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#108168 - 12/22/08 12:54 AM Design for an esbit stove from an old can?
Jim M Offline

Registered: 11/23/03
Posts: 281
Loc: Kitsap Peninsula, WA
[/font]Is there a way to make an Esbit stove (one that burns tablets) from an old tin (I know they are not tin any longer) can? I have tried, but my design doesn't seem to let enough air in and may be the wrong height. I have a real esbit stove, but it weighs about 3 ounces and a can weighs 1/3 rd that. Tnx in advance for any help with this. [font:Comic Sans MS]
Jim M

#108176 - 12/22/08 11:14 AM Re: Design for an esbit stove from an old can? [Re: Jim M]
Heber Offline

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 245
Loc: St. Louis, Missouri
Actually this is a project I'm just beginning also. My previous attempt at an esbit stove didn't work as well as I would like.

Here's what I've found so far about using cans to make Esbit stoves.

Haven't tried it yet. Hopefully in a few days I'll know more.

#108184 - 12/22/08 04:18 PM Re: Design for an esbit stove from an old can? [Re: Heber]
Jim M Offline

Registered: 11/23/03
Posts: 281
Loc: Kitsap Peninsula, WA
A couple of things I have thought about are as follows.
I think the height from the bottom of the can to the top should be at least 2 inches so the hottest part of the flame inpinges on the pot. Next, I think there should be a rather large opening at the bottom, perhaps a square 1" by 1" so you can stick a wooden match in and light the tablet once in place. This would also allow quite a bit of air in, but still I would drill holes around the bottom to assure good air flow. The large opening would be down-wind when the stove was in use. The final point is that there needs to be enough holes, and large enough, very near the top. This is so there is good air flow out. Actually as the air comes in and gets burned it increases in volume. When I experimented with this the first time I didn't have enough or they weren't large enough because the flame was not as large or bright with the pot on the stove. JIM
Jim M

#108191 - 12/22/08 06:04 PM Re: Design for an esbit stove from an old can? [Re: Jim M]
Jim M Offline

Registered: 11/23/03
Posts: 281
Loc: Kitsap Peninsula, WA
Jim again here. I just made a stove as follows;
Hunt's tomato sauce can 3" high and 2.75 in diameter. I cut a rectangular hole near the bottom for easy access to light the tablet. That rectangle was 1.5 wide and 1 inch high. I cut (7) 3/8" dia holes very near the top and 4 at various heights around the middle and near the bottom opposite the access opening. When I tested this set up heating 8 ounces of H2O I was surprised at two things. First the flame was very bright and large, suggesting lots of make up air and adequate exhaust ports. Second it heated faster and used up the tablet faster. The 8 ounces of H2O were too hot to drink in 5 minutes, half the time it took with a similar stove with much less vent holes. So my conclusion, if it isn't already obvious, is that the tablet burns quite hot, and fast, with adequate ventilation. I would recommend a compromise because I think some of the heat is wasted when the flame is so high. Try fewer and smaller holes to start with and work up until the flame on the bottom of the pot seems to be concentrated on the pot where it will do the most good. By the way, with such a large flame the 3" of height is none too far away from the tablet. Let me know if you try this or have different results. By the by, the link in the first answer is great.

Edited by Pliny (12/22/08 06:06 PM)
Jim M

#108194 - 12/22/08 06:22 PM Re: Design for an esbit stove from an old can? [Re: Jim M]
Franco Offline

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 1000
Loc: Australia
Take a good look at the Trail Design Gram Cracker/Caldera cone combination
This is the only way I can get Esbit to work for me.It doesn't say much about my skills with solid fuel but if I can make it work it must be good...
(I use alcohol or gas)

#108220 - 12/22/08 11:34 PM Re: Design for an esbit stove from an old can? [Re: Franco]
hikerduane Offline

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2124
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I finally checked out the Caldera Cone yesterday. Love the weight of the Graham Cracker.

With the rain and wind this last weekend, I was inside quite a bit, but not the whole time. Anyway, I tried my Super Cat stove a second time, and manufactured a Foster's can pot. Ah, yes! Back on topic, at around 4000', using two cups of room temperature water, two tbls. of vintage Denatured alcohol, the water was boiling in around 4 minutes, 15 seconds or less and had almost half a tbls.of fuel left when I blew the fire out. Without a windscreen, inside my house. Using my Atlanta stove, same temp water, Foster's pot, same amount of fuel, it did not boil, close. For my control, I boiled the water on my propane range, using an aluminum pot for household use, boiled the water in around 3 1/2 minutes.

In my few times using Esbit fuel, it seems to start slow then gets hotter. The Caldera Cone and Keg system sounds pretty niffty, something else to thing over.

Sorry, would be nice to know how much water, edited to read two cups.

Edited by hikerduane (12/22/08 11:39 PM)

#108369 - 12/27/08 03:52 PM Re: Design for an esbit stove from an old can? [Re: hikerduane]
Spock Offline

Registered: 01/10/06
Posts: 679
Loc: Central Texas
Sorry, my last post on this did not show up.


for the most efficient heights for Esbit. The range is 1.25 to 2.25. After that, efficiency drops rapidly. Note, that the height is from the top of the tablet. It will burn down. Also, wind really effects Esbit. Even if you have a good windscreen, I find that the lower height gets more heat on the pot.

If you cut a regular soup can to leave 3 or 4 colums just short of 1.75" high and a 1/4" rim of can around the base, then fold the top corners in to make triangles all the way to the base, you will have a pretty good pot support. Add a windscreen and you will be in business.


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