We are always checking out gear and don’t mind spending some money on quality materials for our outdoor activities. There are so many talented makers who are specialized in designing and fabricating of all sorts of quality products. Products that we are happy to use ourselves.
We do however get a lot of satisfaction in making our own gear with reclaimed materials from thrift stores, army surplus or just plain garbage. Not to make a better product than available anywhere, but just to practice our own skills.
So that’s exactly what this short photo tutorial is about: Making something out of materials at hand. Our beautiful planet is filled with garbage so we might as well reclaim some of that and put it to good use.
We used only a Victorinox locksmith to show that you don’t need a lot of tools for projects like these. If you have some old pliers and a knife of some sort, you’ve got the tool part covered just the same.
We started out with an old cookie jar from a brand which is sold here in the supermarkets. When empty these good quality jars usually find their way to the garbage container or sometimes the thrift stores. Just mention that you are looking for them at a birthday party and you probably end up with more material than you can handle.
But onto the hobostove making.
Using a sharpie, or some sort of permanent marker, we drew the outlines of the opening through which you can add fuel, while using your stove. We see a lot of designs with the opening at the bottom, but making it half way is our personal favourite. We find that adding fuel from higher up, gives better results, and also the hot coals stay contained at the bottom instead of rolling out the opening.
After marking the door, we used the awl from the Victorinox locksmith to punch some holes at the corners. We then used the sharp side of the can opener to cut the material from corner to corner. You just push the opener in one of the holes made with the awl resulting in a small incision. Little by little you work your way to the opposite side.
The opening for the door has sharp edges from the cutting, so we used a piece of wood to gently fold the edges inwards.
The second step was to punch some holes at the bottom of our stove, allowing air to be sucked in from underneath the fire. These holes we made with the awl after which we used a pointed stick to increase the size.
Some sort of a pot stand is necessary, and we opted to make it out of the jar itself. We made little incisions with the metal saw. Folding the metal inwards leaves you with something looking like a crazy toy castle. The stove itself is now finished.
Still having the original cookie jar lid, we decided to make a little frying pan, to bake us an egg. Some fencing wire, which we found during a walk some weeks earlier, was perfect for bending in the desired shape to form a handle.
After that, it was a matter of lighting the stove up using vaseline cotton balls, a match and small sticks. The egg was a great reward for about an hour work making the stove.
We hope this little tutorial has been of use, so you to can make something useful out of trash. Always work safe and use gloves when working with metal!