Conservation stoves

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Conservation stove.jpg

Conservation Stove

A conservation stove (also sometimes called a hobo stove) can be made from a large coffee tin with a hole cut in the site to add twigs, leaves or other solid fuel.

Making the stove

You will need the following to make the stove:

  • Large coffee tin
  • Thick wire (about 40 cm)
  • Tin snips (to cut the tin)
  • Pliers (to cut and straighten the wire)
  • Awl, hammer and nail, or something sharp that can punch holes in the tin

Using the tin snips, cut a door in the side of the tin at the bottom. Make lots of smaller ventilation holes around the lower half of the tin.

Make a series of holes about 8 cm from the top in the tin and put lengths of wire in one side and out the other to make a shelf.

Put the stove on 2 bricks and to keep where necessary place a sheet of metal or other fire proof material underneath it.

Conservation stove egg.jpg

Making a billy can

You can also make a billy can with a wire handle from a baked bean tin or a large jam tin. Make sure the billy can will fit inside the stove, leaving some space for ventilation around the sides.

  • Jam tin or baked bean tin (clean, with label removed)
  • Wire (for a handle)
  • Pliers (to cut and bend the handle)
  • Awl, hammer and nail, or something sharp that can punch holes in the tin

Using the stove

You can burn dry twigs, leaves, grass or even newspaper and cardboard in the stove. You will have to keep feeding fresh fuel into the opening at the base.

You can use the billy can and stove to boil an egg or boil water for tea, hot chocolate, cup-a-soup or similar.

You can also use the top of an upside down tin for frying an egg or making a flapjack.

Conservation Stove VC.png

Variations

There are many variations on the conservation stove. One option is to use the coffee tin upside down, so that the solid base of the tin can be used as a stove top.

"Buddy Burner" wax burning stove

Wax stove.jpg

A buddy burner is a a very effective wax burning stove that you can make from a tuna tin.

Making the stove

You will need the following for the stove:

  • tuna can or similar shallow tin
  • Corrugated cardboard strips cut to 2 cm wide
  • Molten wax from 1 or 2 candles
  • (optional) 5 nails about 5 cm long to insert into the wax to make a pot stand
  • spare tuna tin which can be used to snuff out the flames when the stove is alight

Cut the corrugated cardboard into long strips 2 cm wide. Cut across the corrugations, not in the same direction as the corrugations. Wind the cardboard strips into a roll and put the roll inside the tuna tin.

Break the candle into pieces and put them into a tin, then put the tin into a pot of boiling water to melt the wax.

Pour the wax carefully into the tin until it is nearly full, with just the edge of the cardboard sticking out slightly.

Stick the nails into the cardboard and wax to make a pot stand.

Let the wax cool and set.

Using the stove

You can use the billy can and stove to boil an egg or boil water for tea, hot chocolate, cup-a-soup or similar. To cook with a larger pot or pan, put the stove between two bricks and rest the pot on the bricks over the stove.

To extinguish the stove, cover it with a second tin of the same size to starve the flames of oxygen.

Variations

You can use a larger tin, upside down, with lots ventilation holes on top of your buddy burner as a pot stand.

You can make a pocket-size buddy burner using a shoe polish tin with a lid.

Safety

Cubs will need adult supervision for these activities, especially for cutting the tin, melting the wax and operating the stove when it is burning. The stoves should only be used outdoors in a safe place.

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