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  • DIY Survival Projects Part 8: Let's make a Rocket Stove

    The Rocket Stove is one of my favorite survival stoves. Because of the way it's designed, a little bit of fuel goes a long way, it produces enough heat to cook and boil water. These stoves will burn wood, paper, cardboard, fuel cubes, charcoal, pretty much any type of solid fuel. By having a split fuel chamber more air is drawn into the chamber causing the fuel to burn much hotter, forcing the heat produced up the chimney and focusing it on whatever cooking implement is over it.

    There are lots of advantages to using a rocket stove than an open fire pit.

    • Less fuel is needed
    • Less heat loss
    • Less ash is produced
    • Less environmental impact
    • Faster water boiling/cooking
    • Less chance of forest fires
    • Will burn regardless of wind or weather conditions
    • Less smoke
    • Small enough to be portable and not too hard to make, the rocket stove is an excellent survival tool, and great for camping also. In this article I'll show you step by step how to make one for yourself from common household objects.




    Here's the materials you'll need:

    A #10 can and three smaller 28oz cans.
     
    Be sure to keep the top to your #10 can.
     
    You'll need insulation for the inside of the stove

    Soak the cans in hot water and dish soap if needed to remove labels and glue.

    You'll need insulation for the inside of the stove, this material will stop heat loss from the sides of the stove. Common materials used are: sand, kitty litter, vermiculite, perlite, dirt, and clay. I'll be using kitty litter for this project, just regular, non-scented, clay kitty litter.




    Now that you have the materials you'll need tools.

    • For safety wear heavy gloves, the edges of the cut cans are dangerously sharp. Safety goggles should be worn also because of the danger of flying metal particles.
    • A Sharpie for marking cut lines.
    • Tin snips or a Dremel rotary tool for making the cuts.
    • A straight edge screwdriver for starting cut holes if you're using snips.
    • A hammer for punching holes with the screwdriver and flattening can.
    • A can opener.
    • A file for removing loose metal from cuts.
    • Pliers for straightening bent can edges.
    • Fireplace and Stove Mortar. (Optional) This isn't really needed, but it does help to seal up gaps making the stove more solid, more efficient and makes sure loose insulation doesn't leak out. It's also good to have in case you have an oops moment and make the holes too large.
    • A wire hanger.




    Alright, let's get this show on the road.

    Step 1: Use the smaller can you intend to use for the side fuel/air chamber to mark cut lines on the #10 can.
     
    Step 2a: Use screwdriver to make starter hole and cut out the hole.

     
    Step 2b: Use file to remove any loose metal spurs if needed.



    Step 3: Remove the bottom of intended side can.



     
    Step 4: Place the inner chimney can into the #10 can so it's centered inside. Insert the side can through, then mark where the top of the side can touches the chimney can.
     
    Step 5: Mark and cut the chimney can hole using the side can as a template. Test fit with chimney can. More trimming may be need to make it fit.



    Step 6: Insert side can through #10 can into chimney can.
     
    Step 7a: Remove bottom of spare 28 oz can

     
    Step 7b: Flatten it by stepping on it, flatten more with hammer if needed.


    Step 8a: Measure and mark flattened can so when cut it will fit into the middle of the side can. This will be your fuel shelf.



     
    Step 8b: Snip the ends off of the tabs to separate the two halves of the flattened can making two single shelves. Keep the other half to use as a spare. The tabs on the end serve to stop the shelf from going in too far and are used for shelf removal.
     
    Step 9: Measure, mark, and cut slots in side can for shelf tabs.






    Step 10: Insert shelf into side can, bend tabs down. Using these tabs, the shelf can be removed for cleaning. Make sure to use a file to take down the sharp cut edges on the tabs to avoid cut fingers while removing.
     
    Step 11: (Optional) Apply mortar around side can where it enters the #10 and chimney can. Every gap you seal is going to increase the efficiency of your stove. Let mortar cure for at least 4 hours.

     
    Step 12: Fill with insulation to the rim of chimney can. Tap side of can to make sure every space is evenly filled.




    Step 13: Measure and mark spaces around #10 can rim. Approximately where the red lines are shown. Cut slots into the rim where marked, make sure cuts go down to the top of the insulation.
     
    Step 14: Bend down 4 opposite tabs to insulation. You can use a hammer if needed.


     
    Step 15: Cut center from #10 can top and place on top.




    Step 16: Bend down the other 4 opposite cut tabs over the lid to hold it in place.



     
    Step 17: (Optional) Use mortar to seal around chimney top. Don't seal the outside of the can lid though, only around the chimney top. This allows for any moisture or pressure that builds up to escape.
     
    Step 18: Drill opposing holes in the top and add a wire handle for easy carrying.




    Step 19: (Optional) Make your rocket stove look good and protected from rust by spray painting it with high temp stove paint.

    Now you're done! Congratulations, you built your own rocket stove out of stuff that would be considered trash by most people. Feels good using your own two hands to make something useful doesn't it?




    Now that we've completed our Rocket Stove, Let's take it for a test burn.

    Find a flat surface away from anything flammable.

    Gather some tinder and fuel. You'll probably only need a handful.
     
    Load it up.

     
    Light it up, and watch it burn.



    Try boiling a pot of water.
    There may be some smoke at first, this will be initial wood smoke, the linings of the cans or residue burning away.
    All heat is directed straight to any cooking surface.
    If insulated properly the outside should be cool or slightly warm to the touch.



    You should be able to get a lot of use out of this stove, and if it ever wears out, you know how to make another one. These make great, inexpensive, gifts for that prepper, survivalist, or camper in your life. Using different colors of high heat paint you can decorate and personalize it.




    Well, I hope you found this tutorial fun and informative. I certainly had fun putting it all together.

    If you liked it or have questions, leave a comment. I'd love to hear about different ideas or materials you've used and the results.

    Thank you for reading. - Sasquatch

    Stay tuned to GunNook for more do it yourself survival projects.

    2 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    This article was originally published in forum thread: DIY Survival Projects started by sasquatch View original post
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. Souldat's Avatar
      Souldat -
      Dude this is bad ass. Love it! How many uses can you get out of it?
    1. sasquatch's Avatar
      sasquatch -
      Quote Originally Posted by Souldat View Post
      Dude this is bad ass. Love it! How many uses can you get out of it?

      It should last for a good while and many burns. It all depends on how you take care of it, keep it clean, dry, etc. Rust would be the biggest problem with this stove. The stove paint prevents rusting, so I'd recommend painting it, 2 or 3 coats should do it.
      Repaint when needed.
      The burn shelf may also wear out, but is easily replaced.
      The great thing is, if it does get destroyed, no big deal, just build another.
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