Stoves and cooking are two things I love. Maybe I’m just a pyromaniac foodie at heart. After several alcohol stoves, esbit stoves and my Jetboil with modifications, I decided it was time to make a wood burning hobo stove. I had a empty coffee can saved up just for this project and decided it was finally time. Enough jiba jabba lets get to building!
The first thing you will need to do this project is an empty coffee can. Use the big metal ones. I bought it in this container for this project. Drink all the coffee in it. Hopefully spread out over a few weeks.
Next I used a sharpie to mark around the can where I wanted to drill the holes. I put the point of the marker inside one of the can ridges and turned the can. After marking it I used a center punch to make starting duvets so my drill bit wouldn’t skate around on the metal.
I used my Dremel drill press to make the starter holes. You can do it without one but it sure makes it easy. A full sized drill press would be even better, just not apartment friendly. My workshop is in my living room after all. Life of a bachelor.
Once I had my piliot holes I used my cordless drill and the 1/2 inch drill bit to make the holes the size I wanted.
Next I marked four more spots, this time on the top of the can, where I will run my pot holders through. After marking them I drilled them out on the Dremel. These holes will remain small.
I cut two coat hangers to make my pot holders. I put the in and tested the fit with a pot on them. They hold great and fit perfectly inside the holes drilled.
I marked a spot on the can to cut out for an opening to feed wood into. The dremel made easy work of this task.
I made a stand to place an alcohol stove right below a pot inside the stove. This video shows the results. I forgot my stove was designed to have a pot placed directly on top. With a gap between the stove and pot my flame went crazy and the jets never really engaged. Also it burnt threw all the fuel quickly. I got really hot water but not quiet a boil. With a different alcohol stove this would be more efficient.
Now time for the moment of truth. Will this simple design work? I gathered some twigs of various sizes and dryness. Most of it was dry but I tossed in some damper material as well. This is a test after all.
I used my favorite tinder, Vaseline soaked cotton balls, to start the fire. I added a few tiny dry twigs on top of the cotton ball. The fire quickly took off on its own though.
It fire really got pretty big. After an initial smoking it burned mostly smokeless.
I added a cheap empty can pot with water to get it to a boil. I forgot to add a bail to the pot though and ended up having to use two sticks as tongs.
Getting to a rolling boil took longer than I expected. I forgot to make a lid for it which hurt the time. Maybe ten minutes or so. However I only used the fuel that I loaded it with so a handful or two. That I picked up off the ground and did not carry in with me.
This is one project I call a huge success. The only thing I might add would be a few more air holes. Maybe because it seemed like it might not have been getting enough air but performed great regardless. If you want a cheap/ free bushcraft stove this is the way to go. Plus you get coffee out of this project. So get to your shop and get to making!
Whats your favorite stove for camping/ survival? What fuel does it use? Let me know in the comments!