Tag Archives: candle heater

Yet Another Wood Stove

I “foraged” this popcorn can from someone’s recyclables. I knew I’d make something out of it, and decided on a wood stove. This isn’t as nice as my postal stove, but it wasn’t meant to be. It just shows what can be done with “trash” in a minimal amount of time.


I decided to build this upside down. Why? Because I have a bat fetish, that’s why! No I mean the can would be inverted, for 3 reasons: the top is wider, allowing for a greater heat base,  with the lid on the bottom it would allow for easier clean out, and if the lid was up top there would be the chance of smoke leaking out.


First part of the Sapporo can chimney installed. This was scavenged from the postal stove…I’ll make a better one for it once I fix it…and if I ever have the funds to finish my bicycle camper and mount the postal stove in it!


Inside view showing flaps in the flue that were cut and folded over to secure it.


More “trash”. I had this laying around. Unfortunately denatured alcohol is now sold in plastic containers =( This will be the stove door…and possibly a baffle.



Inner lines are what will be cut out of the body.


I always get caught up in the making and forget to take photos of the process! Why I’ll probably never make an instructables! The next thing I did was take the piano hinge off my heiny keg wood “stove” and mount the door. Then I made a latch and installed it. Then I took the scrap from the stove body and made the cover for the air inlets. I laid the cover on the door, traced it, then drilled the air inlets, then mounted the cover with a rivet.


Gratuitous shot of the latch. The whole door flexes, so I didn’t have to make the latch on a pivot point.



This isn’t airtight when closed, but it serves its purpose. Just showing what can be done in a pinch, after all!


Rudimentary chimney finished!


Looks like someone may have stolen the popcorn!


I’ll build a trap for those popcorn gnomes yet!


Just enough room for a hiking pot (filled with popcorn kernels…rotten gnomes, take the bait!).



FIRST FIRE OF 2013!!! You can see the sticker burning off the top.


Lights out!




Works with the door closed!

And because I can’t get enough fire:


Today it’s a candle heater!


This is a crayon and carbon felt tuna candle!


Gotta make sure it works with the door shut!


Denatured Alcohol/Candle Heater

I use this particular heater with liquid candles. You could use an alcohol stove for it, but as denatured alcohol heats up it evaporates faster and thus burns faster. This means that the same amount of fuel it would take for a liquid candle to heat for 8 hours would burn in less than an hour if using denatured alcohol.

This bad boy is a radiant heater as well as a convection or forced air heater, and will function as a radiant heater for an hour after the flame source is put out. It’s made from three cans: a 5 liter mini keg, a large coffee can (#10 can) and a small coffee can. Oh, and sand.

All you really need to make this is a marker, tin snips, a can opener and a 1/2″ drill bit. Were I to make it again I’d use a unibit, as the drill bit left some sharp edges.

Here’s the outer shell. What you want to do is use a can opener to cut the top of the keg off. I used my swiss army knife. Next set the #10 can on the bottom of the keg (the end that’s facing up in this photo) and draw a circle around it. Then patiently cut it out. Cut it a little within the marked circle. You want it to be a tight fit. Then drill about 20 1/2″ holes around the bottom of the keg, and three at the top.

The #10 can will sit down in the keg, with the open end of the #10 facing up. The lip of the coffee can should just rest on the edge of the hole that was cut in the keg. Now take the #10 can and set it bottom up. Place the small coffee can on it and mark the circle. Cut that out as done before, use patience for a tight fit.

With the #10 can upside down, push the small can into the hole you cut, open end of the small can facing up.

See what I mean? Now place this into the keg, so that the small can opening is facing down.

It’s hard to tell, but there is a gap between the keg walls and the #10 can.

It’s dirty because of the sand that was stuck to it before this blog. I took it apart to get the pics. But here it is all assembled. Now just fill with dry sand, covering the top of the little can as much as possible while keep the sand flat. Mine covers about 1/2″, believe me you don’t want to touch the sand in the center, and especially not the little can itself if it weren’t covered.

All ready to fire up! If you choose to use a normal candle (solid wax) then use one in a jar, the temperature inside this thing will melt a solid candle. Also, use a jar candle with multiple wicks. I use liquid candles because they’re easy to make, easy to fill, easy to extinguish. I use 3 liquid candles with 3 wicks each. Mine were made from baby food jars, but the caps don’t seal properly after heating up. When I make a different version I’ll share, but a little searching and creativity is all you need.

What happens is the heat from the flame source goes straight up, into the small can. Heat starts coming off the top. As time goes on the sides of the small can heat up, which gets all that sand hot. Now the excess heat that goes up in the small can must come down, and then it goes back up the sides of the #10 can, heating the outside of the keg (the sand helps to do that too). That heat exits the 3 holes at the top of the heater.

I place this next to my feet, 3 holes facing me. Within about 40 minutes I feel hot air coming out those holes, and the top and sides of the heater are at full force. If the candles go out (mine will burn for 10+ hours) or you extinguish them, the sand will continue to radiate heat for about an hour.

This won’t heat your house. It WILL help to heat a small space. The space I live in gets down to around 50*F in the winter. This heater puts out as much heat as a small electric heater. Using this when it’s really numbing outside in conjunction with my electric heater or a different candle heater can keep me comfortable at up to around 65*F.

The general concept for this was from www.heatstick.com These innovative little things do work, but not well enough for my needs. If you had a house at 68*F and had a drafty or chilly room that was colder than the rest, they would help. Hence my nagging inspiration to create something better. To understand my dislike for utility companies this link may help if you haven’t already read it: Confessions of an Alcoholic…Stove Addict

I don’t believe in disclaimers. But I also don’t believe in suffering because of another’s stupidity. Use caution making anything. Use caution with fire. I am not responsible for anyone but myself. That is a universal truth, and the need for disclaimers is lame.

Denatured Alcohol HEATERS

This is a pre-blog. It can be frustrating when you search for denatured alcohol heaters. There are some commercially available ones, but when it comes to diy they tend to bring up alcohol stoves or the quart can toilet paper heater.

I own a commercial heater, which can also be used as a stove. I bought it last year in case the power went out, but never needed to use it. It’ll heat a small space for around 6 hours. It also burns alot of alcohol. If you’re looking for a high output, long lasting heat source off the grid, then get a kerosene heater.

I’ve made 2 d.a. heaters. One requires a heat reflector, and lasts a bit. It also takes longer to heat a small space. The other burns fast, but really pumps out ALOT of heat.

The real way to go, in my opinion, is with candle heaters. Mine use liquid wax, which comes out to the same cost per gallon as denatured alcohol, but lasts alot longer when it comes to heating.

I have 2 different candle heaters of my own design, one that radiates heat and stays warm for an hour after the flame is put out, and the other that pumps out heat. Both of which will burn longer than denatured alcohol. I tested these out last Winter, and they kept me comfortable in a space that gets around 50 degrees F.

Cool (warm) things to come!