Solid Fuel Stove Techniques
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John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: 1.25" from the top of a new esbit tab to the bottom of my pot. on 09/24/2012 10:50:16 MDT Print View

Andrew,

Thanks a lot for that info. ;-)

Party On,

Newton

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Windscreen and Pot Support combination on 09/25/2012 10:53:06 MDT Print View

"Now I need to fabricate a combination windscreen and pot support for my 1 cup generic cook pot that I purchased from Zelph's. The goal is to have it weigh less than 18 grams. My current windscreen weighs 9 grams and this tray type stove weighs 9 grams less than my alcohol stove, hence the figure of less than 18 grams".

My first attempt at combining the pot support and windscreen on my 1 cup cook pot looked great but failed miserably. There weren't enough holes in either the top or the bottom and the Bleuet solid fuel tab extinguished itself.

I used a similar design like the one in the picture below.

Combo 1

No my cook pot isn't a kettle. I'm having computer problems and having to use whatever illustrations I can gather up. LOL

I had 1/4" draft holes 1 inch apart on the bottom and 1/4" exhaust holes every 1/2" on the top. The diameter of the combo is 2 7/8". the total weight of the combo unit was 8 grams in the original configuration. I'm sure that it weighs less with all of the extra holes. See below.

After the initial flame out I added an additional 1/4" hole in-between the draft holes and a second row of staggered 1/4" exhaust holes below the existing holes. The next test run was a success. The combo windscreen / pot stand works and breathes well. I didn't time the boil as I was looking for functionality first.

I used my Esbit/Bleuet tray type stove over a reflective surface inside of the combo stand / screen. The tablet to cook pot air gap was 1 1/4". I used a can with 1 cup of water for testing. There was some sooting, probably due to the flameout failure more than the type of fuel.

I'm considering reconstructing my combo unit out of Titanium because of the high heat and small diameter. I am a little concerned that it may start to fail because of the high heat so close to the aluminum with so many 1/4" holes.

Party On,

Newton

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Question on 09/27/2012 10:35:33 MDT Print View

So should the base where the esbit rests, to the bottom of the cook pot measure 1.25 inches?

Alpo Kuusisto
(akuusist) - F - M
re: solid fuel techniques on 09/27/2012 13:20:56 MDT Print View

How about fire dragon fuel?

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Question on 09/27/2012 13:24:02 MDT Print View

Michael,

I see your point.

I took my cue from Andrew's post. "I'm right around 1.25" from the top of a new esbit tab to the bottom of my pot".

Looking at the graphic table that Kent posted the measurements are equal but the difference is that in the table the height of the cook pot is measured from the Height Above Esbit Platform.

It seems to be an error on my part thinking that the two quoted distances were in total agreement from starting to ending points. But looking back at the table the only real difference would be 6 seconds of elapsed time to boil.

I'm going to stick with the measurement from the top of the fresh tablet because of what Andrew said later in his same post on the measurement.

"I've noticed that if you clean off a pot, my first 2-3 burns actually have virtually zero soot/goop on the pot, but it accumulates after a while".

Party On,

Newton

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: How about fire dragon fuel? on 09/27/2012 13:33:23 MDT Print View

If it lives up to its press and becomes available locally it would be worth a try.

I wonder how competitively priced it would be with Esbit and Bleuet.

I googled it and from what I gather it is still being developed for production, sale and patent.

Party On,

Newton

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
Esbit on 09/27/2012 13:42:40 MDT Print View

Thanks for all that information. I will keep in mind that the distance from the top of a fresh esbit needs to be 1.25 inches.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Windscreen and Pot Support combination on 09/28/2012 19:45:10 MDT Print View

OK so now the formally defunct power supply in my "hot rod" PC has been replaced and I am once again back up to speed on my home PC. ;-)

Here are some pictures and info to go along with this solid fuel stove experiment of mine.

This is how my 1 cup generic cook pot sits atop my combination windscreen and cook pot support.

Combo windscreen and pot support + cookpot

There are 35 1/4" holes in the top of now 7 gram "combo" and a 36th hole where the eyelet permanently joins the top end together.

The Combo Windscreen + Pot Stand

On the bottom there are 17 1/4" holes and an eighteenth where the other eyelet joins the bottom ends together. You may notice the patina on the "combo" that resembles tarnished copper. This is a color change that takes place in the protective coating that is applied by the flashing manufacturer.

Down inside of the combo is my MYOG clone of Brian Greens Esbit tray stove.

