Over spring break I experimented with polishing cans to achieve a shiny look for the exterior of the stove. The process of polishing cans proved to be rather difficult for anodized cans since no solvents really do the trick. To get a polished finish I used a sanding sponge first, then wet 600 grit sandpaper over the sponge, and finally rubbing compound on a rag. For painted cans I was able to achieve a shiny surface by using paint stripper, a much less arduous process.
I also made some tiered blocks to help with precisely cutting cans at exact and consistent heights. The blocks allow me to secure a small razor blade at height increments of 5mm. Once the blade is secured I can rotate a can next to it in order to score it until the can separates.
Additionally, I made another rough prototype stove of a different style than the first. As I’ve been making prototypes I’ve become more precise in my process, something which is key for the final product to look the way I want.
My design concept is inspired by the minimalist movement which began in the 1960’s in which designs are reduced to their most simplistic essence. Minimalist designs feature a sense of order, clean shapes, little decoration and consistent surfaces. The concept of the alcohol stove is also inspired by another form of minimalism: minimalist camping gear. Although my stove will not necessarily adhere to the strict weight requirements of an ultralight backpacker, the general concept of the alcohol stove is based on the idea of minimal weight and size.