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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 3:09 pm 
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It was suggested to me that folks in the prep community might find this post useful. I originally posted it on multitool.org's forums here...
http://forum.multitool.org/index.php/topic,62224.0.html

Some time back, I made a mess of wood gas stoves. They have some amazing benefits, and a few unfortunate drawbacks. Overall, though, they're awesome. I thought it'd be cool to develop a method to make them with 'field expedient' tools. What follows is a VERY 'down and dirty' method, but produces a perfectly functional stove in short order.

I used a Leatherman Rebar. But all it needs is the pliers, awl, and can opener. While many tools would work for this, I'm sorry to say Leatherman is going to have Victorinox MTs beat in this build, due to the nature of their awls and can openers. The awl edge on the Leatherman handles the abuse it's about to take better, and the can opener's hawk beak style works better in this build. That said, I'm certain a Vic could do it as well. It just might take more of a beating doing it.

1: Can selection. I prefer a standard #300 can for the inner chamber. I don't know what the outer can is called, but is 4" (10cm) in diameter, and just a bit taller than a standard can. You will need two of the larger size cans. One is for the outer chamber, and one is for the pot stand. For the larger cans, you will want at least one of them (the one that will become the outside of the stove) to have sealing seams on both ends of the can. For the other two cans, it doesn't matter either way.

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I guess the official first step is 'remove tops from all cans'. I would probably add 'eat contents', but you can store the contents of the cans in the fridge, feed them to rabid weasels, or whatever you want to do. Not my business. You're probably going to want to wash the inside of the cans as well, unless you like the smell of burning corned beef, or ravioli, or tamales, or whatever. Again... not really my business.

2: This next step is just good work practice. PUT ON WORK GLOVES. Otherwise, you're going to bleed. You will notice in the pics, I'm not wearing work gloves, because I like to live dangerously. And yes, by the end of the project, I was bleeding. I got one tiny poke in my left thumb.

3: Start with the smaller can. About an inch from the rim of the open end, punch a hole in the can with the awl. I found placing the awl on the can and giving a forceful strike with the heel of the hand would punch through the material. The hole doesn't need to drive the awl all of the way into the material. just break through.

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4: From there, you can push the awl in by hand. Then rotate the awl counter-clockwise, to ream the hole out. Rotating the awl clockwise frequently causes sharp jags of metal to form around the outside of the hole, and then you'll have to deal with them later.

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5: Repeat 3, and 4, but directly across the can from the hole you just made.

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6: Now, half way between those holes, make two more (so you have 4 holes evenly spaced). Then split the difference again between the holes, making 4 more, so that you end up with 8 holes around the can, more-or-less evenly spaced.

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7: Repeat the process, and make 8 holes on the bottom, again, about an inch from the end of the can.

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8: And finally, for the inside can, make 8 more holes, closer toward the bottom of the can, offset from the first 8 you make. Your can will now have 8 holes near the open end, and 16 near the unopen end. And that completes the inner can.

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9: Turn one of the larger cans bottom up. Make sure this is one of the cans with seal rims on both ends. Center the small can on top of the larger can, and, using the awl, scribe a mark to show its circumference. Since my can had rings impressed into the end, I just scratched little marks to show where it sat on that ring. My scratch barely shows up in the photo. It's just to the left of the smaller can.

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10: You're going to cut out a hole in the lid of the larger can that's a bit smaller than the diameter of the smaller can. Start by punching a small hole with the awl, using the same technique described in step 3.

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11: Using the can opener, cut the circular hole out of the lid. You might find it difficult to complete the last half inch (or centimeter). That's alright. We'll deal with that in the next step. Without the aid of the leverage of hooking the can opener on the rim of the can, this becomes a completely brute force operation. If you hate your plain edge blade, you can use it instead, by placing it tip-on against the can, and using the same forceful strike with heel of the palm to drive the point into the metal as I described with the awl. It will take about 40 strikes, and i assume that's not good for your blade, so I HIGHLY recommend you just gut it out with the can opener.

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12: For the last half inch or so of that cut, just bend the piece back and forthe along the remaining bit until the metal snaps. Be careful here. There are a lot of jagged edges at this point.

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13: Going back to the awl, punch a hole about 1/3" (1 cm) from the newly cut opening.