Stove inside of "combo" screen + stand

Once the water was boiling I could remove the cook pot and BLOW OUT the flame. The caps are there to emphasize that it takes some force to blow out a burning tablet.

Tray stove with partially burned Bleuet fuel tablet

Here is the reflective ring that I plan to use in place under the combo with the stove inside and the cook pot on top.

Reflective ring under the combo

This is the same ring that I use with my mini fancee feest clone.

When I was doing my test burns I simulated windy conditions using a 20" box fan on all 3 different speeds. The only real difference that I noticed was that at the highest speed the combo actually began to act and look like a stove with flames licking out of the top exhaust holes.

Question:

Can any of you suggest a way to carry the "saved" leftover tablet? Zip lock? Vinyl pill caddy?

Boil times will be coming later with some pictures of the stove and combo unit in use.

Party On,

Newton

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Windscreen and Pot Support combination on 09/28/2012 20:14:26 MDT Print View

"Can any of you suggest a way to carry the "saved" leftover tablet?"

Put it back into the original plastic bubble and foil packaging. It is for that reason why I carefully slit open the packaging in the first place.

Sometimes I have a half-used tablet when I finish dinner, and it gets saved this way for breakfast use. I seldom carry a half-used tablet to the next camp, but I could.

--B.G.--

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Tablet Leftovers on 09/29/2012 05:05:15 MDT Print View

Thanks Bob,

Do you just lay the foil packaging back over the tablets blister pack?

After reading your post I was thinking that a dedicated, small piece of aluminum foil folded over the edges might be beneficial to keep any "crumbs" from the tablet contained.

I was thinking along these same lines for the stove itself and maybe a tyvek or even cuben round bottom stuff sack for my cook pot if soot rears its ugly head.

I'll have to do some careful measuring but if I continue to use the "tray" stove two of the empty blister packs and one good rubber band might just hold the stove and any leftover fuel tablet.

I'm attempting to answer the challenge of getting my fuel, stove, lighter, pot stand and reflector to all nest together in my cook pot with the lid "snapped" into place.

BTW have you ever seen the 5.25 oz (net weight) size plastic jar of Zatarain's Prepared Horseradish. It's about 2 1/4" wide and 3 1/8" tall. It is shaped like a miniature mayonnaise jar. I know you've been collecting small jars and bottles for stove fuel. This one may hold about 6 or more fluid ounces of alcohol but that's only a "guesstimate" by eye. I'll have to finish the horseradish first to do the measuring. ;-)

But this shouldn't take to long for a "Louisiana Man".

Party On,

Newton

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Tablet Leftovers on 09/29/2012 10:17:24 MDT Print View

"Do you just lay the foil packaging back over the tablets blister pack?"

Yes.

Just about every bag and package that I use around Esbit is disposable, because the residue gets over everything.

I would be afraid that the horseradish might dissolve the plastic jar and eat a hole in the titanium cook pot.

--B.G.--

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Tablet Leftovers on 10/02/2012 20:46:07 MDT Print View

Here is a different take or spin if you will on a solid fueled stove that can contain a partially used fuel tab.

A Bleuet solid fuel tablet will drop into a ...

Screw Top Tin

...1 oz size screw top tin.

The 1 oz size screw top tin weighs on my scale 16 grams including the screw top. The bottom portion measures 9/16" internal depth x 1 13/16" in diameter. The screw top lid measures 2 3/16" in diameter and 21/32" (just over 5/8") overall height.

OK so it weighs 14 grams more than my Esbit tray type clone stove, is made of tin not aluminum or titanium and it isn't MYOG. It is a secure way that allows a hiker to carry a partially burned tablet.

Because it will sit lower my windscreen needs to be a full 1/4" shorter to get the same pot to fuel tablet distance of 1 1/4". That may shave a couple of grams from the combo screen /stand. ;-?

The lid itself measures 5/16" and could be used to raise the "stove" up close to the proper height. The tin doesn't really nest well on top of the lid so stability is an issue if I choose to go that route.

As before I would use a reflective surface under the stove.

I sourced my tin from ...

http://bepreparedtosurvive.com/Misc.Conatiners.htm

...for $2.80 plus shipping for a set of three. Scroll down on their web page about a fourth of the way to view them. The 1 oz by itself costs a dollar.

