After watching a few YouTube videos recently, I was inspired to get out into the garage and make my own lightweight, portable alcohol stove. There are endless sizes, shapes, material type, and bottle styles available in which to build them from. Finding what size works for you will depend on your needs.
I opted for a size that would easily suite one or two people, would easily accommodate boiling water for coffee or tea, and was capable of cooking up an easy meal. I wanted sturdy, lightweight, and would easily store in a backpack of any size. I also needed something that had a sturdy footprint that would hold my GSI tea kettle or my Snow Peak titanium pot.
Cruising through the Dollar Store, I was able to find a single walled aluminum water bottle. Score! The only minor issue was that it was painted. I knew it would take a little longer to remove the paint, but to me it was worth the cost of only a dollar.
|Dollar Store water bottle|
|Using a leverage block about 1 1/2" high, brace and turn the water bottle against the block and trace a solid line using a permanent marker. I did this on both ends of the bottle.|
|The Dollar Store water bottle with marks where the cuts will be made. The top piece of the water bottle will be inverted into the bottom piece. Both pieces should match up perfectly level to each other.|
|For the attachment, I used a cutting disc.|
|To make a straight cut on the round surface, I used two pieces of wood clamped to the work surface. This allowed me to wedge the bottle and turn it with one hand.|
|Although there were a few sharp pieces around the bottle, the cut was very even.|
|Using a round file, I slowly worked around the inside of the bottle to remove the sharp edges and scrap pieces.|
|Using the same cutting technique as the first cut, I turned the bottle over and made the second cut.|
|Using a variety of sandpaper, I was able to make the edge of the bottle very smooth.|
|Because I felt that the paint on the bottle might be a possible health hazard when the stove was burning at high heat, I used the wire brush attachment on the Dremel to remove all of the paint.|
|Although the wire brush on the Dremel removed almost all of the paint, I used a sanding sponge to remove the remainder of the paint.|
|The two pieces after removing all of the paint. There was a fair amount of paint dust residual on the pieces after I finished sanding. To remove the dust, I washed them both with soap and warm water and dried them completely.|
|With the top piece of the bottle inverted into the bottom piece of the bottle, I carefully pressed and rotated them slowly into each other using the force of a bench vice. This allowed the pieces to be forced into each other evenly.|
|The edges of the stove line up perfectly.|
|You can see here where the inside piece pulls away from the wall of the outside piece.|
|Using the drill press and a 1/16" drill bit, I was not only able to get clean, straight, vertical holes, but I was also able to set the depth to ensure that only the outer later was drilled into.|
|The chamfer bit created a nicer, more custom looking hole than just the original straight drill hole.|
|After about a minute, the flames will start coming out of the jet holes.|
"Backpacking: An extended form of hiking in which people carry double the amount of gear they need for half the distance they planned to go in twice the time it should take." ~Author Unknown