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#134176 - 05/24/10 06:11 PM My sub-2 ounce kitchen
taM Offline
member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 112
Loc: Nashville, TN
I wanted to wait to make a thread on my new MYOG cook kit until I trail tested it. After a few days on the trail, having ridden nearly 60 miles in my pack, I figure it's passed the test, and I'd share.

The "stove" if you can call it that is an aluminum tea light container. I measured its' capacity at an absolute maximum of 17 ml of fuel, but that's only possible on a dead-level base. It will hold 15 mL (0.5 oz) without a problem, and without having to worry about it spilling. I generally only use about 14 mL for each burn, so it's got plenty of capacity.

The windscreen for the kit is homemade from roof flashing. It's a good deal more sturdy than necessary, but I'm ok with that. It's a caldera-cone type system that's 5" diameter at the base, and just wide enough around the top for the lip of the pot to sit for support. There's a decent youtube video regarding how to make your own cone, based upon the dimensions you want, and I used that as a basis for this.

The pot is the bottom 3/4 or so of a foster's can. After cutting the top off about .75" above the 2-cup level, I rolled a lip with my fingers and a pair of pliers to strengthen the top edge. The lip was rolled over on itself 3 times, so it's essentially 4 times the wall thickness. This added a really nice amount of strength to the pot.

The lid is simply the bottom of a pie-pan cut a little large, and formed to fit. It's probably the weakest link of this system, and would be too flimsy for a thru-hiker, but for week long trips or so, it's substantial enough. For as easy as it was to make, I don't mind replacing it periodically.

Below are a few pics. I didn't want to have to budget extra weight for a container to carry the cone, or the pot, as it defeated the purpose of the lightness in my mind. The solution was to wrap the windscreen/cone around the sack into which I stuff my extra open-cell foam torso pad (used to supplement my CCF sleep pad) No extra weight, less the piece of tape, and offers enough protection for the screen not to get bent up.

The scale is difficult to read, but it says 1.784, just over an ounce and three quarters. Paired with my styrofoam drinking cup that nests inside, it's just over 1.9 oz.


components


pot covered and sitting on the windscreen/support/cone


storage


weigh-in

Lest anyone think that performance is compromised with such a setup, I've done a decent amount of testing with this kit, both in the kitchen, and in the field.

Fuel efficiency was a primary concern of mine, and boil times were of secondary importance. I've been able to consistently obtain 2-cup boil times of 8 to 8.5 minutes on 13 ml of fuel (under .5 oz). I usually boil 2 cups in the morning, and 2 more in the evening, so I budget 1 fl oz of fuel per day (0.78 oz by weight).

Fuel efficiency is slightly worse in windy conditions. In 20 mph winds, it required a fuel load of 15 ml, and a burn time of just over 10 minutes to boil 2 cups. A boil, and stove burn-out occurred nearly simultaneously. Where I hike, 20 mph winds with no protection are fairly rare, but I still think this performance is admirable.

There are certainly setups that are, to a degree, lighter. There are probably a few that are more fuel efficient, though I've not seen any. Many are more robust, and possibly a bit less finicky, but I feel I've obtained a great balance of all of those things, while being able to enjoy something I made myself!

So, let's hear everyone's thoughts...love it or hate it!
laugh
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#134184 - 05/24/10 07:25 PM Re: My sub-2 ounce kitchen [Re: taM]
Bushman Offline
member

Registered: 07/01/09
Posts: 122
Loc: California
Very cool. I had no interest in using the tea light's for a stove but now paired with the cone i see it efficiency. How long does the tea light last? Does it get fragile the more you use it?

man...look like I need to buy a tall pot cry

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#134186 - 05/24/10 07:40 PM Re: My sub-2 ounce kitchen [Re: Bushman]
taM Offline
member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 112
Loc: Nashville, TN
I was hesitant as well on the tea-lights, but figured I'd give it a shot. They seemed very vulnerable to wind, so the cone seemed essential.

If there's one thing I've learned in the course of going lighter, it's that the heaviest thing is often your preconceived notions, so I've made an effort to try as many things as I can, to see whether or not they work for me.

As for the "stove" becoming fragile, not that I've noticed. I assume they're cold formed aluminum (like a soda can or roof flashing), so one heat cycle above the annealing temperature should soften it a little, but I've not noticed any real difference. It's stored in my cup, which is stored in the pot, so it's pretty safe.

The other nice thing about this system is that you can easily snuff the stove out with the pot lid, and then recover any unburned fuel. It's never much, but every drop can count sometimes.
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#134204 - 05/25/10 01:02 AM Re: My sub-2 ounce kitchen [Re: taM]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Nicely done!

Details on your cone construction?

When you rolled the lip on the can, did your cut a notch to be able to roll the lip of the can down, or how'd you manage that.

I like it! I might even make one ! smile

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#134212 - 05/25/10 09:17 AM Re: My sub-2 ounce kitchen [Re: phat]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
I like it too. The tea light adds a large amount of simplicity.
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#134222 - 05/25/10 10:16 AM Re: My sub-2 ounce kitchen [Re: Bushman]
Slowfoot Offline
member

Registered: 04/22/05
Posts: 157
Loc: Missouri
Originally Posted By Bushman
How long does the tea light last? Does it get fragile the more you use it?


