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#169945 - 09/29/12 02:44 PM Alcohol Stove
ETSU Pride Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 931
Loc: Knoxville, TN
I was bored last night as I emptied a couple cans and decided to make an alcohol stove. I went to Lowes this morning and got some denatured alcohol, but didn't get to fully test due to rain. The flame was also too clear to see how well sealed my fuel cup and burner were. I heard table salt added to the alcohol will cause a visible flame. Is there a general rule to doing this? Pour some salt into the bottle of alcohol then pour into stove and light?

I need test whether or not my seal is good, if it bad it going be burning out the cracks instead of the jets. I'm already guessing I'm going have to make a few more until I get perfect cuts! Also, I'm make a separate pot support for it, I'm not going lay any pot onto the can. Constructive criticism is welcome. smile



P.S. It's a penny stove, I put a penny over the three holes in middle then pour alcohol onto it and let it overflow into the jets then light. I borrowed the specs from here


Edited by ETSU Pride (09/29/12 02:45 PM)
_________________________
It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be perfectly happy.-- Horace Kephart

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#169948 - 09/29/12 04:21 PM Re: Alcohol Stove [Re: ETSU Pride]
ETSU Pride Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 931
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Update: I had a wind screen around it and tested it, it put out HEAT!! From best I could tell the flame came from the 6 holes. I'll try again tonight to get better visual. It looks good so far for my first homemade stove! lol.


Edited by ETSU Pride (09/29/12 04:23 PM)
_________________________
It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be perfectly happy.-- Horace Kephart

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#169950 - 09/29/12 04:35 PM Re: Alcohol Stove [Re: ETSU Pride]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3917
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Looks good to me. As good as my first one, that's for sure.

You might be able to roll that edge over a bit with a piece of tubing, but I doubt it's leaking there.
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"You want to go where?"



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#169951 - 09/29/12 04:58 PM Re: Alcohol Stove [Re: billstephenson]
ETSU Pride Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 931
Loc: Knoxville, TN
From the best I could tell with a wind screen, it appears to be coming up through the holes instead of the edges. I'll do it again tonight in the dark if it not pouring down raining. I'll work on a pot support design soon.

I think the heat may have help self sealed it?? Is that possible? lol.


Edited by ETSU Pride (09/29/12 04:59 PM)
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It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be perfectly happy.-- Horace Kephart

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#169952 - 09/29/12 05:45 PM Re: Alcohol Stove [Re: ETSU Pride]
jbylake Offline
member

Registered: 09/15/12
Posts: 202
Loc: Northern KY USA
Originally Posted By ETSU Pride
From the best I could tell with a wind screen, it appears to be coming up through the holes instead of the edges. I'll do it again tonight in the dark if it not pouring down raining. I'll work on a pot support design soon.

I think the heat may have help self sealed it?? Is that possible? lol.


As for color, Sodium Chloride (table salt) should cause your alcohol to burn yellow. I'm not sure at what concentrate, because I'm not sure what amounts that you are working with.

Try about a teaspoon or so to about 6 fluid ounces of alcohol, and adjust up or down from there. There are other easily obtainable, but not Walmart attainable, chemicals which can be used to color alcohol flame also. I know some race cars burn alcohol, and chemicals are added so emergency personnel can "see" when and where fires are burning in the event of a crash, but I'm not sure what they are. Mostly chloride compounds.
But I know salt will work. I'm sure this is obvious but use NaCl, normal table salt, not sea salt, or other modified "salt" substitutes. Let me know how it worked out for you.

J.

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#169955 - 09/29/12 06:16 PM Re: Alcohol Stove [Re: jbylake]
PerryMK Offline
member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1192
Loc: Florida panhandle
There is a nice chart here of the colors obtained by burning different chemicals. Google the chemical name and you can probably find an on-the-shelf product containing it, at least for many of them.

