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coke can cooker

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To make a cooker from 2 coke cans


2x coke cans (Plus a few extra in case they split)
drawing pin, fine pin or a map pin,
marker pen
gloves and safety glasses
Methylated spirits (highly flammable)
Pin hammer
safety gloves and glasses
perlite (optional)



Explain that the cans will have sharp edges after being cut and if any body is found to ignore the safety talk will be putting them self and and others at risk
Once the cans are cut the waste piece must be put into the recycle bin.
to take time in doing this activity to make sure it is correct and done safely( IT IS NOT A RACE TO END UP DOING IT WRONG AND STARTING AGAIN)
Gloves and safety glasses are to be used as and when.
If anybody you feel is not up to be trusted to make this safely then they can help other scouts.
the lighting of the stove to be done in an open space.

STEP 1 (make the burner)

Remove the tab from the top of the can, otherwise it may wobble when you turn it over.
Turn it upside down so you can make the holes with the can still whole.
Draw dots on rim; (also see the elastic band used for guidance in cutting can) Around the rim of the upside down top, mark about 16 – 24 holes, evenly spaced (use a ruler or your fingers to space it out). Make more holes if your pin is very small; fewer holes if your pin size is larger.

Take a push pin and pierce each hole. If this proves difficult to achieve with hand pressure, gently tap in with a small hammer. Hold the hammer close to its head and tap gently, while holding the push pin between your thumb and first finger, just under the pin's head. Take care not to hit your fingers. The top of the push pin should be protecting them. Make the holes as small as possible. If the holes are too big, too much gas escapes and you will not get a good burn. This is the hardest part of the stove, getting a good hole sizing and pattern.
Try to keep all the holes the same shape to ensure even heating.


Cut the top can. Once you have made the holes using the strength of the whole can, it is time to cut the top part. Cut it about 1" (2.5 cm) from the bottom of the can.


Create the base of the stove. To cut the base, draw a straight, dashed line around one of the two beverage cans, approximately 1.5" (3.5 cm) from the bottom of the can. If you find it difficult to make this line straight, you can put an elastic band around the can, untwist it to make it even; then follow this band around as you make your dotted line. Neatly and carefully cut around this line, using one of the suggested cutting implements.in the same way that you cut the burner earlier.


Cut small vertical slits. Once you have the top piece cut, you will need to create slits to allow the two halves of the stove to telescope together. Cut vertical slits with scissors, taking care not to cut past the rim of the can (the rounded part). Cut in about four to six even places (you can always cut a few more slits if the top isn't easing in gently). As an optional step, you could use a paper punch to make holes halfway up the can, then cutting the slits up to them. This will stop the can from tearing when trying to mate the two halves.


Fill the base with a suitable filling that will soak up the fuel such as perlite or vermiculite. At a pinch, you could even use sand. Perlite is a naturally occurring siliceous rock that is found in many parts of the world. You can purchase it at most gardening centers. In each case, the filling acts as a wick to hold the fuel and disburse it evenly and gradually.


Fit the stove together. Once you have the filling in place in the base, and the slits made for the top, it is time to put the two pieces together. Steady the stove base by placing it on an even surface, such as a table top or flat ground. Take the top and gently but firmly push it down into the base of the stove until it fits snugly; shuffle the perlite or other filling around a little to help ease in the top. Some users recommend creating a wedge from some of the spare aluminum to ease it in. The top will now be sloping inwards (dimple), ready for pouring in your fuel.


Prepare the stove for use. Make sure the stove is sitting on a surface free of flammable material. Choose a spot of ground free of plant matter, or put the stove on a pie plate or a dinner plate. Depending on which fuel holes you have used, proceed to adding your fuel. Only some fuels should be used in this type of stove (see "Tips" for these fuels):

Plugged hole - remove your fill hole plug (the metal screw). Slowly pour the fuel into the top, allowing it to drain into the fill hole. Fill the stove base about 1/4 to 1/2 way full. Replace the plug if you have used a large hole, to prevent further dripping of the fuel.
Flower shaped hole - pour the fuel into the stove base via the small holes in the dimple, until the stove base is about 1/4 to 1/2 way full. This method relies on the fuel dripping through the small holes, so it will not be as fast as the first method.


Prime the stove. Tip a little extra fuel (about a teaspoonful) in the dimple (middle) of the stove so that it pools there and even splash a little over the rim holes (it will burn off quickly).

Ignite; light the fuel on top. Hold a match, lighter or candle to the edge of the stove and move it around slowly. Since the stove has been primed, the heat will now travel down the sides of the can and heat the fuel inside.


You can use some rocks to balance a small pot or cup to boil water. This will also act as a wind break


Some recommend punching a second ring of holes around the inside edge of the rim of the top of the stove as a means for evenly heat the cooking pot.
You can give the stove a polished finish by rubbing the paint off with a scouring pad. Do this before you open the can, and it will minimise the chances of denting it whilst you do it.
Snip off any metallic "threads" sticking out after you have cut the top and base; this will prevent you from scratching yourself on them.
If the stove doesn't stay lit, gently tip the stove towards one side and let a little of the fuel drip into the rim. Try to light it again and keep your match etc. there until the flame takes.
Lighting: The stove must be "primed" (especially in cold weather). The fuel goes inside, and a small amount of priming fuel goes on top in the "dimple". Light the fuel on top. The heat travels down the sides of the can and heats the fuel inside. Releasing gas that comes out of the holes in the top and ignites.
Suitable fuels are: denatured alcohol and absolute ethanol (the latter being fairly pricey).
Instead of making one, make a half dozen. Try making the holes smaller, try different hole patterns. And don't just light it, try boiling a pint of water to see just how well the stove works. Measure how long it takes to boil the water, as well as how long a specified amount of fuel burns. You want to maximize efficiency, and it may take several attempts before you find one that works great. A sharp ice pick works well also. You can vary the size of the holes easily by how much the ice pick is inserted.
If you don't have a pin, you can also use a sewing needle or you can use sharpened wire.
If you don't already have pre-formed stands for cooking, you can make a simple cooking stand to hold a pot or pan over the stove. Take a wire coat hanger or some easily bent wire. Cut the coat hanger just below the twisted part below the hook, and discard the hook portion. Bend the rest of the coat hanger out straight and use this piece of wire to shape a stove stand. There are different ways to make a stand from wire; use your imagination to find what works best for you. As long as it holds a pot over the stove.
The stove is really useful for backpackers and travelers because it is so light and doesn't take up a lot of room.
If you don't have a hammer when you are trying to make the holes, find a good rock that can gently hit the pin without breaking apart. Alternatively, you can chuck a pin or needle in a drill. Amazing as it sounds, a pin works fine as a drill bit in the soft aluminum. It makes neat, round holes with no denting.
The downside of having a stand is that you also need a windscreen. To make a stand/windscreen/protective case, get a coffee can. Cut it 1/2" taller than the stove. Use a can opener (the kind that punches triangular holes in the tops of cans) and punch several holes around the side of the can, near the bottom (not on the bottom of the can). Keep the plastic lid to hold the stove during travel.



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