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Old 02-17-2010, 08:36 PM
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Default DIY Stove: Candle cooker



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Reading this great thread on the waste grease stove reminded me of these cookers we made as kids.

We used to use similar cookers as kids in our dinghy.
It wasn't always practical to stop on shore for a fire, meths was dodgy as it burns almost colorless and on top of water, we had no money for butane canisters and hexamine tablets but these little candle cookers did the job, sure they're slow and they're a little dirty but even if you spill the wax it's not gonna severely burn you.

I got the idea for this after trying to fit my altoids tin survival kit insde the cooker, it was a great fit apart from the fact the cooker would no longer close.
So I thought well why not make it a candle cooker then?


First up I started by grabbing the components needed, folding cooker, altoids (or similar) tin, corrugated cardboard and plain candles.


Next I measured how tall the wick could be while still being able to close the cooker, on this tin I came up with 20mm (just under 1").


Two strips of corrugated cardboard were cut at 90degrees to the corrugations, 300mm x 20mm (12" x under 1") and were coiled inside the cooker.
Chunks of wax were used as spacers to ensure there would be plenty of wax in between the layers of cardboard.


Time for a check, yep the tin still closes fine.


Now the fun part, two candles were melted in a clean can with a small butane torch and the molten wax was poured into the tin till over flowing.
(oops, made a bit of a mess but once the wax hardens it's easy enough to scrape off again)
Now the wax was poured right up to the top to allow for it to soak right into the cardboard.
Once it had soaked in the level was more acceptable.


The big plus of this is because the wax has fully permeated the cardboard it is waterproof!
Once it had set enough I dunked the tin in a bucket of water and left it for 5 mins to completely cool down and fill with water.
It was then taken out, the tin was set up in the folding cooker and I then lit it with a lighter, it sputtered a little but with in 5seconds it was going great!


As you can see here my canteen cup I normally use with this cooker still fits great.


And the lid acts as a third panel providing a great windbreak while also channeling any heat up the side of the cup.


To put it out is as easy as closing the lid, but don't try and move it yet as that wax inside will still be hot.
Let it cool until you can pic it up, and if you want to leave soon, stick it in a cup or cold water while you eat.
As soon as you're done eating, you can put it away in your pack and be on your way.
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Old 02-17-2010, 09:06 PM
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Im going to make one out of a round screw top pellet tin.
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Old 02-17-2010, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Trotline View Post
Im going to make one out of a round screw top pellet tin.
Great idea, the original tins we used to use were boot polish tins.
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Old 02-17-2010, 09:32 PM
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great idea.

Do you have some idea how many times it can be used?
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Old 02-17-2010, 09:48 PM
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you could also make a version using fibreglass batt insulation and alcohol as fuel.
i think an alcohol version would burn hotter.
Old 02-17-2010, 10:02 PM
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Great idea, the original tins we used to use were boot polish tins.
Kiwi brand by chance?
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Old 02-17-2010, 10:19 PM
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great idea.

Do you have some idea how many times it can be used?
As kids, they'd last a few goes, it all depends on how long your cooking takes, but it doesn't burn up fast by any means.
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Kiwi brand by chance?
Yup.
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Old 03-07-2010, 05:07 PM
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I made one of these with petroleum jelly and it worked extremely well and burned for like 15 - 25 minutes.
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