mint tin stove

This is stove building week. Ain’t Leo is doing better, but I still have a bunch of time on my hands and it seems a good time to play on the back porch so that I still close if she needs me.

Step 1 –

clip_image002Assemble all of your parts. In this case, the parts consist of a Starbuck’s Mint tin, a scrap piece of aluminum screen, fiberglass matting from the local hardware store, a marker pen, and scissors.

Step 2 –

clip_image004Use the mint tin as a template to cut the screen wire. The wire is used to hold the batting in place when you open the stove for use. It’s a belt/suspenders issue and could be left off. I just like knowing that the batting won’t fall out when I open the lid.

clip_image006Cut carefully around the marked outline. Set the finished piece to the side.

clip_image008Set the finished piece to the side. Note the stains in the bottom of the tin. This was from using alcohol soaked cotton balls to make my mocha a couple of nights ago. (An addendum at the end of the post.)

Step 3 –

clip_image010Again, use the mint tin as a template for cutting the fiberglass matting. As you can see from the photo I outlined three pieces.

clip_image012After test fitting them, I added two more pieces to the stove to bring it up just a fraction above the rim of the tin.

Step 4 –

clip_image014Trim any loose fibers. Bend the corners of the screen wire down and place it on top of the matting. Press it gently into place.

clip_image016Slip the cover back into place and you have a small alcohol burner just right for heating a cup of water for a trailside pick me up.

Conclusion –

clip_image018A squirt bottle of denatured alcohol rounds out your kit. I use mine with an Esbit stove that I’ve had since the mountains were just tiny little mole hills. The combo is light, easy to use and has never let me down (keeping in mind that most of my trips are above 0 F and under 5000 ft elevation).

clip_image020I use an old nasal spray bottle to hold my extra fuel. Remove the siphon tube before filling the empty bottle with denatured alcohol. Caution: Do not store fuel in the stove because it is not a sealed unit. Fuel should be added just before use.

clip_image022Squirt alcohol until the matting is fully saturated. Please note that it is OK to clean the bottle inside and out before use. Snot is entirely optional.

Use caution when using this stove in daylight. Alcohol flames are nearly invisible in bright light. I always pass my hand above the stove to determine if it is burning properly. The fumes ignite easily using the sparks from a firesteel.

This little unit can’t be beat for durability and utility if your cooking needs are limited to a couple of cups of hot water for coffee or tea. It boiled two cups in my canteen cup in about six minutes.

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