DIY Soda Can Stove

CAUTION: Ok, so let’s get all of the precautions out of the way because this is, potentially, a dangerous project. Under no circumstances should you build or use this stove without adult supervision. Building the stove involves sharp metal edges, which can cut you, and using the stove involves flammable fuel, fire and the potential for being burned. Please consider this a FAMILY project, not a solo project. So don’t even think about it!

A lightweight, portable stove could be a lifesaver in your survival kit, during a natural disaster or even while camping. This stove is easy to make (takes about 30 minutes) and will last a very long time if taken care of. The design featured here was found at www.thesodacanstove.com and is the best design I’ve found. It’s very efficient and boils a quart of water in about 10 minutes.

— Matt Lindler

Step 1: Cut the center out of the bottom of one can, leaving the rim. This will be the top of the stove.

Step 2: Punch eight to 24 small holes evenly around the rim.

Step 3: Measure and mark a line around the can at ¾ inch from the bottom. On the second can, measure and mark a line at 1 inch from the bottom.

Step 4: Use a pair of sturdy scissors to carefully cut along the lines.

Step 5: Cut several small slits up the sides of the stovetop can, up to where the label stops.

Step 6: Use the sidewall of one of the cans and cut a section that measures 1 inch by 4 inches. This will be the inside wall of the stove.

Step 7: Fit it in the groove in the bottom of the stove. Mark a line where they overlap.

Step 8: Cut a line halfway through the top of the strip and halfway through the bottom, so that it will fit together smoothly.

Step 9: Fit them together with the tabs facing the inside.

Step 10: Cut three small notches evenly in the bottom of the inside wall, then drop it into the bottom of the stove with the notches down.

Step 11: Carefully insert the top of the stove into the bottom, ensuring all pieces are tucked in, then tape around the sides with metal duct tape.

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