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Thread: Making a gimballed stove

  1. #1
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    Default Making a gimballed stove

    We wanted to add a gimballed single burner stove to our boat. Commercial stoves like the Bremer Sea Swing, Forespar Mini Galley, or Force 10 Seacook are no longer being manufactured, so I thought about making a gimbal for a backpacking stove.

    It turns out that most of the light-weight backpacking stoves use a blend of blend of propane and isobutane, but I wanted a propane stove so we could use the same fuel canisters that we use for our barbecue grill. So-called "base camp stoves" use propane and I found this one called the Jetboil Halfgen. It has a 10,000 BTU burner. I've seen it on sale for around $125.

    https://jetboil.johnsonoutdoors.com/...ystems/halfgen









    It's designed to have the canister beside it like this:






    So the first task was to mount the canister below the burner. I found a pipe stanchion base at Home Depot that I bolted to the bottom of the stove. The regulator fits inside the stanchion base and is secured with a set screw.





    The brass supply line was too stiff to bend, so I cut it and added a section of copper tubing. The thick-walled brass tubing would not seal completely with compression fittings, so I soldered all of the joints.




    Here's the final assembly. The wood block is just a temporary spacer.



    .

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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    Next step was to make the gimbal and holding bracket. I used 1/8" stainless steel bar stock from Online Metals throughout the project. A machine shop bent the stock into a circle that will fit our largest pan and welded it. I was able to do the other cuts, bends, and drilling myself. The frame is attached to the support brackets with aluminum pop rivets.





    The bolts go from the stanchion base, through the brackets, and into the bottom of the stove burner.




    These cheap Harbor Freight step bits do a great job of drilling stainless. I'll never go back to twist drills for metal.


    .

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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    I understand what you are planning to do. I would think that if an acciddent ever occurs and your boat has fire damage that the insurance would be void as a result of the modification. There are still gambled stoves available on the market. So before modifying yours I would be prone to seeing what is available that woulld suit your needs. Personally, i prefer solid fuel stoves for boats.
    Jay

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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    Here's the final assembly. We already had some 3/8" bolts through the cabin sides to secure the boom gallows. I drilled the mounting brackets to fit the existing bolts.





    I decided to do just a single athwartships gimbal. The ring is high enough to hold pots against pitching, and a second ring would have added complexity and expense.




    I still have to add a bar inboard to secure pot holders for smaller pans, and some metal sheeting to protect the overhead.


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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    Excellently produced thread. Great photos! Good work on your gimbal.

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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    Likewise , but not for sea,,,The single big advantage of gas of whatever kind over solid fuel is when its off its off.. in my humble mumble solid fuel is the best for moored, camping, laying aside, poop deck barbies, but underway, no way. A well set-up gas system is miles better even than pressured kerosene, primus, anything that has an uncontained potentially volatile fuel. Obey the basic rules of LPG being heavier than air etc....but take that into account there's no competition . And its a much more efficient and economic cooking method.

    Incidentally in the opening post it is mentioned 10000 btus.. something wrong there me thinks... my entire space heating system isn't rated that high..
    off with their heads

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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    Very nice work, Dave. You’ll get much pleasure using that I bet.

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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    I understand what you are planning to do. I would think that if an acciddent ever occurs and your boat has fire damage that the insurance would be void as a result of the modification. There are still gambled stoves available on the market. So before modifying yours I would be prone to seeing what is available that woulld suit your needs. Personally, i prefer solid fuel stoves for boats.
    Jay
    Jay, I understand and appreciate your concerns. For coastal cruising, we use a diesel cookstove and a diesel drip cabin heater. Our original intent was not to have any propane on board.

    We don't want to replace our current galley stove, and I have been unable to find any stand-alone, single-burner gimballed stoves to supplement our current set-up when offshore.

    We succumbed to propane when we added a barbecue grill. The one-pound disposable canisters must be safer than the standard marine 20-pound cylindars. There are no valves and supply lines to leak. The one-pound canisters are kept inside hardware stores, etc, while the refillable canisters have to be stored outside. The main concern is rust, and we'll keep an eye on that.

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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    EXCELLENT! Well done!

    I prefer kerosene over gas or solid fuel, for any number of reasons, but as gimballed single-burner gas stoves go, that's a corker. At first reading --and with the understanding you're still working out how to stabilize smaller pots-- I don't see how it could be improved upon.

    I expect you'll be just fine with only the athwartships gimbal. Even aboard Bucephalus, while under way, the pitching is trivial, and she's obviously much smaller than your boat. The only place our pitch-axis gimbal comes into play is at the mooring, flopping around in wakes or in whatever rote is rolling in.

    There are still gambled stoves available on the market.
    Not compact single-burners, there aren't. Or there weren't when I was looking several years ago --or when I was looking about one year ago, to find a friend a stove. I would love to be proven wrong, but I don't think I will be.

