Evil Experiments - 2 x burners and a Volcano Stove mod
I'll apologise in advance for the cellphone pics. Sorry.
1. Volcano Stove Mod
Pretty simple, I just removed the wire bail and found a bit of tin to use as a lid.
here's sort of how it looked unmodified (just squint and pretend the wire is there)
Took the wire off. What a chore that was. Ended up popping the rivets out.
The reason for the mod was I wanted to reduce the height of the unit. I don't use the aluminium canteen which came with it, so I didn't need all that internal space.
I simply inserted the cup as if I was going to boil water, added a tin lid I found in the spares box and that's pretty much it.
The space in the cup can hold a brew kit in a ziplock bag, while the space under the cup inside the stand can hold fuel tabs, tinder or even some fatwood pieces.
here's a couple of shots of it all packed up - I intend to replace the rubber band with a piece of 25mm webbing with a ladderloc - threaded through the cup handles it'll stay put nicely and securely.
2. Low pressure multi-fuel burner.
I spend a fair bit of time in remote areas every year and while I can get diesel, kerosene, gasoline, white spirit and sometimes methylated spirits (alcohol), it's hard to get gas canisters for a pocket rocket or similar. Brew ups during the day are usually with hexamine or esbit fuel, meaning I have to take a supply with me.
This is still experimental - it works, but I haven't perfected it yet. It's very lightweight and fuel availability is good. Most of all, it's safe - it won't explode and you'd have to be very determined to make it spill flaming fuel everywhere. I still have to optimise it so it burns clean on all of the listed fuels,so I'll update this thread.
I was inspired by this youtube vid - The "Bill Bomb" Alcohol Stove part of the Troop 73 Alcohol Stove Project - YouTube , by my zippo lighter, and by the contents of my spares box.
Live test using kerosene this evening.
Worked OK. The cup containing 2 standard cup measurements of water acheived a rolling boil in just over 6 minutes. Not great, but not bad.
It is made from the following components:
an aluminium Cuban cigar tube and cap
a cap from a bottle of Potable Aqua tabs (punched a hole in it)
some jute twine
The same peg board too holder thingy as in the youtube vid.
Diassembled for transport - note that the tube is leakproof and contains fuel in this photo
The wick removed from its storage bottle - note the cap, which stays on permanently
The inside of the cigar tube -
The wick is fed into the tube, where it is wetted with liquid fuel
if the cap fits... (it does)
Slid into the toolholder and placed into position for lighting
The rocket stove is brought to the burner, not the other way round
Boiling lid fitted to volcano stove. ready to boil some water.
The burner and stove all packed up
This one is to be continued after more testing.
3. Canteen cup stand alcohol burner
I have trouble using soda can stoves with the canteen cup stand. They are either too high or they have too small a capacity. This evil experiment will hopefully correct that. Please note this is a work in progress. I'm posting it before I've finished in the vain hope that someone else has done this before and has ironed out all the bugs for me
Before I show you the burner, here's an easy handle arrangement for a home made lid -
It's flexible, it's out of the way of the flames and it packs flat.
Here's the untested prototype burner in position -
Some detail shots -
That's right campers, I cut the bottom off a US GI canteen cup to serve as the main body of my alcohol burner. The top is sheet brass, but it's blank and unsealed at this time since I haven't yet decided what type of alcohol burner configuration to go for.
Unfortunately this system doesn't work with ALICE canteen carriers...
It will work with MOLLE ones. This is a Condor canteen carrier, but it fits well in a woodland camo USGI MOLLE II I have.
Love the rocket stove, very cool
The use of kerosene in the cigar-tube burner experiment is officially a bust.
Testing of different configurations this morning and afternoon have revealed the following problems -
1. Too much soot and smoke.
2. Use of the device in Mode 2 causes flame problems
Taking a cue from a kero lamp, I encased the bulk of the wick with alu foil, crimped on and covering the cap. This was tested with various lengths of wick sticking out through the alu foil. Didn't seem to make any difference to the soot and smoke levels even after giving a couple of minutes' warm-up.
Mode 2 was using the device with a canteen cup stove. This holds great promise, but not with kerosene as a fuel. The burner is taken off its little rack thingy and placed on the ground and slid under the canteen cup. An alternate method was to insert the wick through one of the holes in the side of the stove/stand.
Mode 2 worked well, but the smoke and soot was an issue, and additionally, just before the water in the cup started to boil the whole cigar tube had caught fire and had to be doused with the contents of the canteen.
Good news on the alcohol front though -
Tonight I completed part 1 of the alcohol fuel test.
For this one I returned the burner to its "stock" configuration like this...
and used the swiss volcano stove as the default test thingy.
I can report that in "flaming candle" mode, the burner easily boils a full to the brim volcano stove cup in just over 5 minutes (a lid was used for the cup)
I'm nowhere running out of fuel as yet, so I threw a full canteen cup on top of the volcano stove to see whether I could get a rolling boil out of that as well. That was about 2 minutes ago..
And ran out of fuel just before I'd achieved a boil. I need to increase the efficiency of the burner.
Stupid idea #1 - Adjustable flame - with alcohol, this device burns cleanly so I'm already happy with it as a fuel. The only thing I'm not happy with is that the flame is not adjustable. Not too much of a problem for boiling water, but with the "wicks" spread out, this device would be fine for cooking in a pan or a pot - IF it had an adjustable flame.
At the moment I'm thinking of a system similar to the one used on a hurricane lamp - turn a knob one way and you get more wick coming out, turn it the other and you get less wick to work with. In this application I'd need a new cap to experiment with. I have a couple here, so I'll see what I can knock together.
Stupid idea #2 - Lantern Conversion. You can hold this burner in your hand and it looks a bit like a candle with a BIG flame. If the awesome power of this device could be harnessed for lighting instead of cooking... has anyone ever made an alcohol lantern? I don't recall ever seeing one. Note that because this is using jute string as a wick, it burns with an orange/yellow flame not unlike a candle flame. I've been feverishly trying to work out how to get a normal blue flame with this burner, but this shortcoming may be a blessing in disguise.
As another evil experiment this evening, I'm converting a zippo lighter fluid can to hold alcohol fuel. The flip top lid is leakproof and makes it easy to squirt alcohol fuel into a burner. Anyone who's tried to use a zippo can for holding alcohol fuel will have noticed that within a couple of hours of filling it up it's starting to rusty around the rolled seam at the bottom of the can. I'm hoping to remedy that. I'll report back if it works.