Tag Archives: tent stove

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!


Wood Stove Medley

I made a propane tank rocket stove. For the chimney I used 4″ ducting with a 90* elbow. I couldn’t get my hands on vermiculite, apparently there’s some law against it in my area. We can never have enough laws. I propose a law against sarcasm toward laws.

Propane Tank Rocket Stove

It’s insulated with perlite. The size of the tank? Standard. That is, I know they come in all different sizes, but this is the only size I’ve seen here in western new york. I can tell you it took 2 and a half bags of perlite to fill it, at 8 quarts/bag.

I am frustrated with this rocket. I can not get it to burn. I started the feed tube long. No draft. I shortened it, then shortened is some more. I even pushed the fuel elevation shelf in and out. I experimented with how far to push the fuel in. From what I’ve gleaned online, only the tips of the sticks should burn. I tried a little fuel, then alot. I even went from twigs to sticks. All of this to no avail. I’m not giving up yet, it’s just that I learned when you’re angry about something walk away until you find a sledge hammer…I mean cool off and try again.

Heiny Keg Rocket Stove

What’s even more frustrating to me is that I haven’t been able to get this little guy to fire. It was phenomenal the first couple of times…and now apparently the propane tank rocket has been talking to it, corrupting it. For some reason they’re both plotting to drive me insane.

And so today I decided to work on something that I know works, and does so easily.

Fuel Shelf

This was an easy experiment to see if elevating the wood could create a more efficient burn. It did. When I get more sheet metal, I’ll make a better grate. The only problem with this was that it requires draft holes in the door to let air in under the wood. No problem. Except that the draft cover I’d made pivots down…allowing air into the wood but covering the sub-wood draft. Barbara Streisand!!!

Draft Sollution

To solve the draft door problem I drilled out the rivet and re-riveted the cover on top. The four holes on the bottom are for the sub-wood draft. The reason I originally had the draft cover pivoting down was so the cover wouldn’t be in my way when cooking. But this design will work because of the way I’ve decided to mount the stove in the bicycle camper. To save space it will sit parallel with the longest wall, so the fuel door won’t be in front of me, but to my left. The curved side will face forward.

I’m sure it’s just user error with the rocket stoves, perhaps for the propane tank I should use 5″ or 6″ tubing. Or maybe my fuel shelf is too high. I don’t know. Nor do I know why the heiny hates me. These are my first rocket stoves afterall. If there’re any rocket scientists out there who are reading this, advice would be greatly appreciated!

Heiny Keg Rocket Stove

I had this heiny keg sitting around, it was a failed attempt at a wood stove, so I decided to try it out as a rocket stove. A rocket stove is a type of woodgas stove. I’ve built several woodgas stoves, and they’re a marvel, virtually no smoke and it burns small sticks. After about 20 minutes the wood turns into charcoal, making them dual purpose stoves. But that’s the problem, once that happens, if your food isn’t done, you have to put it out and reload with bits of sticks and start all over. I’ve never made a rocket stove, but as they’re fed differently, this is not an issue.

What “woodgas stove” means is that not only the wood is burned, but the smoke as well. This makes for high heat and fuel efficiency. If my woodgas stoves were marvels, the rocket stove is out of this world! It smokes for a few seconds after lighting, then only a wisp once in a while. It puts out even more heat than a woodgas stove, and burns for about an hour and a half before there’s too much ash in the bottom for it to function. I realize there may me some confusion, what with reference to woodgas stoves and saying the rocket stove is a woodgas stove. For now just google woodgas stove and that should clear things up. That’s a blog in itself.

Heiny Keg Rocket Stove

The front has that flattened 22 gauge steel on it because that was an attempt at creating a cooking surface for a tent stove. I couldn’t keep it airtight, so I made the stove out of a fresh keg.

Rocket Stove vs. Postal Stove. The Postal Stove just can’t go postal enough to win!

The postal stove uses WAY more wood to cook, and doesn’t get nearly as hot as the rocket stove. Don’t get me wrong, it works great, just not in comparison. I’ll prolly still use it in the camper, but for backyard cooking the rocket is my new go to. There are benefits to using both though, the postal stove is better for simmering, the rocket stove is excellent for rapid boiling and frying. The postal stove can be loaded and left to burn, which will keep food warm while you nap in your hammock tent, as I did yesterday. The rocket stove requires constant attention, as you’re feeding it twigs, and the fuel always has to be pushed in and more added as needed.

Dual Pot Stands, for frying pan or hiking pots

They aren’t pretty, but they work. Made from scrap 22 gauge steel.

Yesterdays Fixins: Ramps, potatoes, green beans and BACON!

This is my new favorite ramp recipe, what was made in the hikers cook pot was ramp soup with potatoes and mushrooms.

Ramps! On ulu cutting board!

Aforementioned ULU!

This knife is an excellent primitive culinary tool, used heavily by the Inuit, or Eskimos as most know them by. These razor sharp knives chop easily with a rocking motion, and are even so esteemed that Alaskans hold animal skinning contests with them.

Here you can see how little fuel is used

You can google how to make these insane stoves, I wish I hadn’t waited to make one. They require thermal mass (insulation) such as sand, cob, cat litter, vermiculite or wood ash. I used cat litter. The elbow was crafted from three coffee cans, 12 oz I believe. The fuel shelf was originally part of a coffee can, but I made one out of scrap 22 gauge steel, cuz I wanted it to be longer. This one was a prototype, I won’t jb weld any gaps or paint it. Most of the rockets I’ve seen are made from #10 cans, with soup cans for the elbow. I wasn’t sure it the larger diameter 12 oz coffee cans would work. My next model for backyard cooking will be done with an old propane tank and the same java cans. That one will be jb welded and painted, it’ll have a carry handle, be insulated with vermiculite, have legs, and an ash collector, for longer burn time.

Mailbox Fixins

The TRUE test of any outdoor stove is not boiling water, as most of these alcohol stove afficianados proclaim. MY test has always been no less than: drum roll…STEAK!

Mailbox Carne


Steak, green onions and mushrooms…wood stove style!

Why pay $120-$250 for a tent stove? I made this for about $63 bucks, sure it’s not that cheap, but I made it. There’s something special about creating and using something you’ve crafted. There’s a satisfaction and pride that you just can’t buy. I believe this is something our forefathers experienced and fully understood. The old ways aren’t always disposable.

Heiny Keg Wood Stove

I’ve made a fire pit and some candle heaters out of Heineken kegs before, and they all worked well in their own way. But I’ve always wanted to make a wood stove out of one. Here are some pics of my progress so far:

Mini Wood Stove

Chimney Elbow and Hot Plate


Grill to elevate the wood for better air flow


Ready For First FIRE!

There will be a few more blogs on this project, hope you enjoyed the eye candy!