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 Post subject: Buddy Burner
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:54 am 
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Anybody ever played with these? I'd never heard of one before.
Made this last night with my 11 year old. It really kicks off some heat!

It's made from an empty cat food can, a strip of cardboard and a Dollar Tree candle. Unbelievable how much wax this thing holds.

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It weighs in on the kitchen scale at about 1/3 lb.
I'll have to see how long a burn I can get out of it, but I'll bet it's a lot considering how much wax it holds!

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 Post subject: Re: Buddy Burner
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 6:05 pm 
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Yeah they're great. In scouts we made ours from tuna cans. I recommend that if they go in a car kit that you build them into some form of tin that has a lid. I further recommend that you wrap the tin closed with tape to prevent melted wax from leaking out if the car gets hot inside. you can carry bricks of gulf wax...

http://www.amazon.com/Gulf-Paraffin-Wax ... B0026KXRLQ

and break off chunks to 're-fuel' it while it's running. They will soot your pans up quite a bit. In boy scouts we made a cooking surface out of a vented coffee can placed upside down over one. It was really a frying surface though, and not a proper stove. I have a little kit with this sterno type pot support:
http://www.amazon.com/Sterno-50002-Sing ... B000OD158E
A buddy burner blows the sterno can away in terms of heat. It can be used in a pinch for an OUTDOOR heat source, or even a fire starter.

If you know anyone who used to bulk load their 35mm film before the digital age... they may have a few of these film cans lying around...
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If you find a tin with a lid, it's easier to snuff them out when you're done cooking.

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Last edited by 111t on Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Buddy Burner
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:16 pm 
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Damn it's simple and seems effective, I'm definitely gonna make one.

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 Post subject: Re: Buddy Burner
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:00 pm 
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Could you use fiberglass for a non consumed wick?

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 Post subject: Re: Buddy Burner
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:32 am 
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2now wrote:
Could you use fiberglass for a non consumed wick?


Probably, but that would sort of defeat the quick-and-dirty hobo-tech charm of the buddy burner. I don't think the cardboard even really burns down much anyway, unless you burn all the wax out.

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 Post subject: Re: Buddy Burner
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:37 am 
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Last edited by Explorer on Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Buddy Burner
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:48 am 
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Dirge wrote:
I've never heard of one of these before, looks cool...err hot.
So where is the candle or wax and how DO you make this thing?


Quote:
It's made from an empty cat food can, a strip of cardboard and a Dollar Tree candle. Unbelievable how much wax this thing holds.


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It's not entirely self-explanatory, but it's pretty close. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Buddy Burner
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:11 am 
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When I was 10-11 I was in the YMCA Indian Guides and we used these, mounted on sticks as torches. It was the 70's and I guess it was ok at that time to give a bunch of kids a nice hot can on a stick to hold over your head !!

God isn't it amazing any of us lived !! No seat belts, jumping around in the car. Firecrackers and bottle rockets unsupervised, ah but I digress.

TsgtAMMO

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 Post subject: Re: Buddy Burner
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:07 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Buddy Burner
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:35 pm 
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You can certainly use candle wax. Say if you have a bunch of old candle stubs lying around or if, say, an ex-girlfriend left a crapload of them cluttering your house. The purest non girlysmelly option is canning wax or some other form of bulk paraffin wax. I use gulf wax. i've seen it at wally world.

http://www.amazon.com/Gulf-Paraffin-Wax ... B0026KXRLQ

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 Post subject: Re: Buddy Burner
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:07 pm 
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Dirge wrote:
Chef wrote:
Dirge wrote:
I've never heard of one of these before, looks cool...err hot.
So where is the candle or wax and how DO you make this thing?


Quote:
It's made from an empty cat food can, a strip of cardboard and a Dollar Tree candle. Unbelievable how much wax this thing holds.


Image

It's not entirely self-explanatory, but it's pretty close. 8)


Please note the enlarged text. :)



I added some enlarged text of my own. :wink: You just pour the melted wax down into the holes made by the cardboard until the can is full.

As 111t notes, you can melt down old candle stubs or Gulf paraffin from the canning aisle of the grocery store.

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 Post subject: Re: Buddy Burner
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 1:31 pm 
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Dirge wrote:
So where is the candle or wax and how DO you make this thing?


