Make your own copy of a sierra zip stove.

Making things, reuse tips and tricks of all sorts.

Make your own copy of a sierra zip stove.

New postby James on Sat 11 Mar 2006 17:01

Well, as a follow up to http://outdoors.magazine.free.fr/forums/vie ... php?t=8871 , I went ito making my own Zip stove.

This one goes 300 grams without fan, only 60 grams less than the sierra...

It works well wit the sierra fan, but only a bit less well, mainly because it needs more space on the bottom, and because the inside steel burner must not be riveted to the alu top, in order to let some air pass, and to allow the steel core to build temperature up.

The sierra design is definitively well thought out, my only option for a titanium version is to reproduce it....

This was a prototype, I'll publish plans when I have finished them...
Attachments
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Drawing the steel pieces, and the tools. The most used cutting tool was the orange handled scissors.
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A few pieces made. You can see the internal layer, and the external being prepared, as well as the bottom.
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Getting closer....
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Here is the steel part made...
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and here it is assembled.
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the other side...
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Making the aluminium parts
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Yey, seems to work ! I am here using the Sierra fan base.
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Last edited by James on Sat 11 Mar 2006 17:31, edited 1 time in total.
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New postby James on Sat 11 Mar 2006 17:27

Okay, I forgot, the steel is 0.5 mm, the two outer rings are 0.8 aluminium, while the outer tube is 0.5 mm. It is quite easy to make, need a compass, a marker, a riveting plier, a pair of flat pliers, a wood chisel (to mark the folds), and a pair of heavy duty shears...
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New postby mister chatoyant on Sat 11 Mar 2006 19:55

impressing!
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New postby James on Sat 11 Mar 2006 20:12

Well, now I know how to assemble the titanium version I will make ;-) And I know also which errors to avoid, like don't drill the rivet holes in advance and expect a millimetric precision :roll: and also drill certain holes before assembling :roll: .The Sierra is definitively well optimized, nothing to change, except in the instruments... Reminded me of my mecano to make that stuff.
Last edited by James on Sat 11 Mar 2006 20:23, edited 1 time in total.
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New postby Taky on Sat 11 Mar 2006 20:13

=D= =D= =D= =D= =D= =D=

nice! really nice!!! a small step for JM, a gigant step for all of us...
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New postby James on Sat 11 Mar 2006 20:21

:lmao:

Thanks Taky, I now need to analyse the foot base. I doubt I can make it much lighter...
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New postby Taky on Sat 11 Mar 2006 20:38

Is raining big time in here, so I go to do my next favourite thing... DIY hardware store shopping :naughty:

I'll keep the stove in mind... I need a few more tools and start to look around for the titanium!

There is another way to save weight, and is to build a double wall (instead of triple) stove. Internal separations direct the air flow up and down like on the sierra, but parallel to the wall instead perpendicular to them.
This raises new problems, and I'm not sure if they can be solved. But theoretically you could save a lot of the metal from the middle wall.
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New postby kolekojot on Sat 11 Mar 2006 21:37

JM, great post.. I am hardly waiting on plans, Sierra always fascinated me.

B.
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New postby Jimbo on Sun 12 Mar 2006 03:02

That's quite the construction!
My can stoves are much simpler with a slightly smaller can inside a larger one and pop rivetted at the bottom. Holes drilled through the bottom for air flow. Before lighting, the space on the side between the cans is filled with sand or dirt for insulation. I can see where my design would be slower to get going until the inside heats up - but then it burns anything.
I guess what I'm asking is whether the forced air provides any big improvement other than with starting the fire in the first place.
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New postby Taky on Sun 12 Mar 2006 04:15

There is a big diference on heat when you turn on the fan... so I gess it does make a diference, even once the max temperature is reached.

Jimbo, I'd like to see picture of your can stoves...
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New postby survivalfred on Sun 12 Mar 2006 05:48

Cool, beautyfull, respect for our older one :lmao: ...

I'm just waiting for the Titanium now ... :wink:

Fred
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New postby Jimbo on Sun 12 Mar 2006 07:27

Pics of the simplest one - just a coffee can with holes in base and in sides at bottom is on this page:
http://www.oldjimbo.com/survival/stoves.html

I'll have to hunt up the picture of the double can - despite having seen it just a few days ago. Such is age... The advantage of the double can is keeping heat in the burning chamber (if the air space around the sides is filled with sand etc. - picked up on site so as not to add carrying weight).
I found all the stoves - even the simple can - to be very effective, but this place is so cold and damp for most of the year that I prefer an open fire and a big one at that. Where the simple can stoves really come into use is in blackfly and deerfly season when they're used for moveable smudges. It's amazing how well they work for that - and a person doesn't have to choke on smoke if that smoke can be dispersed over a wide area. Lucky since those bugs seem to treat any type of repellant as relish.

Pics of just how I get fires going with damp wood are here. I've still got to make up a page..
http://www.oldjimbo.com/pics/fire/
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New postby James on Sun 12 Mar 2006 08:15

Hi Jim,

Yes, there is a BIG improvement with the forced air. The output of heat is probably multiplied by 4 or 5, and there is NO smoke at all. It burns cleaner in the sense it darkens pots a lot less, It also burns really anything, once it is a bit hot, but that happens with classical stoves too, but not at that level, for all I have tried...
What needs a 20 cm high column of air to be over the flames now is Ok with a 6 cm deep fire pit.

I have tried it Indoors in my workshop (hem), and the amount of smoke is really small....

