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Alcohol Stoves for Narrow Pots
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Tim Klaus
(WWhermit) - F

Locale: So Cal
Alcohol Stoves for Narrow Pots on 03/23/2014 16:59:29 MDT Print View

I'm slowly lightening my load, mostly because I'm doing more solo hikes. I've always carried a canister stove, currently the Giga. For a weekend trip alone, though, I think alcohol would be the much better option.

I also just purchased the Evernew 750ml Pasta Pot as my solo pot. This is barely 4 inches in diameter. Most DIY alcohol stoves I see are side burners, and it seems that this pot calls for a burner coming straight up.

I'm looking for recommendations for an alcohol stove I can make myself (I should have enough skills for this) that will work well for this type of pot. Just boiling water, occasional ramen.


Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Alcohol Stoves for Narrow Pots on 03/23/2014 17:15:47 MDT Print View

"I'm looking for recommendations for an alcohol stove I can make myself (I should have enough skills for this) that will work well for this type of pot. Just boiling water, occasional ramen."

If you find yourself getting frustrated with the DIY project, take a look at the modified Starlyte. It's an efficient top burner that is also spill proof. Cheap, lightweight, efficient, and nearly foolproof. Hard to beat, IME.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F

Locale: North Idaho
Re: Alcohol Stoves for Narrow Pots on 03/23/2014 17:51:41 MDT Print View

I use a "half-penny" with either SP 600 mug or Heiny keg pot. Made like a Jurey penny stove, but with small V-8 cans. Easy to make, easy to use (no separate priming step). Reliable, in my experience. Find instructions here:

edit to add: you will need to use a pot stand with this style--a cylinder of 1/2" hardware cloth works well.

Edited by DavidDrake on 03/23/2014 17:54:09 MDT.

Kathy A Handyside
(earlymusicus) - M

Locale: Southeastern Michigan
re: alcohol stoves for narrow pots on 03/23/2014 19:13:45 MDT Print View

Hi Tim - Check out Zelph Stoves' CobaltBlue Soloist stove. It was designed specifically for narrow pots. There's a video on the website demonstrating the stove burning with a Heini pot stove on it. I have that stove and it works great with my Snow Peak 600.

Kathy A Handyside
(earlymusicus) - M

Locale: Southeastern Michigan
oops on 03/23/2014 19:15:25 MDT Print View

I meant to write "with a Heini pot" on the stove. LOL

Tim Klaus
(WWhermit) - F

Locale: So Cal
Good suggestons on 03/23/2014 20:17:32 MDT Print View

Thanks for the replies so far.

I like the Starlyte stove, and Zelph always comes to mind for these.

I was wondering if anyone used the Venom "Zero" stove. Looks pretty simple to make, but I don't know much about it's performance compared to others. I've made the Cat Can stoves, and they work great for me, but with the new pot I bought, the flames are just too wide.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Good suggestons on 03/24/2014 06:18:44 MDT Print View

Any good cook system means 2 things:
1) burning efficiently
2) transfering the heat to the water in the pot effectivly

Alcohol will burn with nearly the same efficiency in most alcohol type stoves. This is different from Gas/WG stoves where tubes, flame spreaders, air inlets/outlets, rate of burn, etc make a large difference in efficiency. For example, a high efficiency alcohol stove might hit 5/8oz to boil two cups. A simple cat food stove might get 3/4oz to boil the same two cups...not a big difference. To compare with WG, I believe that Roger C. got about an ounce per liter out of a SimmerLite and I got less than 1/2oz per liter out of an old SVEA 123r...a fairly large difference and mostly in the stoves. The biggest difference comes with the improved fuel/air mixing with the alchol stoves.

Transfering heat through a cone/windscreen means gathering as much heat as possible from the source, then redirecting it to the water. Cones work really well for this. A plain old wind screen works as well, but works best with wider diameter pots (5+".) Of minor concerns are materials used with ti windscreens and aluminum pots being slightly better than aluminum screens and ti pots. The Caldera Cone also uses the cone as a pot stand. For others you need a pot stand of some sort.

Geoffrey Campitiello
(camp43) - F
Four Dog on 03/24/2014 10:49:06 MDT Print View

"Bushcooker LT-Mini" Camp Stove. It's not as cheap as making your own but this setup has worked great for me with a small mug/pot.

Edited by camp43 on 03/24/2014 10:51:49 MDT.