The wife was very unwilling to surrender any candle stubs or the use of her double boiler for this project. Imagine that.
She did however, give us a big $1 white candle and permission to use the big hot thing in her kitchen (a... stoov?).

You clean and dry your can, cut a strip of cardboard to coil up inside, then melt your wax and pour it in. Wikipedia says it will work with fat, grease, etc., too.

We cut the candle into chunks and melted them little by little in a soup can over the lowest heat. The candle was maybe 10" tall and would just fit inside the cat food can (to give you an idea of the diameter). That was the exact perfect amount of wax as we had just a tiny bit of spillage (like a teaspoons worth) at the end.

http://www.homegrownevolution.com/2007/ ... urner.html

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 Post subject: Re: Buddy Burner
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:13 pm 
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A how-to video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5vUCmYBTK8

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 Post subject: Re: Buddy Burner
PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:29 pm 
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Those are seriously badass. I like the tins the guy in the YouTube video uses..

I do have one question: What is the point of these? Can you cook with them? Or are they just for heat/morale boost?


Sorry, I'm ignant. (Yes, I said ignant.)

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 Post subject: Re: Buddy Burner
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 12:37 am 
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Hey had a dream last night that I needed one of these badly so I'm gonna take that as a sign from God and make one ASAP.

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 Post subject: Re: Buddy Burner
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 1:53 am 
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I remember making these at outdoor school but I think its time to revisit these. This would make a great emergency stove without having to worry about fuel.

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 Post subject: Re: Buddy Burner
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:27 am 
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Dragk913 wrote:
Those are seriously badass. I like the tins the guy in the YouTube video uses..

I do have one question: What is the point of these? Can you cook with them? Or are they just for heat/morale boost?


Sorry, I'm ignant. (Yes, I said ignant.)


It's a heat source for cooking when you put it under a camp stove like 111t linked (very cool), or you could use a ventilated coffee can, or similar. Just something to trap the heat and set a pot on.
Don't see why you couldn't use rocks, sticks, whatever to suspend a pot over it, either.

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Hey had a dream last night that I needed one of these badly so I'm gonna take that as a sign from God and make one ASAP.


The Lord works in mysterious ways, my friend.

ogreboy wrote:
This would make a great emergency stove without having to worry about fuel.


Exactly. I want to make a couple more, for the BoBs, GHB, each car.
I like the cat food can because it's aluminium, and therefore lighter than steel (like tuna cans), but what to do about a lid?

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 Post subject: Re: Buddy Burner
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 11:41 am 
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Ah. Thanks for the info. and thanks for posting Elk. I'm definitely going to make one of these in a couple days. Now that I actually know it does something, I really want one :D

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 Post subject: Re: Buddy Burner
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 4:34 pm 
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Though not as portable, this same thing works with any Oil, bacon grease, diesel fuel, kerosene, what-have you. Roll up strips of wicking material (cardboard ) pack into a non flammable container ( tin can ) soak with fuel, and ignite. Candle wax is nicer since it won't spill ( when cooled ) or attract bears ( unless scented ). We used to make torches like this when I was in Boy Scouts , Take a 3-5 foot long stick, wrap a 6 inch wide strip of cardboard to about 4- 5 inches in diameter, secure it with bailing wire and soak in citronella lamp oil, they 'd burn for hours.


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 Post subject: Re: Buddy Burner
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:11 pm 
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elkhills wrote:
Dragk913 wrote:
Those are seriously badass. I like the tins the guy in the YouTube video uses..

I do have one question: What is the point of these? Can you cook with them? Or are they just for heat/morale boost?


Sorry, I'm ignant. (Yes, I said ignant.)


It's a heat source for cooking when you put it under a camp stove like 111t linked (very cool), or you could use a ventilated coffee can, or similar. Just something to trap the heat and set a pot on.
Don't see why you couldn't use rocks, sticks, whatever to suspend a pot over it, either.

Lionheart wrote:
Hey had a dream last night that I needed one of these badly so I'm gonna take that as a sign from God and make one ASAP.


The Lord works in mysterious ways, my friend.

ogreboy wrote:
This would make a great emergency stove without having to worry about fuel.


