any one have any funny stove stories?

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any one have any funny stove stories?

Post by stevebo » Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:25 am

Just wondering if anyone has any funny stories involving their quest for the perfect stove? kitchens lit on fire, beards scorched, etc? (and yes, Ive been guilty of both, and so much more!)

A couple of years ago, my wife was going to the store, so asked her to pick up a couple of bottles of alcohol for me. (I was doing some major stove experiments at the time and had used up all my fuel) While at the store, my wife ran into a friend, and some where during the conversation, made the comment "I need to buy some alcohol for steve, or hes going to be really mad at me!" my wifes friend thinks I have a drinking problem, and have anger managment issues! I guess being a "stovie" hasnt helped my standing inthe community very much, or my reputation!

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Re: any one have any funny stove stories?

Post by Q_x » Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:01 am

sorry, blanked
Last edited by Q_x on Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
Delete this account, please

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Re: any one have any funny stove stories?

Post by sudden » Thu Aug 19, 2010 5:46 pm

Just the one where I melted the freezer trying to cool a stove off but I already told it. The best part was not getting caught.
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Re: any one have any funny stove stories?

Post by DarenN » Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:01 pm

well; it wasn't funny untill after the fires were out. i had to run faster than i like to. :lol:
to test alternative fuels i built a Pepsi-G with few, and small, jets. it worked well enough with alcohol so i moved on to some alternatives. i tried a few things that worked, but were very sooty/smokey. i wasn't done though cause i had a gascan for the lawnmower thay had unleaded gasoline in it. 3/4 fl oz of fuel and a match started the fun. it lit and bloomed very quickly, and i was delighted! but then things started to go south, out on my concrete patio. the burner started roaring louder than i had ever heard a burner roar. i decided it might be prudent to back off a ways. like, ten feet. ;) then, with a BANG the stove exlpoded. spraying burning gasoline in a six foot radius. on fire were, my lawn, house, park bench, and the posts that support the second floor deck. guess where my extinguiser was. yep. second floor kitchen. up the stairs, grab the F/E, down the stairs, run around like an idiot, putting out fires. i wasn't bothering with fires on the concrete, so naturaly, i lit my shoes on fire. put out the shoe fires, and finished getting the rest of them out. i then got a beer and sat down to watch the area for a while to make sure nothing would flare up. the hilarity of the situation suddenly hit me, and i started laughing like a mad fool! :lol:
the lawn grew back all by itself. the house and posts needed a bit of scraping and paint and they were fine. the park bench took some sanding and varnish and it was better than new. the shoes had rubber soles so they didn't survive.
if learned anything from this it is to pay attention to those who know when they say things like, "don't even try to burn anything but alcohol!" :lol:

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Re: any one have any funny stove stories?

Post by realityguy » Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:53 pm video? :cry: From now up your camera before the stove,okay?

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Re: any one have any funny stove stories?

Post by stevebo » Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:02 pm

wow Daren, thats impressive! I agree about the camera, any chance we could do a reinactment? (with the fire dept on standby!) :D

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Re: any one have any funny stove stories?

Post by DarenN » Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:55 pm

stevebo wrote:wow Daren, thats impressive! I agree about the camera, any chance we could do a reinactment? (with the fire dept on standby!) :D

:lol: :lol:
the incedent happenned quite some years ago. before i had a digital camera.
the "hot-foot dance" would have been a show stopper!
i don't mess with alternative fuels anymore. ;)

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Re: any one have any funny stove stories?

Post by ConnieD » Sat Aug 21, 2010 12:49 pm

The first time I lit up my first alcohol stove, actually the one in my avatar, I was going to make a video. I melted the thermometer for the hot water: it was an oral thermometer. The highest temperature is, like, 105 F. The label says it is not a mercury thermometer. Do I trust it?

The next major "foopah" was I nearly melted my iPod Touch the first time I lit up the MK1-UL. Again, I was going to make a video. The flames were hot. There were a lot of big yellow flames. I did "overheat" something about my digital camera, which was too close! The color was "OFF" color, in places, on the picture like something was "overheated". The iPod is okay. The camera is okay.

I forgot to say, when I tried out the "white gas version" of my zelph Super Stove I didn't follow instructions. There were written instructions. The flareup was spectacular. Fortunately, I tried it out on the gravel driveway at the house.

Well, nothing like your experience, DarenN.

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Re: any one have any funny stove stories?