Tim Klaus
(WWhermit) - F

Locale: So Cal
Fiddle Factor, I guess on 03/24/2014 14:13:46 MDT Print View

For me it's not the cost. The Caldera Cone, Zelph Starlyte, etc, are all reasonable in cost, and have a rock-solid reputation. I guess it's also a factor of being able to make one on my own, and make it well enough to justify being able to carry it in the field, and use it as a worthy piece of gear.

I have no skills with sewing, so a DIY tarp, tent, bag, jacket, etc is out of the question. But a stove would be up my alley for sure.

Haven't heard much of the Four Dog. I'll have to read up on them.

Edited by WWhermit on 03/24/2014 14:15:19 MDT.

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Alcohol Stoves for Narrow Pots on 03/24/2014 14:26:44 MDT Print View

I have come to prefer a wider pot for an alcohol stove.

For a pot that narrow, Zelph's Starlyte is great. Its really good for any pot.

As for MYOG for a narrow pot, I have experimented a bit. I think probably the most efficient one I made was a simple design that was a cut down red bull can with about 4 punched holes. I used it as a center burner for the narrow pot and used some hardware cloth as a pot stand. The holes in the can were air intake for center burn. I like the center burn design because it concentrates the heat on the narrow bottom.

The Starlyte does the same, but in a little cleaner package.

Brian Johns

Locale: NorCal
Make a StarLyte? on 03/24/2014 15:14:12 MDT Print View

You'll need a wedding / gift tin from Michaels or the equivalent big box hobby lobby (skip HL though) some carbon felt (google around, you'll find it) or similar absorbent and fore proof material, and some screen that will take the heat (stainless steel?). Hell, Zelph might fix you up with an unassembled kit. Won't be too tricky, as all of the engineering work has been done already by Zelph/Dan. I am guessing he'd be okay with non-commercial reproductions but I won't claim to know. Email woodgaz-stoves/Dan Y. and find out. Never hurts to ask.

Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
Alcohol Stoves for Narrow Pots on 03/24/2014 15:21:31 MDT Print View

Why skip Hobby Lobby? I'd actually go out of my way to shop there.

Larry Swearingen
(Larry_Swearingen) - M

Locale: NE Indiana
Hobby Lobby ? on 03/24/2014 15:39:48 MDT Print View

I wouldn't go to Hobby Lobby because they push their own Religious
Beliefs on their Employees.


Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
Alcohol Stoves for Narrow Pots on 03/24/2014 16:06:13 MDT Print View

Sorry about the off topic thread drift, but i'd be more apt to support them just for that very reason...the fact that they are exercising their Constitutional rights to religious freedom and will not be bullied by the government. They feel so strongly about it that if they lose their court case, they will close their business. That takes convictions and GUTS in my book. Anyway, carry on....

Glenn S

Locale: Snowhere, MN
Re: Alcohol Stoves for Narrow Pots on 03/24/2014 16:10:29 MDT Print View

You tube is your friend on this. More videos on stove designs and tutorials than I can count.

Small diameter pots bring their own set of snags to the equation. While a top burner with a stand seems the obvious choice, a side burner is not out of the running.

A small diameter pot just means a small diameter stove. If you can use a scissors and a hole punch, you can make a cat-food style stove out of the bottom 2 inches of a Barbasol trial size shaving cream can found in most any local box-mart. Pre warm it and you don't need a pot stand. Cut deep ridges along the top and you don't even need to prewarm it.

Stability becomes the issue then. Anytime you build up instead of out, you run into support problems. Then the option of incorporating a windscreen as a pot stand/stabilizer starts to look appealing. Which brings up the most important aspect of R & D for your MYOG stove, and that is creating a "system" instead of just building a stove.

Some stoves work awesome with their accompanying windscreens, but switch out one of the components and you might not even get a boil, or worse, the stove could overheat and boil out alcohol and create a real disaster. When first starting out building your own stoves, be sure to excersise caution and only test over a safe area. Tipping over an unstable stove with an ounce of flaming alcohol on to your kitchen floor probably wouldn't end well.

With all that being said, the hunt for the perfect setup can be rewarding, addicting and quite therapeutic as well. It can be surprisingly thought consuming as you work through all the nuances of your "design". Of course any pop can stove and tin foil windscreen will boil water, but optimizing efficiency and streamlining design for packability, durability and reliability are the hooks that keep the "stovies" doing what they do.

Well anyway, have fun and good luck!

Edited by Glenn64 on 03/24/2014 16:11:26 MDT.