If you trim the corners of the sealed package just right you can screw the lid on as the top edge of the bottom of the tin supports the packaging and have a sealed tab inside ready to unwrap and cook or boil. Don't trim the corners back far enough to get the tablet to drop inside as this will break the factory seal.

I was just thinking outside the box again. This could be a dual fuel stove with the addition of a piece of carbon felt and some alcohol fuel.

Experimenting with stoves and fuels can be dangerous. Proceed at your own risk. Please be careful. I can only report my results but as always YMMV. Remember there are no guarantees!

Party On,

Newton

Andrew Weldon
(hypnolobster)
Re: Re: Windscreen and Pot Support combination on 10/03/2012 17:11:48 MDT Print View

Wow, I love that design. I've got a lot of rivets and a lot of titanium.

Do you think a 550ml pot would play nice on top of a similar design out of titanium? I think I'm going to give it a shot with some flashing first just to confirm how many holes I'll need. It'll be a little larger in diameter, and I imagine the same number of holes should still supply the same amount of air.

I love the combo of windscreen and pot stand, though. Really elegant and just as stable as a hardware cloth stand.



If I can keep it around 7-10 grams with a titanium version, I'll be losing some weight from my kit and taking two items and turning it into one. I love simplicity!


edit: and as an aside, I keep my half-burnt esbit tabs in a little tiny tyvek envelope. I don't know where I got it from, but it's just a 2x~3" bonded tyvek envelope with no closure on top. I just drop the tablet in, fold over the long top and it stuffs into my cook kit inside the plastic bag that contains my stove and pot stand. Works great!

Edited by hypnolobster on 10/03/2012 17:15:09 MDT.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
windscreen on 10/03/2012 17:29:01 MDT Print View

put the windscreen around the pot, leave 1/4" gap
put 15 1/4" holes around the bottom as low to ground as can make, evenly spaced.
put small holes at correct ht and slide tent stakes thru for pot support

you will have better wind protection
you will have better heat input area, and waste less heat

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Re: Re: Windscreen and Pot Support combination on 10/03/2012 17:46:12 MDT Print View

Andrew,

Glad you like it. ;-)

What seemed to work for me was a 2 : 1 ratio of holes 1/4" in diameter. As pictured the double row of holes is at the top and the single row at the bottom.

The bottom row of holes are "breathers" to allow combustion air in to the stove. The top two rows are "exhaust" holes. I tried twice as many holes (1 every half inch) in a single row on top and half as many holes (1 every inch) in a single row on the bottom. That version did not breath well at all and the tablet smothered and flamed out.

I had seen this before on one of my alcohol stoves. Lacking patience LOL and having plenty of flashing and eyelets I decided to double the number of top holes and do likewise to the bottom.

+1 for trying it out of flashing first. I see no reason why 550ml or 2.33 cup cook pot wouldn't "play nice" on a similarly designed Titanium combination stand and windscreen. The Ti handles more heat and is inherently stronger.

Thanks for the suggestion regarding the half-burnt fuel tablets. This is still a work in progress as you can see from the post regarding the screw top tin "stove" idea.

BTW the original idea for this combo winscreen / pot stand design came from...

http://zenstoves.net/PotStands-WindscreenStands.htm

...about 1/2 way down their web page. Look for the figure that looks like the one pictured below.

Narrow Stand 2

Party On,

Newton

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: windscreen on 10/03/2012 18:18:27 MDT Print View

M B,

Thank you for your input, I do appreciate it.

"put small holes at correct ht and slide tent stakes thru for pot support"

I am not a fan of using my tent stakes for this purpose for a couple of reasons.

1.) I don't want to carry extra tent stakes dedicated to my cook kit.

2.) I don't want to wait to finish setting up my shelter until after cooking.

"you will have better wind protection
you will have better heat input area, and waste less heat"


In my tests in my garage I had a 20" box fan on high speed blowing directly at my combo screen and stand. The flame did not suffer. My 1 cup solo cook pot is approximately 3 and 1/4" in diameter. My screen / stand is 2 7/8" in diameter. In the past I saw a lot of wasted heat go up the sides of my cook pot. With this design pretty much all of the heat from the Bleuet tablet is directed right at the bottom of my cook pot.

This is an ongoing experiment in minimalism, simplicity and efficiency.

Minimalism - Do more with less

Simplicity - Less pieces and parts

Efficiency - Short boil times with minimal use of fuel.

I am reminded of Gossamer Gear's warning about their SUL pack. It said in essence, if you think that this pack might not be for you than it isn't.

