buddy burner stove

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by vegasrandall, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. vegasrandall

    vegasrandall Monkey+++

    The emergency heat source preferred by Scouts, WW II GI's, and homeless people everywhere
    Have fun with it while camping or save the lives of your family in a winter no-heat emergency. Make them and distribute them to homeless people, or give them to charities involved with providing assistance to homeless people who don't live in shelters.
    Materials: Plain corrugated cardboard (not printed with bright inks or coated with wax or plastic) flat tuna cans, flat pet food cans, and/or flat pineapple cans, and their lids #10 can (the large institutional size) candle wax or paraffin.
    Tools: punch-type can opener tin snips
    Cut the cardboard in strips whose width is the height of the can -- across the corrugations, so that the holes show. Roll the strips until the cardboard roll fits snugly into the can.
    Melt the wax. It is best to use a double boiler, as if the wax gets too hot, it can burst into flame. You can improvise a double boiler by putting water in a large pan, and then setting a smaller pan into the water. Each tuna can will take about 4 ounces of wax.
    When the wax is melted, slowly pour it into the buddy burner so that it runs down into the holes and saturates the corrugated cardboard and fill the can to the rim. You can put a small piece of cardboard sticking up or a candle wick in the middle to help start it, but this isn't required. Let it cool and harden. To light it, set it on a brick or concrete block. Put a lighted match in the middle of the can or light the wick. The flame will spread across the top of the can; that's OK, that's what it's supposed do.
    To use for cooking: Cut out one end of the #10 can. Use the tin snips to cut a 3" high and 4" wide "door" on one side of the can at the open end. Leave the top of the door uncut. Bend this flap of metal up so the door is "open". Take the punch-type can opener, and make 3 or 4 holes on the other side of the can at the top (this is your chimney). Light the tuna can as described above, and place the #10 can over the Buddy Burner and place a pan with whatever you want to cook on top of the #10 can. This "#10 can stove" can be adapted to fuels like twigs, charcoal or charcoal briquets, but these shouldn't be used indoors. Charcoal briquets should never be used indoors under any circumstances. The fumes will kill you before the cold does.

    To regulate the flame
    for heating or cooking, use the can lid as a damper. Place it over all of the flame to extinguish the fire, or cover it partially to regulate the amount of flame. You can also use a piece of aluminum foil (several thicknesses folded), that is larger than the tuna can. Handle the damper with a pot holder, or a pair of plyers, or punch a couple of holes in the edges of the lid and use some wire to make a handle.
    To refill the buddy burner, place small amounts of wax on the cardboard while the burner is operating. As long as it has wax, it will function.
    Baking: Using tuna cans as little pans, anything you would bake in a regular oven can be baked on top of the #10 can stove. Simply place another #10 can over your baking pan and its an oven!
    Emergency heat:
    Don't put the #10 can over the buddy burner, as it makes more smoke with the #10 can than without. Light the buddy burner, let it warm up a room and remember that it is easier to heat a room than a house, and it is easier to heat a room if you are bundled up warmly. Which is to say, a winter no-heat emergency is not a time to expect that you can walk around the house barefoot
    john316 likes this.
  2. Sly

    Sly Monkey++

  3. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    She rolled the cardboard against the grain rather than vegasrandall's description. Wasup wid dat?
  4. vegasrandall

    vegasrandall Monkey+++

    yup,you're right,blond hair maybe?
  5. sheen_estevez

    sheen_estevez Monkey+++

    These actually work great, not too long ago (scout training) everyone had to make a stove and then cook breakfast on it. The trick to cooking eggs is to take a slice of bread and rip a hole in the middle then crack the egg into the hole and cook, funny to watch the guys who didn't do that spent the time trying to keep their egg from running off the side of the can
    Cruisin Sloth likes this.
  6. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    EGGselent idea!! How to keep the bacon drippings out of the way?

    Cruisin Sloth likes this.
  7. sheen_estevez

    sheen_estevez Monkey+++

    We did sausage, cook that first and then let the bread absorb the drippings
    mmmmmmm tasty
  8. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    Bullseye toast. Haven't heard of that in years! :)
  9. sheen_estevez

    sheen_estevez Monkey+++

    Good stuff, with any luck we will be doing that tomorrow, Boy Scout campout starting tomorrow morning, can't wait. Even with the winter storm watch in effect, 6" of snow by Sunday morning, I'll try to report how the stove works in wicked weather
  10. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Don't forget to take your camera - or [worthless]
  11. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Bump with a question. I've saved up the cardboard and tuna cans to try this out. Now comes the fly in the ointment. Paraffin is in short supply outside of the specialty candle making hobby sites. The local stores (dollar, grocery, and hardware) don't carry it, largely because wax is no longer used for sealing jams and jellies like Mom used to make. Anyone have a tip on where to get the straight stuff cheaper than mail order candle maker's supplies?