    Since I couldn't find anything when I was looking, this was my kerosene-fueled solution, for Bucephalus: https://classiccampstoves.com/thread...part-ii.22988/ But my solution was hardly so straightforward as Mr. Lesser's.

    Again, well done. Very nice.

    Alex

    ETA: Definitely be careful with the hardware store propane cans' valves corroding and sticking open. I've had that happen, and it isn't good in any way.

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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    Quote Originally Posted by jonboy View Post
    Incidentally in the opening post it is mentioned 10000 btus.. something wrong there me thinks... my entire space heating system isn't rated that high..
    This stove really puts out some heat. I boiled 2 cups of water in a teakettle in less than 2 minutes. It wasn't until after I installed it that I realize I was going to have to add some shielding to protect the overhead paint. Here are the specs from the Jetboil site:


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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    Quote Originally Posted by Pitsligo View Post
    EXCELLENT! Well done! Since I couldn't find anything when I was looking, this was my kerosene-fueled solution, for Bucephalus:
    Thanks, Alex. But your solution is the definition of elegance:


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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    Dave showed me this yesterday - it's just as slick as it looks from the pictures.

    What was it Doc McCoy used to say to Captain Kirk - "Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor, not a shipwright!" (or words to that effect). Dave clearly demonstrates he is both.
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    Very nicely executed. But. Why not do away with the compression fittings, since they don't work? Will the lip of your pot hit the cabin side when heeled? I don't much like the idea of a pot being that high. Even with gimbals bad things happen at sea. And you seem to lose a lot of bench space. And I dont like this every thin steel gas canisters in a salt environment. Easy to say you'll keep a close eye on it. Harder to maintain in real life. Sorry to nit pick, youve done a really nice job on it.

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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    Thanks, Alex. But your solution is the definition of too much time on your hands:
    FTFY (But thank you.)

    Definitely shield the overhead. I didn't aboard Bucephalus, and even with my kero stove not pushing anything like 10,000 BTU/h, I should have; after a few years, the paint is showing discontent. You won't have false pre-heats like I do, but you'll have plenty of heat flowing around the pot. I'll be fitting a shield this spring, when the shop warms up enough for me to do decent work.

    Phil Y brings up a good point that I've encountered: the gimbals get the pot high enough that it can sometimes be a bit ticklish getting it around the sea rails and off the stove without whacking the overhead. It's an awkward angle at which to maneuver a pot, that high up. Practice with it before you count on it. Also, it can be a PITA trying to stir whatever's cooking. Make sure you do a trial run, when it's still easy to saw that critical three inches off the handle of your spaghetti fork. DAMHIKT.

    I, too, am curious why you kept the compression fittings.

    And you seem to lose a lot of bench space.
    Not too bad when the bottle is disconnected. And it wouldn't be too difficult to engineer a quick-detach system from one of the two cabin trunk brackets that would allow the (mount + stove - bottle) to fold up out of the way against the cabin trunk.

    Yeah, that's a pretty sweet rig. Kudos, Mr. Lesser.

    Alex

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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    Interesting. I am working on patterns for a bronze two burner gimbled stove... I am trying to find burners and control knobs right now.
    There is a joy in madness, that only mad men know. -Nieztsche

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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Y View Post
    Why not do away with the compression fittings, since they don't work? Will the lip of your pot hit the cabin side when heeled? I don't much like the idea of a pot being that high. Even with gimbals bad things happen at sea. And you seem to lose a lot of bench space. And I dont like this every thin steel gas canisters in a salt environment. Easy to say you'll keep a close eye on it. Harder to maintain in real life.
    All good points. Once I had the right geometry for the supply line with the compression fittings, the simplest way to deal with the leak was to flood the joints with solder. I had to use some sort of fittings to join the tube from the regulator to the tube with their proprietary fitting that connects to the stove. Are there other ways to do it?

    I don't like the height of the stove either, but there really isn't anywhere else to mount it. Our tallest pot will clear the cabin side unless we get knocked down.

    I've been thinking about spraying some Boeshield around the threads and valves of the canisters. Those are the areas that are prone to rust. Anyone have any thoughts about that?


    Quote Originally Posted by Pitsligo View Post
    And it wouldn't be too difficult to engineer a quick-detach system from one of the two cabin trunk brackets that would allow the (mount + stove - bottle) to fold up out of the way against the cabin trunk.
    I may change to thumb screws and wing nuts where the ring meets the supporting brackets. With the stove and gimbal stowed, the brackets will fold flat against the cabin side.