Exactly. I want to make a couple more, for the BoBs, GHB, each car.
I like the cat food can because it's aluminium, and therefore lighter than steel (like tuna cans), but what to do about a lid?



Yes he does, I just need to find a small metal container with a lid since I plan on putting it in my BOB I want to be able to seal it.

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 Post subject: Re: Buddy Burner
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 1:49 pm 
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These Buddy Burners show enough potential for me to experiment a little.

My successes and failures so far:

First tried out an empty chew can. Regrettably, I have an endless supply of these.
Image

It is the perfect size for my purpose, as a heat source underneath a USGI canteen cup stove. It was a failure, though, as around the time I was getting a boil the plastic can started to melt and leak. Next up will be a Copenhagen can, maybe the cardboard walls will hold up better? We'll see.
Image

Next I tried an Altoids and a cookie tin. I cut the cookie tin down with tin snips to about an inch and a quarter high.
Image

They both burn well.
Image

The failure on the Altoids tin is that once the wax starts to melt (as it burns) it leaks out the hinge holes on the back side. This could be prevented by only filling it to the height of these openings. I would pursue this idea further, but the lid prevents my stove from sitting flat over it.

The cookie tin burned well, but is too tall at 1 1/4". The canteen cup sets too low in the stove to sustain a good hot burn over the burner (chokes it off).

Just for fun I set the cup on the stove at an angle. I got the first bubbles at 6 minutes, but it took 19 minutes for a decent rolling boil. Granted, a lot of heat is escaping around the cup this way.
Image

Here's some other universal things I've learned so far, if you plan on making one of these:

Underfill, rather than overfill these guys. Too much wax makes a candle, not a burner.
Use a bit of wick, slid down one of the cardboard holes, for lighting these up.
You don't need as much cardboard as you think. A little loose and sloppy is okay :wink:
Paul (111t) is absolutely right, these will soot up your pots quite a bit.

FYI, I left the cookie tin to burn, it died out after 1 hour & 15 minutes.

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 Post subject: Re: Buddy Burner
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:20 pm 
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The bulk 35mm film can sounds like a great idea, think I might have one or two packed away somewhere.

What about the round Altoids candy tins? They use a slip on lid instead of the hinged one on the regular Altoids mints tin.

On a related note, I made a 3 wick candle with an Altoids tin the other day. Using some of those little round flat candles. I took them out of the metal tins, broke them into pieces leaving the wicks encased in wax. Then I broke up a few more and filled the gaps, melted it down on the stove, realized that the hinges leaked a few seconds too late to stop but it all worked out in the end. Cleaning melted wax from the stove was fun...

Makes for a nice, closable, protected candle lantern and it cost practically nothing, the tin was free and I got the candles at the 99 cent store in a pack of 20. Think I'll use some of them to experiment with a Buddy Burner.

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 Post subject: Re: Buddy Burner
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:36 pm 
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I've made about 100 of these things in my time - very easy to make. Originally a Boy Scout thing. Later, in my SCA career, we'd make these and mount them atop sticks to use as torches that would be placed around encampments for cool "torchlight" effect. We'd add a wire across the top of the can just in case the thing got knocked over and the roll of flaming cardboard would not fall out.

In case it was not made clear enough:
1) Melt old wax chunks - I use an old pot of water and an old can as a double boiler. Usually, in my past projects, half of the wax was for torches and half for carboille projects.
2) Roll up card board into clean tuna/cat food can. Before this, punch holes in the top lip of the can at the 180s. If being made into a torch, poke a hole center bottom and use a short drywall screw to attach can to the top of an old broom stick or dowel or something. The last bits are optional.
3) Pour melted wax over rolled up card board in can. Fill it up. You don't need a whole ton of the stuff though.

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 Post subject: Re: Buddy Burner
PostPosted: Sun Dec 13, 2009 10:38 pm 
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JohnE wrote:
The bulk 35mm film can sounds like a great idea, think I might have one or two packed away somewhere.


I was rummaging around in the basement and ran across this specimen. It is made into a 35mm tin.

Image
The electrical tape was still intact:
Image
It is possibly slightly overfull of wax. I might need to slice acroos the top a little to make it easier to light.
Image

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