Contributed by: Greg Moore, 9/26/03
"Moore's Go-Torch Stove"
Tools & Materials:
Scissors, scotch tape, small flat blade screwdriver, utility knife, push pin or needle, pliers and a ruler.
The stove is composed of three metal parts and a small amount of fiberglass insulation. Be careful, aluminum can is SHARP. But also is very cooperative when etched and then bent along the etched line. It tears away like paper along a very true line.
Simple, cheap scissors are the best way to do you final trimming. I got mine for $.99 at Harbor Freight Tools. You will find also that since scissors are usually right handed that you will need to hold the can in your left hand and cut with you right. Sounds insignificant, but you will discover why this helps. When top is referred to, it means the end you drink from. Base is the other end.
1.Mark your “cut” line on two soft drink cans. The preferred cans are Pepsi ,7up or Dr Pepper.
You need to scribe a line around the circumference of the can using a small pocket- knife or similar. This line should be 1” from the “shoulder” of the can base. This where the can side becomes the bottom of the can. Masking tape works also.
2.Trim off tops of cans
Start at the top edge of the can & graphic. Make a slit perpendicular to the height of the can, about 1/2way around the can using a utility knife. This slit will allow the use of scissors to complete the removal of the top of the can. Keep in mind that you will be using at least one of the center bands for another part of the stove.
3.Mark and punch burner ports(16 per can).
Select one of the cans to provide the base that is destined to be your stove burner. You will now mark and punch burner holes. A simple way to do this without a pattern is to use a “Sharpie marker to make dots on the sloped base shoulder as near to the raised center ring as possible. Thinking of a clocks face, make your first 4 dots at 12,3,6v and 9. Now, midway between these marks, make 4 more marks. Finally make the 8 dots at the mid points of the 8 sections. You should end up with 16 equally ( give or take) spaced dots. Using a Bulletin board push pin, or your choice of needles held in vise-grip or regular pliers, pierce the can at each dot. Smaller holes are better than big ones.
4.Remove center of burner opening:
Look at the bottom, center, of one of the bases you have just prepared . Follow, from the center to the first indention you find. You will use this circular line to remove the center section. you will need etch a deep groove along this indention using a small flat blade screw driver. Small screwdriver , with a crisp thin edge is the best. You are etching out material as opposed to cutting. Firmly grasp the can (maybe use a rubberized gardening glove for safety) and rotate the can while applying the screw driver to the indentation. Patience will result in a few break through points, When this happens use a utility knife to cut an ”X” into the center. Piercing the very middle first.. You’ll be able to break out 4 pizza shaped pieces. Emory cloth or sand the rough edges.
5.Trim off the remaining walls of the cans.
These are to be used for the center wall. Make a perpendicular cut from the cut end of can towards the burner base. Make a quick curve to the already scribed line made in #1 .so as to minimize the amount of metal wasted.
6.Make center cylinder assemblies.
Using a ruler trim the waste band to 1 ½ “ wide and approx. 7” long. Make a cylinder of this , graphic on the outside by making two slits. One from the top and one from the bottom edge. Insert the slits with the flaps being on the outside of the cylinder, not the inside. The Competed cylinder should fit into the grooves in the burner top and around the convex center of the base The finished cylinder will have an approx. diameter of 1 ¾” and a height of 1 ½”. Cellophane tape down wings of cylinder, option: trim 2 fuel ports (see 8A).
7. Prepare fiberglass insulation.
Strips should be approx. 1” x 1.5” x 5” Use what you can get. Not a critical detail.
8. Final Assembly.
Test fit center cylinder into burner. Looser is better than too tight. Then trim two fuel ports, ¼ deep x 1/8” wide in into the lower end of the cylinder. Place 180 degrees from each other. Fold tabs back and flatten.
Now make 8 slits in the skirt of the burner, ½ way from the base, or you can” flute” the skirt of the burner. To do this, use needle nose pliers or similar to crimp around the skirt. It should have a slightly smaller diameter than the base section to aid insertion into the base section. I use a hand sheet metal crimper.
Insert cylinder (with fuel ports “away” from the burner) into burner top, then stuff strip of insulation (1”x1.5”x5”) in between the two walls, encircling the center. Take care not push the insulation too far into the space. Ideally it should be exposed from the bottom edge of the burner by about a ¼”.
Take a completed top assembly, and slowly insert it into a base, as one unit. Be very careful to slowly work the edges a little at a time, side to side. This and patience should prevent most of the puckering that tries to develop at the top of the slits in the burner skirt. You may need to use your fingernail or screwdriver tip to flatten any sharp puckers that develop. If left unchecked, these little ridges will split the base when it slides over them. PATIENCE HERE IS CRITICAL. Gently work the two halves together until the cylinder is firmly seated into ridge at both ends.
This combining of the two halves is best done in between your clasped hands. Apply pressure slowly as you rotate and push together with your palms. Burnish the upper base edge if it has a sharp feel to it.
Buff stove exterior Using a buffing wheel or fine, emory cloth or steel wool. You are done! Lets cook!
The stand is my most evolved and hopefully original idea. I wanted to share it with all of you as a thank you to all that contribute to this website. Take a look at the pictures that I included and I think these instructions should play out OK.
1. I use 7/32 aluminum tubing from hobby stores, cut to 4" lengths.
2. Then epoxy a 1/4" band of 1/4" brass tubing at the top of the leg. Mainly for reinforcing, as the pot supports are inserted at the top.
3. The bottom of each leg is finished with a "spent.22 Magnum brass shell casing”( about 1.25" in length. They are the thinnest brass I could find that was the perfect fit- recycled also!!) that also is JB welded in place, just a touch will do. Mainly the leg tips are for aesthetics, but it keeps the legs from getting clogged with dirt etc., and they will add strength. You can use aluminum rivets to finish them also.
4. Press the top of the finished leg in a rubber coated vise jaw until the oval shape fits the two inserted pot supports inside nicely.
5. The supports are 6" lengths, cut from steel rod used to hang 'acoustical ceiling grids"(Home Depot). It is about the diameter of a coat hanger, but galvanized and stronger.
-- Mark off 1" from each end and bend the tips to approx. 45 deg angles. Angle can be varied, as long as all three are the same.
-- *Repeat this for each of the three supports.
6.By taking two (supports) at a time, I test fit the top of the leg opening until I have a almost figure 8 shaped oval opening that matches the support ends. This is harder to explain than it is to do. It is fairly easy to reproduce a nice tight, yet easy to assemble stand.
The stability of the self-leveling tripod combined with an easy-to-nest storage ability really seems to work well.
Greg Moore (mo-go-gear)
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