The lighting phase is actually better off forced air, because there is Soooo much coming in, it blows the flames away... But after, what you get is a little forge. And that puts it to the level of a MSR multifuel burner heat output, an amazing blaze!

Keeping the heat in the burn chamber is the main thing, as Jim said. The sierra is so good for that, that the whole burn chamber pyrolises smoke, a sign that the temperature is really going high...

This said, I am sure your double, sand insulated cans work extremely well.
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New postby James on Sun 12 Mar 2006 15:31

I have tried with the burn chamber separated 1 mm from the top lid, thus allowing air to pass , just at the top, and this makes a lot of difference, it kills the high blames, and contains the fire inside the chamber, as well as allowin the buildup of heat inside the chamber....
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New postby Jimbo on Sun 12 Mar 2006 18:03

Super! Now I'm seeing the difference.
Getting a fire going here demands lots of splitting, shaving wood and proper layout to get air flow - just to get it started. A simple can stove will speed things up slightly and would make a difference for anyone with less experience in laying a fire. An insulated wall can stove simply keeps heat from leaving via walls and so brings up convection airflow.
I can now see how this would work much better - given how wind really helps with firestarting with damp wood.
Now I'm interested in seeing just how to attach fan so that it doesn't melt from heat of stove.
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New postby James on Sun 12 Mar 2006 18:16

A PC Fan with a 9V battery seems to work, not fantastic, but OK.
Sierra uses a 1.5 volt motor with a fan cut out a plate of 0.8 aluminium. dead easy to make, no plastic, and detacheable.
If you use a plastic fan, then you have either install it permanently and let the fan cool the heat when finished, or have it detacheable.

There is on zenstoves a guy that made a setting like yours, two iron boxes, and uses a PC fan to pulses air through the side.
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New postby Jimbo on Mon 13 Mar 2006 18:39

Thanks - it's an interesting site:
http://zenstoves.net/Wood.htm

Things have come a long way from my primitive efforts!
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New postby James on Mon 13 Mar 2006 18:47

Come on, not primitive Jim, just earlier ;-) The way I view it, you are probably the man that put these guys into business ;-)
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New postby kolekojot on Mon 13 Mar 2006 19:20

Hmm, I am thinking, if some termocouple can make enough electricity from loosed heat to turn the fan.. That way battery will be needed only at start, and after that all proces will be self suistaned..

B.
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New postby James on Tue 14 Mar 2006 08:36

Hmmm, thermocouple, now, that seems a good idea to try...
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New postby han on Wed 15 Mar 2006 09:23

J.M.
if a thermocouple doesn't work
perhaps you could use a small peltier element.
H :hi:
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New postby James on Thu 16 Mar 2006 19:56

Okay, i'll make some tries, time to find the gear.

For now I have received the engines I wanted, 24 grams and good power with one 1,5 v battery. I have also a 2.4 V 10 x 10 cm solar cell, and assorted low voltage start engine...

Where is that titane sheet then ?
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New postby James on Fri 17 Mar 2006 18:25

And I received the titanium, it is going to rock!

Hear from me on this after the week-end. ;-)
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New postby kolekojot on Sat 18 Mar 2006 00:10

Hardly waiting...

B.
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New postby delta99 on Sat 18 Mar 2006 18:07

Today I tried my version of the "Jimbo original" can stove and I noticed how important airflow is. It worked alright, I melted snow and brought it to boiling. I used the pad I have to sit on to increase airflow.
My stove is 10 cm wide and 12 cm high, perhaps a bit to low to give enough draught. I have seen a stove with a short bit of pipe attached, you have to blow trough a plastic hose. I started to think of a bag used as a bellows so you don't have to blow till you get blue in the face.

Does anyone know of a suitable material to make such a pipe and hose?

I think I can make my stove version in the field with only a nail and a hammer/stone/axe.

Hope you don't mind me starting on these earlier stoves, I admire your work on the zip stove greatly!
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New postby James on Sat 18 Mar 2006 18:23

1st report,

The main part of the stove is 150 gr (350 for a zip in aluminium), and works marvel.

I'll finish the foot tomorrow. Target is 300 gr.

I made it more compact, the burn area is 5 cm high by 9 diameter, instead of 7 by 10 for a sierra Zip.
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New postby James on Sun 19 Mar 2006 08:12

First model finished.

Titanium is harder to work than steel. for the same sheet thickness, it is harder, it is to steel what steel is to aluminium...

The weight with battery is 250 grams ! only missing are the bars to sustain the pan...
Attachments
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The base
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another view of the base, two speed button
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smaller than a sierra, but works the same.
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how it clamps
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stored.
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New postby Taky on Sun 19 Mar 2006 08:50

This is the most impressive and useful piece of outdoors DIY engineering I've seen in a long time... if not ever!

The original sierra was a bit clumsy and bulky for solo ultra light trips. It was as well a bit big for average pots, and a lot of the flame end up going up the sides. This one looks about right :bow: :bow: :bow:

It looks like this one as a much better airflow than the original. I like a lot the sealed ring enclosing the propeller forcing all the airflow thought the stove: on the sierra halve of it ended up lost...
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New postby Nicodemus on Mon 20 Mar 2006 01:32

I agree, Taky. This is awesome DIY work.

Great work, JM!

What level of electronic's skill does one need to put such a thing together themselves? Being an Illustrator, I'm light on the electronics capabilities. :D
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New postby Jimbo on Mon 20 Mar 2006 03:48

That is some piece of work!
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