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Paint Can Stove

I read about this design on the internet. I cannot locate a web page describing it, it may have just come up in newsgroup discussions several times.

In version 1, the cotton balls stopped 1/2" below the rim of the can. Air coming in and heated air flowing out fought against each other. Having observed airflow management in several different stove designs, I saw that the airflow here could be improved. I added one more layer of 4 cotton balls to bring the cotton ball wick up to the top of the can. Now heated air goes up vertically while incoming air flows in horizontally. The boil time for version 2 is down to 9 minutes from version 1's 25-minute boil time.

No tools = easy to build!

The paint can is nearly 3" tall, so I did need to build a 4" high pot stand to use with this stove.

Update: Well duh! Here is the website where it clearly states "Stuff the can full of cotton balls to the rim".

click for larger picture Clean out an 8 ounce paint can. Fill it with cotton balls all the way up to the rim. Add some denatured alcohol and the cotton balls will function as a wick. You stop this stove by laying the lid back on.
click for larger picture Action shot.
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