Has anyone made and used a "Penny Stove"?

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Postby Festus » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:27 pm

My son and I built some this spring. We didn't use the penny though. We used Pepsi cans. We experimented with different hole sizes and number of holes around the rim.

It was a fun project. We don't really do any backpacking, but we love to make things. I plan to throw one in the trunk of my car along with a can of Heet to fuel it, just in case of a winter accident/ breakdown.
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Postby BigAl » Wed Sep 22, 2010 3:28 pm

I've built a couple, but with a Scottish twist, I used IRN BRU cans! :D

The pennies sure do make a pretty burn on your fingertips when you are a bit quick at lifting the penny out. I swear I had a scalded image of the Queen etched into my index finger for a short while.

I have my own method for making a seal between the upper and lower halves that I haven't seen used anywhere before. Good seals are essential to build up the internal pressure.

Whilst the penny stoves are interesting and actually usable, they are quite limited and fragile with a short lifespan. They are also potentially dangerous in a multitude of ways.

I am actually much more interested in building a Wood Gasification Stove where you burn a small quantity of wood very efficiently by burning it in a cunningly simple tin stove.
Kind Regards, BigAl.

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Postby Mightydog » Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:53 pm

Ron Dickey wrote:This stove is designed to burn only denatured alcohol or absolute ethanol.


So, it can run on this?

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Postby doug hodder » Fri Oct 01, 2010 11:49 pm

Probably....but you'd do better with something much higher octane...At one gathering...after a night of camping, that turned kinda bad by a member that is seldom on any more...we dumped a whole bunch of his cheap vodka into a fellow campers gas tank...no problems on the way home, runs a mini van.

For a beer can stove however...I'd think, it's best to have something like the denatured alcohol. Serious backpackers swear by them...check the burn...heats up anything relatively fast and there is no weight to them. Stoves...Coleman or otherwise...just fun to play with. Doug


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Postby Rock » Sat Oct 02, 2010 6:39 am

To pyros like us anything that burns is cool!

I built the original penny stove out of the Heineken (yech!) keg cans. I use methanol (shellac thinner from the home store) because it doesn't contain any appreciable amount of water. I use the stove when motorcycle camping to make a quick cup of coffee in the morning or water for oatmeal. Works great. Built a pot stand out of 1/8" round titanium rod, wind screen out of a section of rigid aluminum dryer vent.

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Penny stove

Postby albion2 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:15 am

I,ve mad e alot of different popcan stoves to give to friends,they are very handy to use at rest stops to save getting out the bigger camp stoves.I used to use denatured alcohol but find Heet in the yellow bottle better.If I am working in the garage I brew coffee out there on a pop or beer can stove.Easy to make a stove when the old one weas out.Check out ZENS ALCOHOL STOVES FOR INSTRUCTIONS.
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Re: penny stove

Postby albion2 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:19 am

Micro469 wrote:
jimmymack49 wrote:I've made a couple of the penny stoves from Heineken cans and have found them great for lighting charcoal using a chimney starter instead of using crumpled newspaper. It really gets the coals started in a hurry.


Would these work?? :roll: 8)
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Never made one out of one of those ,but a guy on the alcohol stove web site made a camp heater from a Heini keg.
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Has anyone made and used a "Penny Stove"?

Postby Nite Ryder » Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:30 am

Arne wrote:Although cute, why would one bother, given that there are cheap propane stoves available?

I could see years ago with white gas, pumps, etc on Coleman stoves, but with modern equipment, seems like a lot of work to ruin a perfectly good Heineken can...

I have a single burner propane stove. Put the base on the fat propane bottle, screw the single burner on the bottle and I'm in business. And they are only 10 bucks...


The topic of this thread was "has anyone made and used a Penny Stove"? There was no mention of propane stoves. Why would we bother? The penny stove is small, and works very well. Making it idea for a backpacker, or for use in a Day Pack you might carry with you while hunting. Most people don't want the extra weight of a propane stove and propane cylinders to power it when they are back packing. What else is an empty Heineken can good for?
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Re: penny stove

Postby Wanna Be » Tue Feb 07, 2012 4:47 pm

Micro469 wrote:
jimmymack49 wrote:I've made a couple of the penny stoves from Heineken cans and have found them great for lighting charcoal using a chimney starter instead of using crumpled newspaper. It really gets the coals started in a hurry.


Would these work?? :roll: 8)
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Would it be possiable to find a link for these that actually works ??
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Re: Has anyone made and used a "Penny Stove"?

Postby Corwin C » Thu Feb 16, 2012 2:52 pm

I see that this thread has been revived... I have built MANY penny stoves and build them on occasion just to keep the "skill." I can build one with two identical soda/beer cans, some scissors and a push pin in just 2-3 minutes. I carry alcohol in a fuel bottle in my vehicles. I figure that if I needed to, the cans are pretty much available anywhere there's litter or a trash can.

Here are a couple of my favorites:
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This stove works best when a cooking pot (open can of soup) is placed directly on it. Simply fill the center area about 1/2 way with alcohol (I use denatured), light, and carefully place pot or can on top (be careful...it's tippy.) With something on top, the flame turns blue and the jets coming out the side produce a tremendous amount of heat for 2-3 minutes.
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This stove needs something to support the pot, but it heats more gently for up to 6 minutes. Under the penny is a larger hole which is to fill the stove with fuel. The penny acts as a pressure relief valve, regulating the flame height. For a bigger flame, I use a nickel, smaller flame, try a dime. I have cooked eggs in a small cast iron pan on a couple of these. (One at a time, when one burns out replace it with a fresh one). BTW ... don't try to refuel one of these while they're hot. It's much easier and safer to just build another. They cool quickly and can be handled safely just a minute or two after going out.
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Another thread where this has been discussed is here. Be careful, and enjoy!
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Re: Has anyone made and used a "Penny Stove"?

Postby PcHistorian » Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:32 pm

someone mentioned the "wood gasifier" and a "rocket mass stove," I would like to see how efficient and small I could get either of those, but the problem is a mass for the "rocket mass stove"... the object is to have a brick, mortar, cob, etc... "Mass" to get warm then have it hold the heat. I can only imagine something like sheet rock (two layers, gapped) as a flooring with the hot gases being piped between the sheets of rock and then exhausting at the opposite end from the entrance gases. Technically at this point it is like the output of a car exhaust with a catalytic converter, Carbon di-oxide and water. Even has all the heat taken out and absorbed in the mass. Still, exhaust the gases away from people in an enclosed area (underneath and away from doors and windows.) Full sized house models require at least a 6" metal "dryer" type exhaust pipe. It seems like a double loop is needed, the starter has to heat the wood to the point of making it go gas, then burn the gas and use that to heat more wood, and THEN loop it through the mass. The object is not to burn the wood, but to heat it until it tuns to ash and flammable gas. The rocket part gets the gas so hot it burns completely, but you have something really hot!!! You would probably have to weld all the seams and use steel, at least until you get the exhaust well into the "mass" stage. I don't know if you could make a slip in, pull out module that just goes in for winter camping. I'd like to try something with a vegetable oil stove in the rocket mass configuration. (micro mass / base board heater for the Elf Cottage, then exhaust the spent gases, possibly out the front, underneath and through the tongue to the hitch. That should get it enough away so I don't asphyxiate in the trailer.

here is the link for the car that runs on wood gas. links to trucks etc...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kG8iR5DRLpw
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