Author Topic: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?  (Read 15320 times)

Charlotte

  • Dissolute libertine
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Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
« Reply #50 on: June 11, 2008, 09:38:57 am »
Nice stove! I like the flame size as well - mine burns with a rather large flame.  And I love the silver polishedness too. 

What are you using as fuel? Methylated spirit is £2.15 for 500ml at my local handyman supermarket, which is expensive and smells horrible.  I've been experimenting today with screenwash, but despite all the 'flamable' warnings it won't even catch fire. 

I'm using Meths - it's pretty much the default choice in the UK.  Ideally, you'd run such a stove off denatured ethanol, but you can't really get it here. 

If you want your stove to have that polished look, take a brillo pad to it before you empty the can.  You can rub off the very thin coating quite easily.
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David Martin

  • Thats Dr Oi You thankyouverymuch
Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
« Reply #51 on: June 11, 2008, 11:40:29 am »
Happy to give it a go. Confused about the rules though - 250 or 200ml and ambient or 4 degC? In the garden, obviously.

I'd expect a paraffin pressure stove ("Primus") to be much faster than a Trangia. Where it loses out is time to assemble the stove, and the need to carry two fuels, but those aren't counted in your challenge ;D

My thinking is that is should be the 'how long to make a cup of tea' so should include the setup time. But raw boil time would be good to add to the great cooker test..

..d
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donpedro

  • ain`t haulin` any lambs to the marketplace anymore
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Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
« Reply #52 on: June 11, 2008, 03:58:38 pm »
Not sure but I think that the methylated spirit sold in the UK contain Methanol witch is very toxic:

"Methanol is toxic by two mechanisms. Firstly, methanol (whether it enters the body by ingestion, inhalation, or absorption through the skin) can be fatal due to its CNS depressant properties in the same manner as ethanol poisoning. Secondly, it is toxic by its breakdown (toxication) by the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase in the liver by forming formic acid and formaldehyde which cause permanent blindness by destruction of the optic nerve.[2] Fetal tissue will not tolerate methanol. Dangerous doses will build up if a person is regularly exposed to vapors or handles liquid without skin protection. If methanol has been ingested, a doctor should be contacted immediately."

Methanol - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Even though production of ethanol fuel for cars is up it is not certain this finds it's way onto the shelf's as methylated spirit. As the process use quite a lot of energy and is most commonly made from natural gas I doubt that there is any environmental gain to be made choosing meths over a petroleum based fuel:

"Today, synthesis gas is most commonly produced from the methane component in natural gas rather than from coal."
"Although natural gas is the most economical and widely used feedstock for methanol production, other feedstocks can be used. Where natural gas is unavailable, light petroleum products can be used in its place."


There is also a reason why the commercially available alcohol-stoves are made from brass or stainless steel:

"One of the drawbacks of methanol as a fuel is its corrosivity to some metals, including aluminium. Methanol, although a weak acid, attacks the oxide coating that normally protects the aluminium from corrosion"

In Scandinavia and I believe Germany, where Trangia stoves are common, denaturalised Ethanol that doesn't contain Methanol is easy to find. Recently a big firm in Sweden had to withdraw and warn the public of their cheaper version (from UK?) as they found traces of Methanol and were worried that kids or addicts would get poisoned and blind!

Methanol has slightly lower energy content than Ethanol but it could be hard to compare as some fuels aren't 100% alcohol! Alcohol has roughly half the energy content of white gas witch should be of interest for longer journeys!:
Liquid fuels - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Alcohol fuel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I like the simplicity and dependability of alcohol-stoves. But my petrol fueled Optimus Svea and Nova stoves are the choice if I'm gone for a week and longer or outside of Europe. Faster (yes I have tried!), more compact and easy to source fuel and with 2-3 times the wattage than that of a alcohol as well as easily controlled with a flick of the wrist. So as a chef by trade I can cook a meal pretty much the way I do at home or work!  :thumbsup:

But it can be sourced world over and here's a good "how to find it" link:
Where to get meths (methylated spirits)
Be ware though! I was chased for two blocks by an angry chemist in northern Italy shouting insults. He thought I was an addict and the two bottles of 100% pure Ethanol I bought was for my own consumption. Did actualy make some tasty, but rather strong, screwdrivers... ::-)
If you were drinking METHYLATED SPIRIT what would you mix it with? - Yahoo! UK & Ireland Answers
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Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
« Reply #53 on: June 11, 2008, 04:12:04 pm »
It does, that's why it's called methylated spirit.  It's not good for you to breathe in but is fine to cook with. 

I was wondering if anybody knew where I could buy mostly-pure ethanol cheaply - for instance, in America there's an antifreeze called Heet which is widely used as a stove fuel.  Is British antifreeze usable, does anybody know?

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
« Reply #54 on: June 11, 2008, 04:50:56 pm »
Surgical spirit?

I think you're missing the point, though.  These stoves are meagre sippers, they don't consume much at all.  If you buy a bottle a season, you're going some.  I think you're spending a lot of time chasing a very small saving.
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Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
« Reply #55 on: June 11, 2008, 05:13:45 pm »
Surgical spirit?

Also contains a smidge of methanol to discourage glugging, iirc. If you can get yr paws on it, rubbing alcohol might be better, but it's very difficult to get hold of here. If you *really* want pure ethanol, a lab supplier will have buckets of the stuff.

Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
« Reply #56 on: June 11, 2008, 05:27:52 pm »
We have 99.7%-100% pure Ethanol in large bottles, we use it in an ultrasonic cleaner to degrease components, so I presume it's relatively easy to get hold of.  As far as I know we don't have to fill in any special paperwork, we just order it.  I also suspect that it would be a lot more expensive than a bottle of Meths from wherever you buy Meths these days.
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
« Reply #57 on: June 11, 2008, 05:40:16 pm »
We have 99.7%-100% pure Ethanol in large bottles, we use it in an ultrasonic cleaner to degrease components, so I presume it's relatively easy to get hold of.  As far as I know we don't have to fill in any special paperwork, we just order it.  I also suspect that it would be a lot more expensive than a bottle of Meths from wherever you buy Meths these days.