  12. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Try a hardware store. I know the Ace hardware near me still carries Gulf Wax for around $5. Also, drug stores often sell paraffin for use with hand spa treatments. Another thought is a ski shop.
  13. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

  14. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Alrighty then. Paraffin found. Hardware, no go. Dollar stores, no go. On line craft suppliers, yes, around 5frns to the pound, plus shipping. Local craft stores, yes, but price WAY out of line. Scored in one of the three grocery stores, the only one of the three that caters to home canning. One pound Gulf wax, 2.99 frns plus the governor's cut.

    BTW, paraffin is an excellent lube for wooden dresser drawers. Better than Ivory soap.
    GrayGhost likes this.
  15. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    Just got back from an overnight camping trip with the wife and little one. She is not quite 3 years old yet, and we wanted to see how she would react to an outing.

    A couple of days ago, I made a buddy stove out of a round Altoids tin and some old candles. I cut long cardboard strips, like you guys said, and rolled it into the tin with the corregations facing up. I melted two old candles in the microwave oven and poured it in. The paraffin was just below the top of the cardboard, exosing the corregations.

    I used our cookset pot, a tin of dryer lint, and the buddy stove to make our dinner and later for our breakfast. I lit the stove by burning a small piece of dryer lint on top of the stove and kept feeding a pinch now and then until I could see that it was buring even. It produced a flame about 8-10 inches high.

    It took almost 8 minutes to boil 2 cups of water,and another 8 minutes for our pasta pack. After dinner I lit it again for coffee, about 2 1/2 cups of water. Maybe running it for another ten minutes. In the morning was 2 1/2 cups of water and oatmeal. The outmeal boils quickly but uneven unless stirred a lot, and another ten minutes or so with the stove.

    At the end of heating the oatmeal, the stove was petering out, leaving us with no coffee. No biggie. All in all, it seemed to run for about 45 minutes. Not bad for scrounged up materials- round Altoid tin, cardboard, old candles with no wicks anymore, dryer lint, pack of matches, and lastly, two rocks found on the trail to support the pot.

    Cons: it made the pot very dirty on the bottom with the powdery carbon buildup. This soot is very fine and got into everything. It was hard to get off without resorting to using precious water and clean towels to wipe it all off. If you don't, you'll be eating it with the next meal because our cookset is a nesting variety. The stove made almost no smoke while it was lit, but once you put the lid over it to snuff it out, it emitted volume of smoke. You coud smell this pretty far down the trail!

    This trip was more of an experiment than for pure outdoor enjoyment. I wanted to see how my daughter would like it (no problem there) and carry her own weight (no luck there, I had to use our Kelty child carrier the whole trip- 5 miles) besides try out the stove.

    I will evenyually get a multi-fuel MSR stove for backpacking and camping, but until then, I will build a buddy stove out of every tin I can find. I think they would have a good place in each vehicle and backpack.
  16. WestPointMAG

    WestPointMAG Monkey++

    Coat the bottom of the pot with dish soap and the black will wash right off.
  17. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Finally got around to making one. Took step by step pix, will resize and post if anyone is interested.
    -The board is a breeze blocker.
    -I cut the lid from a can I used as a double boiler for wax melting, shows here since I used it for snuffing a previous test burn.
    -Each can will use about 5 feet of cardboard (1 inch wide) and just under a quarter pound of wax.
    -Smoky. Your coffee pot or soup can is going to be black as WPM says.
    -Like the old Indian said, white man build big fire, sit far away, sweat in front, freeze in back. Indian build small fire, sit close and stay warm all over. One of these might heat a small teepee, then again, it might not.
    -In total, about half or a bit less of the wax was consumed in about an hour of burn.
    Stove 17.
  18. vegasrandall

    vegasrandall Monkey+++

    try a jetboil first,that's my primary cooking tool for traveling and camping.
  19. WastedDaze

    WastedDaze Monkey+

    We called them Hobo Stoves... back in 1971 I made and used one like this.
    [​IMG] Photo courtesy of Mother Earth News.

    The damper was just bent out at 90* like this one.

    We used old crayons for the burner instead of paraffin wax.

    You really don't even need the tuna can with cardboard and wax... Just some burning twigs in the can will work fine. Last time I went backpack camping my buddy cooked all his meals on a Hobo Stove. I used my old Optimus 80 stove.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2016
  20. john316

    john316 Monkey+++

    yes.............works a lot better

    you may also fill the cans with bacon grease...............i use these to start
    charcoal fires

    olive oil works great but it does not get hard like wax or grease but you can add olive oil while the fire is lit
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
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