I caught myself on fire

Wife sees a hole in my shirt: Did you get your self with the sander today in class?

Me: No remember when I caught myself on fire a little bit?

I claim the title of Maker along with that of Writer. While my more visible work is this blog I also enjoy working (or as my wife calls it puttering) out in my shop, building things. I have marginal success in this endeavor having personally mangled many a piece of plywood in to submission. I have tried my hand at welding and at leather craft along with miniature model making and foam smithing.


Most of these things require some form of power tool or sharp object so my wife’s comment should be read as more resigned observation than a worried inquiry. However none of those things have set me on fire (not even the welding) for that I required scissors and a pop can. (for those that don’t know what a pop can is, it is a thing you drink soda out of. I’m from the upper midwest get over it)

So I was trying to make a thing called a penny alcohol stove. The video below has a pretty good explanation of it. I of course wasn’t really following instructions.

So I’d watched the video and gathered my supplies then began tinkering. It wasn’t long before I had what could be considered a finished product. A little denatured alcohol for fuel later and bingo bamo I had a working prototype!

Of course I needed to show my successful project off so I took it to the wife, added a little bit of fuel and tried to light it again. There was a hiss pop sound then the thing spit fire at me. Suddenly my shirt was a little on fire. Easily swatted out and no harm to my skin. Just a dime sized hole in an old t-shirt but that was the end of the little DIY stove for me.