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#169957 - 09/29/12 06:31 PM Re: Alcohol Stove [Re: PerryMK]
jbylake Offline
member

Registered: 09/15/12
Posts: 202
Loc: Northern KY USA
Originally Posted By PerryMK
There is a nice chart here of the colors obtained by burning different chemicals. Google the chemical name and you can probably find an on-the-shelf product containing it, at least for many of them.

PerryMK, checked the link out. Most of the chemicals listed are caustic, or toxic, and best used in a Chem lab. Others, may be found in compounds that contain them. Key word there, being compound. I don't think I'd want to cook food with some of those compounds gasses (or fumes), especially near food or water that I'd want to consume.
Salt is safe, and will cause a bright yellow flame. I think I'd just recommend the OP try that first, plus, he/she probably has some at home.

Cheers,
J.

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#169960 - 09/29/12 07:04 PM Re: Alcohol Stove [Re: jbylake]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 1006
Loc: Australia
To cause a visible flame I use a free product called "dark"
We get that everyday and can be simulated by closing doors and windows.


OK, I have to admit that I did not think to suggest this, I tend to imagine that folk can work it out for themselves...
an easy and safe place to test an alcohol stove inside is your kitchen sink...


Edited by Franco (09/29/12 09:22 PM)

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#169961 - 09/29/12 07:06 PM Re: Alcohol Stove [Re: jbylake]
PerryMK Offline
member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1192
Loc: Florida panhandle
Originally Posted By jbylake
Most of the chemicals listed are caustic, or toxic, and best used in a Chem lab. Others, may be found in compounds that contain them. Key word there, being compound. I don't think I'd want to cook food with some of those compounds gasses (or fumes), especially near food or water that I'd want to consume.


You are unlikely to find any of the listed elements in their pure state. All will be compounded with something else.

Calcium can be found in calcium chloride. This is a drying agent. It should burn brick red.

Boron can be found in boric acid This is in some roach killers (labeled boric acid) and flame retardents. It should burn bright green.

Iron can be found as iron oxide. This is rust. Try a powdered rust. Be careful grinding metal powders. Better yet, find some rust that is already powdery. It should burn gold.

Potassium can be found as potassium chloride. This is found in some health food stores as a salt substitute intended for human consumption. It should burn violet.

Sodium as you already know is found in sodium chloride. This is table salt. It should burn bright yellow.

Think of all the fun you can have burning a differnt color flame every night.


All of these are readily available in many stores, none of these are caustic, and as I used to tell my students, all are less hazardous than gasoline. Many people use gasoline and white gas stoves with no ill effects. Use your head, but please don't be afraid of chemistry.



Edited by PerryMK (09/29/12 07:07 PM)

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#169962 - 09/29/12 07:50 PM Re: Alcohol Stove [Re: PerryMK]
PerryMK Offline
member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1192
Loc: Florida panhandle
About a teaspoon of table salt to less than an ounce of denatured alcohol.


About a teaspoon of Roach Away (boric acid)to less than an ounce of denatured alcohol.


I could have sworn I had some potassium iodide (KI) laying around the house but I can't find it. KI is said to be good to protect the thyroid from radiation fallout. It should be available in health food stores and military surplus/survivalist type stores.


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#169963 - 09/29/12 08:54 PM Re: Alcohol Stove [Re: Franco]
Samoset Offline
member

Registered: 07/04/08
Posts: 429
Loc: Newnan ,GA
Originally Posted By Franco
To cause a visible flame I use a free product called "dark"
We get that everyday and can be simulated by closing doors and windows.


I second this. Once you become more comfortable with alc you will be willing to bring it indoors for stove testing
_________________________
Some peopole live life day by day. Try step by step.

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#169964 - 09/29/12 10:18 PM Re: Alcohol Stove [Re: Samoset]
jbylake Offline
member

Registered: 09/15/12
Posts: 202
Loc: Northern KY USA
Hey Perry, looks like the stove is working A-O.K...huh? That was the primary goal, right? Good job.
J.