If you are happy with your current setup and it does exactly what you need it to do than I am happy for you.

I am simply exploring a different approach towards the same end.

Again I appreciate your input and experience. Thank you for offering it here on this thread.

Party On,

Newton

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
stakes on 10/03/2012 19:13:36 MDT Print View

Hey I agree with you.
You are far from the first to go down the road.

Enjoy.

Greg Pehrson
(GregPehrson) - MLife

Locale: playa del caballo blanco
Re: Re: Solid Fuel Stove Techniques on 10/03/2012 20:56:02 MDT Print View

Sorry it took so long to respond to your questions, Newton. You asked,
"Do you have to re-apply the soap between "burns" or is it just a one time application per trip? How long does it last? Did you size the tyvek stuff sack so that it has a wide opening but closes tightly to avoid getting the soot on the higher edges of the cook pot and stuff sack?"

I don't reapply it after cooking. But I'm not out on extended trips either these days.
As to the tyvek envelope, I kept the mailer at its full size and just sewed a drawcord hem into the top (where the opening normally is). This opens up plenty wide to drop my pot into without making a mess on the outside, but there is some wasted space as it's not a snug fit. Tyvek mailers are recyclable too, if it gets too gross after a bunch of trips.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: questions on 10/04/2012 04:19:02 MDT Print View

Greg,

Thank you very much for the detailed answers.

We all get very busy and or preoccupied sometimes. That's why we enjoy hiking in the wilderness so much. We get to fill up our eyes with the beauty of nature and rid ourselves of the "junk" that accumulates in our heads over time. It also gives us a reason and aids in keeping us physically fit.

It's a Win-Win all the way around. ;-)

At my age sometimes I just forget! ;-? L O L

Thanks again.

Party On,

Newton

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Solid Fuel Stove Techniques on 10/24/2012 20:53:28 MDT Print View

OK so there is this thread on the Philosophy & Technique Forum right now that asks the question "Where do you compromise"? What the question is getting at is, where do you carry more weight for the sake of comfort, function or luxury?

In this regard I have compromised on my solid fuel stove weight to achieve a set goal of a desired set of function parameters.

1.) Be able to burn a solid fuel tablet a.k.a. Esbit, Bleuet or Coghlan's.

2.) Be able to store a partially burned fuel tablet securely.

3.) Be ultralight and efficient.

Here is the result.

My stove weighs 16 grams total including the bottom "burner" and the screw on top for used tablet storage.

Stove in storage mode

So my stove gained a total of 14 grams. I comfort myself with fact that only the bottom 8 gram half is the burner and the 8 gram top is just there for storage of the partially used fuel tablet. ;-)

I did save some weight on this project. I had to construct a new "combo" pot stand and windscreen due to the lower height of the stove.

New lighter "combo"

The new "combo" weighs 6 grams so I saved 1 whole gram. LOL

I'll be using the stove and combo with the same 2 gram reflective surface ring from my Fancee Feest Clone Stove.

Combo, stove and reflective ring

Here is a picture looking down at the stove loaded with a "wrapped" Bleuet tablet sitting inside of the "combo" with the reflective ring underneath.

View from above stove

I gained 14 grams on the stove and saved 1 gram on the "combo" for a total weight gain of 13 grams. Add in the 2 gram reflective ring, 16 gram 1 cup cook pot, 5 gram aluminum lid, 2 gram plastic ring and an 11 gram mini-Bic lighter which brings my solid fuel cook kit grand total up to 58 grams or 2.05 ounces.

Naturally I won't be using a dose cup or a fuel bottle with this setup. But I will have to carry the solid fuel tablets. Each wrapped tablet weighs 15 grams. If I can get two 1 cup boils out of every tablet with this system I'll only have to carry 75 grams or 5 tablets to equal what I was getting out of my "mini fancee feest clone and fuel bottle of 4 ounces of alcohol. That bottle of alcohol when full weighed 106 grams and my alcohol stove weighed 12 grams. So there is some weight savings to be had by going the solid fuel tablet route. That weight savings was already there with my clone of Brian Green's tray stove and original "combo" stand and screen.

I still have to do test burns for boil times and overall performance. There will be some long term observations to be made regarding the stoves material since it is a round storage "tin". Longevity of the stove is a concern of mine but they are very inexpensive to replace.

Here is the good news. I get to do these tests on a 24 hour overnight in the Kisatchie Wilderness this weekend. WooHoo!

Party On,

Newton