Post by Ridgerunner » Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:50 pm

I may have told this story before but I can't find it. :roll: A friend and I had just finished a three day loop trail in the Smokies years ago and were going to spend one last night at basecamp at Big Creek. He was amazed at some of the vintage stoves I had brought on a few of our hikes and we used a cannister stove on this particular hike. I had just started making alcohol stoves and had a couple soda can stoves with me so I thought I would break one out to demonstrate its abilities to my friend. I filled it up a bit and put a match to it. It lit up and burned for a few seconds and then seemed to go out. So, I decided to add another slash of fuel to prime her up again. yeah, big mistake.....Swoooooosh...the stove was NOT out and the flame shot straight to the opened soda bottle I was using for fuel. It burst into flames and I dropped it with some opfit getting on my tevas. Now my foot is on fire and my hand is on fire and the campsite has fire spots all over it. I was doing a raindance :DBfire: and eventually got the sandle and hand put out and then watched my fuel bottle burn and melt away. My buddy just sat there and watched and got a good chuckle out of it saying he knew it would eventually go out. At that moment, I couldn't have GAVE him an alcohol stove but he sure did laugh alot that night replaying my every move. Even though we were in a dry county, we had the forsight to pack a cooler full of ice and a 12pk of beer which really helped with the throbbing blister on my index finger. I soaked it in icewater all evening. I took a couple ibprophen and a painkiller I had brought along and slept with my hand sticking out the bottom of the tent door in the icewater. I was amazed when I woke up in the morning, there was no pain what so ever and I had learned a valuable lesson about cooking with alcohol. ;)
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Re: any one have any funny stove stories?

Post by zelph » Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:31 pm

A few years ago I strted a thread on WB, here are some quotes from it:

Exploding Stoves Etc.

Over the last 6 months or so I have come across some statements on different forums concerning homemade stoves blowing up and some overflowing into a ball of flames.
I had a home made pressurized one blow up because I forgot to put the fuel port screw back in. Only had 1/2 ounce of fuel in it to do a test, blew the top half off, it went straight up into the rafters of my garage The little bit of alcohol was blown out for about a 5 foot radius, some small patches of fire here and there, 2 or 3 on the front of my chest the size of quarters, they quickly extinguished. I was not hurt luckily I walked away shaken but not detered. I also had a small prototype T candle side burner blow up in my kitchen because holes were too large.

I’d like all of you to post your experiences in regards to stove blowup or fuel overflowing in a ball of flame because of over filling the stove.

I hope this thread sheds some light on how we need to be more aware of stove safety on and off the trails.

Most recently in this forum Jazilla inquired : Any one have a problem with small explosions with the penny stove. I had the al bottle penny stove pop twice and I had my Sunkist penny pop on first use. Wondering what would cause this problem or is it just the operator.

I actually had the burner pop out when I first lit my Sunkist penny. It Blows up kind of when I first light the primer in the top of the burner with the penny in place

I had 3 stoves pop like this on the first test. After that they pop no more. When I say pop I mean hop up like a small explosion. The first time this happened to me it blew the burner out of the cup.

ppereira007 wrote:
My first homemade stoves were photons. When you forget to put the filler screw back in, they "POP" when you light them. Happened to me twice, both times when too tired to think straight!

Spock wrote:
Yep, I had a penny stove pop and spray flaming alcohol around the kitchen. Melted the front of my microwave. Unfun. The reason was the holes were too large and the flame was able to ignite the air/fuel mixture remaining in the stove. Smaller holes fixed it.

Knightwalker (WB)
Build a Photon and light it with the screw out of the fill hole. You'll get yer explosion. They pop really good with alcohol when missing the fill screw. Gas oughtta be a real hoot.
Use a VERY long lighter!

The latest test is up on my adventure site which is a daily blog of my life at ---The squirting fuel was caused by a gross over fueling of the SST to the point that there was no room for gas to build up so it pushed out solid fuel.

Bug bags--Catchup and Exploding stoves
I had an email from a customer who says his TREK exploded and set him on fire. I think he may have filled it to the brim with fuel and then got in real close and lit it.

Yep, I've had it happen, too. On a pressurized model that wasn't epoxied, I stupidly forgot to replace the screw on the fill port--realized it as soon as I lit it, and just had time to get my hand back when the top of the burner popped off of the bottom. Fortunately I was setup on a fire-resistant surface so I just let the flames burn out.
Gotta be careful with those things, but they sure are fun to play with!

Fireboy(WB) I had one blow up also, left the screw out of the fill hole. Also had one that the fuel expanded while the stove heated up and overflowed into a ball of fire. These little things can be hazardous to your health and equipment. Be cautious

That's interesting. The stove that blew up on me was a wedding tin with only a very small hole in the top.
It's the very small hole. Same with the un-closed Photon. Huge, fast vapor pressure spike. BOOM!

