Make Your Own Gear: The Micro Z-Stand Pot Support

Using Backpacking Light Titanium Alloy UltraRods to build a sturdy, and now heat resistant, sub-0.20 oz (5.7 g) Z-Stand pot support for alcohol and solid fuel stoves.

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by Jay Ham | 2006-04-25 03:00:00-06

Make Your Own Gear: The Micro Z-Stand Pot Support

Backpacking Light Titanium Alloy UltraRods are certainly thin - and light.

We've received a number of comments from those that have purchased the UltraRods that they won't support a heavy pot of water when used in some designs for wire-type pot supports, including the Z-Stand Pot Stand Design published here earlier. We offered a redesign of the standard Z-Stand to work with the UltraRods; and while this has worked fine for many, the direct flame from some side-ported stoves overheats the titanium, causing it to soften and bend under the weight of a cook pot.

Here, we offer a Z-Stand redesign that supports a heavy pot of water and withstands the heat from side-ported alcohol stoves. The trick is to relocate the diagonals on the Z-Stand to a lower position along the verticals by spiraling them down the verticals. Ron Liljedahl, a Backpacking Light subscriber, loaned us his stove setup, which had previously "melted" three UltraRod Z-Stands, to allow us to test the new design. Thanks again Ron!

To make your own, use the same technique as the original Z-stand design. Start with a vertical going up, and make the bend and spiral at the top using needle nose pliers. Caution! You must make gentle curves and bend the material slowly to prevent it from snapping (yes, I believe we've met the threshold of what this material can do). Finish it off with a third diagonal that spirals up the first vertical, as we did with the modified Z-Stand. The final weight for the stand pictured above is under 0.2 ounces.


Citation

"Make Your Own Gear: The Micro Z-Stand Pot Support," by Jay Ham. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/make_your_own_gear_titanium_wire_twisted_z-stand.html, 2006-04-25 03:00:00-06.

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Make Your Own Gear: The “Z-Stand” Pot Support for Alcohol Stoves
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Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Make Your Own Gear: The “Z-Stand” Pot Support for Alcohol Stoves on 08/30/2005 20:36:16 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Make Your Own Gear: The “Z-Stand” Pot Support for Alcohol Stoves

John Chan
(ouroboros)
titanium wire on 09/01/2005 13:45:30 MDT Print View

Hi Jay,

Where do you source your titanium wire? I've seen 2 mm diammeter relatively pure titanium available on the web... but for research purposes only.

Are you using 6Al4V or 3Al2.5V alloy?

thanks,

Jay Ham
(jham) - F - M

Locale: Southwest
Titanium wire (or rod) on 09/01/2005 14:19:31 MDT Print View

I bought a whole bunch of jewelry grade titanium off ebay for about $20, including shipping (which made a couple of z-stands and 12 titanium stakes). If you can't score an ebay deal, there are several distributers who sell titanium rod. As the article indicates, BPL hopes to have some for sell this fall. I would buy 6Al4V, because I am more familiar with this material from cycling. I don't know how different 3Al2.5V is from 6Al4V. Any metallurgists out there?

Jay

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Ti Information on 09/01/2005 14:57:40 MDT Print View

http://www.matweb.com/search/SearchSubcat.asp

Also, check onlinemetals.com and mcmastercarr.com for prices of different Ti pieces / rods / sheet...

John Chan
(ouroboros)
Re: Titanium wire (or rod) on 09/01/2005 15:48:01 MDT Print View

Hi Jay,

I got this once from an old friend who was a metallurgist.

6Al/4V (6% aluminum, 4% vanadium) is the harder of the two alloys and is used where tensile strength is paramount (ie bottom bracket spindles) whereas 3Al/2.5V has more "give" so its used in bike frames. My deduction of this is that the 6/4 alloy would be harder to bend and probably be more brittle than 3/2.5

My specialty is in functional genomics so this should be taken with a grain of salt.

John.

John Chan
(ouroboros)
Re: Titanium wire (or rod) on 09/01/2005 16:23:41 MDT Print View

Hi Jay,

I got this once from an old friend who was a metallurgist.

6Al/4V (6% aluminum, 4% vanadium) is the harder of the two alloys and is used where tensile strength is paramount (ie bottom bracket spindles) whereas 3Al/2.5V has more "give" so its used in bike frames. My deduction of this is that the 6/4 alloy would be harder to bend and probably be more brittle than 3/2.5

My specialty is in functional genomics so this should be taken with a grain of salt.

John.

Laura Ham
(lauraham) - F
Looking good son on 09/16/2005 20:07:50 MDT Print View

Hi Jay
Good looking article as always, Mom

Dixon Way
(Lightknight) - F
Ti-6Al-4V on 11/24/2005 02:17:04 MST Print View

Hi Jay
John is right.
Ti-6-4 is harder to bend than Ti-3-2.5.

Elongation of Ti-3Al-2.5V is better than Ti-6-4 so it is easier to make pipe out of it, so as the bike frame.

Dixon

Jay Ham
(jham) - F - M

Locale: Southwest
Ti-3-2.5 on 11/24/2005 07:40:27 MST Print View

Looks like Ti-3-2.5 is the material of choice. Though, if you can't find a good source for Ti-3-2.5, would the Ti-6-4 work well enough in this application. Aluminum rod works afterall, and aluminum has very poor bending properties.

Jay

Nicklas Kirkes
(packman) - F
help with bending on 03/23/2006 14:51:28 MST Print View

Jay, I was hoping to pick your brain on the bending portion of this project. I'm having a hard time getting the legs to match up after I bend. I've tried placing the wrenches at different places around the marking line, but I just can't seem to get them very accurate. Being somewhat of a perfectionist, I'd rather not end up having to make the stand crooked to have it hold the pot level. Any ideas?

You can email me directly at grnthumb <at> gmail <dot> com

Bernard Shaw
(be_here_now@earthlink.net) - F

Locale: Upstate New York
Thanks & Alternative on 04/26/2006 07:27:05 MDT Print View

Thanks Jay, this is great.

As another variation, I ungloriously copied the Gossamer Gear Pot Stand design using the Ti Rods. It is very strudy and has the nice advantage of folding flat. I prefer it and it also helps to reinforce the wind sheild too. I can send you a picture if you wish.

Evan

scott Nelson
(nlsscott) - MLife

Locale: So. Calif.
Ti from a Leg on ebay on 04/28/2006 23:29:08 MDT Print View

OK, I went looking for Titanium rod on ebay as an earlier post suggested. And what did I find but a listing for a guy selling the Titanium rod that was previously mounted INSIDE HIS BROKEN LEG! He figures it cost about $40,000 to install and remove the rod. It is going for the bargain price of One Dollar (No reserve.)

Thomas Jamrog
(balrog) - F - M

Locale: New England
My Problems Continue with this stand on 09/19/2006 03:07:40 MDT Print View

I may be frustrrating myself for no reason. I have tried the original design and then the first modification. I am still softening the stand and the last two times I used it the full pot fell off the stand after a bit of heating . I have a small soda can alcohol stove and am trying to use the small MSR titanium pot that is 4.5 " in diameter. This design forces me to press the stove right against the wire stand in order to get it to fit.
What am i doing worong, or could this work with a pot that is wider? I can't even think about a large Heinekin can for boiling...