I built an Altoids tin multi-fuel backpacking stove

I spent an hour or two on Youtube the other night, coming up with ideas for this. So, none of the ideas are original to me, but I didn't see a multi-fuel setup or a capillary action alcohol stove out of a Altoids tin. 

97 grams as it currently sits. It will gain a little bit of weight as I add a small fero rod and jigsaw blade, wind screen and protective wrap. The tin will be the handle for the small saw. I am also going to add a leather wrap around the tin. The wrap is to contain the parts and also be used for a base for keeping tinder dry when making a campfire. The leather thong will be long enough for a bow-drill.

The capillary stove is pretty cool. The fuel wicks up inside the metal wick by capillary action. The metal gets hot, vaporizes the fuel, and it burns. The X shape of the wick is to increase the amount of flame area while providing good air flow to the flame. The X is a slice of a soda can, folded down to the shape.
Currently, I have a problem with boiling of the fuel before it can vaporize, so the stove will spit little fire balls nearly a foot away! It needs work yet.

In album 2015-02-11

Capillary action alcohol stove burning. The fluid wicks up between the thin gap in the soda can wick. The hot metal vaporizes the alcohol, which then burns well. This will burn like this for 5 minutes on 6ml of denatured alcohol and then burn out in a matter of seconds.

All packed up. Everything fits into a regular Altoids tin.

This is in liquid fuel mode. The burner sits inside the tin which has the bolt stand offs to hold the pot. The mesh grate isn’t used in this form.

Wood burning mode. Small sticks can be placed between the pot stand posts. The grate allows air to get under the fire for better burning.

The pot stand is sized to work with metal water bottles.

I got a mosquito hammock this week for $30 from woot

This is pretty cheap. After I ordered it, I realized how short it was – it's six inches shorter than the one I already have. Short hammocks and tall people make for an uncomfortable night's sleep. So I decided to try to cheat the length a bit. I converted it to a Mini bridge hammock. Some amsteel rope dogbones, a pair of spreader bars, and it's a non-damaging modification. I think it worked. I slept in it as it came, and after the modification and I like the mod. It's much more comfortable. Not perfect, I find my feet tend to rest against the netting.

Next project. Down underquilt.

In album Miniature Bridge Hammock modification

My girls hanging out in my new Yukon Outfitters Mosquito Hammock

It’s a clear tarp for me for the hammocks. Window winterizing film, duck tape & patience to make one.

This is how the hammock came. A rope (which stretches a lot the first night you use it) fed through the channel and closed on itself. Here, I’ve had to run it back up to the metal connector so tighten the hammock at 3 am so I wasn’t dragging on the ground anymore. Notice how tightly it bunches the end of the hammock up. The thin line is the stretch cord for holding up the bug net part of the hammock.

This is a miniature bridge hammock. The idea is to make the ends wider so it squeezes against the shoulders less. It is also supposed to reduce the tightness up the center under the legs that can cause discomfort.

I made 4 amsteel dogbones. These are just short ropes with eyes on both ends. I sized these so they are short as they can be and have the right length bury that nearly touches in the center.

Try to make all 4 the same length.

The amsteel dogbone is fed through the hole in the wood, fed through the hammock and  the loop slipped over the end of the wood. Do this from each side.

It’s easier to pull the new rope through as you are pulling the old rope out. (trust me  I know)

But it’s easier to untie if you put the old rope to the new, and not the new rope to the old. Oohps.

The hammock is clipped into the rope that it hangs from.

The offset in the carabiner can be used to advantage in counteracting any differences in the length of the amsteel dogbones.

This is with the original mounting method.

This is the girls swinging in the new method. Notice how the end of the hammock forms a gentile curve.

The hanging hardware that came with the hammock – both sides.

The new hanging hardware weighs 2 grams more. Now, this is a cheating weight, as it doesn’t include the carabiners.

I made a new wallet last night

A coworker has had some pretty thin ones over the years, folded tyvek, and currently a big skinny brand one that's really nice. 

I've been wanting one of those stainless steel ones for a few years now, but they are much more money then I am willing to spend.

So I decided to make my own wallet. Out of garbage, of course. Well, I did buy the leather in a 3lb pack from Hobby Lobby, but the piece I used looks like it was cut for a vest maybe? The Tyvek is from a mailing envelope from 1997, the clear pocket is from a plastic cover from an old report. The RFID shielding is a motherboard static protection bag. I collect old junk just for projects such as this.

The design of this one is wider and taller then a bifold or trifold. It is a bifold wallet, but has 2 pockets per face. This means you only keep half the cards in a given thickness. There is also no extra pockets separating the cards, so no extra bulk for that either. Just stack the cards. 

I have the thinness of a tyvek wallet with the finish of a leather wallet. It can bend in the middle, contouring by butt better. I think I am really liking this so far.

The next one, I would sew the card pockets onto just 1 layer of the folded center piece rather then through both. This one give a nicer finish on the inside of the bill area. I would also cut the leather a bit bigger so I can roll the edges and sew through 2 layers of leather for a nicer edge finish. Also, mark on the BACK side of the Tyvek. I kept marking on the front side even though I know better!

