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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The "New" Wood-burning Cookstove

While on my recent weeklong trip to the wilds of one of the Great Lakes States, one of my brothers, to whom I'm in debt for this blog post, showed me a stove that he has been experimenting with.

The stove consists of a paint can which is perforated in three places near the bottom of the can, equidistant from each other.  Into these holes are inserted a section of copper tubing, all of equal length and diameter.  These should fit snuggly into the holes, but not so snuggly that they can't be made to travel in or out as needed during the operation of the stove.

To operate the stove, of course one would need a fuel source to burn.  Our fuel source of choice in this instance is wood shavings, or sawdust.  Before filling the can with the fuel, we will need one cardboard tube from inside a roll of paper towels.  Alternatively, one could use two or more tubes from rolls of toilet paper.  This tube is inserted/dropped into the can vertically, till it rests on the bottom of the can in the very center of the can.  Next, start filling the can with sawdust/wood chips, layer by layer.  When the can is half full (this translates as half empty for those of you who are pessimists), pack it down with your hand.  Then continue filling it up till it is two-thirds full, and pack it down again.  Continue like this until it is full, or even over full, then pack it down.

We are ready for the test.

To use the stove, carefully remove the tube, making sure that none of, or very little of, the sawdust/wood chips falls down the "chimney".  Light some paper, or other tinder, and insert it to the bottom.  By moving the tubes outward you increase the draft.  Pushing them in farther restricts the draft, or "chokes" the flame, thus regulating the size of the flame and the heat output.

I hope to post a video and some photos to compliment this post in the next day or two.



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