My first working cat stove

I’ve tried, only half-heartedly to make a cat stove.  I am not so interested in having a cat stove as I am in being able to make one that functions acceptably.  I find them interesting for a few reasons:

  • they are cheap to make, requiring only trash and (if desired) a standard paper hole puncher.
  • like most amusing stunts, they are easy to do but difficult to do well.
  • they are semi-pressurised;  the pot sits on and encloses the open top — this pressurizes the preheated fuel chamber.  Gasified fuel exits the holes and burns.
Here is a pic of this one runnning the 2:1 alky blend I’ve discussed before.  The stove is sitting on top of an old coffee-can-based heat drum experiment which is basically just functioning as a stand here for easy access.  
A real cat stove generally has two rows of jet holes but I stopped here with one.  They are also generally made from a cat food tin;  hence the name.  I tried various tins and this is the first one that had the mysterious shape, volume, and jet hole properties to burn well.  Others went out, or popped their own flames out, or would never get enough heat/pressure built up to get exterior jets.

Here’s a night video of the stove running (same as above, but lights/flash turned off).   It’s about 60secs before flameout (got distracted) so there is starting to be some flame instability and color shift.


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