A couple folks in another forum have asked me about my homemade alcohol stove, so here it is. There are a bazillion different designs for homemade alcohol stoves out there, but this is the one I like. It’s the same design I’ve been using for years as a backpacking stove–I’ve made probably a dozen of them over the years (not because they wear out–they last virtually forever–but because I lose them once in a while and have to make a new one). It’s made with two empty soda or beer cans, some aluminized airduct tape from a hardware store, and a handful of cotton balls.
My stove. The body is made by cutting the bottom inch or so from two empty aluminum cans, crinkling one, then pushing it upside down into the other. Wrap the side with aluminized tape to prevent leaks.
In the top of the stove, cut a hole around the rim, and stuff the inside with cotton balls. This will be your wick. To use the stove, pour about a shot-glass worth of alcohol onto the cotton. The wick will absorb all the liquid, preventing spills. Light with a match or barbecue lighter.
I use the bottom of a third aluminum can, trimmed just above the edge, both as a snuff to put out the flame, and also to cover the stored stove so the alcohol doesn’t evaporate away. A shot-glass of fuel will last me maybe four or five meals, and the stove will boil a can of soup or a pint of water in 8-9 minutes.
The whole thing then stores away in a small box on my shelves, along with my pot-stand (made from wire hardware cloth), a couple bottles of fuel (the bottles are empty rubbing alcohol containers, but the fuel I use is denatured alcohol from the paint department), and my pots. Mostly I just use the stove to cook soup or pasta right in the can. But I also use the small pot to boil water, and the micro-frying pan to make eggs.