Home made caldera clone for a stanley pot

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churro
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Home made caldera clone for a stanley pot

Postby churro » Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:59 am

I had one of the stanley pots laying around. I don't like it much because it's tall and skinny, making it inefficient and unstable on my stoves. I have been wanting a caldera cone, but have no pot that is listed as compatible, so that means I'd be spending more than I want to right now to buy one. I figured I'd solve both problems by making a caldera clone for the stanley pot.
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I used the metal part of 2 dryer vents I had lying around. It has a neat dovetail already molded in, and is pretty stiff and springy, but not too thick. Perfect, in other words. I had to rivet 2 pieces together to get enough material, but it worked well.
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To generate the pattern, I had to bust out my Appolonius (ancient greek geometer who first described conic sections). I worked up a pattern from a file folder first, then transferred this to the aluminum and cut it out with scissors. I punched the holes with my wife's paper punch, which turned out to be a mistake. It worked, but by the last hole it was ruined. After some initial testing I had to expand the holes using a step drill bit, which make really clean holes.
The stove was inspired my Zelph's starlyte stove, made from bud cans, aluminum screen and carbon felt.
Since I wasn't sure what the optimum height above the stove would be, I added a silicone ring (cut from a kitchen thingy) that can be moved up or down to adjust the height of the pot.
It's not the fastest rig (24 oz cold tap water boiled in 14 minutes on 7/8 oz fuel), and could probably be more efficient, but it works, and best of all it's really convenient and stable. I might add some more holes for airflow and play around with the pot height. One thing I did notice is that by lowering the pot to about 1/2" above the stove I can choke off the flame and get a nice simmer.
I finished off the kit with a tyvek stuff sack my son and I made from the envelope my lawyer sent me some documents in. I did the sewing, then handed it off to my 6 mo old son to do the crinkling. Then I made a pot cozy from mylar bubble wrap and aluminum tape. I might duck out for an overnighter soon to try it out.

churro
Posts: 208
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:00 pm

Re: Home made caldera clone for a stanley pot

Postby churro » Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:55 pm

next I might try making one to pair up with my packafeather adjustable stove and some type of bigger pot. Should be a winning combo for winter (melting snow).

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zelph
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Re: Home made caldera clone for a stanley pot

Postby zelph » Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:02 pm

You sure have been busy :D Nice subject to keep busy with ;)

I punched the holes with my wife's paper punch, which turned out to be a mistake. It worked, but by the last hole it was ruined. After

:o :lol:

(24 oz cold tap water boiled in 14 minutes on 7/8 oz fuel),


That is exceptionally good reasults :D must be a well made StarLyte :mrgreen:

Really....great results with the stainless steel pot and 24 ounces of cold tap water.

Your dovetail looks bassakwards...is it?

I did the sewing, then handed it off to my 6 mo old son to do the crinkling


:lol: teaching your son to be like dad. (as it should be) ;)

Nice project with excellent results!!! :D

An overnighter is warranted, get some dirt time in. Look for some spring beauties or other edibles :D

Thanks for keeping us informed and for the photos.

I have some blank titanium cones that never got used due to way too many projects going on. They fit the kmart grease pot or can fit one a little bigger or smaller in diameter. I can send you one no charge. You'll have to get your wife's other punches to make one hole :lol: maybe a good size nail and hammer might get some holes started. nah!!! just raise it up off the ground with 2 extruded aluminum angle pieces. send me you mailing address and I'll put one in the mail tomorrow. You need more stuff to keep you occupied and happy :D

Oh, had a thought...you can notch the bottom and top of a titanium cone to allow air in and out. Use a pair of sheet metal shears or stout pair of scissors :D
"Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained" stove store = http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/

churro
Posts: 208
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:00 pm

Re: Home made caldera clone for a stanley pot

Postby churro » Thu Mar 26, 2015 9:13 am

zelph wrote:You sure have been busy :D Nice subject to keep busy with ;)

I punched the holes with my wife's paper punch, which turned out to be a mistake. It worked, but by the last hole it was ruined. After

:o :lol:

(24 oz cold tap water boiled in 14 minutes on 7/8 oz fuel),


That is exceptionally good reasults :D must be a well made StarLyte :mrgreen:

Really....great results with the stainless steel pot and 24 ounces of cold tap water.

Your dovetail looks bassakwards...is it?

I did the sewing, then handed it off to my 6 mo old son to do the crinkling


:lol: teaching your son to be like dad. (as it should be) ;)

Nice project with excellent results!!! :D

An overnighter is warranted, get some dirt time in. Look for some spring beauties or other edibles :D

Thanks for keeping us informed and for the photos.

I have some blank titanium cones that never got used due to way too many projects going on. They fit the kmart grease pot or can fit one a little bigger or smaller in diameter. I can send you one no charge. You'll have to get your wife's other punches to make one hole :lol: maybe a good size nail and hammer might get some holes started. nah!!! just raise it up off the ground with 2 extruded aluminum angle pieces. send me you mailing address and I'll put one in the mail tomorrow. You need more stuff to keep you occupied and happy :D

Oh, had a thought...you can notch the bottom and top of a titanium cone to allow air in and out. Use a pair of sheet metal shears or stout pair of scissors :D


Yeah, that joint is not really a dovetail, more of a crimp, really. But it does slide together and hold well. And the "cold" tap water was not really all that cold. We have an outdoor wood furnace that sends hot water into the house right next to the kitchen plumbing, so the first little bit of cold water that comes out of the tap is sort of warm. Still, I tried again with colder water and got maybe 15:30, flame out a minute later. Still not bad. I was kind of disappointed until I read your post- I read some online review of the caldera cone where the guy was claiming 10 minute boil times with the starlyte. That was with a wider titanium pot, I think.

