Basic Alcohol Stove Construction



Burner Construction


Alcohol Stove Construction Introduction

Step 1 - Jets

Step 2 - Fuel Port

Step 2a - Open Jet Stove

Step 2a - Hybrid Sideburner

Step 2b - Pressurized Jet Stove

Step 2c - Chimney Stove

Step 2c - Low Pressure Sideburner

Step 3 - Trimming

Step 4 - Assembly

Step 5 - Final Touches

Build a Primer Pan

Advanced Techniques


Step 2 - Fuel Port


Decide what type of alcohol stove you want to construct (see Alcohol Stove Types for more information):














Step 2a Open Jet Stove




Center Hole Construction -


You will need a large central opening for filling your fuel and for preheating your stove.  See How Stoves Work for more information.


Note - This is easier to do with a can that hasn't been cut down yet.  If you have already cut down your can (in order to stretch it) you can lightly fit it over another can (try not to force it on and get it stuck) to protect the easily bendable sides of the can.







Sand and smooth out your new hole with sandpaper, steel wool or SOS pads (the cut edges may be razor sharp).


Inner Wall Construction -

Cut a rectangle out of the sidewall of a can to at least 180mm by 40mm (for stoves made of 12oz drink cans).  Print a copy of the template, cut out the inner wall template and tape it to your aluminum sheet.  Cut out your piece.  Make weep holes by using a hole punch to punch out the three evenly spaced 2.5mm notches on your bottom edge.  Alternately, you may make two cuts 2-3mm apart and bend the notches toward the outside of the tube to form your three weep holes.




There are several techniques to forming your inner wall into a tube.














Proceed to Step 3


Step 2b Pressurized Jet Stove




Unless you are using a can that easily opens and seals shut (shoe polish, round candy tin, Sterno can, etc.) to allow for filling with fuel, a small sealable fuel port hole is needed with pressurized jet stoves.  Sealing it is necessary to maximize pressure in the stove, avoid wasteful leaks and to prevent the possibility of ignition of fuel inside the stove.


NOTE - Because of the size of this hole - too small to safely vent and too large to work safely as a jet - it must be covered before lighting your stove.  If not, it has the potential to blow apart your stove.



Drill out a hole centered in the concave depression of your can.  The size of your hole depends on the method you choose to use to seal it (see below)  You may want to start with a small hole and enlarge it with a round file or rasp, as larger bits may have problems staying true on the rounded surface of your stove.  A hole may also be drilled by twisting the bit with your fingers or by using a hobby knife to enlarge a small hole (drilled or from a hammer, nail and wood dowel).  A Unibit also works well at making and enlarging holes in thin metal.


Clean out any burrs with a file, hobby knife, sandpaper, or steel wool. 


There are many methods to seal the fuel port hole.  See the Pressuring Supplies page for a list of some of the many hardware options.


Spring from back portion of ballpoint pen







View of inside














Note -

If you are building a side burner stove that will be used to hold up heavy pots, you may want to add an inner wall which will dramatically strengthen your stove (see inner wall construction in Step 2a above) and give you a solid stop point when you press the two outer sections together. 


If you choose to use an inner wall with your pressurized stove, you may want to add weep holes to the top of the inner wall or punch out holes in the middle of your inner wall so that pressure doesn't build up in the center chamber and force liquid alcohol out your jets.



Proceed to Step 3


Step 2c Chimney and Low Pressure Sideburner Stove





There are many variations of Chimney and Low Pressure Sideburner stoves.  Many of these designs have a large exhaust port on the top of the stove and smaller air ventilation ports (which transition to exhaust ports for sideburner stoves) around the perimeter of the stove.


There are several techniques to make an appropriate sized exhaust port on top of the stove.






The smaller air ventilation ports on around the side of the stove can be made by several methods.




Proceed to Step 3 - Trimming




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