as cheaply as possible because I hate parting ways with my heard earned money. Part of the kit was a stove, but I wasn’t satisfied with the way the pieces of the stove system fit into the coffee can, so I grabbed a couple of different size cans and started experimenting . The idea was to get the stove and potholder to fit into the pot – all three items had to fit into one can. (That’s the twist.)
The final project used a few recycled cans and some denatured alcohol to fuel the stove. Total cost of materials – 0$.
I used a Hannaford Green Beans can for the pot holder and a Corned Beef Hash can for the pot. The stove can be made by following these instructions. The important thing is that the pot holder fit down inside the pot (the corned beef hash can.)
First, eat the green beans and corned beef hash then strip the paper off the cans. To make the pot holder take the smaller can – the one the green beans came in – and using tin snips cut the can down to roughly 2 1/2 to 3 inches in height (below). I used eye protection because little pieces of the can tend to fly off as you cut them. (To get a larger view just click on any of the pictures.)
Once you have the can cut to the proper height take a pair of pliers and bend the sharp end down a little. (Below.)
Now that the end is bent over a little take a hammer and gently tap the ends down until they’re just past parallel.
Put the can on it’s side and continue tapping the end down until it’s nice and flat like in the picture below.
Below you can see the cut portion of the can after I finished folding the top down. Now it’s nice and smooth and you don’t have to worry about cutting your fingers on it.
Next, take a drill and put a bunch of holes in the pot holder so that the flame will be able to get oxygen while it’s burning.
Below is the finished product with the stove added. As you can see it all stacks together quite nicely, which is one of the things I was striving for with this system.
Here’s the pot, pot holder and stove laid out side by side.
When ready to use add alcohol to the stove and light it. Put the pot holder over the stove and then put the pot on top of the pot holder. By a lucky fluke the two cans I used for pot and pot holder actually fit together like a tongue-in-groove and this makes it more stable.
In the two pictures below you can see the pot being used to heat a cup of water.
It took about seven minutes to boil a cup of water, so I’ll probably have to cut some more holes in the pot holder in order to get a faster boil time. As it stands right now it would make a decent simmer ring although it did ultimately boil water as is.
Total time to make the pot holder was roughly 20 minutes.
If anybody has other ideas, modifications or concepts to share please list them in the comments section below.
If you’re ever wandering around Death Valley with no map, water, or clue don’t say I didn’t warn you!