Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Mini G Stove

Scott Henderson's Mini G Stove

Note from editor: I originally got interested in making my own stoves after reading Scott Henderson's instructions, first published in 2001.

In the years since then, those instructions have gone away, along with the site where they were published. But, I did manage to piece together the originals a couple of years back.

The rest is the original, except that the formatting is different, and I've removed dead links.

If anyone owns this information and objects to it being published here, let me know. Otherwise share and enjoy.

These instructions are abbreviated. They are meant to be used in combination with the detailed instructions for the Pepsi-G Stove. Differences between the stoves are noted below.

Please use the images there as guides.

Stove Parts

Aluminum cans in mint condition (no dents), two from among the following:
  • 8.3 oz (250 ml) Red Bull Energy Drink can, or
  • 5.5 oz juice can (V-8, Welch’s, TreeTop, etc.)

Note: The cans listed above have the same diameter, so you can mix and match if you want. However, an 8.3 oz Red Bull can is preferred for the top section of the stove because it mates best with the 12 oz can used to make the simmer ring.

Parts For Optional Simmer Ring

Aluminum can, one of:
  • 12 oz can made by Ball Corporation. Look for a parabolic oval shaped indentation in the top of the can. The Ball logo may or may not be on the can.

Note: A 12 oz Ball Corp. can is preferred for the simmer ring because the pop top opens a wide mouth hole and the indented parabolic oval on the top of the can is a nice guide for enlarging the hole.

For metric / imperial converstions, see the Conversion Utility.

Step 1. Make The Burner Holes

The top section of the stove is constructed in STEPS 1-3 from an 8.3 oz Red Bull can (preferred) or a 5.5 oz juice can. In STEP 1 a sewing needle with a shaft diameter of 0.6 mm (0.024 in) is used to make a circular ring of 24 evenly spaced holes outside and concentric with the circular ridge on the bottom of the can.

Step 2. Form The Large Central Hole

Concentric with the circle of burner holes you made in STEP 1 is a raised circular ridge. Inside this ridge is a bowl-shaped area about 40 mm (1 9/16 in) in diameter. Cut out the bowl at the base of the circular ridge, but leave the circular ridge and its sides intact. Round the rough edge of the hole with a half round file and smooth it with fine sand paper.

Step 3. Cut Out The Top Section

Cut out the top section of the stove with a utility knife blade or a pair of scissors so that the finished height is 20.5 mm (13/16 in).

The height of the top section is not that critical, although the suggested range is 19-22 mm (3/4-7/8 in). Use fine sand paper to prepare the interior surface of the sidewall for epoxy. Clean with warm water. Cut 8 evenly spaced vertical slits in the sidewall to a depth of 3 mm (1/8 in) from the shoulder of the can. Burnish the slits.

Step 4. Cut Out The Bottom Section

The bottom section of the stove is made from a 5.5 oz juice can or an 8.3 oz energy drink can. Cut the bottom section 32 mm (1 1/4 in) in height. The height of the bottom section is important. It should be within the range of 30.5 to 33.5 mm (1 3/16 to 1 5/16 in) around the entire circumference. Use fine sand paper to prepare the upper third of the sidewall exterior surface for epoxy. Clean with warm water.

Step 5. Make The Inner Wall Of The Stove

From the remainder of the can used for the bottom section or from a spare generic can, fabricate a rectangular band 38 mm (1 1/2 in) wide and 162 mm (6 3/8 in) long.

The width of the rectangular band is important. The acceptable range is 37-38 mm (1 15/32-1 17/32 in). Form 3 gaps along one of the long edges, each 5 mm (3/16 in) deep.

The center gap is at the midpoint of the edge and the other two gaps are 46 mm (1 13/16 in) from it. Opposing slits, 140 mm (5 1/2 in) apart, are optional and are explained in the Note at the end of STEP 5 in the Pepsi-G Instructions.

Overlap the short sides of the rectangle to form a cylinder that fits snugly into the circular groove of the top section. Use tape and/or Krazy glue on the outside surface to temporarily bond the cylinder together. Follow with a thin bead of J-B Weld over the external tag end of the band to permanently cement the cylinder.

Step 6. Assemble The Stove

Fit the gapless edge of the inner wall into the circular groove of the top section. Slide the bottom section inside the top section. When the bottom section barely fits inside the top section, apply a thick bead of J-B Weld around the entire circumference of the bottom section just below the edge of the top section.

Compress the sections together until the inner wall is tightly trapped between the top and bottom sections. Wipe off the excess epoxy. Install rubber bands around the sidewall of the stove to compress the slit sides. Invert the stove and put a weight on top. Cure for at least 5 hr.

Step 7. Seal The Top Section

Use J-B Weld to seal the three potential sites for flame leaks: 1) the junction of the top edge of the inner wall and the circular groove, 2) under the circular edge of the top section on the sidewall of the stove, and 3) the 8 vertical slits in the top section. Skip #1 if the inner wall fits snugly in the groove of the top section and you are not a perfectionist. Skip #2 if the top and bottom sections are undented and generously bonded with J-B Weld. The slits (#3) must be sealed with a thin bead of J-B Weld.

Step 8. Test The Stove

Test the stove for proper operation and flame leaks. Seal any leaks with J-B Weld.

Step 9 (Optional). Finishing Touches

Some artisans may want to befuddle their buddies and beautify their burner by disguising the graphics and junction of the top and bottom sections with 1 in wide heat resistant tape.

Step 10 (Optional). Make A Simmer Ring

The simmer ring is made from the top of a 12 oz Ball Corporation can. Enlarge the pop top hole with a half round or round file by about 50% and smooth the edge with fine sandpaper. Tear the sidewall of the can away from the top. That’s all for the simmer ring. You do not have to pound or press down the flat inner surface as you do for the Pepsi-G stove.

Step 11. Make A Pot Stand And Windscreen

Instructions for pot stands and windscreens are already well described on the internet. Below is a suggested link.

See also:

And Deems Burton has put a lot of effort into designing and making stoves. See The Pika Stove for all kinds of information.



  1. Hello Hoofist -

    Thanks for sharing this info. I also got interested in making stoves back in 2001, and my go-to stove was Scott H.'s mini G stove. In the past 15 years i've cooked on them thousands of times, and given away many a stove to friends, relatives, neighbors, other thru-hikers, etc. Im now gearing up for a hike of the Pyrenees this Summer, and have decided to invest some spare time in tweaking and testing the mini g stove for optimum performance/efficiency. I'll share my findings on here if it's ok with you...


    Señor Camping

  2. It looks like y'all get around. Right now I'm in Ecuador, waiting out the winter and deciding what to do next. Whatever that is, I'll never come close to what you've already done. I haven't done much of anything with stoves for several years, but I'd like to know about anything you come up with. I'm always willing to learn. (Sorry about not being able to "reply" through Blogger, but I just can't get that feature to work, so this reply has to be published as a new comment.)