Bored At Your Campsite? Build A Coke Can Stove!
If you’ve already got an RV, you probably have a cooking area. If you’ve got a cooking area, why would you want to build a coke can stove? Because you can! Because it’s fun! Because camping is sometimes about testing the limits of your ingenuity! And most of all because if it doesn’t work you are in the fortunate position where still have your regular back up RV stove! Here’s how to build a coke can stove.
Note and warning: A beer can(s) will work, but one should not attempt this procedure having recently consumed alcohol.
Safety: Consider putting bandages around your thumbs and/or index fingers for protection from cuts before starting this project.
- At least 2 aluminum soda cans
- Any kind of high-temperature tape which won’t burn.
- Something sharp like a scratch awl (even a thumb tack will work!)
- Ruler or measuring tape
- Heavy-duty x-acto knife
- Permanent marker
- Stapler (optional)
With Can #1
- Create 8-12 burner holes around the bottom of the first can using the scratch awl or your “something sharp” from the list above. Stay on the perimeter where the can is slightly angled. This is where the flames escape. It will be the top of the stove.
- Remove the bottom of the first can using the x-acto knife. Be careful not to cut yourself. It can get hairy during this step. If you are nervous about sharp edges, don’t live in fear. Take charge by filing them down.
- Create the stove top by marking off 3/4 of an inch from the bottom of the first can using the permanent marker and cutting around with the scissors.
- Snip the top vertically to form tabs. About 8 vertical snips will do.
Then Grab Can #2
- Cut out the can bottom using the scissors. At least 1 inch from the bottom will do. Pivot the severed top of this can inside the bottom to create a little extra width. This will make it easier to assemble.
- Create a loop of aluminum. Cut around the whole middle of the can so that when flattened, you have a 1 and 1/3 inch wide rectangular aluminum strip. Cut half-way through the strip on opposite sides so that the ends lock together. Take this loop around the inner wall for sizing around the stove bottom OR staple the loop together.
- Cut 3 notches in the loop. Imagine a triangle circumscribed in the loop. Cut 3 notches at each of the points of the imaginary triangle.
*This part of the contraption will henceforth be referred to as the “ring”.
- Put the ring inside the can bottom.
- Shimmy the top of the stove inside the bottom (which at this point is also holding the ring) so that it is all fitting snugly. The snipped tabs should make this easier.
- Secure the entire stove by winding the high temperature tape around the outside.
Watch This Video For Help
Tip: Before attempting this project, watch this video similar or one similar to it so that you know your end game. The stove allows for customization as you become more comfortable making them.