If it's that pure it's beyond the normal realms of distillation as it forms an azeotrope with water at 96.4%.

There are many ways to get purer ethanol but since they're more complicated (or involve chemicals like benzene) they'll be much more expensive.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
« Reply #58 on: June 11, 2008, 06:26:10 pm »
Surgical spirit?

I think you're missing the point, though.  These stoves are meagre sippers, they don't consume much at all.  If you buy a bottle a season, you're going some.  I think you're spending a lot of time chasing a very small saving.

I've already used up a litre of meths testing them, but I guess you're right. 

Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
« Reply #59 on: June 11, 2008, 06:37:51 pm »
If it's that pure it's beyond the normal realms of distillation as it forms an azeotrope with water at 96.4%.

Interesting.  I don't know why we need it that pure, as far as I know we use it to remove grease from small mechanical components, otherwise it would likely outgas when the instrument is put into vacuum, and cause damage to particle detectors, or deposit onto optical surfaces, both of which are no-nos on spacecraft.  A bit of water probably wouldn't matter, since it's going to be contaminated by atmospheric water anyway (we don't store the instruments in dry nitrogen, which is what we would probably have to do to avoid that).

The purity could be an issue with other contaminants, which may also outgas.
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

bobajobrob

Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
« Reply #60 on: June 15, 2008, 03:39:38 pm »
How are we supposed to light our coke can stoves? I tried to light it via the small holes, but it wouldn't light. I lit it via the big hole in the middle and it went WOOF! and blew the top up about an inch, then went out :P

Edit: got it working now, I didn't realise I had to fill the top with meths :P It works really well  :thumbsup:

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
« Reply #61 on: June 15, 2008, 08:16:07 pm »
Surgical spirit?

I think you're missing the point, though.  These stoves are meagre sippers, they don't consume much at all.  If you buy a bottle a season, you're going some.  I think you're spending a lot of time chasing a very small saving.

I've already used up a litre of meths testing them, but I guess you're right. 

Having seen Charlotte's in action over the weekend, I can amend my comment: A perfectly made, clean and well-used Trangia is a meagre sipper.  A homebrew hobo stove is somewhat less efficient!

Trangia burners are sealable (you can just cap 'em to extinguish and then close up and ride off) and cheap.

Trangia Spirit Burner - £7.20 - from GO Outdoors.co.uk

It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
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Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
« Reply #62 on: June 15, 2008, 10:28:18 pm »
I'm a long term Trangia user but am quite tempted by the Caldera Cone. http://www.traildesigns.com/products01.html  it looks to have the stability & windproofing of the Trangia for much less weight.

Reviews here http://www.backpackgeartest.org/traildesigns/

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woollypigs

  • Mr Peli
    • woollypigs
Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
« Reply #63 on: June 28, 2011, 08:50:29 pm »
I have been playing with this idea and after some clicking about. I found this link <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/YfrBdp11pyE&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/YfrBdp11pyE&rel=1</a> and it hit me I had the right tins.

I managed to build one with a Swiss army knife, screw driver, Stanley knife, can opener and a big adjustable spanner as a knockometre.

I forgot to take photos of the build and have no wood to do a test burn, can't wait for the first burn.

Do join a demo near you - https://t.co/Ai5EfHuKUo

donpedro

  • ain`t haulin` any lambs to the marketplace anymore
    • But, I'm Swedish!
Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
« Reply #64 on: June 28, 2011, 10:35:19 pm »
Lo and behold! <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/IS7Og1zvdy8&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/IS7Og1zvdy8&rel=1</a>   :o
"A society is defined not only by what it creates, but by what it refuses to destroy."

woollypigs

  • Mr Peli
    • woollypigs
Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
« Reply #65 on: June 28, 2011, 10:45:08 pm »
Hehehe if I had something to burn then I would have done just that :)

The best part it just fits inside the little pot set I have and there is room for my fire iron too.

So there will be a lot of "man made fire, man eat" and some grunting, on our next camping trip.
Do join a demo near you - https://t.co/Ai5EfHuKUo

Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
« Reply #66 on: July 04, 2011, 04:05:43 pm »
I have been playing with this idea and after some clicking about. I found this link <a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/YfrBdp11pyE&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/YfrBdp11pyE&rel=1</a> and it hit me I had the right tins.

I managed to build one with a Swiss army knife, screw driver, Stanley knife, can opener and a big adjustable spanner as a knockometre.

I forgot to take photos of the build and have no wood to do a test burn, can't wait for the first burn.



Made one of these stoves. Well, made a two can stove, wasn't very clear what to do with the third can so left it out.

Got some gassification going on but don't think the air flow is right. Not helped by the top of the outer can splitting a bit so it's not an airtight seal with the inner tin. And I rushed into it and opened the outer tin with a tin opener so it has not bottom, was hoping the the ground would stop too much air coming in but I'm not sure if it does.

I smell somewhat of smoke but will have another go after I've eaten something. Try to not put too much green wood in this time :D
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woollypigs

  • Mr Peli
    • woollypigs
Re: Lightweight camping stoves - build your own?
« Reply #67 on: July 04, 2011, 04:30:38 pm »
Yeah I need to make some more holes in mine, I had a good little burn and gassification too. I too wasn't sure what to do with the third tin. Though I think it is to make a little stand for your pot on top, which is what made out of the third can.
Do join a demo near you - https://t.co/Ai5EfHuKUo