I also like keeping fortune cookie fortunes in my wallet. So I may have some clear pockets just for my fortunes. I also carry SD cards, so I will have pockets for that as well.

In album Thin Wide RFID blocking Tyvek & Leather Wallet

It doesn’t look too much bigger this way, right?

My wallet is too fat. It’s slowly grown thicker in pace with my belly. Something has got to change. The wallet is the easier thing to make thinner.

An old Tyvek mailer envelope (From 1997!) a bit of scrap leather, my sewing machine, and about 3 hours….

No plans, just an idea, and a standard sized card to use as a template.

I used an old motherboard static bag for the RFID blocking layer. It’s sandwiched in the divider to deflect enough energy to keep the cards from activating and broadcasting. In theory. I don’t know if it works or not.

4 pockets, one of which is clear sewn onto the tyvek holding the static bag bit.

Trying to get the size of the leather right for the pockets.

Just a quick and dirty build. Trying to proof the concept and the sizes. I will probably make another one in a few months once I gauge how long this one will last.

Leather looks to be big enough to cover the inside pockets.

Binder clips. I don’t know how people did leather work before these things where invented. I love these things.

The leather is bigger then the liner, and needs an unsewn gap at the fold so it can open up correctly.

I sewed the leather on by hand with a glovers needle.

The wood block is for poking the needle down through the layers on so I don’t stab myself or the table. The pliers are to pull the needle through the rest of the way – it likes catching at the eye.

One side sewn up. Not very neat stitching, but it should hold it together.

I found it easier to sew with a card in each pocket. No wonder my wallet is so thick! I carry a metal plate for sharpening knives in it.

I spent last week at my folks, taking care of some chores that they couldn't…

I spent last week at my folks, taking care of some chores that they couldn't do while feeling under the weather.

Lots of wood cutting, cooking, shoveling, and the like. I have ran a chainsaw more in the last week than I have all my life.

It feels good to be able to help my folks out after all they've done for me. I just wish that they where healthy enough that I didn't need to!

The weather up north has been pretty bad. I don't remember ever seeing the roads as bad as they where. I am SO glad I took the time to put my good snow tires on. Nothing like waiting until March 1st to install your snowies!

I think I got enough chores done that they can rest and get healthy for spring.

We finished the trip with a day at the Mall of America. Let the girls have some fun at the amusement park.

In album Week at the grandparents

Mmore wood, ready to go to the house. I did over half a dozen trips like this.  The wood trailer is stuck behind a hundred yards of 3 foot deep snow.

Julie was SO EXCITED when she saw Dora. “DADO DADO DADO DADO” she kept saying. However, she just wasn’t having the photo op.

I picked up my birthday present from my wife! She knows me so well. She gets me 100 year old stuff. How awesome is that?

My saint of a wife cooked, and cooked, and cooked. Freezer meals. Meatloaf, lasagna, spaghetti sauce, chicken noodle soup, chicken pot pies.

I’ve never seen roads so bad. There is over an inch of packed snow-ice on everything that isn’t a major highway. Some spots the snow banks on the side of the road have to be 15 foot tall!

I spent some time checking propane gauges. This one is good yet.

I was shoveling sidewalks. Well, where they ought to be at least. This was over knee deep for me. Other spots I was shoveling, I step off, and go waist deep – and never touched bottom.

The girls washed the windows with their faces…

Missing grandpa. He was in the ICU.

Getting artwork posted at a restaurant.

Cutting wood. My dad has the process down pretty well. No bending over, no working too hard. Haul the long pieces in, drop them into the saw horses, cut them to size, load them into the truck. There is a wood splitter  by the tailgate for the oversized pieces.

Fresh wood to be cut. This is stuff from a local saw mill. All red oak.

Fast-freeze hot food.  No shocking the freezer this way.

We went to the Mall of America to ‘finish off’ the week doing something other than taking care of ill grandparents. The backpack is full of our winter jackets.

Bella LOVED the rides. She did this one twice!

I made a shoe rack for behind the front door

I bought a bundle of fifteen 1x2s for $12. There are some pretty twisted, gnarly looking boards in the bundle. My dad taught me how to selectively cut with the twists and kinks in mind so the project turns out in the end. I've only 1 wonky spot I am not happy about. I used 3/4 of the bundle of wood with only a dozen of so 6 inch scraps left over.

It's built with tools my wife has gotten me over the last couple of birthdays. I love tools.

In album Shoe rack

The shoe rack is designed to fit behind the door. I’ve notched it to fit around the baseboard. It’s extended across the heat register to dry gloves and is rounded so I don’t bang my lag on the corner.

The inner space worked out to be perfectly square. Not sure how that happened, but I will pretend it’s planned.

The door opens flush against the table.

The lower shelf is angled so big shoes can fit toes towards the back.

Gloves, hats, shoes, & boots all fit on the little table. I think I like it.