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What is a Buddy Burner?
A Buddy Burner is a simple stove made from a can and part of a corrugated paper box. It is usually fueled by paraffin wax but other fuels, such as boiled butter, animal fat or diesel fuel, can be used. It is usually used for cooking but can also provide heat.
- Flat tuna, pet food or pineapple can
- Plain corrugated cardboard (not printed with bright inks or coated with wax or plastic)
- Candle wax or paraffin
- #10 gallon can (the large institutional size) or a large coffee can
Making the Buddy Burner:
- Cut the cardboard in strips in a width
- which is the height of the tuna can -- across the corrugations, so that the holes show.
- Roll the strips until the cardboard roll fits snugly into the tuna can.
- Melt the wax. It is best to use a double boiler, as if the wax gets too hot, it can burst into flame.
- You can improvise a double boiler by putting water in a large pan, and then setting a smaller pan into the water.
- Each tuna can will take about 4 ounces of wax. When the wax is melted, slowly pour it into the buddy burner so that it runs down into the holes and saturates the corrugated cardboard and fill the can to the rim.
- You can put a small piece of cardboard sticking up or a candle wick in the middle to help start it, but this isn't required.
- Let it cool and harden.
Making the Vagabond Stove
- First, cut out one end of the #10 can.
- Then cut a door about three inches high and four inches wide on a side of the can at the open end, leaving the top of the door attached.
- Pull the door open. Slide the cutout lid into the can, setting it firmly against the closed end.
- The following procedure will hold it there permanently, and the double thickness of metal will conduct the heat more efficiently.
- At the top of the stove (the closed end of the can) punch four smoke holes around the side with a punch-type can opener. The metal from the holes will hold the extra lid in place.
- Your stove is now complete.
You will cook on the top of the can, either directly on it or by placing a pan on top of it, with the Buddy Burner underneath for the heat source. You can also use the Vagabond Stove without the Buddy Burner, using charcoal or a wood fire for the heat source.