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#169965 - 09/29/12 10:40 PM Re: Alcohol Stove [Re: PerryMK]
jbylake Offline
member

Registered: 09/15/12
Posts: 202
Loc: Northern KY USA
Perry, didn't mean to sound cantankerous. In engineering school, University of Dayton, I took two semesters of chemistry. Doesn't make me a chemist by any stretch of the imagination. But did give me a healthy respect for chemicals, and the adverse effects that, if not handled properly, could have on my body. Especially in an industrial environment. I'd take table salt over roach poision to use as a fuel additive in my stove, any day.

Anyway, all that being said, I think he did a pretty good job building himself a simple but very effective stove, that runs on cheap and readily available fuel.

Me, eh..I'll take the easy way out and stick with my MSR stuff.
But I am impressed with these homemade alcohol stoves and quickly they'll bring water to a boil. Would have never thought they were that effective.

J.

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#169975 - 09/30/12 05:19 AM Re: Alcohol Stove [Re: jbylake]
PerryMK Offline
member

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1192
Loc: Florida panhandle
Originally Posted By jbylake
I'd take table salt over roach poision to use as a fuel additive in my stove, any day.

Boric acid isn't actually a poison; it works through a diferent mechanism but that's biology and I'm a chemist who has talked too much already. It even occurs in some ear drops meant for humans. The type used by people with excessive exposure to water like swimmers or scuba divers.

As for myself I like either canister stoves or solid fuel (esbit, etc.) for the times that I use a stove.

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#169977 - 09/30/12 10:03 AM Re: Alcohol Stove [Re: PerryMK]
DTape Offline
member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 665
Loc: Upstate NY
It is strange when I read about worries of additives to alcohol fuel due to the fumes produced while cooking when I never hear the same concerns about the fumes from using esbit, hexamine, coal, gasoline, diesel fuel, cow dung, etc...
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#169978 - 09/30/12 11:11 AM Re: Alcohol Stove [Re: DTape]
ETSU Pride Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 931
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Using 1.5oz of Crown brand denature alcohol, I got a burn time of 26 minutes. As the sun fell, the lack of lights outside allowed the alcohol to show flame without any salt added. All the flame came out of the jets. I'm make another where I'm add the walls of the fuel cap a little higher so when I fill the jets with alcohol none of the alcohol drips down the side and onto the ground.

_________________________
It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be perfectly happy.-- Horace Kephart

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#169981 - 09/30/12 01:12 PM Re: Alcohol Stove [Re: ETSU Pride]
Glenn Roberts Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1786
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Is there a rule for stovemaking similar to that for swimming? Something along the lines of waiting at least an hour after creating the raw materials before you start using sharp objects to prepare the parts and do the detail work for assembly? smile

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#169985 - 09/30/12 02:06 PM Re: Alcohol Stove [Re: Glenn Roberts]
ETSU Pride Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 931
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Originally Posted By Glenn Roberts
Is there a rule for stovemaking similar to that for swimming? Something along the lines of waiting at least an hour after creating the raw materials before you start using sharp objects to prepare the parts and do the detail work for assembly? smile


I think it more of a guideline than a rule.
_________________________
It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be perfectly happy.-- Horace Kephart

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#169990 - 09/30/12 07:29 PM Re: Alcohol Stove [Re: ETSU Pride]
jbylake Offline
member

Registered: 09/15/12
Posts: 202
Loc: Northern KY USA
Great job, ETSU especially for a first try. Looks good! P.S., I'm a Vol's fan...just kidding...

J.

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#170015 - 10/01/12 11:25 AM Re: Alcohol Stove [Re: ETSU Pride]
BZH Online   content
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 986
Loc: Torrance, CA
Well done. If you are worried about leakage, you can use JB weld to seal up your stove.

http://www.amazon.com/J-B-Weld-8265S-Com...words=auto+weld

Should be available at any autoparts store.

If you are looking to improve your manufacturing techniques you should check out tetkoba on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/user/tetkoba?feature=g-user-s

The man is a genius of novel alcohol stoves. He shows you how to make all of his stoves and he even has a video going over his tools.

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