DIY: Make your own (better!) Sterno cans

Discussion in 'Survival & Sustenance Living Forum' started by Seven, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. Seven

    Seven New Member

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    I've made a handful of these and find they put off more heat than store bought Sterno.
    How long they last depends on how deep of a tin you use and they are "refillable."



    What you need:
    ~Gulf wax or the wife's old candles (Gulf wax burns better and doesn't smell like mango melon ymmv)
    ~cardboard
    ~tins (with lids preferably. helps snuff the flames out)
    ~box cutter
    ~old can to melt the wax in
    ~heat source
    ~pliers (potholders)

    Perks:
    ~markers (I used a pencil from when Neophyte was a kid, and a carpenters pencil)
    ~tape to seal the lids
    ~The 'Ove' Glove (be careful. DO NOT mess your wife's gear up)
    ~a big johnson or other straight edge for marking the cardboard (life is mo' bettah for those of us with big johnsons)

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    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011
  2. Seven

    Seven New Member

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    Cut your cardboard into strips where the edge will be just below the top of your tin so the lid will fit back on.
    Cut it long. It takes a lot more than you think.
    Roll the strip up, stick it in the tin, let it go.
    If you got too many gaps, simply wrap some more cardboard around the outside your strip and put it back in. You want it pretty full, but not completely packed.

    Here's about where you wanna be:

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  3. Seven

    Seven New Member

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    Time to get the wax ready.
    Boil some water to melt the wax. Don't stick your containers straight on the burner. Losing, duh.
    Use a soup can and shave the wax into it. Hold with pliers.
    If you got an old candle, just hold it with the pliers in the water. Don't let it rest on the bottom of the pot.
    When your wax is ready, pour it SLOWLY onto the cardboard. What you're trying to do is fill as many of the gaps as possible. Any non-waxed cardboard will burn off too quickly.

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  4. Seven

    Seven New Member

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    Set them aside and wait.

    Notes:
    Short wide tins will pack better but won't burn as long.
    If you use your wife's pans FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING HOLY, DO NOT use a good pot. Just in case.
    You can use tape around your full tins if the lid is loose.

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  5. Seven

    Seven New Member

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    A tin about 1" deep x 2.5" wide will burn for several hours.
    And you can use them as candles, fire starters or heat.

    Here's one with my LPG (Lilliputian Portable Grill)
    The LPG is just a pc fan grate with bolts and wing nuts.

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  6. soldierman79

    soldierman79 New Member

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    Nice!

    That, sir, is friggin cool! Thanks!
     
  7. wmille01

    wmille01 New Member

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    that's pretty cool I always carry fiber string covered in candle wax in an empty skoal can it works pretty well for starting fires. I'm diffidently going to try this.
     
  8. Seven

    Seven New Member

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  9. Neophyte1

    Neophyte1 New Member

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    Bacon

    Seven: Sir, hahaha; ''Neophyte" lolol; we know;)

    You have talent; ''very good'':) We will get together soon:)
     
  10. M14sRock

    M14sRock New Member

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    Very cool. I will make a few of these and try them out.

    Thanks!
     
  11. Jesse17

    Jesse17 New Member

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    So gonna try this! Thanks for the tip!
     
  12. doctherock

    doctherock New Member

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    This is damn neat. Shall have to try this.
     
  13. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    An excellent project. I just hope my wife doesn't notice anything unusual when I'm done. :eek:
     
  14. ktmboyz

    ktmboyz New Member

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    Thats Awesome .. thanks for sharing.. I am definitely going to try that. Looks like a must have for the bob.

    Can you snuff it with the lid and re light it ok ?
     
  15. Seven

    Seven New Member

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    Absolutely. That's why I use tins with lids.

    And if you don't let your cardboard get to burnt, you can refill them with more wax.
     
  16. oldcrankyman

    oldcrankyman New Member

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    Great post, thanks. It's funny, I learned this as a cub scout back in the day, but forgot.

    My SHTF kit is pretty basic, if the wife and I can't carry it, it's not in the kit. I'm in the city, so I have to plan on basic tools and equipment that we can carry. A couple of cans of sterno equals a couple of hundred rds for the 10/22, or 30 rds for the mini. We won't be carrying much in the way of supplies, mostly tools to aquire supplies.
     
  17. doctherock

    doctherock New Member

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    This should be a sticky

    I think this would be a great sticky. Good stuff here and I hope to make a few and try them out.
     
  18. DeWoody

    DeWoody New Member

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    Sounds like an excellent idea. I have short 'candy' tins that would make for good fire starter/light source.