Patrick: (WB)
I had an alcohol one blow up once, so I figured this was a lock. I feel like I really let the team down.

I probably play with more stoves on a daily basis than the average person. I do a test burn on every new design and also on a few every day just to check my work. After being burned several times ,once quite badly. I now wear a thin pair of leather gloves that weigh almost nothing and are worth their weight in gold. you can also use them for any project that may damage your hands. I would highly recommend that anybody using any backpacking stove wear a pair of gloves. A burn on your hand can really mess up your trip and even cut it short if it is bad enough. Why take a chance. I don't anymore!!! Next time you burn yourself on a stove give this a thought.

Skidsteer 06-13-2006 21:01
Congratulations. You've 'seen the elephant'.

Assume a proud place among other Stovies. :D

SGT Rock 06-14-2006 06:04
That is one reason I prefer low pressure stoves.

saimyoji 06-14-2006 06:54
Occaisionally I'd get a POP sound when I first lit the primer pan, but solved this by sticking a piece of Al foil under the can to prop it up.

Tha Wookie 06-14-2006 10:36
I've heard sme stories about whisperlites blowing up, and other commercial stoves, but this is a first for homemade ones...

sounds like your references above are all from one stove type. It's hard to fudge a basic pepsi can stove.

Interesting first post.... you don't work for a backpacking mag or stove company do you?

Erro 06-14-2006 15:37
My Sgt. Rock version stove has never popped. My penny stove has popped twice - both times were when I re-filled and lit the stove while it was hot. Nothing flew into the rafters mind you - the penny just flew up a few inches and a few spots of burning alcohal were spatered around...


zelph 06-14-2006 20:36
open flame stoves need care also

mn Backpacker(PBP) wrote this:
My whisperlite, on the other hand, almost removed my eyebrows multiple times before I learned the beauty of alcohol

Big Load (PBP) wrote this :
No explosions, but I have had the misfortune to overturn a lit alcohol stove. My response was a little slow because I was transfixed by the beauty of the spreading blue flame, but no harm was done.
While I agree that white gas stoves aren't risk-free, they aren't quite as prone to this sort of mishap. Even so, I find that the benefits of using an alcohol stove outweigh the risks.

I made a couple of Super Cat stoves , followed directions to the letter, observed the warnings that went with it. One of the warnings was that the stove can stick to the bottom of your pot if it is a little dirty. It did exactly like it had said. I had prepared for it by having stove in the middle of a large 2 foot by three foot commercial oven tray(heavy aluminum). I lifted the pot of boiling water to remove it from the stove and sure enough it stuck to the pot and within a few seconds it released and fell about a foot and a half to the tray, splashing burning fuel into the tray. Had I not read the instructions and not been prepared, I'd have been in a world of hurt or somthin:D . Because of the possibility of this happening on the trail when least expected I opted not to persue this style as my stove of choice. The stove also has a tendency to have alcohol condense on the bottom of the pot and when lifted off the stove the bottom of the pot is onfire. This surely would startle the livin daylights out of you, maybe even cause you to drop your precious 2 cups of dinner water. :eek:

This is what Jim Wood says(designer of the Super Cat)
If the bottom of your pot or the top rim of the stove becomes gummy with cooking residues, the stove could (because it’s so lightweight) actually stick to the pot bottom. When you then lift the pot, the stove could lift along with it. A moment later, it could also “un-stick” and fall, spilling flaming alcohol everywhere. To avoid this problem, always keep the pot bottom and top stove rim free of sticky substances.

Tha Wookie--- No I don't work for a backpacking magazine or stove manufacture. I'm just a plain ole 'STOVIE' born on the HHQ Campfire:D .

I'm like Sgt Rock, I now prefer open flame stoves.

If any of you see a post thats related to this topic please copy it and post it here so we can have this thread as a reminder of stove safety:)

Thank You

Skidsteer 06-14-2006 20:47
Duh huh. Now I know who you you are. Guess you got a big grin from the 'seen the elephant' remark. :D

Doctari 06-15-2006 08:38
Wow, scary stuff.

I have made quite a few "high pressure" alcohol stoves, have never had any of them: pop, explode or whatever. Am I just lucky, or are my stoves just made with incredable care & precision :p


Seeker 06-15-2006 09:33
i've made just one that was pressurized. it worked as planned, but it used too much fuel, so i quit while i was ahead and still had all my limbs and fingers. i went back to the standard pepsi can stove for awhile. now i use Rock's Ion stove. slow, but efficient, light, reliable, and safe.

i think the whole pressurized thing is mostly about trying to get alcohol to cook something as fast as a white gas stove. i'm not in that big a hurry in the woods.