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14: As you did with the holes around the inner can, repeat this directly across the hole on the other side. Then at cross quarters. Then do it again to divide the circumference into 8ths, and 16ths. Take care to point the sharp edge of the awl toward the circular hole you cut in the center of the lid.

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15: With spacing figured out, now go back with the sharp edge of the awl pointed toward the center hole, and drive the awl in all the way. The goal here is to split the metal into the circular hole. You may find that you have to lever the Rebar's handle away from the can to complete the split. What you should end up with are 16 tabs of metal, forming a circle.

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16: This step may or may not be needed. You may find that you have to bend these tabs in slightly. I used the butt end of the Rebar to force the tabs down slightly. DO NOT bend these in too far. If your inner can just drops right through the hole in a later step, you've gone too far (which is exactly what happened with me on this build). But fear not. The tabs can be bent back just as easily.

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17: Now we are going to begin working on the other end of the outer can. So, on the end with the lid completely cut off, use your can opener to create two V cuts on the can. If you can get the two Vs to join near the can rim, all the better.

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18: Repeat this directly across the can. Then do it again at quarters. From there, there isn't sufficient room to split the quarters into eights, but you can put single v cuts in between the quarters.

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19: Well... now you're left with something that looks like the mouth of a frickin' lamprey. You have two options. You can either break each of the triangles of material out by bending it back and forth until it snaps, OR you can take those ones pointing away from the outside, fold the pointy end over half way, then over again to sit flush with the rim.

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20: You will be left with 4 bits to deal with. If you connected your V cuts in step 17, they will be detached triangles, pointing toward the can opening. If you didn't quite connect them, used the needle nose pliers the just break the connection. Then, for all pieces, fold the triangular piece over inward, and crush it flat against the inside of the can wall with the pliers. TAKE CARE when doing this, not to catch the rim of the can in the wire cutters.

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21: Take the smaller can, and put the end with the solid bottom flush against the side of the larger can with the tabs cut in it. Press the smaller can into the opening with the tabs. This may require a bit of force, and may also require some fiddling with the cuts along the tabs. The end result should be a very tight friction fit. If your smaller can drops right through like mine did on this build, then bend your tabs flat again, and start over with pressing it in.

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22. I'm going to gloss over this step a bit. Make the pot stand by the same process described in 17 to 20. However, leave out one of the single V cuts. This should be done on the second large can, on the open end. When you've cut the vent holes, then use the awl to make a hole about 2 inches (5 cm) from the rim, then use the can opener as described in step 11 to 'brute force' cut around the circumference of the can. Then use the pliers to roll the edge cut by the can opener. Finally, cut a slit (in the area left by the missing V cut) in the can's rim with the wire cutters. Then cut a notch at the same location along the rolled edge you created from the can opener cut. There will now be about 2 inches of can material between the two notches you need to break, probably by repeated small folds, but possibly by tearing with the pliers. Your goal is to turn the 2" tall circle of can you have into a C . It's going to make an ugly edge either way. Once accomplished, fold the edges of both ends of the C over with pliers. The opening I described here is seen in the upper right of the photo.

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And... You're done.

Wt. 5.5 oz (156g). Cost:$0. Cost of full cans of food: $6 (but that was about 5 meals).


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:02 pm 
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Nice build! Have you done a burn?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:04 pm 
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Multiples.

As with every other wood gas stove I've made, it's a little finicky getting started, but burns great once it's going (usually about 3 minutes before it really starts wood gassification).

Burn times depend entirely on the fuel you use. Random sticks from the yard get me about 17 minutes. That's JUST under what it takes to get 2 cups of water up to a full boil. And my last burn last night got me 49 minutes.

The thread I linked at the start of the first post has a thorough detailed account of the exploits with this thing.

If you douse the coals once it's done with gassification, it's cool enough to handle after about 3 minutes, and leaves you with some pretty good charcoal.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:50 pm 
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I used your link to go to your other post. All I can say is that is a smurfing awesome flame. Your build performs very well. And I had never heard of using duct tape as a fire starter. I will have to give that a try. A+ dude!

Edited for typo.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2015 12:36 pm 
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Nice job man. I have made a couple of these and I think that the know how of making them is invaluable. I wouldn't stash one away in my BOB or anything, but knowing how its done is a good bit of know-how. Might even impress your friends while tailgating or something.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 3:03 pm 
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Well done!

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