Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Supercat Alcohol Stove

A good weekend project is a new alcohol stove. The Super Cat is amazingly easy to build, requiring only a paper hole punch, a marker and a ruler. There is some discussion on the types of cans used to make the stove, regardless the aluminum ones weigh a third less that steel.

I chose a Deviled Spam can for my stove, although eating it was not the wisest choice I have ever made. It is the same size as a 3 ounce cat food can and probably just as tasty. I used a portion of the same style can as a “dock” to hold the stove tight to a base can. The pot sits directly on the stove as it is a side burner. The dock and base can help to stabilize the entire operation

A similar can to the base is used as a snuffer lid to put the stove out. Unlike my Trangia, this burner does not store the fuel. But using a syringe or pipit the unused fuel can be captured for the next burn. A quick test, in the rain even, yielded an 11 minute burn time. More than enough to boil up 2 cups of water.

Like most alcohol stoves, it relies on a good windscreen to maintain the proper flame. I ran mine inside of the Nimblewill Stove for testing. It provided decent wind protect but I still need to play around with it. I tired using tinfoil but it did not hold up to the wind well. This is where a Caldera Cone or windscreen made from sturdy foil will really come in handy.

But a 1.15 ounce package gives a lightweight way to boil water in about 6 minutes. To find the instructions, head over here.

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