I've been using a tea light stove for the past 2-3 years. They don't seem fragile at all to me. I do take two since the weight is neglible, but I've never needed the extra. You can step on it, and it's still okay once you bend it back to shape. Not that I recommend it, but if you're accident-prone like I am, it's not something to worry about. (I've also stepped on my hardware cloth pot stand, and I shut my older model White Box alcohol stove in the car door. Both are still functional, although I don't use that stove anymore since I got the tea light.)

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#134225 - 05/25/10 10:42 AM Re: My sub-2 ounce kitchen [Re: phat]
taM Offline
member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 112
Loc: Nashville, TN
Originally Posted By phat
Nicely done!

Details on your cone construction?

When you rolled the lip on the can, did your cut a notch to be able to roll the lip of the can down, or how'd you manage that.

I like it! I might even make one ! smile



I knew someone would ask me this, and I'd have trouble explaining it, but here goes.

There were no relief cuts made, the material of the sidewall of the can is thin enough that it can be easily formed without reliefs, and seemed to be pretty malleable.

When I lopped the top off of the can, I saved the top rim down to the widest point (man this is tough to explain). Think of it as the shoulder of the can. This part is thicker, and very sturdy, and could be inverted, and pressed down into the lower portion. I basically pressed this part down into the lower portion until they were flush with one another, and then pressed the top rim portion in another 1/16" or so. This left the thin sidewall exposed and unsupported, and it could be formed down with just a fingernail.

Once the first 1/16" was folded over 180 degrees back onto itself, each consecutive fold could be made with a pair of pliers, gradually working your way around the rim. The first two folds were rolled a full 180 degrees on itself, and the third (last) fold was rolled 90 degrees, so it sticks out as much as possible to support itself on the cone.

I wish I had some pics of this, because I realize that explanation is really not very good. A video or at least some stills would really help I'm sure...I'll see what I can do.

As for the cone, the video I used as a basis for my design can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VerP7-aiEBw

The base is 5" diameter, and if I remember right, the top diameter is approximately 3.25". The height I don't recall, but I was shooting for the bottom of the pot being 2" above the ground, something like a 1.375" gap between the top of the stove and bottom of the pot.

The ventilation holes on the bottom were made with a paper punch, and span about 170 degrees around the base. I didn't want to put holes much further than that, thinking that wind could curl around the base and still get inside if they went 180 degrees around the base.

The vent holes on top circle the entire cone. I tried a cross-venting idea, where the holes were only placed on the same side as the entry holes on the bottom, but this failed miserably, and actually caused the fuel to boil off and condense on the pot. Putting holes fully encircling the top worked much better.

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#134228 - 05/25/10 12:19 PM Re: My sub-2 ounce kitchen [Re: taM]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
Great setup. I'm not a cone kinda guy......yet, but if I were to experiment with them I would use you for inspiration.
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#134241 - 05/25/10 05:50 PM Re: My sub-2 ounce kitchen [Re: taM]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
Nice job!

What was the lowest outside temperature you used this at?
What was the coldest water you tried?

Thanx,
-Barry

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#134246 - 05/25/10 06:33 PM Re: My sub-2 ounce kitchen [Re: BarryP]
taM Offline
member

Registered: 01/31/10
Posts: 112
Loc: Nashville, TN
Originally Posted By BarryP
Nice job!

What was the lowest outside temperature you used this at?
What was the coldest water you tried?

Thanx,
-Barry


The trip I took this on was a section hike along a combination of the AT and Benton MacKaye trails in the Smoky Mountains NP. Ambient temps weren't terribly cold, mid 40's in the mornings at a minimum. The water for morning breakfast was generally drawn directly from springs. I don't know what sort of temp. those run, but it's certainly not warm.
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#165676 - 05/06/12 09:03 AM Re: My sub-2 ounce kitchen [Re: taM]
Cranman Offline
member

Registered: 01/21/12
Posts: 133
Loc: Central NC
Anyone know what type of fuel this uses? I assume denatured alcohol? If so why is it called a teal light stove?

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#165678 - 05/06/12 10:53 AM Re: My sub-2 ounce kitchen [Re: Cranman]
Cole Pendell Offline
member

Registered: 01/02/12
Posts: 24
Loc: Idaho
He uses either denatured or HEET methanol.
He calls it a tea light stove because the burner comes from the base or housing of a wax tea candle.

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#165842 - 05/12/12 02:24 PM Re: My sub-2 ounce kitchen [Re: taM]
Samoset Offline
member

Registered: 07/04/08
Posts: 429
Loc: Newnan ,GA
i really like this set up i think im going to have to order some esbit, and try making my own cone. i like how you made your fosters pot id like to make one to hold twenty fl ounces as i enjoy rather large cups of coffe in the am and i tend to double up on ramen in the pm.

thanks for the inspiration.
SAMOSET
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