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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    Quote Originally Posted by Thad Van Gilder View Post
    Interesting. I am working on patterns for a bronze two burner gimbled stove... I am trying to find burners and control knobs right now.
    It would be very easy to remove the guts of this stove from the aluminum housing to use them in a custom stove. There is even a "line out" gas fitting so that two of them can be connected in series using the same propane tank.





    Jetboil also makes a 2-burner model. I haven't seen one in person, but I would bet that the inner workings are identical to the one that I used. Most of the camping stores around here carry them.

    https://jetboil.johnsonoutdoors.com/.../genesis-stove


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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    I am working on patterns for a bronze two burner gimbled stove...
    Okay, I want to see that! Start a thread, huh?

    I am trying to find burners and control knobs right now.
    Drop Gary a line at Bluewater Stove Restoration: http://bluewaterstove.com/Bluewater_...Main_Page.html He's my go-to for all sorts of stove equipment. For general info, you should also drop by Classic Campstoves: https://classiccampstoves.com/ You can often get a good conversation going about the modern stuff, too.

    I've been thinking about spraying some Boeshield around the threads and valves of the canisters. Those are the areas that are prone to rust. Anyone have any thoughts about that?
    I can't see that it would hurt.

    ...the simplest way to deal with the leak was to flood the joints with solder. ... Are there other ways to do it?
    I simply don't know. I'm sure the gang at Classic Campstoves would have ideas, but that's beyond my skill level. All I can say is I'd be real careful with flooded joints --but that's because my soldering skills are terrible. I assume you've done the soapy water test on the joints while they're at pressure, to see if they bubble?

    I may change to thumb screws and wing nuts where the ring meets the supporting brackets. With the stove and gimbal stowed, the brackets will fold flat against the cabin side.
    I was envisioning making the top end of the upper bracket arms, where they meet the cabin trunk, into hooks, so that you could unscrew and stow the bottle, un-hook the bracket ends, and fold burner and ring flat against the cabin trunk. Less disassembly means less effort to unlimber it and get the stove into action.

    Alex

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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    I'd love to buy a pair of burners from force 10, and the control knob but they don't see to sell them.

    I want to cast a bronze frame similar to the old two burner cast iron camp stoves, but without the legs and the cast iron burners.
    There is a joy in madness, that only mad men know. -Nieztsche

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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    Nice work! Thanks for posting.

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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    I must say that I do approve of the professional looking job you have done! Please excuse my comment of concern. I am installing a Force10 CNG Stove in my H28. That way any leaking gas will escape upward out of the cabin or tank storage locker.
    Good Fortune and Good Work!
    Jay

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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    Thad: I don't know if you would find it relevant to your project, but you might find inspiration over at Classic Campstoves. I immediately thought of this when I read your description of a gimballed old-style cast frame:





    More info is here, in their stove gallery: https://classiccampstoves.com/thread...8/#post-336755

    Alex

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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    Now that is cool. I think I need one for my Weekender Vanagon.

    Dave's is a pretty brilliant solution for the boat, well done!
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Lesser View Post

    I've been thinking about spraying some Boeshield around the threads and valves of the canisters. Those are the areas that are prone to rust. Anyone have any thoughts about that?
    I did a longer cruise with the green canisters. The only problem I observed in several months is that the paint on them is really thin. When they bang togheter during passage the paint chips and they get some fly rust. No rust on the threads or valves. I did keep the plastic caps on.
    What I would do now is buy a beverage tote bag, the kind with compartements to keep individual bottles separated. You can get them in neoprene, or with foam insulation. Just make sure the canister fits and you are all set.
    If you are interested there are similar size canisters designed to be refilled. They use the same thread coupler, so the regulator will fit. Just keep a bigger tank ready and refill when needed. A 1lb tank will last a little bit over 2 hours on that burner on maximum.

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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    If you are interested there are similar size canisters designed to be refilled.
    Can you point me toward those? I'm researching putting together a stove for a friend with a small boat, and her big objection to propane is the disposeable small cannisters.

    Alex

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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    Yes of course.

    The Flame King, available from different sources like REI or Walmart and others:
    https://www.rei.com/product/113711/f...efill-kit-1-lb
    https://www.walmart.com/ip/1-lb-Refi...mpty/933355397

    The Manchester Tank, come in two sizes, different distributors:
    http://www.mantank.com/green/refillable.htm
    https://www.amazon.com/1LB-Refillabl.../dp/B014QDDA6W

    Then there are the generic blue torch cylinders, they can also be used and are usually designed to be refillable, but they are tall.

    Don't forget the 4.5-5 lb size, sometimes it might be better to have one of those than multiple 1lb canister. Here an example, unfortunately with an integrated handle so you can not screw a burner directly on top.
    http://www.campingworld.com/refillab...rs-45-lb-1-gal

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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    Thank you!!

    I may now point my friend toward this thread, to see if my friend might want something similar to what Dave Lesser built.