Hog On Ice 06-15-2006 09:34
Originally Posted by Doctari
Wow, scary stuff.

I have made quite a few "high pressure" alcohol stoves, have never had any of them: pop, explode or whatever. Am I just lucky, or are my stoves just made with incredable care & precision :p

either that or you are just not pushing the envelope far enough - ex try getting a clean burning isopro alcohol stove - this was the one that made me give up on the high pressure stoves (yes it is possible to get a nice blue flame out of isopro - it just takes a rather high pressure stove and small jets)

jazilla 06-15-2006 16:27
Wow a thread I started was kind of responsible to start all this. Any one know the efficiency difference between Low pressure and High pressure stoves. Thanks zelph, its alway nice to know a voice in the dark is heard. Any one see my melted penny pictures?

zelph 06-15-2006 17:29
Skidsteer---- That elephant was the first thing I thought about when I read your post. I'll have to settle for these:D .

Doctari----I don't think you're Lucky, I think you must function with incredible care & precision :p

Seeker----How did you only make just one pressurized stove. You are really in control, I'm impressed!!!!
i think the whole pressurized thing is mostly about trying to get alcohol to cook something as fast as a white gas stove. i'm not in that big a hurry in the woods.
I'm not in a big hurry either when I'm on the trails. I smell the flowers, watch the birds and the bees and try not to step in the dog poop:D (I'll make friends with that one)

I recently did some tests using a whisperlite and a small open flame stove that I designed. Both stoves boiled 8 cups of water in 10 min. Who would a thunk it?

HOI----The use of T candle stoves suits you well, from pressurised to mini open flame, thats quite a change. (and no addiction, I'm impressed again)

Jazzila----I saw your burnt penny, made me take my glasses off and clean them, did'nt help:) Your voice has been heard and acted upon, thanks for inspiring the heads up on stove safety.

Seeker 06-17-2006 23:53
Originally Posted by zelph
Seeker----How did you only make just one pressurized stove. You are really in control, I'm impressed!!!!
it scared the bejeezus out of my daughter, and i wasn't impressed with it... loud, bright, complicated. it was one of those you epoxied a nut onto the top off, from underneath, under the filler hole, so you could close it off with a short bolt... nice flash/bang/glitz, but not as effecient as the ion.

however, i've made quite a few others... i can stop. really...

(psst. hey, buddy... can i have that can when you're done with it?)

zelph 06-19-2006 12:11
most recent one

This one comes from HHQ recently.

Posted by Turk - The Canuk

Nah, it wasn't anything too dreadful. Just surprised me. I am sure
a veteran stovie like yourself has experienced the problems with
pressurized stoves when you get a tin can design that allows too
much volume of trapped vapor with too large an orfice. It lit for
about 2 seconds before flashing back into the stove and blowing the JB
welded walls out. Surprised me more than anything. Luckily didn't get
any burning fuel on my new down vest. Was able to put the fire out
quickly enough. Only item I couldnt save in the aftermath was the funnel
which melted, the stove itself, and some burnt paint on the picnic table.
If I had double checked that the filler port cap was tight, could have
avoided the accident. I ended up boiling nearly 2 litres of water on my
vargo stove. Used alot of fuel though. Was hoping to get some
burn test comparisons between the two.
Turk - The Canuk :D

zelph 10-02-2006 17:07
possible accident ready to happen

Thought I should add this to the list of stove dangers.

More the reason to switch to non-pressurised alcohol stoves

The wick style being the safest!!!!!!!!

nutlub 10-03-2006 11:11
Yesterday I filled my SVEA 123 with some white gas for a test run and forgot to screw the stove fuel cap back on. Well as I was priming the stove I thought to myself...

:-? "Hmmm...that looks like a little more flame then normal. Why are there flames comming out the side...Yikes!! the fuel cap is off!!" :eek:

Frantically I blew out all of the flames...Man I was sure that thing was gonna blow but it was snuffed out with no trouble.

Awesome stove imho.

jazilla 10-03-2006 20:35
Skid you seem a little skeptical. Try making a penny stove. Fill it then light it with the penny removed. POP

rockrat 10-15-2006 22:02
I had my MSR Dragonfly flare up once and burn all the hair off my leg. No problems with my alcohol stove, though.

Gaiter 10-16-2006 00:00
my only problems with stoves have been operator error. me being the operator. and the error had nothing to do with the stove blowing up, just being already lit. And no that wasn't a nalgene with water it was my nalgene with alcohol.
ha. ha. I laugh now, but i wasn't laughing when my leg was on fire! I did laugh at myself as soon as my leg was out.

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