Thanks for the generous offer on a titanium cone. I would really appreciate that. I'll pm you the address. Thank you!

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zelph
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Re: Home made caldera clone for a stanley pot

Postby zelph » Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:38 am

Yah, the cone is an efficient system but really expensive when you get the Titanium kits. The aluminum beer can with aluminum cone is an alternative, Caldera Keg-GVP Stove System. http://www.traildesigns.com/stoves/caldera-keg-gvp
"Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained" stove store = http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/

churro
Posts: 208
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:00 pm

Re: Home made caldera clone for a stanley pot

Postby churro » Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:13 pm

Yeah- those kits have me drooling. If I wasn't sitting on a barn full of unsold hay, I'd be placing my order today :cry: Hay prices around here are at the barely-break-even-point for me. Fortunately, the nice weather has all the cattle guys grazing up their spring pastures already- there's hope. The hay will keep, and even if I can't sell it at a profit this year, I can probably get paid for some grazing time in my fields.

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zelph
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Re: Home made caldera clone for a stanley pot

Postby zelph » Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:47 pm

Your hay is as good as gold in drought conditions. Yes, I understand you need money now ;)

DIY gear is good for now. Your titanium windscreen is in the mail.

When do you sell off your sheep?

What kind of fire wood do you use in your outdoor furnace and what is your source for it....just curious.
"Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained" stove store = http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/

churro
Posts: 208
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:00 pm

Re: Home made caldera clone for a stanley pot

Postby churro » Thu Mar 26, 2015 10:24 pm

zelph wrote:Your hay is as good as gold in drought conditions. Yes, I understand you need money now ;)

DIY gear is good for now. Your titanium windscreen is in the mail.

When do you sell off your sheep?

What kind of fire wood do you use in your outdoor furnace and what is your source for it....just curious.


We do well in dry years. Our water rights are reliable, even then, but we have to compete with folks that get 2-3 cuttings to our 1, and they are closer to the shipping lanes and such. Having a barn to store it in makes a big difference- it's still good after a couple years. The logistical problem is what to do with the next crop when the barn is full. Maybe buy cows? I would, but cattle prices are through the roof right now...

Thanks again for the windscreen.

We sell lambs as they mature. If we separated the rams from the ewes we'd have more control over when everything happens, but rams have a way of finding ewes, so we put up with one type of unpredictability to avoid another. Ours is a small scale artisanal operation. The lamb is exclusively free range and grass fed. We do our best to let them choose how they live and what they eat, but that means everything is a little disorganized. The folks we sell to will pay up for that, though, so it works out. Butcher weight for ours is around 70 lbs, which happens at about 5 months. The lambs come when they come, usually in march and again in august or september. I usually have more customers than lambs, so I just go down the list as they mature, then the butcher comes and collects them a few at a time. I have been trying to grow the flock, but coyotes have introduced some friction. The next phase is to buy a new ram and get rid of the 2 I have. Then I can keep the ewe lambs for a coulple of years (butcher only the male lambs) before I change out the ram again.

We use a combination of aspen, scrub oak, pine, spruce and hardwoods in our furnace. The aspen, scrub oak and conifers come from our land. We cut it as part of our agreement to manage the forested parts of our land to benefit the wildlife. We only harvest dead wood, but that keeps me busy most of the summer, and a good part of the winter scouting on snowshoes (not so much this year, though). The hardwoods come from nearby fruit orchards that are either pruning, replanting to take advantage of tax breaks that only last 5 years, or clearing other trees for expansion. We source this from a guy that sells firewood in Aspen and Vail. He gives us the stuff that his rich customers think is to dirty or misshapen to grace their woodpile. I also routinely get people calling offering me huge amounts of wood if I will only haul it off for them, which I happily do. In a pinch we have used broken pallets from the coors plant in Grand Junction or offcuts from the sawmill.

churro
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:00 pm

Re: Home made caldera clone for a stanley pot

Postby churro » Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:30 pm

Technical question, here. I plan to make a few more cones to match up with other pots. Is there an order of operations anyone would particularly recommend for determining the height of the pot above the stove, the diameter of the base relative to the diameter of the pot, the number and size of air holes, etc.? I searched and found a few helpful tidbits, but no real "method"... Since the caldera cones are said to be "optimized" for performance with the 10-12 stove, I figured there must be some orderly way to proceed.

Is the optimum gap between stove and pot the same outside the cone as inside?

Zelph wrote "My motto has always been: Never deny your stove oxygen. Use a windscreen to control rate of burn just like the flue damper of a wood burner. Constrict the flow."

I take this to mean that the bottom holes in a caldera cone should be more than adequate, while the top holes should be left inadequate, then increased to achieve optimum performance.

I'd love to hear anything folks have to say, and I'll try to post any results from my own experiments.

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zelph
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Re: Home made caldera clone for a stanley pot

Postby zelph » Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:53 pm

I take this to mean that the bottom holes in a caldera cone should be more than adequate, while the top holes should be left inadequate, then increased to achieve optimum performance.


That is correct as the starting point. Your first test should have an odor of unburned fuel so you add holes to the top till the odor goes away. Your nose knows :mrgreen:

Look at the flame from a side view. If it's shaped like an hour glass, move pot closer to stove until flame wall is vertical.

You've got a nice set-up going for you on fire wood for your furnace. Lots of work but not much out of pocket money for heating needs. Keeps you physically fit and warm all seasons. :D
"Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained" stove store = http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/


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