    Alex

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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    There is a guy at the Jersey shore that is gearing up to do a limited production line of the Force 10 seacook gimbled stoves. I think the first run should be ready sometime this spring.
    There is a joy in madness, that only mad men know. -Nieztsche

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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    Very cool... I have something similar in mind.
    like that but with a single axis of gimbling... and two burners...

    I have been using these cast iron camp stoves I see on ebay as inspriation. I need to buy the burners before finishing the stove... but the basic idea Is a rectangular bronze i beam, with Bronze I beam supports under the burners, holding the control knobs. sheet triangles on the ends that would hang from a sort of triangle support bolted to my countertop.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pitsligo View Post
    Thad: I don't know if you would find it relevant to your project, but you might find inspiration over at Classic Campstoves. I immediately thought of this when I read your description of a gimballed old-style cast frame:





    More info is here, in their stove gallery: https://classiccampstoves.com/thread...8/#post-336755

    Alex
    Last edited by Thad Van Gilder; 02-06-2018 at 08:03 AM.
    There is a joy in madness, that only mad men know. -Nieztsche

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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    kinda like a refined version of this.... but no legs and gimbled.

    https://cdn.remodelista.com/wp-conte...emodelista.jpg
    There is a joy in madness, that only mad men know. -Nieztsche

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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    Quote Originally Posted by Pitsligo View Post
    I assume you've done the soapy water test on the joints while they're at pressure, to see if they bubble?
    Yes, they bubbled very slightly with just the compression fittings. That's why I added the solder. Now they're sealed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rumars View Post
    I did a longer cruise with the green canisters. The only problem I observed in several months is that the paint on them is really thin. When they bang together during passage the paint chips and they get some fly rust. No rust on the threads or valves. I did keep the plastic caps on.
    What I would do now is buy a beverage tote bag, the kind with compartements to keep individual bottles separated. You can get them in neoprene, or with foam insulation. Just make sure the canister fits and you are all set.
    If you are interested there are similar size canisters designed to be refilled. They use the same thread coupler, so the regulator will fit. Just keep a bigger tank ready and refill when needed. A 1lb tank will last a little bit over 2 hours on that burner on maximum.
    Thanks, Rumars. All good information. I'll wrap the canisters in foam and keep them in a dedicated box. I replaced the plastic caps with these. They will protect the threads and have a rubber gasket that seals them in case the valve leaks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rumars View Post
    The Flame King, available from different sources like REI or Walmart and others:
    https://www.rei.com/product/113711/f...efill-kit-1-lb

    Those heavy gauge powder coated Flame King tanks look nice. I would feel better about having them aboard than the thin-walled disposable canisters. But at $45.00 each and without a way to refill them on a long passage, I'm stuck with the disposable canisters. With proper precautions they should be OK.


    Adapters are available to refill the disposable canisters, but I wouldn't trust them on a boat.



    Quote Originally Posted by Thad Van Gilder View Post
    kinda like a refined version of this.... but no legs and gimbled.



    Thad and Alex, those are very cool stoves. Please post about your progress.

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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    a couple boats ago I had a 1923 falmouth quay punt. I used 1 pound cylinders for the stove and grill. I used to stack them up in 6" plastic pipe, lashed to the pulpit.
    There is a joy in madness, that only mad men know. -Nieztsche

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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    They will protect the threads and have a rubber gasket that seals them in case the valve leaks.


    These are genious.... I gotta buy a couple. I didn't even know that was a thing.
    There is a joy in madness, that only mad men know. -Nieztsche

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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    Quote Originally Posted by Rumars View Post
    The Flame King, available from different sources like REI or Walmart and others:
    https://www.rei.com/product/113711/f...efill-kit-1-lb
    Some of the Flame King canisters were recalled in July 2017. Check your serial numbers.

    Description:
    This recall involves Flame King, Little Kamper and U-Haul refillable propane cylinders used with outdoor appliances. The serial numbers are printed on the foot ring of the cylinder. The brand logo and size is printed on the front of the cylinder.

    Brand Size Color Serial Number Range
    Flame King 14.1 oz. blue 000001 through 004700
    Flame King 16.4 oz. green 000001 through 020800
    Little Kamper 16 oz. green 000001 through 020800
    U-Haul 1 lb. blue 000001 through 004700
    U-Haul 1 lb. green 000001 through 020800

    Details here: https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2017/ys...pane-cylinders

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    Default Re: Making a gimballed stove

    Adapters are available to refill the disposable canisters, but I wouldn't trust them on a boat.




    I don't believe the above photo depicts a workable filling. Propane exists as a liquid until released to the atmosphere so the liquid must be transferred. The white (source) tank must be inverted in order to fill the green tank.

    Jeff

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